Concealed by the Tide

A Tide Harbor Romantic Suspense

Romance - Suspense
282 Pages
Reviewed on 12/16/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite

Environmental activist Summer Avery travels to Tide Harbor to aid an anti-turbine campaign in Concealed by the Tide by Zara West. Also new to Tide Harbor is Gil Moses, who is investigating deadly boat bombings undercover as a lobsterman, with his daughter Lissie in tow, who is autistic. Summer is with the resistance; Gil is not. Seastroke Energy's plans to install the tidal turbine mobilize Summer to rally opposition and organize meetings, one of which is disrupted by someone who leads Summer to suspect Gil. All this is complicated by the chemistry Summer and Gil struggle to suppress. Hostility, protests, vandalism, serious threats, physical confrontations, and arrests rock their lives, as do questions of trust and intent. When the pair goes on a boat inspection together, the journey turns dire when sabotage leaves them on a failed vessel in a storm, badly beaten and fighting for their very survival.

I love that Zara West can shake up a reader's idea of where they think Concealed by the Tide is going and whether or not we are reading an eco-terrorism thriller, a shady corporate murder mystery, or a romance that crosses the activist-bioresearch pay divide. In reality, it's all three, and it is exciting. For starters, I knew nothing of tidal energy and was quickly taken aback by the devastating impact turbines have on marine life. You hear “sustainable energy” and you think it's an eco-win, and then Summer Avery comes along and she sets it all straight. West gets the human elements right, particularly as we see the relationship between Gil and his daughter Lissie come to light. Gil has a lot on his plate, and it's safe to say that between Summer, Lissie, and a housekeeper armed with raisins, Gil is surrounded by a gale storm of strong women. West's writing is uncomplicated, which helps as a handful of subplots unfold. The book is a solid start to the Tide Harbor Suspense series, and I look forward to getting to know the town and West's writing better. Very highly recommended.

Miche Arendse

Concealed by the Tide: A Tide Harbor Romantic Suspense by Zara West follows the courageous activist Summer Avery as she tries to stop the Seastroke Energy’s innovative tidal turbine from ever running again. Unfortunately, with the bad publicity caused by the bomber, the townspeople of Tide Harbor may have to pay the price for the actions of the bomber instead. On the other side of things, marine biologist Gil Moses is just looking for a quiet and peaceful place to raise his daughter but, instead, he becomes entangled in the chaotic circumstances of Tide Harbor.

Concealed by the Tide by Zara West is a fast-paced and action-packed book, not in terms of any fighting or fight scenes but rather in the sense that the characters are constantly on the move and fighting for what they believe in. Summer’s character right off the bat comes across as strong; she is a woman who stands firm in her beliefs and will do what is necessary to achieve her goals. This makes her such a charming and likable female lead and even better for the fact that she is fighting for a good cause. Her opposite is Gil who also has his strengths but is the softer one of the two characters; he presents as more of a loving and kind man whose strengths come from his need to protect the ones he loves. Both of these characters made the book what it is and allowed the story to come together through their actions and spirit. West did a fantastic job with the storyline and the backdrop for this book and I enjoyed it.

Nino Lobiladze

Summer Avery arrives in Tide Harbor, Nova Scotia, to try to stop Seastroke Energy's underwater turbine project. She is an avid environmentalist working for EcoGreen. Summer vowed to fight the evil corporations destroying the environment and regain the respect of her father, a retired farmer and a victim of a big company's negligence. Gil Moses brought his young daughter, Lissie, to Tide Harbor, away from her cold-hearted mother and his former wife, Dolores. Lissie is autistic, and Dolores cannot accept it. Gil is a scientist hired by Seastroke Energy to find a bomber who damaged the turbine's cables. But for Summer, whom Gil met on a ferry to Yarmouth, he is just a researcher studying the lobster population in the waters near Tide Harbor. There is a spark between these two, although they both desperately try to ignore it. Will love prevail and overcome the dangers of not-very-welcoming Tide Harbor? Concealed by the Tide by Zara West is the first book in a promising series for fans of romance, family drama, suspense, thriller, and adventure.

Concealed by the Tide kept me entertained from the first page. Zara West blended multiple genres just perfectly. Concealed by the Tide has very well-crafted intrigue and an emotional narrative. The main characters, Gil and Summer, are deep and relatable. Readers follow the narrative from both Gil's and Summer's points of view, and I got emotionally connected with them right away. Gil and Summer are not perfect. They made mistakes in the past and often rushed to conclusions. These features bring them closer to readers. The author skillfully interweaves the clash of interests into an engaging love story. Intriguing secondary characters are Victoria Eagles, Gil's mysterious housekeeper, and Owen Young, an old fisherman who tried to scare Summer away from Tide Harbor. Concealed by the Tide has a compelling element of suspense. Tide Harbor hides many closely guarded secrets, and the author keeps us guessing until the startling ending of this story. The author inspires us to be more compassionate toward autistic people and thoroughly explores the topic of environmental protection, presenting it from different perspectives. I highly recommend this very well-written book.