**Review originally created for NovelCrossing.com**
Irish photojournalist Grace Brennan travels the world’s war zones documenting the helpless and forgotten. After the death of her friend and mentor in the field, Grace is shaken.
She returns to London hoping to rekindle the spark with the only man she ever loved—Scottish businessman Ian MacDonald. But he gave up his championship rowing career and dreams of Olympic gold years ago for Grace … only for her to choose career over him. Will life’s tides bring them back together … or tear them apart for good this time?
You can sometimes get a second chance at life, but what about thirds and fourths?
Grace Brennan has physically survived photographing in the most perilous war zones, however her spirit is afflicted by the horrors captured by her lens. Debilitating post-traumatic stress and the death of her protégé have forced her to surrender her nomadic lifestyle in the field and she returns to London on a personal pilgrimage of self discovery. In addition to a professional refocusing, Grace hopes to rekindle romance with the fiancé she left without a word a decade prior.
Former Olympian rower Ian MacDonald is stuck in a redundant life that lacks inspiration or motivation. In the wake of his fiancée’s abandonment, he assumed the role of head of his brother’s restaurant dynasty-a mundane existence punctuated by his early morning rowing. Not until Grace appears on the banks of the Thames like an illusion from his past does Ian dare to feel passion again. He pours his driven nature into wooing Grace back in to the haven of his arms, although Ian is reluctant to acknowledge the enormity of the torment that lurks in the shadows.
Grace’s nonconformity juxtaposed with Ian’s traditionalism is unconventional, but opposites attracting is an often employed writing convention. Their romance is fraught with unresolved hurt, anxious doubt and mistrust that persistently impede their fervour for one another. Neither is willing to relinquish control or to divulge their greatest desires and fears lest they be vulnerable. Carla Laureano does not gloss over the the daily struggle to make a relationship work, emphasizing the power and repercussion of choices and assumptions. The approach to this storyline is one of realism and transparency that is counterculture to the typical woo-kiss-propose plot arc.
London Tides asserts itself with an edgier plot that branches outside of Christian contemporary fiction matrix. The complexity of this relationship and character development takes readers along a spectrum of reactions from frustration and to hope. A recommended book for readers looking an enthralling stirring story that will test the boundaries of contemporary romance.
**Disclosure: review copy provided by publisher**