Monday, October 24, 2016

Review Tour: Crashing Waves by CJ Baty (Review + Giveaway)

Crashing Waves - CJ Baty

October 17 - BooksLaidBareBoys
October 18 - My Fiction Nook
October 24 - Bayou Book Junkie


Drifting Sands (The Warfield Hotel Mysteries #1)

Crashing Waves (The Warfield Hotel Mysteries #2)


Justin Warfield ran away to Italy to put the events of last summer and a certain dark-haired private eye behind him, to no avail. If anything, he can’t help but rehash what happened over and over. When he finally returns to South Carolina, the hotel he runs with his brother has suffered a series of incidents that are starting to look less accidental after a death threat is received.

Not satisfied that Moses Lee and his local police will find the culprit, Peter Warfield calls in the services of his good friend Marcus Drummond to help. Marcus is torn. He wants to help his friend, but he also knows that if Justin has moved on after their failed flirtation last summer, he will be devastated.

Tensions mount as danger seems to follow them at every turn, stalking them as they get closer to solving the mystery of who is behind the sabotage of the hotel.

*Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by the author/publisher for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*

In Drifting Sands, Justin has been living a lie for years. Forced by his father to marry the daughter of one of his friends and having to remain married to her until his brother's 26th birthday as stipulated by his father's will, which is about to happen in two months, he's just had enough of Caroline, despite feeling guilty because she does love him. She knows he's gay and tries to make him stay married with her threatening to expose his secret to his staff at the Warfield Hotel and the rest of their town. 

Marcus is Justin's brother's best friend and has been in love with Justin for a long time. He's a PI and goes to the small town in South Carolina where the Warfield Hotel is located to visit Peter and investigate a recent murder. 

Justin can't deny the attraction to Marcus, even if he tries to hide it and once he gives into it, he pushes Marcus away when he realizes the murders near the hotel property are somehow connected to him. 

I liked Marcus, he was really mature for his age and knew what he wanted, which is more than could be said for Justin (who was 14 years older than Marcus). Marcus was reliable and supporting, always trying to help in any way he could. His 'love' for Justin was more like an infatuation at first, but it was noticeable how it turned into more as time passed. I wanted to slap Justin silly several times. I understand trying to do the right thing, but really it was obvious Caroline was manipulating him so many times, and he almost always gave in, at least until around the 60% mark or so. 

I liked the mystery surrounding the murders, even if it was fairly obvious Caroline was involved, I didn't quite imagine to what extent Moses Lee was or why until I read book two. Book 1 ends up in a cliffhanger, and really, I was so glad I had Crashing Waves already waiting for me because I hate having to wait to have a resolution. 

The writing felt a bit choppy at first, not as fluid as other books by CJ Baty I've read, and I actually had to go back a couple of times because I got a bit lost in between the several POVs we see through the book. Still, it was intriguing, and I was swept into the suspense of finding out if my suspicions were right.

Rating: 3.5 Stars! 

Crashing Waves is the second book in The Warfield Hotel series and it's a direct continuation from the first book, Drifting Sands. 

Justin has been away in Italy after sending Marcus away, trying to get over everything that transpired before leaving South Carolina. He's trying to date again, even if it's not working as he expected since he can't forget Marcus. 

When a series of 'accidents' involving the hotel start becoming a little more serious, Peter decides to call his friend Marcus to help them investigate, since they already know the Police Chief, Moses Lee, will do little about it. 

Thrown together again by the circumstances, Justin must decide if he's finally ready to let Marcus into his life for good or if he'll keep hiding like he has all his life, while trying to find out who is trying to sabotage the hotel and Justin's family.

I definitely liked this book better. It might be because I'd met most of the players in book one, or perhaps because there was a little more action and romance in this book. I also liked Justin a whole lot more here. He was still a bit slow on the uptake, but he proved his worth to Marcus. And Marcus was as likable in CW as he was in DS, which is always a plus. 

It was nice to see Peter and the tension between Robert and Damien was a nice touch. I wouldn't mind reading more about them. *nudge nudge wink wink*

While there were multiple POVs in this book, as well, I didn't feel as confused and I felt they moved the story along quite nicely. It was really good to see it all unfold, and having my suspicions confirmed, and also having a very solid HFN, with a strong HEA vibe in the end, even if it's obvious this is an ongoing series. 

Rating: 4 Stars!!!

Author Bio

C. J. Baty lives in southwest Ohio. Her heart, however, lives in the mountains of Tennessee where she hopes to retire some day. The mountains have always provided her with inspiration and a soothing balm to the stresses of everyday life.

The dream of writing her own stories started in high school but was left on the back burner of life until her son introduced her to fan fiction and encouraged her to give it a try. She found that her passion for telling a story was still there and writing them down to share with others was much more thrilling than she had ever expected.

She has a loving and supportive family who don't mind fixing their own meals when she is in the middle of a story, and a network of friends who have encouraged and cheered her on in her quest of being an author.

One thing she has learned from life and she is often heard to say is: “You are never too old to follow your dream!”

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