Saturday, December 6, 2014

High Tide Bikini by Lyla Dune - Review

High Tide Bikini
(A Pleasure Island Romance #3)
by Lyla Dune
Published: August 18, 2014 by Composesum Publishing

Hot and Hilarious with Heart!

Primary love story:
Dirk Davis is no knight in shining armor, more like gigilo in board shorts. Why twenty-five year old virgin Kendal Duvall has chosen to have a fling with him leaves him baffled. She’s the epitome of the wholesome girl-next-door. He is definitely attracted to her, but fears she’s luring him into a boyfriend trap. He’s never had a serious girlfriend, because he’s made taking care of his ailing father a priority, one that sometimes hinders his social life and stunts his ambitions.

Kendal Duvall has struggled to break free from her controlling mother and move past some dark memories. Now that she’s finally moved out on her, she’s ready to explore uncharted territory, bedroom territory. Who better to be her guide than the local playboy who is known for being both discreet and good in bed?

Secondary love story:
At age sixteen, Spencer Harris was paralyzed from the waist down after a head-on collision with a drunk driver. Ten years later, Spencer tries to come to terms with her desire to have the happily ever after she’s always dreamed of and the reality of what that happily ever after may look like in her current condition. She has so much love to give but doesn’t want to put limitations or burdens on others.

Earl Washington is a ball of insecurities after spending some time in jail and being labeled a bad egg. He’s ready to take charge of his life and pursue his dreams, but he longs for the love of a good woman. Spencer is the woman he wants, but will she want him when she finds out his deepest secrets?

High Tide Bikini is the third book in the Pleasure Island series. It takes place on an island that is home to some zany characters, an ostrich farm, and a senior citizen nudist colony. If you like romance with plenty of sizzle and giggle, you’ll love this series.

Mature/Explicit content alert - Readers should be 18 years of age or older

My review:
Kendal is ready to lose her virginity. At 25, she feels it is past time, but she is too anxious to allow herself to be natural with anyone she dates. Kendal decides she needs a summer fling to help her overcome her nervousness with men. She chooses Dirk, a long-time friend who is considerate of other people's feelings and is known to get around but also known to not kiss and tell. Dirk has mostly only considered Kendal to be a nice, quiet, shy person, but suddenly she seems to be breaking out of her shell. And once Dirk gets a good look at her, he is definitely interested. He is all for the summer fling, but also a little leery because he doesn't want Kendal to get hurt. When the 25 year old virgin and the island playboy get together, both get more than they bargained for.

I think Kendal is probably my favorite leading lady out of this series. Kendal is very self-conscious and has issues with her body, even though they are unfounded. She is sweet, sensitive, caring, and deeply loyal to her friends and family. She has issues with her mom and is trying hard to get out from under her mother's controlling thumb. Dirk is a great match for her. He gave up on following his own dreams and stayed in Pleasure Island to help his parents. Yes, he has the whole sleeping around thing working against him, but on the other hand, he is loyal once he finds the right woman. Plus, Dirk goes out of this way to make things special for Kendal. I mean, the guy decorates a tree house for one of their dates! I thought some of the things that were said were overly sappy, but that's just me. Most people love that sappy stuff.

Spencer and Earl's love story wasn't a big focus of this book. Sometimes it would suddenly say all of this stuff had happened between them, and I would wonder if I missed something. It might have worked better for their story to have been a separate novella instead of included with Kendal and Dirk's story; however, their love story was definitely sweet and interesting, and Spencer and Earl are perfect for each other.

I love Pleasure Island as a setting with Myrtle and Louise (a part of the community's senior citizen nudist group), the ostriches, and the close-knit family feel. These light, easy reads have funny, quirky characters and lots of romance and heat. Lyla Dune did a great job with her first romance series.

I really enjoyed High Tide Bikini, and I would recommend this book, as well as the whole series, to anyone who enjoys contemporary romance. You can read this book without reading the other two, although you will find a few spoilers along the way if you haven't read the first two. I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

A copy was provided for an honest review.

Also, see my reviews of the rest of the series:

About the author:
Lyla Dune has taught and performed music for over twenty years. Like most band directors, she can play “Mary Had a Little Lamb” on a wide variety of instruments, including tuba. Her primary instruments are clarinet, saxophone, flute, and piano.

Songwriting has been in Lyla’s blood since she was a young girl. She still enjoys writing songs. Songwriting led her to poetry, and she has published over a hundred poems. She has also published many short stories and flash fiction pieces in a multitude of genres.

Writing can be creative and cathartic, which is why Lyla fell in love with it, but she learned that writing from that dark place inside her heart made for a lot of sad days. Even though publishers kept begging for more of that sticky dark stuff, she changed directions and decided to fill her days writing happily ever afters. Now, she smiles and sings and enjoys each moment spent with her characters and hopes her readers will find as much joy between the pages of her books as she’s experienced penning the words.

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