Taking the Plunge by E.L. Todd
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
***I was given an ARC of this book by the author and promised her I would review it for her***
First off, this is book is all about Nancy and a little about Derek. We see the two are kinda hooking up in the earlier books as friends with benefits and kinda take on the boyfriend/girlfriend relationship towards the end of Connected By The Tide.
This book starts off a week after what happened at the end of book 3. I'm not giving away spoilers here so go read the first few books in the series, yeah? (LOL)
Anyway, in the first part of the book as told from Nancy's point of view, we get to know her. The Nancy that her friends don't know. She's been hurt by her mom, her dad, and men. She comes from money but her friends don't know that. They don't even know where she lives. She doesn't see her relationship going anywhere with Derek. He doesn't listen to her, he oogles other girls in her presence, basically he's a jerk and has to get relationship from Coen and Henry by way of her and Ren and Sydney. The guys see Nancy hurting and they and the girls try to make it better.
After being ignored by her dad when she doesn't get his opinion on something she painted and then Derek being, well, Derek, she totally has a bad day (uh oh - I'm speaking 80s, watch out!).
Then a teacher in one of her classes (I don't feel like telling you which one) notices she's having a bad day and asks her to talk after class and it helps her point her life into a direction she isn't sure she wants to go, but she tries.
She meets Thatcher (I like that name for a guy, it's not widely used and it's just... yummy to me) on the beach after being ignored by Derek for most of the day and she gives him attitude. Hey, she's protecting herself. Men suck to her at the moment. She runs into Thatcher again at a party and they get to talking. She tells him about her painting and entering a contest. She doesn't know that Thatcher is the one sponsoring and judging the contest.
She sees him at the showing for the judging and she is wowed by him and his frankness with her and how he sees her paintings. She puts two and two together only after he announces the winner.
(Damn, I'm giving away too much. What I really want whomever reads this review is to read this series, starting with Book 1 of Hawaiian Crush.)
Anyway, Thatcher GETS her. He does. He understands her hurt and pain and wants to help her. He falls for her. He gets her to work for him as his assistant and helps her to see that Derek isn't the guy for her and that he is. He knows she has trust issues and he tells her repeatedly she has to learn to just trust him.
She breaks up with Derek and has a blow out with her dad and moves out to her own apartment but ends up sleeping at Thatcher's place even though he helps her move into the apartment.
He gets her to do more paintings and helps her sell her artwork. He gets her to see that she deserves to be loved and cherished and not treated like Derek treated her.
There's more to this story and I'm not saying anything else. I've already said too much. Would you go and get this book already (but only after you've read the other three first).
What did I love about this story? The growth in Nancy from believing she's not worthy of being cherished and loved, that she's nothing special. That her friends are her family, truly. That Henry and Coen have man bonded even more and that Nancy's friends welcome Thatcher into the fold.
What didn't I like? Why don't you go and read the book to find out. Something makes me wince as I didn't see it coming when Nancy did what she did and Thatcher reacted the way he did.
So what are you doing still reading this review? Go and get the book and leave E.L. Todd some love when your done. I can't wait to see what happens in Hawaiian Crush 5 - Derek's story!
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