- Release Date
- October 2011
- Book 2 of Seaswept Seduction Series
She is his greatest temptation.
He is her forbidden desire.
A battle of wills leads to love.
Spirited Savannah Conner is passionately committed to stamping out social injustice. Yet when she arrives in the seaside town of Pilot Isle, North Carolina, ready to take up a new cause, she quickly finds herself on the outs with the town constable. Zachariah Garrett is the most arrogant, infuriating, maddeningly attractive man it's ever been her misfortune to meet. And suddenly, Savannah is fighting a whole new battle – this one against her own yearning for a man who is impossible to resist.
Ever since his wife's death two years ago, Zachariah Garrett has dedicated his life to keeping the peace. So when he sees the pretty newcomer atop a wobbly wooden crate stirring up the crowd, he doesn't hesistate to haul her off to jail. But Savannah Connor isn't any ordinary law-breaker. She's a beguiling beauty with the power to awaken emotions he thought he's never feel again, and the tenderness to help him forget his fears…and risk his heart once more.
Book Review by JV (reviewer)
Dec 17, 2011 [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
122 people found the following review helpful
I love books in which the author builds depth into the characters that surfaces gradually as the story progresses, like layers being stripped away to reveal the elemental person within. Such is the case in TIDES OF PASSION.
The story begins with two characters we see in a certain way, and gradually we come to know them more deeply. I also love a tortured hero, and Zachariah, burdened by the weight of the responsibility and the guilt he carries in his soul, definitely qualifies.
Savannah Connor of Boston is a strong-willed, intelligent young woman of principal who is determined to see women achieve equal rights and equal pay, but as the story progresses, we see parts of her that she keeps locked inside. When she arrives in the small town of Pilot Isle to substitute for her friend Elle, who is on her honeymoon, at a school for young women, she starts organizing the meek misses of the city to protest working conditions for women at some of the local factories.
Initially, Savannah comes across as a bit of a snob, with her big words and her disregard for the distress of the males of the little town as she sets out to convert their wives and daughters to the cause of women's suffrage, but beneath her strong and assertive public persona is a woman with insecurities and longings she believes will never be fulfilled. Living with an insufferably overbearing father and brother, who had little concern for her beyond her ability to run the household, and their embarrassment and anger over her work for the suffrage cause left her a bit insecure with regard to her personal life. Later, an experience with a lukewarm and inept fiancé made her quite certain that marriage is not for her. In fact, she rejects outright the notion that any person can make another person happy. She believes women must rely on themselves to be happy.
Enter the local constable, Zachariah Garrett. Zachariah is the strong and silent type. He is honorable, unflappable, and an enigma to the women of Pilot Isle, many of whom would love to snag the handsome widower for themselves. They can't understand why a man like Zachariah hasn't felt the need for female companionship since the death of his wife Hannah over two years before.
As for Zach, raising his six-year-old son Rory and continuing to worry about his two brothers, Caleb and Noah, whom he raised from the time their mother died are big responsibilities, and Zach takes his responsibilities very seriously. In addition, Zach heads a group of men who patrol the shores of Pilot Isle when conditions indicate the possibility of bad weather, and he takes very personally the death of any ship's crewmember he didn't find in time to save.
In fact, it is the weight of responsibility and guilt that have convinced Zach that he will never marry again. Zach grew up loving the woman he eventually married. As a young man, he went to sea and became a sea pilot who could navigate around all the shoals and barriers of Pilot Isle without any trouble. He'd come home at 20, irresponsible and cocky, to find a dying mother and two adolescent brothers who needed him. He became the calm, strong, dependable man then that he'd been ever since, and when his brothers were grown, he married his childhood sweetheart, became a father, and settled down to family life.
But Hannah was delicate and fragile and not really prepared to be a wife and mother. She'd go to visit her parents and stay until Zach would call her back. She died before she could give birth to his second child, and Zach had never forgiven himself for forcing her into a role that she wasn't strong enough to handle. His brothers argued that Zach might as well have died the day he buried Hannah and his unborn child because he had given up living.
When Elle, Zach's new sister-in-law, invites Savannah, or, as Zach calls her, "Irish", over for dinner at Zach's one evening, his resolve to live his life alone and not get involved wavers. After a few bottles of wine, Savannah calls kissing overrated, and Zach bets that he could change her mind. That sets in motion an irresistible desire on both their parts to indulge in a discreet and very satisfying no-strings affair, which is what they both believe they want -- that is until they are caught in a compromising position after a town dance.
