March 18, 2015

Book Review: Changing Tides by Sarah Darlington

Ellie has always been the black sheep of her family.  She was different with her tattoos, short hair, always letting her mouth get away from her, wearing baggy clothes, hiding behind her sarcasm, and being a lesbian.  She was a total tomboy. Life changed as she knew it when her brother, Ben, died.  Especially when she got a call from him months later letting her know he was still alive.  So she came up with a plan to go see him and get him to come home without letting any of her friends or family know the real reason they were going to California.  Little did she know that she would be meeting an actor from her favorite show and for the first time in her life she would be attracted to a man.

Nate West or Nathanial as he liked to be called by family and friends, was on a popular television show called Dragon Wars. From what I got about the show from the book it kind of sounded like Game of Thrones. Which I love by the way.  Who doesn’t? After his break up from his ex-girlfriend he had decided that he wouldn’t be giving his heart away again.  He’d become numb in his life and was looking for a way to feel again.

“Sometimes in life-very rarely, I might add- you meet someone and you know instantly they’re going to mean something special to you.”

Never before had Ellie felt sparks and electricity with anyone let alone a man, but their time together was short leaving her conflicted. She lived in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina and he lived across the country in Malibu, California.  Were they doomed from the start?

Everything about the situation was complicated. Ellie wanted to go home early and figure out what was going on with herself.  After she left she didn’t know what to do.  Who was she attracted to?  Women? Men? Her roommate suggested that she should try to go out on a few dates with both men and women. She decided maybe that will help her figure out what her feelings were for Nate.  The only thing she knew for sure was that her every thought was consumed by Nathanial.

The only contact Ellie had with Nate was her nightly ‘Goodnight’ text until one fate filled day she texted more than her usual one word.  After finding out that she was dating and quickly working through his jealousy, Nate, decided that he needed to date her if she was going to be dating others.

Nate was normally an alpha, over-bearing, arrogant, mind-boggling gorgeous man, but I loved when he showed his sweet, vulnerable, and gentle side to Ellie.  He knew right away that there was something different about her. Something that drew him to her. She made him feel again and he could be his true self with her and she accepted him for who he was.  He fell fast and hard for her laid back and easygoing ways.

“But you know what I’ve learned today… that I was completely miserable with her and I didn’t even realize it. I gave up so much of myself trying to be exactly what she wanted, and at the end of the day that still wasn’t enough. You know what I love about spending time with you?  That I never once have had to fake anything.  Every moment with you has felt more real than anything I’ve ever experienced in my life.  I’m sorry I compared you to my ex.  But know this… you are no rebound girl.”

The synopsis for Changing Tides intrigued me when I read it. I mean you read that a tattooed lesbian meets a famous actor that is going to turn everything she knows about herself upside down aren’t you intrigued?  Never before had I read any of Sarah Darlington’s books, but she’s on my radar now.

I couldn’t put this book down once I started reading it.  I love that about books. I love immediately knowing when you start a book that it’s going to be a good book.  It’s always a gamble when you read a new author, but nothing’s better than loving a book and knowing that you now have a new author that you’ll be waiting for their next book to come out. And let me tell you I cannot not wait to read more of Ellie and Nate.  Seriously, when will there be more?   All I know is that she has Pulled Under (book #3) in the series coming out this summer and Adrift (book #4), set for some time in 2016.  The next book is Sydney and Ben’s story and I’m not sure about Adrift, but do know that I want more of Ellie and Nate. Hint, hint, Sarah. J

Sarah’s writing had me consumed right from the start with this story. I didn’t even want to stop to eat.  My family was not too happy about my neglecting them to try and finish this book, but I couldn’t help it. I didn’t want to stop reading it.  I felt like I was right there with the characters and I think for an author to do that is true talent.  Not every author or every story makes you get lost in the story, but I was so far gone when I read this and I loved every minute of it.  It’s a definite must read.

** I was provided an arc for a fair and honest review. **


Rating: 5 Stars

Buy on Amazon.

Series: Kill Devil Hills, Changing Tides, Pulled Under (Summer 2015), Adrift (2016)