By Laura Moore
Release Date: April 25, 2017
Reviewed by Janga
Dakota Hale, the illegitimate offspring of a wild child mother, was the bane of the Hales, an old-money family for whom the word “dysfunctional” could have been coined. The Hales barely tolerated Dakota, and her mother, Piper, is too immature and self-absorbed to be a nurturing parent. Forced to take on adult responsibilities far too early, Dakota was only in middle school when she began to earn money as a plant-waterer and dog-sitter to establish her independence from her trust-fund socialite mother who is the dramatic center of her self-scripted world. Fifteen years later, Dakota owns Premier Service, a personal concierge service that caters to wealthy East Hampton residents. The business is growing, and Dakota is about to land a plum client.
Max Carr, a successful venture capitalist, has recently purchased Windhaven, the Hales’ family “cottage,” a mere six-bedroom residence, in East Hampton, from Dakota’s uncle for $28,000,000. Max may tell himself that he bought Windhaven to impress his clients, but he knows that his primary reason for buying it was to impress his estranged father, who would never see it. Upon the recommendation of Alex Miller, an associate and friend, Max hires Dakota to redecorate his new home and keep it ready for his use. Dakota’s family sees Dakota’s agreement to work for Max, whom they view as the nouveau riche Midwesterner who purchased the family property, as a betrayal.
The chemistry between Max and Dakota is off the chart from the beginning, but Alex is leery of emotional entanglements. Nevertheless, the two are soon engaged in a no-strings affair, all fun and great sex. It ends abruptly when Dakota recognizes that she has crossed a line and chooses to bid Max farewell before he ends their relationship. But when what Dakota thinks is a virus turns out to be a pregnancy, Max is adamant that marriage is the next step. But with Max’s baggage and enemies on every front, even the love growing between them may not be enough to overcome all the obstacles.
Making Waves is the first book in Laura Moore’s Beach Lane series. Dakota and Max are complex characters who have responded in very different ways to the blows life handed them while they were still very young. Both are driven to succeed, but Dakota has formed friendships that provide her with emotional connections while Max has isolated himself. Readers will find themselves invested in seeing Dakota bridge Max’s defenses and accept that he can give and receive love. The cast of secondary characters, some of whom readers will love and some of whom they will love to hate, are also interesting. I particularly liked Hendrick Daube, a gay professor of psychiatry, who gives Dakota her first job and becomes a father figure for her. I also loved seeing Gen Monaghan and Alex Miller years into their HEA (In Your Eyes, 2004).
If you like contemporary romance that offers compelling characters and a captivating plot played out against an uber-rich setting, I think you will like this one. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I will be keeping an eye out for the next book in the series.