Sometimes you just meet a book you don’t really click with and there’s not a reason for it, it just is. I think this is one of those times! I had a perfectly fine time reading this book, but I was never compelled by it. The stakes, for me, felt too low. This was especially sad because my fellow reviewers who have read this have loved it nearly universally, and also because I loved loved loved the first book in Dade’s Marysburg series when I read it a couple of months ago; I just took it for granted that I would love this one, too.
Our two main characters are Tess Dunn, who is spending her 40th birthday with her best friend on vacation on a small Florida island resort; and Lukas Carlsson, a former professional tennis player felled by injuries who now makes his living giving tennis lessons to resort guests. Their meet-cute occurs in the ocean, when Tess’s bikini top decides to take off into the wild blue yonder, and Lukas rescues her from flashing a bunch of children with her ample bosom. This meet-cute should have gotten me! But it didn’t. Like the rest of the book, I do not know why.
Dade does a great job showing us how these two people could break down each other’s walls and develop real intimacy over the course of the two weeks Tess is on the island, although even if I had really dug the book I think I wouldn’t have been able to buy an ‘I Love You’ as quickly as they manage it. SPOILERS I wish there had been more of a time jump after Tess left the island and they continued their relationship, and THEN Lukas made his big move. I would have found that more emotionally believable. But that’s really the only concrete complaint I have END SPOILERS.
Other people with different tastes will and have liked this more than I do so don’t let my lukewarm review deter you.