Seaside Secrets is the fourth book in the Seaside Summers series by Melissa Foster and is also the twenty-fourth book in the Love in Bloom series. Each of these books can be read as stand alones, but since they do contain interconnected characters I would recommend reading them in order for an enhanced reading experience. While I have really enjoyed every book I have read from the Love in Bloom Series, I have really liked the Seaside Summers books. They are fun and fresh, and there is just something about a set of characters falling in love on the beach. That being said, Seaside Secrets was probably my least favorite of the Seaside Summer books. That is not to say that is wasn't good, because I don't think its possible for Melissa Foster to write something bad. This one just didn't have the same spark that the others have had in my opinion.
Amy Maples has always wanted her friend Tony Black. She is tired of him only looking at her as a friend, and she is determined to win him over or let him go once and for all. When she gets offered a job that would take her to Australia for an extended period of time, she decides that it is finally time to see where she stands with Tony. Tony Black has a great career as a top surfer, and he loves his life. But the one girl he has always wanted, he felt as though he didn't deserve. Tony and Amy once shared a summer together, and things were great until a horrible accident ripped them apart. Though things have been different ever since, their feelings haven't changed even if they refused to do anything about them. Can they finally get past the everything that happened and move forward together, or will their second chance be over before it starts?
I liked Tony and Amy. I felt so badly for them after learning about what had caused the rift between them. It never made much sense to me what had kept these two friends apart until I finally saw everything. These two always seemed like such great friends that also really loved one another. I felt as though both of them messed up their relationship at different times throughout their history, and a lot of things that kept them apart could have been avoided if they had just opened up to one another. They had been through something horrible that they should have turned to each other to deal with, and instead they chose to go about it alone. A lot of that is Amy's fault in my opinion. She pushed Tony away first and refused to acknowledge him or what had happened. But after they started talking again and got their friendship back, it never made sense to me why Tony wouldn't have tried to make her his again and why all of a sudden he felt like he didn't deserve her. These two had a connection and great chemistry, but I felt like the conflicts that kept them apart didn't make much sense. I understand they were in pain and had something awful happen to them, but that didn't seem to be what had kept them apart.
I will also say that the pacing in this book just felt off to me. At times it was slow and drawn out, and at others it seemed rushed and things would rapidly change. It just never felt right, and I think that is part of what kept me from enjoying this book as much as I usually do with Melissa's books. I still recommend this series, and if you are a contemporary fan you definitely should give Melissa Foster a shot if you haven't before. She is a great writer and her characters are always fun and different. I love seeing the characters throughout each of the books and how they interact. While it is nice to get a new couple each book, what I love the most is that each book is also like a check in for familiar faces and what is going on in their lives. While this book wasn't my favorite, I did enjoy it and there is just something about friends to lovers stories, especially a second chance romance.
**ARC Provided by Tasty Book Tours**