Meet Me at the Beach
Book 1, Seashell Bay
V. K. Sykes
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YOU CAN'T STOP A RISING TIDE
When Lily Doyle spots her high school crush Aiden Flynn on the inbound ferry, she knows trouble is about to dock in Seashell Bay. And not just because he's more handsome than ever. If Aiden's in town, the rumors must be true about his family's plan to sell their coastal land to the highest bidder. But Lily will do whatever it takes to convince the hottest guy on the beach to protect their idyllic island home.
Gorgeous Lily Doyle was the only thing Aiden missed after he escaped from his hometown to play pro baseball. Now all Aiden wants is to wrap up the business deal and get back to his life, not relive a past that still haunts him. But as memories rush in about the night of passion he and Lily shared long ago, everything else washes right out to sea-everything except the desire that still burns between them.
Young Love Reunites
Lily and Aiden become quick friends when they are teenagers and the attraction sparks, but doesn't move forward as both are very persistent in following their dreams which aren't headed in the same direction.
Lily stays close to home and enjoy's the life of lobster fishing and small town island life that hasn't been taken over by the big city, fast pace of life.
Aiden leaves the island to play Major League Baseball and returns years later after a career ending injury and trouble on the home front with their land.
VK Sykes shows how staying true to yourself, learning to communicate can lead to all your dreams.
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review
Initially drawn to this story because of the setting
Initially drawn to this story because of the setting and the richness to be found there. V.K. Sykes has brought a sense of coastal Maine in this story with her fictional island of Seashell Bay, in what felt like a cross between Deer Isle and Peaks Island, the setting is well established as are some of the more peculiar ‘phrases’ common to Mainers. The addition of lobster fishing with its effect on the people and economy added another layer to the story, as did the ‘out of staters’ there for summer holidays.
In this story, Lily has stayed behind after high school in the small community. Working on a lobster boat is not unusual for someone from an island, but being a female and managing to navigate the daily grind, the physical exertions and dangers is less common than one would expect: she has earned her stripes and has achieved her dream of owning and captaining her own boat and pots. Reasonably independent and content, everything changes for her with the return of her old fling.
Aiden left the island after high school for a career in baseball. Returning to wrap up some family business, one of the first people he encounters is Lily, the girl he can’t forget. But his return just may signify changes for the small community – his plan to breeze in and out, returning to his life after selling the highly valued land his family owns just may take longer than expected.
Of course, Lily doesn’t want the island to change, and Aiden’s plans are in direct contrast. But can she convince him? And here – the story flip flops between their past and present, unresolved feelings and current attraction. Their struggles together and with themselves, both in terms of their relationship / attraction and the sale of the land to a development corporation make for some interesting interactions.
Secondary characters, in terms of townspeople are true to live, opinionated, mouthy and often very funny. The residents don’t want to risk their island’s beauty or ‘feel’ for the potential economic gains with more part-time residents or a large holiday resort, and their concerns are valid and well structured. And, it is a small town, so everyone has an opinion on Aiden and Lily, often before they’ve decided themselves.
Great setting, wonderful premise: I got a bit stuck with the oft-repeated warnings about the dangers of lobstering, and Lily and Aiden’s interior monologues. Lobster fishing is dangerous: commercial fishing is. And Sykes adds plenty of information about it, yet all of the warnings only serve to dull the crisis point of the story. Interactions between Lily and Aiden are told with each character’s point of view, and their interior monologues descend to immature, repetitive moments: their interplay, their connection was well-established without this device for each scene, and I will admit they became annoying early on.
That being said, the story flew by and felt honest and real. The setting, the connection and even most of the characters added to the story to provide a rich retreat to Maine in the summer.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Great start to a new series
This is a really good start to a new series. Second chance romance is one of my favorite troupe and add in a small town/island and I'm hooked.
Lily Doyle and Aiden Flynn had a sweet romance as teenagers they were like Romeo and Juliet both coming from feuding families. Lily grow up in a loving family and Aiden with the love of his mother and the fist of his father. Aiden could not wait to leave Seashell Island as soon as he could and Lily couldn't see living anywhere else. Aiden left to pursue a career in baseball and didn't return but once in fourteen years when his mother died.
Now with his career coming to an unwanted possible end Aiden returns to the island in the middle of an uproar and he's the cause at least for part of it. The Flynn's own a large amount of acreage that's split between the three of them that his father Sean and brother Bram want to sell to a large corporation to build houses and condos on. The only thing holding them back is Aiden's vote. His plot is in the middle of the twos land. Aiden is torn between his family's dire need for help, the memory of his mothers love for where she lived and his renewed romance with Lily Doyle.
There is so many emotions and conflicts in this book that you are just pulled right in to the middle of it as if it was real life. Ms. Sykes does a great job at building the world of Seashell Island and introducing us to the unique and quirky Islanders. There are some really great secondary characters and I can't wait to read the next book and I want to see Bram get his HEA.