Series: Deep Six #3
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on 24th November 2020
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Weary of being a fighting man, and burned by a bad divorce, former SEAL Mason "Monet" McCarthy is tight-lipped and self-contained. Unfortunately, he can't avoid Alexis Merriweather when she joins him and his business partners in the hunt for the Santa Cristina.
Historian Alexis Merriweather has a motor-mouth and a penchant for pushing Mason's buttons. When a dangerous man from Mason's past threatens their lives and everything they are working toward, Mason must rely on old instincts and the skills honed from years running black ops to make sure nothing from his previous life touches Alexis's present.
Of course, with their lives on the line and the adrenaline running high, it's a foregone conclusion sparks will fly.
I’ve always liked Julie Ann Walker’s idea of military veterans running a crew of treasure-seeking men while getting some unexpected thrills along the way, though ‘Ride the Tide’ feels somewhat tangential to that overall theme that Walker’s got going here. The search for the Santa Cristina isn’t what takes centre-stage but rather, a threat in Mason McCarthy’s previous life as a SEAL returning and putting pretty much everyone else in danger.
There are times when I do enjoy the angst of seeing how unrequited-love drama might unfold when it’s written the way I know will be soul-destroying.
Unfortunately, ‘Ride the Tide’ isn’t quite one of them, despite Walker’s fast-paced and pretty good writing that does a solid job of working up the growing tension between Mason and a certain extremely talkative historian who, could either be viewed as admirably dogged or foolishly desperate in her bid to get a man who, for most of the book, pushes her away just as doggedly.
Mason and Alexis Merriweather have always wanted each other, but Mason would never commit to something more after compounding his entire life issues (including PTSD and his failed marriage) into something of a big mess that he couldn’t seem to deal with like the big boy he should be.
On the other hand, Alex’s inability to let nothing but words, words and words fly unfiltered from her mouth made her more like a hormonal teen than a fully-fledged adult, more so because there was so much harping on the issue of her virginity: it was made such a big deal of; it was also implicitly mocked as an entity that she couldn’t wait to shed and that only Mason was the man to do that job.
Having Alex constantly throwing herself at Mason (the pesky virginity issue wasn’t dealt with in a manner I could personally swallow hook, line and sinker as a reader), putting herself out there over and over again despite his rejections was made worse by his inability to do the same up until a reluctant love-confession at the end…all of which left a sour taste in my mouth.
In the end, I vacillated between feeling sorry for Alex and thinking that she could have really done better than to fall in love with a man who needed a huge life-changing, dangerous moment to realise that he actually loved her as well after spending the whole time vigorously avoiding the topic.
The Deep Six crew is one that I’ll continue following but ‘Ride the Tide’ is frankly not a favourite book of mine given how much I was looking forward to this particular instalment. I really wished I enjoyed this one more especially after the huge gap between books, but it just didn’t work out that way.