Baewatch. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Baewatch by Xavier Neal

My rating: 4 of 5 stars.

Budget cuts.

Beach candy.

Baby stingrays being called baby sharks resulting in momentary mass panic.

All part of the gig for lifeguard section chief, Brooklyn Headley.

Between uncomfortably long work shifts and pineapple infused family meals, life is almost painfully predictable.

That is until Scott “Ax” Maxwell throws her a lifesaver.

Now she’s slow dancing to ukulele covers, trying not to fall off surfboards, and engaging in some not so conventional activities between the sheets.

Their fun times, however, meet new waves of trouble when her younger sister unexpectedly needs a specific type of help that Ax is capable of providing.

Can their relationship survive the uncharted, choppy waters ahead, or will Brooklyn be forced back to the boring shore she knows all too well? 

Baewatch

Good, but possibly a bit too surfer authentic!

The following ratings are each out of 5:
Romance: 💜🖤🤍💙💚
Heat/Steam: 🔥🔥🔥🔥
Story/Plot: 📘📗📕
World building: 🏝🏖🏝🏖🏝
Character development: 🙍🏻‍♂‍🙎🏼‍♀‍🙍🏽‍♀‍🙎🏼‍♂‍

The setting: Hawaii
The Hero: Ax, a nearly 40 year old, blonde, tan, surfer, who owns a trendy thrift shop on the side.
The Heroine: Brooklyn, early 30’s, a Lifeguard Section Chief who has had a series of bad first dates.

The premise sounded fun, but the book moved a bit slowly for my tastes and I had trouble with all the beach, ocean, and surfing references. It was explained early on that both Ax and Brooklyn love the sea. Ax surfs every day and Brooklyn is a lifeguard, so she works at the beach. While in college, both of them looked into majors like marine biology and oceanography but ended up going a different way.

The setting is in Hawaii, so there is plenty of talk of sand and the many of the restaurants serve seafood such as oysters so between her job, the setting and his love of surfing there would automatically be a lot of talk about these things, but in addition to that, they both use nautical and surfer references in their everyday language as well, so it seemed like an overwhelming abundance. For example, Ax uses the idiom “hand to board” as in surf board instead of “hand to God”. Ax even thinks in surfing terms:

Monogamy isn’t exactly a board I’m used to riding, yet it’s the only one that seems right when it comes to the wave known as Brooklyn Headley.

Aside from the numerous aquatic themed references and idioms, the story was a bit slow moving. I liked the romance for how fast Ax and Brooklyn were falling for each other, but their dates were pretty boring at the beginning. They seemed to only serve the purpose of getting as many oceanographic and surfing references out there.

At one point I thought to myself that it seemed like the author either really researched surfers and ocean lovers and wanted to display all that research, or she is familiar with surfing and surfers and wanted to sell the characters and setting as much as possible so she interjected as many references as possible. In the end it seemed to be too much and I didn’t enjoy the “getting to know you” part of the relationship as much as I would have if it was more concise and to the point. I was wishing there would be more chemistry between the two of them and less chemistry between each of them and the ocean.

“Those details will be being discussed before we surf on down to Naked Town. It’s not as though I feel like I’m receiving fling treatment, I just wanna make sure I’m not trying to scuba dive if that’s not what the waters are intended for.

That is not to say that the surfer dude talk made it a bad experience. I really liked the premise of the book, and the characters themselves. The setting of Hawaii and the beach was fantastic. I have always wanted to go to Hawaii and probably never will so this setting is great. I love books with vacation like settings. It is nice to imagine having a job either at the beach or being able to surf every day. It makes sitting at a computer for 10 -12 hours a day a little more tolerable.

The book was also quite steamy and the steamy scenes just made me laugh a bit because they were so filled with aquatic wording and images, that it didn’t bother me any more, but actually started being a somewhat campy and fun. Overall I enjoyed the this story.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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