I honestly don't even know where to start with this review. When I first read the blurb for Changing Tides, I have to say that I was intrigued. While I do read male/male books, I have never really read anything about a lesbian before and especially not one where she changes throughout that book and finds herself falling for a guy. But I was curious about this one and decided to give it a go. While I did enjoy parts of this book, I also have some issues with the story itself.
Ellie Turner has always known that she was attracted to women. She has never been attracted to men, and though she isn't a virgin she has never had sex with a man before. But when she meets the handsome and famous Nate West, she is instantly drawn to him. She is a huge fan of his show, but she finds herself attracted to him as a person rather than the famous actor she has admired on TV. Ellie and Nate decide to see where things lead them and agree to spend some time together. Nate wasn't looking for a relationship after being cheated on by his ex-girlfriend and Ellie certainly wasn't expecting to find herself falling in love with a man. But Ellie and Nate quickly realize that they have no control over the connection they share, and soon they are hoping that the risk they are taking on each other won't leave them both heartbroken.
I liked both Ellie and Nate. They were great together and I enjoyed seeing them start a relationship and explore the attraction that they felt for one another. Nate was sweet and I loved that he was so upfront with Ellie. He told her the truth and wasn't afraid to show how he felt about her. Ellie was likable, and I loved that she was so comfortable with herself. She knew she was different, and it didn't bother her at all. But I have to say that my biggest issue with this book was plausibility, and a huge part of that was with Ellie. I will admit that I hadn't read the previous book in this series, but this book is a standalone. Because of that I am not sure how much the reader gets to know Ellie in the first book. But judging off this book alone, you never actually see Ellie with another woman. She says that she is a lesbian and mentions thinking women are attractive. She even says that she has never been with a man or seen a penis in real life before Nate. But I just didn't really ever see her as a lesbian. Even when she was trying to figure things out and was going on blind dates, we hear about her dates with men rather than her dates with the women. I'm not saying she wasn't a lesbian, but I just never saw it or felt it. Her and Nate had such strong chemistry right off that it was just difficult for me to see anything else when it came to her, and so that was a pretty big deal to me.
I also felt like besides her sexuality, that there were several things that happened in this story that just weren't realistic at all. One huge thing stood out to me over the rest, but I don't want to spoil it for those that haven't read this book or the first book. Suffice it to say, you will know what I am talking about when you read it for yourself. I just felt like it was completely weird that someone would do what this person did and never really explain their actions, especially after they took some steps in sharing the truth after trying to hide it. I also felt like this story was super rushed. Not only did Ellie suddenly find herself attracted to a man and exploring a relationship, but that relationship developed rather rapidly. I just felt like if she was as confused as she said that it wouldn't have happened as quickly as it did. That and the ending was really abrupt and pretty much just stopped. I understand that we will see more of the characters as the next story unfolds, but with it focusing on another couple it really felt like there was some unfinished business here. While I did have quite a few criticisms, I did have a lot that I liked as well. Ellie and Nate were good together, and I enjoyed seeing them get to know one another. They were sweet and fit together well, and I thought that they were really hot together as well. I just wish that I hadn't found this story so implausible. I really liked the secondary characters though, and I will read more from Sarah Darlington in the future. I am looking forward to the next book and hopefully getting some more information on what really happened for one of the big things in this book and the first book.
**ARC Provided by Author**