If the Tide Doesn’t Change, Who Will Pay the Price?


As autumn of 1916 descends upon the once-peaceful town of Sunset Cove, Anna McDowell has great hopes that the excitement of the summer will be over, now that a few of the key players in the rum-running ring have been arrested. But with a daring jailbreak getting the town in a dither again, she knows that the danger hasn’t passed for anyone in her coastal hometown.


With a mayoral election keeping tensions high and the authorities busy searching for those behind the jailbreak, Anna has plenty to keep the newspaper busy. But when her sixteen-year-old daughter begins making noises about leaving high school and abandoning dreams of college, Anna realizes that prohibition isn’t the only thing she needs to be worrying about.


How deep does the root of corruption run in their town? As she digs deeper, Anna is forced to put the concerns of her own heart on hold in an effort to save some of the people dearest to her.


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About the Author:


Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books (with sales around 6.5 million) for teens, women, and children. That’s a lot of books, but mostly she considers herself a “storyteller.” Her young adult novels (Diary of a Teenage Girl, True Colors etc.) appeal to teenage girls around the world. Her annual Christmas novellas become more popular each year. She’s won a number of awards (including RT’s Career Achievement Award, the Rita, and the Gold medallion) and some of her books have been optioned for film/TV. Carlson has two grown sons and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and yellow Lab dog.



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My Review:

“But she was a woman, and even though times were changing—they were not changing fast enough!”


A continuation of “Harbor Secrets”, “Riptide Rumors” is book two in Melody Carlson’s The Legacy of Sunset Cove series. Book one seems to have been a prologue of sorts, and in this sequel many of the issues that I had with its predecessor are more or less resolved. Most aspects of the story are written with more depth and intensity, and as such this book surpassed the superficiality that I felt characterized much of book one. Sunset Cove comes to life as a small town with credible residents and occurrences, demonstrating that while some matters have changed over the past hundred years, in many ways things have also remained the same.

Immediately, “Riptide Rumors” plunges readers into intrigue and concern, setting a swifter pace for book two. The issue of corruption remains prevalent as Anna seeks answers as to who else might be involved in rum-running, and the election for mayor also provides plenty of fodder for her newspaper. Not knowing whom to trust as circumstances escalate increases the tension, although I would still characterize this as being relatively light in terms of suspense. Faith did play a larger role here than in the first book, which I appreciated, although I will note that the characters do not seem to grow or mature in their faith. Rather, it is something that is noted by their praying. As for the characters themselves, they do come across as more multifaceted compared to book one. There is much more conflict in relationships and romance, as well as some teenage angst.


Friendships are tested, individuals exhibit jealousy, and romantic inclinations abound. For the most part, the characters seem realistic and believable. Katy’s character, in particular, stands out as she reaches the stage of life between adolescence and adulthood, with some of her struggles mirroring those of her mother. Life and love are complicated, and “Riptide Rumors” soundly demonstrates this. With a time-jump in the final chapter and a few unsettled matters, “Riptide Rumors” sets the stage for a third book and leaves readers satisfied yet wanting more. If you enjoy tales of light suspense, family drama, romance, and small-town life, pick up this series and take a trip to Sunset Cove.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through CelebrateLit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.