Friday 19 April 2024

Book Review - Concealed by the Tide by Zara West

Concealed by the Tide
By Zara West

Publication Date: 16th November 2023
Publisher: Tidal Waters Press
Page Length: 281 Pages
Genre: Romantic Suspense

A wily bomber... A determined activist... A man with a secret…

Eco-activist Summer Avery abandons the bustle of New York City and scurries to the tiny coastal village of Tide Harbor, determined to accomplish what a crazy bomber has not—stop the destructive Minas Basin tidal energy project in its tracks and earn the EcoGreen directorship.

Desperate for a safe place to raise his autistic daughter, recently divorced marine biologist Gil Moses. takes a job with the tidal energy company, ostensibly to study lobsters, but actually to capture the bomber. The last thing Gil needs is to be the focus of a rip-roaring protest led by Miss Fancy Boots, the most attractive and enigmatic woman he has ever met.

But there’s a killer on the loose, and Summer must choose—sacrifice her career or risk her life to save her Captain Nemo and the little girl she has come to love.

If you enjoy suspenseful thrillers where adventurous women and bold men battle against the odds, you'll love this fast-paced, action-packed romance mystery. Get caught up in the thrilling first book of the Tide Harbor Suspense series.

Seastroke Energy's groundbreaking tidal turbine rested on the seafloor of the Minas Basin. This ingenious billion-dollar masterpiece has already caught the attention of the local community, but not in a good way. Despite the huge advantages that this turbine could bring, many were concerned about the effect it would have on the local lobster population. Summer Avery, EcoGreen Action’s star activist has been sent to Nova Scotia to organise a peaceful campaign against the turbine. But someone had got there before her, and their intentions were anything but peaceful.

Gil Moses, a world-renowned fish expert, has been hired by SeaStroke Energy on the pretext of studying the lobster populations at the site before the company complete the installation. But that is not the real reason he is there. He has been hired by SeaStroke to find out who had tried to sabotage their turbine. He was, however, unprepared for the strong opposition he would encounter or the powerful attraction he would have for the woman who opposed his work at SeaStroke Energy.

Prepare to be enthralled by Zara West's Concealed by the Tide, a story that will leave you yearning for more.

The unashamedly brilliant narrative captures the readers’ attention from the first sentence and continues to hold it hostage until the very last full stop. The cliffhanger tension, the non-stop excitement, and the forbidden romance make this book a real page-turner. This is a novel filled with memorable characters, who are not always what they seem to be. 

The romance between Gil and Summer is portrayed realistically, with a swoon-worthy quality that will melt even the toughest critic's heart. The novel fulfils all expectations and is a must-read for those who appreciate romantic suspense. 

Summer is passionate about her job, for she knows only too well the power that these big multinational corporations have. However, she is not your average environmentalist. She is hoping that her work here will give her the directorship she wants in the company. Summer also wants to make amends with her dying father – while he had spent her childhood fighting the drilling company that had polluted the water by fracking on the neighbour’s farm, she had grown up and worked on an ad campaign to clean up the image of a drilling company. The betrayal was absolute, but Summer believed if she could do this one thing, stop Seastroke Energy's plans, then her father may just forgive her. Summer is a character that a reader can really connect with. She is passionate about her job, and people are drawn to her. She is a very resilient woman who is not easily swayed by arguments, nor does she back down from intimidation. When she meets Gil, she is instantly drawn to him, and although she tries her hardest to stay away from him, the two of them keep crossing paths. As the story progresses the reader becomes even more invested in Summer’s story. She is a character that is simply impossible not to like.

Gil, the handsome marine biologist has, like Summer, a complicated past. He has just gone through a divorce and a custody battle. The job opportunity at Seastroke Energy comes at just the right moment. It means he can leave his well-paid position at MIT and return to doing what he is passionate about – research. It also means he could start a new life in Nova Scotia with his daughter. The one thing he was not looking for was love. Dolores had put him off women for life. He was definitely not going to fall head over heels in love with the enemy, and that was what Summer was. For all he knew, she could have had something to do with the sabotage of the turbine. Gil is the perfect romantic lead, and despite his working for Seastroke Energy, he is a good man with strong principles. What makes him slightly unusual is that he is a character who is willing to learn, especially when it comes to his autistic daughter. He knows he can parent her better, he just does not know how. As the story progresses Gil learns new skills and begins to really bond with his daughter.  

