Author: Foster Bridget Cassidy
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
One is trying to heal a broken heart, the other, a broken family.
After separating from his partner of nine years, Palmer Simpson flees to the island of Oahu to pursue a carefree life of surfing. There, he meets Riku Usami, a more skilled surfer—but one with a bad attitude and a boatload of family drama. A contest between the two men leads to friendship and the possibility of something more meaningful. When a tsunami threatens the island, a friend is stranded out on the waters of the deadly Banzai Pipeline. Palmer and Riku must face the dangers of the barrel waves and the looming forces of nature in order to get their friend to safety. If they survive, they’ll have to contemplate what their future together will look like after the storm blows through.
When the best aspect of reading a romance book ends up being learning a little something about the location in which it’s set (Oahu, Hawaii) or about an activity in it that takes place (surfing), then what does that say about the characters and the romance? Probably a lot and it’s not necessarily encouraging.
While Palmer was a decent character if not a little rash in his reactions, I didn’t warm up one iota to Riku. He was cold and rude, and even in scenarios where his heart might have shown through, it wasn’t enough to overcome my first and only impression of him. The “L” word, when it came, felt insincere because I just had not developed any sense of a true relationship between them – much less “love”.
Even more frustrating than the lack of character connection was the fact that the book blurb leads you to believe certain events are going to transpire and play a significant role in the plot, and while you might be able to call it true on a technicality, I felt a bit short-changed in terms of how late those came into the picture and at the utterly incomplete state in which they were left. Sadly, even if there were an intended sequel to resolve some of the gaping open plot points at the end of this story, I don’t believe I’d be inclined to check it out.