Series: Rock Stars, Surf and Second Chances #2
Author: Michelle Mankin
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 21, 2017
Rock star Ramon Martinez can have any woman he wants, and he frequently does because he can’t have her. Karen Grayson
My band mate’s wife
The one woman I can’t have.
The one woman who could have my heart though I can never let her know.
I wanted him back at the beginning, but he didn’t want me.
So I made the safe choice.
The wrong one.
We were once friends.
Now we’re not even that.
But we’re both back in Ocean Beach and that dangerous attraction remains.
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*Don’t miss the link inside Riptide to win a Southwest Airlines gift card. At the end of Riptide there is also an exclusive preview of a rock star novel at such a high heat level, that Michelle considered using a pseudonym.
What I Thought
Despite there being a bit of a gap between the release of Outside book #1 and Riptide book #2 of the Rockstars, Surf and Second Chances series, I still remember how much I loved Linc and Mona’s story in book #1, so when I was asked if I would like to read and review Riptide, I was all over it! My anticipation to read the story of Ramon and Karen was running at sky high, and I was not disappointed in the slightest!
Ramon Martinez had pretty much loved Karen from the moment he first laid eyes on her, unfortunately, so did his band brother and best friend Dominic. So being young, not ready for commitment and hoping for a career in rock music to take off, Ramon stepped to the side and let his best friend have the lady. This decision, was probably one of the worst and most regretful decisions he would ever come to make in his life! Instead, Ramon had to settle for the role of Karen’s friend.
Karen Campo has also always loved Ramon, not realising quite how consuming her love was for him in the beginning, she settled for a life with Ramon’s best friend, Dominic, who she knew would treat her like a queen, who wasn’t your typical rockstar, interested in having half naked females everywhere.
Over fifteen years of knowing each other, Ramon and Karen’s friendship has its rocky patches, but when things were good between them, the chemistry was sizzling. When Dominic enlists, he entrusts Ramon to watch over Karen for him, but when people around town start to talk and the amount of time spent together seems more important than husband and wife time, despite nothing going on, Dominic wants the friendship terminated.
Then, after the tragic death of Dominic, misunderstood words heard between Simone and Karen at the hospital leads to a three year rift between the Ramon and Karen, but when they both end up back in Ocean Beach, there is no way they will be able to avoid each other. Reunited in their love of surf, chemistry still just as hot, despite each of them not thinking the other reciprocates how they feel, Dominic and his memory still lingers, the feeling of betrayal towards him becomes a strain to them both.
After letting Karen walk off towards work after a deep conversation about how she isn’t the same Karen he once knew, Ramon is filled with a feeling of unease. Unable to ignore it, he hops in to his car and drives to the surf shop where Karen works. Upon parking, he hears a sound that will forever haunt him, a female scream. He rushes towards the sound to find Karen’s lifeless body in the middle of the road, a car nearby and a growing puddle of blood around her head. Has Ramon lost the love of his life before being able to finally tell her how he has felt for the last fifteen years?!
The plot, the writing, the characterization in Riptide is superb! It is such a rollercoaster ride full of emotions. Flipping from the point of view of Ramon to Karen, the expressive and illustrative writing style totally helps create the imagery in your head of the characters, features and the storyline as it plays out. The descriptive language brings on the feels within you and has you on tender hooks throughout the whole book. Then you reach the end, and you are left with a big gaping Ramon and Karen shaped hole because the story is done!
You definitely become enthralled in Ramon and Karen’s story in riptide. I found myself feeling conflicted a time or two early on in the book, wanting Karen to have the happiest future with her husband Dominic, then, my heart was breaking for Ramon on the sidelines and I wanted him to get his woman. I can’t imagine how it must feel, watching the woman of your dreams with your best friend, your brother from another mother, so heartbreaking. Then with Dominic’s death, both having feelings, even flirting with each other, they feel they are betraying his memory. It takes strong people/characters to get past that!
As with Outside, this story also spans over fifteen years, from when Ramon and Karen first met, to the present. We also have Linc and Mona featured in Riptide, I adored these guys in Outside. I don’t think I could pick a favourite couple out of the two.
Like the meaning of Riptide…..
A violent disturbance in the sea. Abrupt changes in depth. The meeting of currents
Ramon and Karen’s turbulent relationship of friends, not friends, wanting the other (secretly and thinking its one sided) as their lover, mistaken ideas of what the other wants, relates to the title perfectly. Kind of a storm before the calm. Heartbreak before serenity.
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Michelle Mankin is the New York Times bestselling author of the Black Cat Records series of novels.
Rock Stars. Romance. Redemption.
Love Evolution, Love Revolution, and Love Resolution are a BRUTAL STRENGTH centered trilogy, combining the plot underpinnings of Shakespeare with the drama, excitement, and indisputable sexiness of the rock ‘n roll industry.
Things take a bit of an edgier, once upon a time turn with the TEMPEST series. These pierced, tatted, and troubled Seattle rockers are young and on the cusp of making it big, but with serious obstacles to overcome that may prevent them from ever getting there.
Rock stars, myths, and legends collide with paranormal romance in a totally mesmerizing way in the MAGIC series.
Catch the perfect wave with irresistible surfers in the ROCK STARS, SURF AND SECOND CHANCES series.
Romance and self-discovery, the FINDING ME series is a Tempest spin off with a more experienced but familiar cast of characters.
When Michelle is not prowling the streets of her Texas town listening to her rock or NOLA funk music much too loud, she is putting her daydreams down on paper or traveling the world with her family and friends, sometimes for real, and sometimes just for pretend.
BRUTAL STRENGTH series:
Love Rock’ollection: The Brutal Strength Rock Star Trilogy, books 1-3
TEMPEST series (also available in audio):
Tempest Raging: The Tempest Rock Star series, books 1-4
The MAGIC series (also available in audio):
ROCK STARS, SURF AND SECOND CHANCES series (also available in audio):
FINDING ME series (also available in audio):
Faith and Freedom