I loved the twists and turns of emotion as Zach and Savannah grapple with their desire for each other versus what they believe is the right thing to do. Ultimately, I immensely enjoyed their journey as they finally had to admit to themselves what they truly felt for each other.
Zach and Savannah are combustible together. Their sexual encounters are filled with the yearning, passion, and curiosity that each of them has kept suppressed as well as tenderness and fondness. With her, Zach feels that he can let himself go as a man without worrying that Savannah is too delicate or fragile to be exposed to his sexual desires. While there is nothing objectionable to most romance readers in this, those who prefer to leave the bedroom door closed should be warned that this story is wonderfully steamy and passionate.
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BOOK INTERVIEW on December 2011
Interview by Laura
Ms. Sumner, thanks for doing this interview! We're eager to know more about your awesome book!
Q: What inspired you to write TIDES OF PASSION?
Well, I was very inspired to write TIDES OF LOVE. It's a bit of an unusual romance -- about a marine biologist in 1898. I based the locale on Beaufort, NC (Outer Banks) and the second marine biology lab, after Woods Hole, built in the US. I have a thing for sexy, nerdy heros. Anyway, once I started writing that -- and getting into the lives of Noah's older brother, Zach, I began to see how lonely he was. I guess a better word is isolated. And he became such a real force to me, a dynamic personality, that I was driven to find the perfect woman for him! I loved the setting, and I really got into writing the coastal scenes.
Q: What research went into writing this book? Please share an interesting fact you've unearthed in the course of your research.
I did a lot of research about the lifesaving program, which existed because of the many shipwrecks on the coast. Zach is the reliable, trustworthy older brother, and man, who gives all to everyone and takes little for himself. And of course he ran the lifesaving program for the town! It was really interested reading the old cargo ledgers and what washed up on the beach.
Q: What made you create Savannah Connor to be a suffragist? What in her past motivated her so? What qualities does she possess that made her a great heroine?
I lived in New York City during the writing of TIDES OF PASSION and was interested in the turn of the century and what a "modern" woman would have been like, her dreams and motivations if not completely to serve her family. The suffragist movement was a very popular one at the time -- and I knew Savannah chose it because she had lost her mother and found little connection with her father. She is independent, loving, feisty and loyal. But I most loved that she was vulnerable. She did not feel feminine or particularly beautiful, which she is, and Zach practically glows when she is around.
Q: Please tell us more about Zach Garrett. Why did you give him such a past? What makes him a swoonworthy hero?
What's not to love about Zach. Calm, capable, sexy, quietly driven. He is sure of his path in life, even a solitary one, until Savannah knocks him off of his feet.
Q: What makes them perfect for each other?
Two people who think love has passed them by -- strong characters who take care of others and have no one to take care of them? And the chemistry -- I actually felt it while writing the scenes.
Q: What's the most romantic thing Zach did for Savannah?
Gave her her femininity. Allowed her to believe she was desirable. And beautiful.
Q: How do you come up with such witty dialogue?
I have no idea! I see my characters. I dream about them -- or daydream may be a better way to put it. I create the scenes in my head, and they really talk to me. I was VERY sure of both of these characters before I started the book.
Q: What is your favorite scene? Why?
I like the one below a lot. I can just see them matching wits; this was a battle of the wills novel. And I really thought, from the outside looking in, that they had incredible chemistry. Other characters noticed. I noticed!
Here's the excerpt:
She sniffed. "I'm not most women, Constable."
No kidding, he wanted to say, eyeing her over the rim of his glass.
"Furthermore, I have a calling which keeps me decisively engaged for most of my waking—"
She started, sliding forward a bit. "Pardon me?"
"Busy. Your calling keeps you busy. 'Actively engaged' sounds so"—he took a thoughtful sip—"frosty."
"Cool?" If he could see her well enough, he'd bet money her cheeks were blazing. "Constable, I'm neither frosty nor cool, nor—"
Flattening her palms on the table, she rose to her feet, her shadow washing over him. "I'm not frigid."
He paused, felt an undeniable urge to challenge her. But, no, he couldn't do that. Could he?
"Prove it," he said, confirming that wine had indeed distorted his reasoning.
"Okay," she whispered. "I will."
He lifted his head, jerked ramrod straight in his chair, searching Savannah's face for any indication that she was bluffing. Her clothes, her skin, her features were all obscured in gray and black, giving him no clue.
"Are you joking?"
She released a pent-up breath and started to edge around the table toward him. "You said you could change my mind. Perhaps I can change yours."
He waved her back with his glass, sloshing a drop or two on his trousers in the process. "You must know that I'm not a marrying man. Never, ever again."
