Love Turns the Tide by Gail Pallotta
Publisher: Awe-Struck Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Christian/Inspirational
Length: Full (172 pages)
Rating: 3.5 Books
Reviewed by Mimosa
Shattered by a failed romance, challenged by a different job, feature writer Cammie O’Shea dreads meeting her new boss, the editor of The Sun Dial newspaper, in Destin, Florida. However, her real source of angst turns out to be Vic Deleona, the influential real estate tycoon she must write about to generate interest in the paper.
While she refuses to open herself to another painful relationship he attempts to court her. Seeing him as pompous, she nonetheless goes out of her way to maintain a good business association.
However, when her friend, Angie Jones, has a break-in at her condo and there’s a mysterious vandalism at Cammie’s unit, Vic comes to their rescue, Cammie sees his Christian side and love blossoms.
Young features-writer Cammie O'Shea relocates to small Gulf Coast resort town to help with the startup of a community newspaper. She makes new friends, meets handsome, high-powered developer Vic Deleona and begins a tentative relationship. But when she and her friend become the targets of break-ins, can she trust the help offered by her new beau?
The reluctance of Cammie to enter a new relationship is plausible given a bad experience with a previous fiance. Hero Deleona is a little harder to pin down, but he possesses the requisite alpha male characteristics -- power, money, ambition, self-confidence, good looks -- while the realistic backstories of the secondary characters, which are quite integral to the plot, make them believable and important to the story. The secondary plot, the mysterious condo break-ins, is resolved realistically, with the perp's motives reasonably explained.
One of Pallotta's strong points is her dialog; which she doesn't utilize it as much as she could; this, more than anything, gives her characters realism, depth and personality.
Having lived in the area she writes about, and having visited Destin, Florida, many times, I was pleased with her descriptions of "the world's luckiest fishing village." In her depiction of the beach, the Gulf, sunsets and breezes, as well as the resort developments, restaurants and tourist activities (chiefly deep sea fishing) she captured both the natural and man made character of the area very well. Clearly, Pallotta knows Destin from experience, not from Google.
There were times when Pallotta chose to tell rather than show--it's a choice all authors must make since not everything in a story can be shown--but sometimes she chose to tell a little too much, i.e., mostly the mundane chores of day-to-day life that really didn't contribute to plot, setting or characterization. Some of these segments could have been skimmed over or omitted altogether. Overall, the narrative would have been helped by tightening and a bit more punch.
This is a Christian/inspirational romance, and religion in the characters' lives is realistically established and maintained, but there was sometimes a disconnect between the occasional quoted Scripture and the segment of the story they appeared in. But for those who enjoy Christian or sweet romance, this story of an alpha male pursuing a reluctant lady should fill the bill.