It probably comes as no surprise that I jumped at the opportunity to review Ophelia London's MAKING WAVES from Entangled Bliss:
She’s in over her head and he’s in hot water…
Visiting her friends Ellie and Charlie in Hawaii was supposed to be a much-needed vacation for journalist Justine Simms. But when she learns the notoriously reclusive pro-surfer Chase Ryder is coming out of retirement for a competition, she knows she’s found the perfect exclusive to save her career. Of course, then she learns he’s the gorgeous, secretly nerdy guy who broke her heart a year ago.
Will Davenport—aka Chase Ryder—doesn't do interviews. He keeps his real name out of the papers and doesn’t mix his public life with his private. That is, until the still-heartbroken Justine blackmails him into giving her an exclusive. Seeing Justine, stunningly beautiful as ever, brings back all the feelings he had before. But despite their smoldering attraction, nothing has changed since he had to leave her the first time.
"I could not help concluding this man had the most supreme pleasure while he was driven so fast and so smoothly by the sea" - Captain James Cook, first documented European explorer to come ashore in Hawaii in 1778.
Ophelia London delivers a flirty, engaging, and heartfelt story of "second chances" in this novella. Justine Simms is looking for the "big story" that can make (or break) her journalism career. Her chance comes on a quick trip from LA to Honolulu. Justine intended to spend the long weekend with Ellie and Charlie (FALLING FOR HER SOLDIER). She hoped the change in scenery will nurse her broken heart after IT guy Will Davenport walked out on their third date. Instead, she chases after a rumor that surfing legend Chase Ryder is coming out of retirement for the expected "Eddie" challenge.
Let me break from the review to spotlight Eddie Aikau. He was a legendary big wave surfer who worked as a lifeguard at Waimea Beach Park. He competed to be a crew member on the Tahiti voyage of the Hokulea - a replica of a double hulled voyaging canoe. The Hokulea left Honolulu harbor in choppy waters on March 16, 1978, only to capsize overnight off the coast of Moloka'i. With no modern equipment to call for help, Eddie volunteered to paddle towards land for help. He stripped off his life vest to paddle faster ... and he was lost at sea. Hawaii wept for her los son. Eddie remains a hero of selfless service. Today, surfers say "Eddie would go" when the big waves arrive on Oahu's North Shore during the Winter Season. Quicksilver hosts the "Eddie" surf invitational only when open water swells reach 20 feet. Thus, the tournament has been held eight times since 1984.
Returning to the review, Justine travels to the North Shore, determined to interview the reclusive Chase Ryder. After the opening ceremony, Justine realizes that Chase Ryder is Will Davenport. After she recovers from her shock, Justine asks "Chase" for an interview in exchange for her silence on his double life. As they spend time together over the course of one day, Justine drifts from her "professional" interview of a surf legend to seeking "personal" closure of their presumed breakup. Hero and heroine reveal their emotional baggage as they explore a few hidden gems along Oahu's shores. London uses the 122 pages wisely to convey past pain that both Justine and Will suffered before they began to date - pain that seemed to doom their relationship. Just as the kai (sea) is life to the Hawaiians, wading into the kai allowed Justine and Will come to terms with their past ... and hope for a future.
London is spot on with her vivid descriptions of the Hawaiian landscape and incorporating Hawaiian culture into the story. MAKING WAVES is a complete story ... but I certainly would like to follow Justine and Will into their Happily Ever After in another story.
MAKING WAVES is Book 3.5 in London's Perfect Kisses series. I read this novella as a stand alone story since I have not read the previous books in the series ... something that I will rectify shortly! I give MAKING WAVES five surfboards, er, stars on Amazon (link) and Goodreads (link).
I received an digital ARC from Wordsmith Publicity for an honest review.
Barnes & Noble: link
Ophelia London was born and raised among the redwood trees in beautiful northern California. Once she was fully educated, she decided to settle in Florida, but her car broke down in Texas and she's lived in Dallas ever since. A cupcake and treadmill aficionado (obviously those things are connected), she spends her time watching arthouse movies and impossibly trashy TV, while living vicariously through the characters in the books she writes. Ophelia is the author of DEFINITELY, MAYBE IN LOVE, ABBY ROAD, the Perfect Kisses series including: PLAYING AT LOVE, SPEAKING OF LOVE, and FALLING FOR HER SOLDIER. Visit her at ophelialondon.com. But don't call when The Vampire Diaries is on.
Barnes & Noble: link
Join Ophelia on her blog tour with Wordsmith Publicity at this link.