Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Rising Tides by Nora Roberts *****

First reviewed July 2008 when I read it - I have now listened to it on audio book as well!


I have now finished the trilogy and love them all, although Sea Swept is still my favorite. Maybe it was Cam's personality, or maybe it was the freshness and newness of just meeting all the characters, but that one grabbed me and ran with it and left me breathless and smiling and - but not quite happy because it does leave the mystery open!

Ethan has been secretly in love with local girl Grace for years. I had a hard time figuring out the Quinn brothers' ages - I guess they were all about the same age? But he was about 7-8 years older than Grace, and first noticed her when she was only 14 and still officially jailbait. That, coupled with his fear that he was bad blood, has kept him from acting on the relationship even though Grace is now 23, divorced and has the cutest baby ever to grace the pages of a novel. That Nora - she writes men, she writes women - she even writes toddlers to perfection.

Grace is trying to make ends meet - all the time. As a single mom, it's tough. It's tougher still when you have parents nearby that you feel didn't lend their support when you needed it, so you refuse to ask again. Growing up, Grace wanted to be a dancer, but when push came to shove and it was time to go to NYC and give it a try, Daddy put his foot down. After years of dance lessons, he felt it was time for her to get realistic and stop dreaming. I never did get a feel of whether she actually had the talent and motivation to make it - that part is sorta skipped over. But when Daddy cut the dance funding, she was going to do it on her own - but met the baby's father and married him instead when she got pregnant. Speaking of skipped - that's what the baby's father did before the baby was even born.

Ethan was pretty much an asshole to Grace a lot of the times - more than seemed judicious, more than seemed necessary and more than I liked. He was protective, but he didn't seem to want to discuss it with her, he just made wild and crazy ultimatums and accusations about her jobs and her life. So what if she worked in a bar, so what if she flaunted her body a little to get better tips - that's how it's done. It seemed a little weird to me that he kept offering to pay for things, like getting her car fixed and such, when they had no relationship other than she was the Quinn housekeeper and they were friends.

Meanwhile, the story of Seth continues and we learn more about his upbringing and get more tantalizing clues about his mother.

Ethan has to think he's dreaming when Ray Quinn appears to him as he did to Cam - eventually Ethan accepts Ray's presence and guidance, which I found to be a great addition to all 3 books. Ethan's main hurdle is overcoming his fear of himself - he has spent all these years thinking he was genetically off and couldn't have a relationship for fear of exposing his bad side or passing on his bad seed. He needed to look around, wake up and smell the goddam coffee!! Lucky for him, Grace was a kind of take-charge girl who pushed him to figure it all out.

While it wasn't quite as good for me as Sea Swept, it's still a 5-star keeper. Now I have to find Seth's story - and see what secret he'd been hiding from us!

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