La Crimson Femme
Review: Red Tide by Tymber Dalton
Friends who become lovers is a storyline I enjoy greatly. In RED TIDE, Michelle "Mitch" Jackson is interested in her business partner and good friend, Ed Grey. The problem, Mitch is married. Is she really married though? Two years into her marriage to John Tyne, it came to a screeching halt with his flagrant infidelity. Three years later, she is still married to him.
At this point I'm stumped. Why would a woman who neither needs financial support nor shares children with a man want to stay married to a chronic cheater? They don't even live together. The excuses given are weak. Still, it did help set up the story for scenes to unfold logically.
The romance in this story is a lot lighter than others I've read by Ms. Dalton. It's more of a sweet slow simmer rather than an intense explosion. The hesitance is realistic, especially for two people who have been previously burned in their first marriage. The friendship turning into compatible lovers warms my heart and brings a smile to my face because I can relate.
I enjoy this story mostly because I'm an avid scuba diver. Mitch and Ed run a dive shop together. This story isn't focused on the diving but it does bring enough of the elements that I'm captivated. The diving scenes are realistic and the fear felt by Ed and Mitch is the same I've felt. Fortunately, mine was a rescue, not a recovery. Mitch and Ed dancing around their mutual interest in each other amused me. It's as if they were afraid to dip their toe into the water for fear of falling into the deep end without a lifejacket.
The romantic suspense in this story comes from the serial killer and a drug dealer. From the beginning of the story, it's crystal clear who the killer and the drug overlord turn out to be. I think Ms. Dalton does this so at each point, the reader can scream out, "NO! Don't do that!" or "Watch out! Why are you doing that? Don't go with him!" Yes, I'm that person who shouts at the TV or movie screen when a character does something stupid.
The story moved at a smooth pace with not a single stray thread. There were times where I thought Ms. Dalton missed a point only to have her bring it up later in the story to connect all the dots. The ending is suspenseful and just how I liked it. I hope this means there will be a sequel. I recommend this book to romance lovers who enjoy friends to lovers theme with a spice of suspense.