Review: Into the Tide by Laura Pavlov (Cottonwood Cove #1)

Note: An advance reader copy (ARC) was provided by the author.

Laura Pavlov's got a new small-town romance series, and the first book is a spin-off of her previous series, Honey Mountain. Set in the small California town of Cottonwood Cove, which also happens to be the name of this series, Into the Tide welcomes readers to check out what the place--and especially its residents--have to offer. The series starter is a falling-for-your-best-friend's-sibling romance featuring Lila James and Hugh Reynolds. Now, if you're familiar with this author's writing, and you've read her Honey Mountain books, then you may recall the Thomas girls's cousins, the Reynolds. Yes, Hugh happens to be one of those aforementioned cousins. He gets his own journey to a happily-ever-after, but of course, things become complicated since it involves his best friend's little sister, who he only ever saw as a sibling, too. Until now. 

Twenty-seven-year-old Hugh Reynolds has a lot on his plate with the success his own businesses, including the ones he took over for his now-retired parents, and having someone help to keep him organized is a must. Thankfully, Lila James is coming home to Cottonwood Cove for the summer, and there's no denying that his best friend's twenty-two-year-old sister has the brain and know-how to keep the businesses on track. He's still stunned by how much she's grown up in the four years she spent away from their hometown. She's now graduated from college and already has a job ready and waiting for her in Chicago. Spending the summer with her remaining family was necessary for her--as is losing her V-card. And if she's being honest, the one guy she always hoped it would be with is none other than Hugh. But is he willing to risk losing his friendship with Travis, especially considering Lila will be leaving town--and Hugh--at summer's end?

There's just something special about a well-written series starter. This is the back that welcomes you into a new space with new stories and characters to fall in love with. But throw in a bit of the familiar, and it's like an author providing a warm blanket to snuggle into. That's exactly what Laura Pavlov did with Into the Tide. We get Lila and Hugh's romance while also bits and pieces of the Thomas sisters from Pavlov's Honey Mountain series and some interesting supporting characters that I'd like to get to know better as the Cottonwood Cove series progresses. The main characters had some major sexual tension going on, and I adored how they were simply such good people who wanted the best for those who mattered most to them. I will say, though, that I wasn't a huge fan of Travis's. Yes, I absolutely understand the protectiveness given that Lila was his sister and add to that everything they went through when they were younger. However, he tended to be overbearing, to the point that I wanted to smack him upside the head a time or ten. Having said that, I loved Into the Tide's themes of love, family, and home, and it easily earns itself 4.5 stars.

Release Date: 16 March 2023

Date Read: 11 March 2023

Learn more about Laura Pavlov.

Purchase Into the Tide on Amazon.


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