Night Tide by Anna BurkeNight Tide by Anna Burke is an enemies to lovers romance and book two in her Seal Cove series.

Circumstances change, but feelings run deep and become rooted in the psyche. Lillian Lee is happy with her life in Seal Cove, Maine. Despite recently ending her relationship with her long-term boyfriend, her job, friends, and pets provide her with a content and stable life. Of course, she’d like to have a partner who lights up her heart, but at five years out of veterinary school, she’s grateful for what she’s got.

One thing she appreciates is no longer having to be in close proximity with the woman who bullied her throughout veterinary school. Ivy Holden made her life miserable. Ivy’s derision towards her sometimes made her doubt her own abilities and shrink under the embarrassment over her family’s struggles with money.

The last place Ivy Holden ever expected to be headed for is the small town of Seal Cove, Maine. She was a successful and sought-after veterinarian in Colorado. Her passion for horses translated into a thriving career working with large animals. When she’s unexpectedly diagnosed with a serious medical condition, she realizes proximity to her family’s summer home and a flexible work schedule are a necessity. The Seal Cove Veterinary Clinic offers everything she needs, but it comes with the one thing she doesn’t – Lillian Lee.

Lillian is a reminder of Ivy’s poor behavior at a time in her life when she was blind to her family’s privilege. She’s well aware she treated Lilian poorly, but she’s still coming to terms with why.

When they’re tossed into each other’s trajectories, they need to find a way to navigate the conflicting feelings that threaten to swallow them whole. Is forgiveness possible or will the two women remain imprisoned by hate and resentment?

The Characters

Burke does a great job brining Ivy and Lillian to life. Getting to know these women is tricky. Since this is an enemies to lovers romance, we see both women at their best, but throughout the story we also see them at their absolute worst. For me, it was hard to like either of them at times. I had to keep reminding myself I was going to get a happily ever after each time their harsh words and behavior made me wince. There’re oodles of pent-up animosity between these characters. It takes a lot of energy to hate someone so intensely and some of that force is expressed in passion that radiates off the page. We see Lillian break out of her safe life over the course of the story. What struck me most is the growth we see from Ivy. At first, I didn’t like her one bit, but good story telling revealed her many layers and, her story had me in tears at times. These are fascinating characters who I’m sure will remain vivid in my mind.

The Writing Style

Wow, there were times I had to stop, reread, and just sit with passages from this book. I still don’t know what kind of witchcraft Burke uses to hold me in such a thrall. I’ve pretty much run out of ways to express how beautiful her writing is. She’s got a knack for using the natural world to reflect what the characters are feeling and going through. In Night Tide she juxtaposes images of frozen landscapes with scenes set against roaring fires. This sums up the struggle between Lillian and Ivy. Somewhere between the two extremes is where their emotions need to meet if they’re ever going to reach a level of forgiveness and acceptance so their relationship can move forward.

Pros And My Favourite Parts

Not surprisingly, Burke subtly works into the story problematic issues involving white privilege and the perils of exploiting the earth for financial gain. It’s obvious Lillian’s life has been shaped by her whiteness. It’s a slower revelation to find out how Lillian’s life has been shaped by racism. These are significant themes that compound the resentments keeping Lillian and Ivy at odds.

Cons And Heads Up

This is the strangest “con” coming from me. The sex scenes are scorching hot but, I thought they were overused. While they reflect the passion brewing between Lillian and Ivy, they sometimes felt out of place.

The Conclusion

As always, Burke does not disappoint. She’s taken the romance genre by storm, showing readers her versatility and mastery as a writer. Night Tide is full of ups and downs and Ivy and Lillian are delightfully layered characters. The story is packed full of content, yet it felt like I breezed through it much too quickly. Night Tide has the kind of angst that gives me life. While it’s the second book in her Seal Cove Romance series, it can be read as a stand-alone. I can’t wait for book three, but patience has never been my strong suit.

TLDR (too long didn’t read)

Night Tide is an enemies to lovers romance with great character work and angst to spare. The issues keeping the main characters apart are complex, making this a thought provoking read.

Excerpt from Night Tide by Anna Burke

victorias favourite booksStarting with the cons seemed easier. Getting involved with Ivy would reopen old wounds, had the potential to go catastrophically wrong, could make things awkward at work, and came too soon on the heels of her breakup with Brian. Plus, Ivy made her lose her cool, was insufferably privileged, and had already hurt her badly. She refused to think about just how badly, which was another con in itself. Satisfied she’d gotten the list off to a decent start, and jotting blond down for good measure, she turned to the pros.

The pen creaked beneath her teeth. She hadn’t even realized she’d been chewing on the end. Another habit she’d thought she’d broken herself of, revived thanks to Ivy Holden. She was lucky she’d never smoked, or she’d no doubt pick that up again, too.

Pros. There had to be at least one pro besides really fucking hot. Didn’t there?

The white space taunted her.

Hot, she wrote. Really hot went beneath it. She refused to add smells amazing and has unfairly soft skin, because that would mean admitting she’d noticed.

I won’t have to worry about getting to know a stranger on a dating app. There. That was a solid pro, not that she had any intention of actually dating Ivy. Just . . . what? Fucking her?

Yes, said her body.

“I’m an adult,” she said aloud. Neither of her dogs offered comment.

She makes me feel dumb and talk to myself, she added to the cons.

Normally, lists made her feel better. More in control. She weighed the columns and bit the pen so hard it cracked. The problem, she knew, wasn’t the list itself. It was that no matter how many items she added to the con side, there was a part of her that didn’t care. She couldn’t think straight around Ivy.

We both know it’s a terrible idea. She wrote this slowly under both columns, because it was true, and because the fact that they each knew it was stupid hadn’t slowed them down. If anything, by unspoken agreement, it had made things easier. Getting involved with Ivy was like throwing a stone at a window to see what would happen. She knew the glass would shatter and there would be a price to pay, but hurling the rock felt so damn good.

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A Seal Cove Romance


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