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London Tides: A Novel (The MacDonald Family…

London Tides: A Novel (The MacDonald Family Trilogy)

by Carla Laureano

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175587,099 (3.58)1



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Definitely for those who love a stop-start romance. Some good insights into post traumatic stress and the effect of being exposed to war ( )
  CarolPreston | Apr 25, 2016 |
The tides of life – and love – ebb and flow, and author Carla Laureano masterfully captures the emotional intensity that can be left in the wake of both tragedy and triumph. Ian and Grace play off each other beautifully; the backdrop of London the perfect setting for their rekindled romance. I found myself consumed by London Tides from the first word until long after I finished reading the final page – the themes of value and forgiveness, trust and healing, are not easily shelved in one’s spirit simply because the book is closed.

London Tides is heavier (and a little edgier) than its prequel Five Days in Skye, but then again war-torn countries, broken engagements, and PTSD are not topics to be glossed over nonchalantly. After her years as a noted war photojournalist are forced to end in tragedy-induced retirement, Grace Brennan is returning to the place she considers home – London and perhaps Ian MacDonald, the man who got away. Or rather the man who let her get away. Ten years earlier, she had left his engagement ring on the counter and his heart in pieces when she set out to chase her dream. Now she’s back, and to Ian’s stunned disbelief she wants a second chance to rekindle any spark that might be left between them. He had given up his championship rowing career – maybe even the shot at Olympic gold – for her, but she had chosen her dream job instead of him. Can he trust her not to repeat the past when opportunities begin to come her way? What about Grace’s apparent PTSD – how will that affect their attempts at starting anew? And what about what Ian wants for once? So. Many. Obstacles. Is there a happily-ever-after in this story?

I really appreciated the fact that, even though Ian and Grace had lived together when they dated ten years ago, they made different choices this time around. This line really stood out to me from one of their dates: “It would have been the perfect seduction scene, but now it was even more romantic because she knew he intended nothing of the sort.” That doesn’t mean they were without sparks though – oh no. As long as Ian is around, there will be sparks! “Heavens have mercy. If she had any doubt whether their chemistry had survived a decade apart, it was long gone.” Do you see that goofy grin on my face? Grace had one too though by the end of that scene, so at least I’m not alone.

Finally, it was delightful to see familiar characters when the family gathers for a special event back in Skye, and we readers feel right at home and warmly included in all the festivities. We also got to meet Ian’s mom – who I could live without – and Uncle Rodney – who I adore! I laughed out loud when Rodney told Ian, “Your life is between you and God. And don’t give me that look. I know I’m a drunk. God loves me anyway.” There it is. The main theme of the book. God loves us anyway. When we walk out on Him, when we make mistakes, when we feel purposeless. He loves us anyway.

(Note: I received this book as part of the London Tides blog tour from Radiant Lit. I received no compensation for this review and only received a copy of the book for review purposes. Review copy provided by the publisher via Netgalley.) ( )
  MeezCarrie | Aug 31, 2015 |
I loved the cover and the quick review and was eager to read it. This was the second book in the series, but I didn't know it until just now. It works as a stand alone but I think it would have been a better experience to have read book one first. It's a Christian romance, but if you're a strict Christian you may not appreciate the references to when the characters had slept with others (although in this story they do not sleep together). It turned me off.

Grace and Ian have a past - in fact Grace left Ian just before their wedding. She's an Irish girl who's a photographer in war-torn and poverty stricken areas, so she has PTSD. But she's come back to London to see Ian and her best friend, and has an exciting new job offer.

Ian never talked her down after she left, but has not found anyone else. He's not quite sure he can trust Grace not to leave him again though.

This is a steamy off again, on again relationship. I felt that it was very interesting, but in the third quarter I was ready for everyone to make a decision and stick with it - sick of Grace's issues. I actually got to the point where I was going yada yada yada and skipping over paragraphs. I wonder if that happens all too much in the lives of those who have PTSD? I consider myself compassionate, but I just didn't want it dragged out anymore. Maybe that was the point you were supposed to get and it was pretty realistic. I didn't make a personal connection with the characters, so I didn't feel for them. That being said, in the end everything was wrapped up beautifully with a wonderful Christian lesson.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the David C Cook - Netgalley book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”. http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html ( )
  Robin.Willson | Jun 13, 2015 |
Title: London Tides (The MacDonald Family Trilogy #2)
Author: Carla Laureano
Pages: 387
Year: 2015
Publisher: David C. Cook
Ian MacDonald works for his celebrity chef brother, taking charge of the business side of things. He is an avid rower who won an Olympic medal in the past, but gave up a chance at the gold medal to settle down with his fiancée, Grace Brennan. One day he discovers she has left him, leaving behind her engagement ring to pursue a career in photography. Ten years pass with him following her work through various publications and dating other woman off and on, but nothing serious. He is dissatisfied with his job, but wonders what else he could do. Then, out of nowhere Grace returns.
Grace Brennan felt called to document via her photography the lives of those affected by conflict in mostly war torn countries. She has become well-known for her outstanding photographs, but they have come at a price to Grace. She gave up the only man she ever loved to pursue her career. She now returns to London suffering from PTSD and grief from the loss of a young colleague while covering a violent story. She still loves Ian, but isn’t sure he will even talk to her after the way she treated him. Can there be a second chance for them?
While I did like the dates Ian and Grace went on as they were unique and romantic, I didn’t like the fact that they had lived together ten years prior during their previous relationship. I did like the character of Ian and the effort he put forth to make special dates for them, his willingness to forgive Grace and his support of her career. The romantic scenes were steamy for a Christian marketed book. For me, there was not much suspense in the story with nothing really going on outside of the relationship angle so my interest waned. There was little reference to God in the story with a few quick prayers, but nothing readers couldn’t find in any other non-Christian book.
My rating is 3 stars.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” ( )
  lcjohnson1988 | Jun 12, 2015 |
A promising start to what proved to be somewhat of a disappointing read. Grace Brennan, a photojournalist who specialized in combat zones, has come back to London to see if she can reconnect with an old flame. It was interesting to read about her photography experience and what it was like to work in dangerous settings but Grace's inability to make up her mind about what she wanted in a relationship made the book frustrating to read. I wasn't quite sure if this was supposed to be Christian fiction - it was hard to tell important faith in God was to the characters. Review based on an ARC from NetGalley. ( )
  jo2son | May 16, 2015 |
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Irish photojournalist Grace Brennan has traveled war zones documenting the helpless and forgotten, but after the death of her friend and colleague she is shaken. She returns to London hoping to rekindle the spark with Scottish businessman Ian MacDonald. But he gave up his championship rowing career and dreams of Olympic gold years ago for Grace... only for her to choose career over him. Will life's tides bring them back together, or tear them apart for good this time?… (more)

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