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Early Book Review: Dark Tides by Celia Ashley



Author: Celia Ashley
Title: Dark Tides
Genre(s): Paranormal romance
Release date: May 12, 2015
Publisher: Lyrical Press (Kensington)
Length: 188 pages
Heat level: Moderately light
Review copy provided by: Publisher, in exchange for honest review
Reviewer recap: A stranger washes up on her beach one year to the day after her husband's death at sea, a man Meg has dreamed of and who feels intimately familiar to her. As Caleb tries to recover his memory and the pair grow closer and closer, unseen forces set off a chain of events that lead Meg and Caleb to wonder if her long-lost husband is in fact truly gone.
Writing style & finesse



Character development

Likeable/relatable characters

Plot tension

Flow & pacing

Heat &/or sexual tension

Total Score
8.5/ 10

User Rating
no ratings yet


Posted May 4, 2015 by

*** This review is SPOILER-FREE! Read on with confidence! ***

Haunting. Elegant. Chilling. Unexpectedly beautiful.

Dark Tides is a unique literary experience. Ms. Ashley’s prose sets a peaceful rhythm, steady and sedate, lulling her readers into falling right into the heart of the story. It flows so effortlessly, from character to environment to scene, that the book slips by in lazy snatches of time.

She lowered her lids against the glare of the sun. The constant sea breeze tugged at her hair, loosening strands from the barrette at the back of her head. She breathed in and out, evenly, deeply, trying to banish the emotion pushing toward the surface. Gulls circled overhead, crying in the wind, waiting for a scrap or two of food she did not possess to offer. The waves crashed against the wet sand of the shoreline, curling and foaming, the beach empty, as it often was this time of year.

Ms. Ashley’s voice for Meg is just lovely. Even if she never said a single line of dialogue, our heroine would still glide through the pages with the grace of a princess and the giving, caring heart of a mother. Caleb’s presence, while less skillfully refined, benefits from the author’s natural style while still emanating a sense of experienced capability and gentle strength. Their psychic connection to one another is an interesting twist that I found added an extra dimension of excitement and intrigue to the plot. That said, I did have some trouble really getting into the book. It felt somewhat dragging, partly (I believe) due to theĀ author using very similar voices for both characters. While it did lull me into reading, it also didn’t inspire me to keep reading until somewhere in the second half.

The supernatural element alternated between creeping me out and inspiring a warm, cozy sense of home. I didn’t expect the ending, even though I’d dismissed it as a possibility earlier in the story, so I was pleasantly surprised by the turn of events at the conclusion. I would absolutely recommend this book to any reader looking for ghostly romantic suspense tales with gentle pacing and low-to-moderate heat.

I would recommend this book to any reader looking for ghostly romantic suspense tales with gentle pacing and low-to-moderate heat.

You may also like…

If you like a little paranormal activity of the ghostly variety with your romance, consider Nora Robert’s Blue Dahlia, the first in her haunting-yet-romantic In The Garden series. You may also enjoy Ghost Seer by Robin D. Owens. (affiliate links)

Click here to buy (or pre-order) this book on Amazon (affiliate links): Kindle format | Paperback
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Dark Tides is…


Sue "DaVinciKittie" Brown-Moore is a veteran romance blogger and reviewer and the primary voice for GraveTells.com. Sue and GraveTells have won several blogging awards, and GraveTells recently celebrated its five-year anniversary! Sue is also a freelance Developmental Editor passionate about helping authors bring out the best in their stories. She loves reading romance, fantasy, and sci-fi and edits any genre she reads for pleasure. You can follow Sue's editing blog, with tips and tricks for authors, at DaVinciKittie.com.


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