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Love at High Tide by Christi Barth

Title: Love at High Tide
Author: Christi Barth
Series: n/a
Genre: Contemporary romance
Published: 2013
Rating4 stars

Love at High Tide is like a trip to the beach—light, frothy, fun, and over too soon! It *almost* made up for the fact that we haven’t gone to Ocean City in (sigh) two loooong years….

Darcy Trent, the only daughter of two academics, has just finished up her doctoral dissertation in cultural anthropology, and has one week to decide if her career will take her back to Africa—an option her parents love, but Darcy is less sure about—or somewhere else. It’s a decision she doesn’t really want to make. So for now, she’s chilling at the beach with her best friend Trina. Well, she’d really like to be chilling. Trina’s got other plans, however. Her latest idea for a great new career is to be a private detective, and she’s sure she’s found the perfect first case to investigate right there on the beach.

Cooper Hudson is on a break too—from the Maryland State Police. He’s had a rough year, losing a partner during a senseless altercation and then going through training to be on the Secret Service only to be rejected by them at the last minute. He’s at loose ends, not sure what he wants to do…until he “saves” an unsuspecting Darcy from a giant wave at the beach. His long-term future plans might be up in the air, but he’s suddenly got a pretty good idea about what he’d like to do for the next week, at least. And who he’d like to do it with….

Soon Darcy and Cooper—and Coop’s cousin Brad, also a member of the MSP—are pulled into Trina’s “investigation”, even though none of them are entirely convinced there is really anything to investigate. They all do admit, though, that the man Trina has dubbed “Ivan” is behaving in a rather suspicious manner….

I have to be honest, what I liked most about this book was its location—I love Ocean City, Maryland, and she’s put so much of the actual place into her book that it was *almost* as good as being there myself—and the fact that Trina’s made her latest career choice after watching a marathon of my all-time favorite television show, Scarecrow and Mrs. King. As soon as Ms. Barth threw that tidbit in there, I was pretty much going to be a fan. Add in the fact that Coop’s going to take Darcy to the Fractured Prune for some made-to-order doughnuts, and I’m sold. J

My personal bias aside, Love at High Tide is perfect for the beach, though definitely on the fluffy side substance-wise. I enjoyed Darcy and Coop, but overall I would have liked to have seen more of their romance develop and a little less of Trina’s investigation. It did tend to take over the book at times when I just wanted more Coop and Darcy beach-romance cuteness. Things also got resolved just a little bit too neatly and easily at the end to be totally believable–though it didn’t really bother me all that much. For what it was—a light beach read—it definitely delivered.

In a nutshell: you can practically smell the suntan lotion and hear the waves on this one. Cute, fun, but definitely frothy. 3 stars bumped up to 4 because it’s not every day I find someone else who appreciates quality television programs of the past.

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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