Review Sunday: Changing Tides by Sarah Darlington

Kill Devil Hills #2
Goodreads Blurb:
For years Ellie Turner’s had a crush on the ruggedly handsome, beast of a man, television actor, Nate West. This isn’t your average ‘fan-girl crush’ either, it’s borderline obsessive, and totally inconvenient since, other than this one exception, Ellie’s always been strictly into girls. But it doesn’t matter…because Nate doesn’t exist in real life. In real life Ellie has her own issues to worry about, including the death of her brother, the recent suicide attempt of her sister, and then there’s always her annoying roommate Rhett to contend with.

Nate West isn’t looking to start a new relationship. He’s still heartbroken over the last girl who ripped out his insides, still learning how to manage his new-found fame, and, frankly, not even sure what time-zone he’s in. His life is so full of stress, the last thing he wants is more of it.

So when Nate and Ellie meet on an airplane, nothing life changing should have come from it. But “sometimes in life–very rarely, I might add–you meet someone and you know instantly they’re going to mean something special to you.”

Recommended for 18+. F/M scenes only. Changing Tides can be read as a standalone, but is recommended to be read second in Sarah Darlington’s KILL DEVIL HILLS Series.”

Thank you to the author, Sarah Darlington, for providing me with a review copy.  All opinions expressed are my own.
This series is just amazing.  I’ve read all four books and am just now getting to writing reviews for them all.  It’s really hard for contemporaries to earn five stars from me just because I feel like you’re always lacking something.  This series, and this book in particular, are one of the few exceptions.
1.  The plot.  This series can be read in order or as standalones but I highly recommend you read them in order.  There are references in each sequential book that you may only understand if you’ve read the previous books and those references make the story that much better.  This book centers around Ellie and Nathanial’s love story and it’s made slightly more complicated by the fact that Ellie is exploring a new facet of her sexuality.  While I would have almost preferred it if Ellie stuck to her lesbian roots, following her through her journey of recognizing her bisexuality was good as well.  Sometimes it just felt like she was falling for the old ‘only men can truly satisfy women’ trick and that women can’t satisfy other women.  Other than that, I’ve reread this book three times now and each time it only gets better and more engrossing.

“‘I’m still so embarrassed,’ Georgina huffed softly from the front seat. ‘Asking him all those questions about what he did for a job.  Why didn’t one of you stop me?  I didn’t know who he was and I feel like such an ass.’ It had taken Georgie half the day to figure out who Nathanial really was. 

No one had said anything, not even Noah, because it had been freaking hilarious watching her talk to him like he was a regular guy.  Actually, I think even Nathanial had enjoyed her lack of recognition.”

2.  The characters.  As mentioned above, we get to follow Ellie on an especially important journey for her, amidst all of this Ben drama (the brother who died).  Because of all these crisis’, we get to know Ellie really well (and Nathaniel too).  To be quite honest, I think this series is best read as a series because of it’s way of taking each book to dive into another couple.  In the first book, we get to know Noah and Georgina, in the second we follow Ellie and Nathaniel, the third focuses on Rhett and Sydney, and in the fourth, we follow Ben and Juniper.  As you can see, each member of the main squad of characters gets their own book so even after reading only the second book, you already know these characters so well.  The author does such a marvelous job fleshing out each one of the characters and developing their personalities.

“That was it.  Nothing else.  I saved his number into my phone and decided to text him back.  Nothing too life changing, but I figured it would be courteous to let him know my plane hadn’t crashed into a mountain or something equally tragic.”

3.  The romance.  Obviously, as a NA romance, I couldn’t leave this review without mentioning it!  I completely loved this romance.  While there is immediate attraction, the author (and the characters, obviously) makes it clear that it’s insta-lust and not insta-love which I appreciated.  It’s a slow burn kind of romance that’s so lovely and realistic that I relished every moment.

“‘Good.  Let’s go upstairs.  I’m starving and something smells delicious.’  

‘That would be my mom’s roast.’  

‘I don’t care what it is. I’m eating it.'”

The Final Verdict:
As always, I’m loving Sarah Darlington’s work.  Her characters and romance are spot on and I relished every moment of the journey.
4.5 stars

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