Monday, September 5, 2011

Review: RIPTIDE by Cherry Adair

Format Read: Paperback provided by Publisher for review
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: August 30, 2011
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Series: Cutter Cay Book II
Formats Available: Mass Market Paperback, Kindle, Nook

Book Blurb:

Princess Bria Visconti demands the return of the money her brother rashly invested in Cutter Salvage. Treasure hunter Nick Cutter is too reckless, too arrogant—and far too handsome—for his own good. But he can’t charm his way out of this one. Bria plans to make Nick pay up even if she has to board his boat, don a wet suit, and dive for the treasure herself…

Nick sees Bria as a beautiful but spoiled princess who’s never done a day’s work in her pampered life. But once they set sail for the dive site, and the legendary fortune in gold the wreck carries, Nick begins to see Bria in a new light. This princess may be out of her depth, but she’s ready to take on the hidden danger and excitement a treasure hunt stirs to the surface. Together they must fight unexpected enemies—and reveal their darkest secrets—before they’re pulled into a rip current of danger.


My Thoughts:

I was a little nervous when I started Riptide because this is the first Cherry Adair novel I’ve read and noticed it was the second in the Cutter Cove series. As it turned out, my concern was unwarranted because I had no difficulty following the storyline and IMHO Nick Cutter and Bria Visconti’s exciting adventure / romance could be read as a standalone.

Nick Cutter...Treasure hunter, linguist, a larger than life adventurer who I think is described very aptly by the novel’s heroine during their first meeting aboard his spectacular multimillion dollar yacht the “Scorpion”:

“This man had his own gravitational field, complete with tractor-beam eyes. He had an almost visible aura of raw power kept on an incredibly tight leash.”

Riptide © Cherry Adair

If all of Cherry Adair’s heroes are as appealing as Nick I can understand why her novels are so popular. The man is not only brilliant and rich, he is tall, dark, ripped and handsome with incredible blue eyes that are a family trait. Bria nicknames him ‘Mr. Spock’ because of his stoic, controlled demeanor. The Scorpion is anchored at sea while Nick and his crew salvage a fortune in artifacts, gems and coins from a sunken galleon the El Puerto. Bria Visconti’s brother Draven invested an enormous sum of money in the salvage operation and Bria has tracked Cutter down half way across the globe to demand a refund. Marrezo, the tiny kingdom where she was born desperately needs the money to repay a debt owed by Draven (who is the King) or the country will default and Italy will take control. Cutter salvage has a no refund policy and Nick therefore flatly declines the Princess’ demand. Nick and Bria do not get off on a good foot.

Principessa Gabriella “Bria” Ilaria Elizabetta Visconti was a pampered Princess of Marrezo until she was 7 years old. Then terrorists came, slaughtered her parents and took control of the island. Bria’s bodyguard, Max spirited her away and raised her as his own, making sure she was taught skills to protect herself, and prepared her to some day return to Marrezo and help to restore the country to it’s former prosperity. Bria thought her brother was dead until a few years previous when the terrorists finally left and Draven returned to the kingdom and was crowned king. Draven and his horrible wife Dafne were not welcoming when Bria returned home for the coronation.

Bria is not what one would consider pampered, rich, Paparazzi loving royalty. She hides her heritage, is educated and has pursued a career in public relations making her home in Sacramento. I thought Bria was an awesome heroine. She loves and lives life to the fullest, has lethal defense skills, and is inherently kind. Her Achilles heel is an absolutely wicked temper that she tries to keep under tight control. Bria has endured childhood trauma and a legacy of loss but turned out to be an exceptional and courageous woman who Nick Cutter cannot resist.

Nick is exceptionally independent, he doesn’t allow people to get close easily and even as he and Bria’s relationship evolves from adversarial to fiery intimacy he suppresses the deep feelings he develops for her. Nick and Bria are passionate people and readers are treated to a number of sizzling, sensual love scenes.

Riptide has an extremely fast paced action packed plot with surprising twists and revelations. Cherry Adair connects the storyline from this book loosely to her T-FLAC counterterrorism operatives in that as a favor Nick agreed to assist in flushing out a ring of brutal conflict diamond smugglers by storing a shipment on the Scorpion. The intricate sting operation goes awry when Bria is attacked and corpses start showing up on his ship. Readers are treated to a suspense subplot laced with danger, betrayal, subterfuge and high seas adventure.

I found Ms. Adair’s descriptive prose to be excellent providing and exceptional visual of each scene during Nick and Bria’s travels. There are a number of well developed supporting characters introduced in Riptide. Most notable is Jonah Santiago, the captain of the Scorpion and Nick’s closest friend. Jonah plays a pivotal role in the plot of the story.

The climax and conclusion of Riptide is absolutely riveting with loads of action and startling revelations I didn’t see coming at all. Ms. Adair skillfully links all the pieces of a complex puzzle together concerning the dangerous, cruel leader of the smuggling ring. As for Bria and Nick? Well, following a number a near death experiences they do get their HEA but to say their path to trust and happiness is rocky would be an understatement. I thoroughly enjoyed Riptide and look forward to reading more of Cherry Adair’s work. :)

My rating: 4 1/2 Stars

Undertow: Cutter Cay Book I
Now Available

***FTC Disclaimer: Some books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books are purchased with the reviewer's own money and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.


Dr J said...

Wow! Great review--beautifully written and so clear in expressing your thoughts. Thanks for sharing. I have not read anything by this author but that will most certainly change!

Chris said...

I can't remember the titles, but she has a couple about some wizards that I really enjoyed. :)

Lea said...

Hi Dr. J:

Thank you so much for your kind comment. If you do read Riptide, I hope you enjoy it too!

Thanks again!

Lea said...

Hi Chris:

I didn't know Cherry Adair wrote fantasy novels too. She is really a prolific author. There is about 19 books in her T-FLAC series I think..

Thanks so much for your comment! I appreciate it more than you can know. :-)

Chris said...

The wizards are part of the T-FLAC series!


Lea said...

Oh! Duh, I thought those guys were all counterterrorist Special Forces guys.


Chris said...

I thought it was kind of weird that some of the books are paranormal, but hey...

Mary G said...

You lucky girl - a whole backlist to read. I've read everything Cherry has written (some many times)and they are on my keeper shelf. Enjoyed your review & I'm looking forward to reading it.

I was apprehensive at first with Undertow & the deep sea stuff but I was literally sucked into the story. Zane is a hero that was so alpha sexy yet so down to earth & nice - what a mix. Glad you enjoyed. Her heroes are awesome.

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