Book number two in the MacDonald trilogy follows the oldest, staid, responsible brother, Ian MacDonald. If you read Five Days in Skye, you probably caught the reference to Ian’s one and only love in his life. As well as the subsequent broken engagement when she walked out on him. It’s been ten years since Grace Brennan left her engagement ring on the kitchen counter and left Ian but she’s back now. And she’s ready to give everything up from him (even her career in conflict photography and her mission to make her brother proud). The problem? Grace has seen so much tragedy, she’s been in the most difficult situations, seen horrific sights. Those aren’t things you can just drop off like your luggage. You can’t unpack the emotional baggage and stuff it in a drawer. Well, you can try but, as Grace finds out, it can only be hidden for so long before it starts to leak into other areas of your life. Ian wants nothing more than to be the man Grace needs, the man Grace turns to when she’s struggling but when she starts to shut herself off for him, his worst fear is that she’ll leave again. And this time it will destroy him.
I have to admit, I didn’t enjoy London Tides as much as Jamie and Andrea’s story (and yay, their wedding is in this book). While I understand Grace’s struggle and her longing to pull herself out of the despair of her path, she felt too focused on herself most of the book. While she wanted to come back for Ian, to stay for Ian, when something in her life didn’t go as planned, she didn’t even talk to him about it. But, to be fair, if you had to manage on your own in war torn countries where you often feared for your life for ten years, you would probably be hesitant to put your trust in anyone as well. And, hey, I’ve lived on my own for twenty plus years and I’m pretty self-centered quite often too because I’m the only one I have to worry about. So, maybe Grace was a little too much like me and that hit home a little bit.
All that said, Laureano did another fantastic job of making me feel like I was walking the streets of London with her characters. The added bonus that the wedding was in Skye so readers are transported back to Scotland for a little while too. The author also drew me into the overwhelming fear of a panic attack the couple times they happened to Grace. And while I felt Grace was selfish, I still had my fingers crossed she and Ian would eventually work everything out and finally get together. Any couple who waits more than ten years for their true loves deserves happiness.
***David C. Cook provided me with a complimentary copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.