She halted, surprising the heck out of him by throwing her head back and laughing, her body curving with it. It was a masculine laugh and damned appealing. "Oh, heavens, Constable, is that a call for marriage in your world? I've never been kissed well enough to get me in front of a minister." Covering her mouth with her hand, she gasped, "Must be some—what would you call it—mighty fine kissing to make people take vows."
"Well," he said, feeling a frown bunch his brow, "it could be good. That's not out of the realm of possibility."
"Prove it," she said around another burst of laughter. "Prove it, prove it, prove it."
He rubbed a hand across his chin, debating the wisdom of having any more wine. Had he actually thought he was in control of this situation? "I don't know. This all seems crazy to me. And it was my idea."
She gulped a breath and patted her chest. "My, from the fantastic entertainment I've witnessed in this town, I'm sure it does." Taking a step forward, she held out her hand, as if she were trying hard not to startle him. It was downright insulting. "Rightly, Constable, you asked me first. And I'm willing to go the distance to solve a disagreement."
"I bet you're always willing," Zach muttered, wondering if he'd lost his mind sitting in his backyard on a lovely twilight evening. Gambling with a woman who wouldn't back down if a tiger had her latched in its jaws.
"Are you willing?"
Through the shadows, he found her gleaming eyes, her slightly curved mouth. "No, it's too reckless. Too irresponsible."
"You're sounding like a father. Or a constable, Constable."
"I'm both, Miss Connor."
He watched her lips tilt and flow into a glorious smile. "Rory's in bed, safe and sound. Most of the town is in bed, safe and sound. And you're here, with a pragmatic woman who can take care of herself. Two adults and one magnificent challenge."
"More like a dare," he said and drained his glass.
She took a step closer, until her skirt brushed his knee. "Call it a dare if you like."
"No." His resolve slipped a notch when she crouched before him, the pleasing angles of her face flooding into view. She was much, much too tempting.
"I'll do it all. You don't have to participate. That should be enough to prove my case."
"I wasn't serious when I said that. I'm sure you're not, hell, frigid."
She leaned in, her hands sliding along the arms of the chair, her face fading out of view as it closed in on his. A scent, provocative and earthy, stole in with his stuttered breath. "You see, Constable, I'm always serious." He watched her moisten her lips, so near he could almost taste her. "Close your eyes. I've heard that's the way it's done."
Q: Who's your favorite character? Why?
Hmmm....well, as much as I LOVE Zach Garrett, I think his little brother Noah is my classic type. The best-looking nerd in the room, the shy, sexy genius. I love that guy.
Q: Which character is the hardest to write? Why?
Parents. I seem to always make them so flawed.
Q: Please give us a sneak peek into the other books in this series.
TIDES OF LOVE. I told you a lot about it here. It's a second-chance book. A reader called it that. Elle Beaumont has loved Noah Garrett since they were children, and he leaves, and comes back to find Elle all grown up! I know we all know that story -- but I love tales of redemption. And the heroine who is now so fascinating to the hero that he cannot think straight!
Q: What's up next for you?
I'm working on a "light" Victorian paranormal set in London. And I have an anthology out in April. I also want to release a contemporary -- maybe later 2012? :)
Tracy's story telling career began when she picked up a copy of LaVyrle Spencer's Vows on a college beach trip. A journalism degree and a thousand romance novels later, she decided to try her hand at writing a southern version of the perfect love story. With a great deal of luck and more than a bit of perseverance, she sold her first novel to Kensington Publishing.
When not writing sensual stories featuring complex characters and lush settings, Tracy can be found reading romance, snowboarding, watching college football and figuring out how she can get to 100 countries before she kicks (which is a more difficult endeavor than it used to be with her four-year-old son in tow). She lives in Charlotte, NC, but after spending a few years in "the city", considers herself a New Yorker at heart.
Tracy has been awarded the National Reader's Choice, the Write Touch and the Beacon – with finalist nominations in the HOLT Medallion, Heart of Romance, Rising Stars and Reader's Choice. Her books have been translated into German, Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish. She loves hearing from readers about why she tends to pit her hero and heroine against each other and that great novel she simply must order in five seconds on her Kindle.
Tides of Passion
Tides of Love
To Desire A Scoundrel: A Christmas Seduction (coming December 2011)
To Seduce a Rogue (January 2012)
Tracy Sumner is giving away 2 ebook copies of TIDES OF PASSION and TIDES OF LOVE!
Simply write a comment or ask a question in the comment box below to be entered into the giveaway!
Contest ends December 31.
Winners will be announced in January.