Giselle McCabe spent a lot of years trying to be the perfect wife and mother, but when her husband up and leaves her for a younger woman, Giselle is devastated. She decides to take some time and head to her sister Lia’s place in the coastal town of Sandy Cove. With her young daughter in tow, she is determined to start a new life and a change of scenery is exactly what she needs.
Finn Hensen is a professional surfer who has surfed around the world with the circuit for years. After a close friend dies in a surfing accident, however, he retreats from surfing for a while to heal and regroup. But with his sponsor contract due to renew, he has to make some changes and prove to the powers that be that he’s still got what it takes to represent their products.
When Finn meets Giselle, he thinks she’s beautiful and the perfect woman to be on his arm while he meets with his sponsors. Giselle is the exact image of a woman that they would prefer him to be with. When he approaches her with his request that she pretend to be his girlfriend and attend and important event, she counters with a request of her own; neither of them having a clue as to exactly what they were getting into.
I love that the romance between Finn and Giselle started out as a ‘fake’ relationship. Though they each enter into the situation with eyes wide open and with no expectations it is apparent to the reader that there is a definite attraction between these two people. I liked that Giselle didn’t blow up with a lot of theatrics when Finn made his proposition and instead, had a counter proposal of her own. And I even enjoyed that when they finally decide give in to what they’re feeling, they think that they’ll be able to walk away from each other at the end of Giselle’s vacation.
The suspense surrounding the death of a fellow surfer and friend of Finn is in the background and not really fleshed out till about the last quarter of the book . Even then, I had a feeling throughout the book that there was something about the surfer’s death that was important and pivotal to what was happening between Giselle and Finn. I loved the spin the author took to bring all the parts together. Though I was able to figure it out before the big reveal, it did not take away from my enjoyment of this story.
As a contemporary, this story encompasses everything I look for when reading. Giselle is a woman in her mid 30’s who was sort of going through the motions of life. Her husband had previously cheated on her, but she’d taken him back because for her it was the right thing to do at the time. She knew she was unhappy, but just found herself between a rock and a hard place with not many options. She always strived to do the right thing. When her husband leaves her, it took the decision away from her, and forced her to make new choices. I loved watching Giselle come out of her shell, explore life with different eyes and take a chance on a fling with a younger, hot professional surfer. She realizes much about herself and gains a kind of confidence that was always within her, but that she’d never allowed herself to express.
The secondary characters help round out the story, especially Rabbit-a neighbor of Giselle’s sister Lia. A surfer as well, Rabbit easily falls into the role of friend/babysitter/protector for Giselle and her daughter Coco. Having grown up on Maui, I enjoyed all the surf speak and surfing references throughout the story.
According to Goodreads, this is the debut for author Lauren Christopher. At the end of my arc, there is a teaser for a follow up book featuring Giselle’s sister Lia and I look forward to reading it as well.
Goodreads l Author Website