THE RISING TIDE by Amy Lane
Fiction, LGBTQ+, Urban Fantasy, 288 pages
4****, level 5 (steamy) heat
Blurb: The tidal archipelago of Spinner’s Drift is a refuge for misfits. Can the island’s magic help a pie-in-the-sky dreamer and a wounded soul find a home in each other? In a flash of light and a clap of thunder, Scout Quintero is banished from his home. Once he’s sneaked his sister out too, he’s happy, but their power-hungry father is after them, and they need a place to lie low. The thriving resort business on Spinner’s Drift provides the perfect way to blend in. They aren’t the only ones who think so. Six months ago Lucky left his life behind and went on the run from mobsters. Spinner’s Drift brings solace to his battered soul, but one look at Scout and he’s suddenly terrified of having one more thing to lose. Lucky tries to keep his distance, but Scout is charming, and the island isn’t that big. When they finally connect, all kinds of things come to light, including supernatural mysteries that have been buried for years. But while Scout and Lucky grow closer working on the secret, pissed-off mobsters, supernatural entities, and Scout’s father are getting closer to them. Can they hold tight to each other and weather the rising tide together?
Thoughts: This is a really good urban fantasy with magic families, a nasty evil force, and a little romance. I will admit that I thought it was a YA at first, but had to quickly revise my opinion due to the high heat level and occasional imbibing by the characters. I really thought Scout and Lucky were much younger than they were. I’d put them in their early 20s — and maybe I missed that detail as I was reading this very intriguing story.
Scout gets kicked out of his home wearing nothing but a robe. His father banished him because he wasn’t considered a strong wizard—and also because he is gay. Using his magic, Scout also manages to get his sister out, but that just puts their father on their tail even more as Kayleigh was supposed to marry into another strong wizard family (against her will). Scout and Kayleigh make their way to Spinner’s Drift, a series of small islands of the coast of the Carolinas. There, they meet Lucky as well as others who have magical abilities. Lucky is also on the run from mobsters in Philadelphia.
At first, Lucky is really standoffish to Scout. He doesn’t want to get attached in case he has to run. But their attraction can’t be denied and the two develop deep feelings for each other. While on an outing, they discover a soul trap—a place of darkness that has trapped multiple souls in an unending cycle of grief. Scout wants to fight the darkness and release the trapped souls, but would that also change the island—a place of refuge for people like them?
There is a lot going on in this story. So many battles being fought—within the characters, their relationships with others, family issues, evil entities, and more. And it all works. Plus there are some hot and heavy sex scenes between Lucky and Scout. I really like this story, but… the ending didn’t work out as well for me. I would have liked a little more. It just seemed rushed. I’d like to have seen the reunion for Tom. The releasing of the souls. Not a lot, just…more. But it did work for the most part.
Recommendation: If you’re looking for a well-written urban fantasy with hot sex, this one will do it. Nicely.
Disclaimer: I received a final and/or advanced reader copy of this book with the hope that I will leave my unbiased opinion. I was not required to leave a review, positive or otherwise, and my opinions are just that… My Opinions. I am posting this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”