The depiction of Lissie was expertly illustrated. Lissie brings both joy and chaos to the story. The combination of her autism diagnosis, sensory difficulties, communication struggles, and lack of empathy from her mother creates a distressing narrative. Her stimming and aggressive outbursts are challenging, but Gil is determined that his daughter will never see the inside of an institution. He is doing his best, but he realises his best is not quite enough when he meets his new would-be housekeeper, Mrs Victoria Eagles. Despite her odour and penchant for keeping secrets, Victoria quickly bonds with Lissie, demonstrating to Gil the potential for a meaningful relationship with his daughter. As the story unfolds, Gil's comprehension of his daughter’s abilities grows, and he acknowledges that Lissie is exceptionally bright. And with Mrs Eagle’s encouragement, he learns not to disturb Lissie’s circles!

This novel features multiple antagonists, some of whom are not what they appear to be. Despite Summer's efforts to organize peaceful protests, some community members still turn to violence. This leads to devastating consequences, none of which Summer could ever have predicted. The antagonists frequently cause Summer to doubt her relationship with Gil, resulting in her unknowingly getting caught in their deceitful scheme. The depiction of the antagonists is spine-chillingly clear and wonderfully done.

The plot is really captivating and has a fast-paced vibe. Numerous obstacles, such as Gil’s job at Seastroke Energy and Summer’s campaign against their turbine, impeded the couple’s relationship. Nonetheless, this drama served as a driving force for the story. 

Concealed by the Tide by Zara West is a mesmerising read. I could have very easily read another thousand pages, and my attention would not have wavered. I am really looking forward to reading the next book in the series. 

You can pick up your copy HERE!

Zara West

Born in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Zara spends winters in New York where the streets hum with life, summers in the Maritimes where the sea can be cruel, and the rest of the year anywhere inspiration for tales of adventure, mystery, and romance are plentiful. An accomplished artist by training and passion, she brings a love of art to every book she writes. When not marooned on an island or chasing after Greek shepherds, Zara tends her organic herb garden, collects hats and cats, and whips up ethnic dishes for friends and family.

A professional artist, Zara's handcrafted clothing and creations have been sold in Bloomingdales, Altman’s, Putumayo, the Museum of American Folk Art and more. She has done ethnographic fieldwork among the shepherds of Greece and Italy, gone head to head with a flock of 400 sheep and 30 milk goats in upstate New York, and in her spare time, written award- winning stories, books and magazine articles.

A member of Romance Writers of America, From the Heart, Kiss of Death, Southern Tier Authors of Romance, and Hearts Through History, Zara’s short stories have appeared in several anthologies, and she has received awards from Women on Writing, Stone Thread Publishing, Tryst Literary Magazine, and Winning Writers. Her novels have won and placed in numerous contests.

Contest Wins

2013 Mslexia Novel Competition - Finalist Take the World

2015 Touch of Love - 2nd place Historical House Carpenter

2015 Heart Through History - 1st place American Historical Lilly’s War

2015 Fab2 - 5th place Inspirational House Carpenter

2016 Pages from the Heart - 1st place Romantic Suspense Close to the Skin

2017 Emma Merritt - 3rd place Romantic Suspense In With the Tide

2018 InD’Tale Magazine - 2nd place Rone Award for Romantic Suspense Close to the Skin 2018 I Heart Indie - 1st place Suspense Close to the Skin

Connect with Zara:


  1. Congratulations, your book sounds amazing, Zara.

    1. Concealed by the Tide is amazing. A really enjoyable read.

  2. Congratulations on your fabulous review.

  3. Thank you, Mary Anne for this terrific review!!!

  4. What a wonderful review. Congratulations, Zara.


See you on your next coffee break!
Take Care,
Mary Anne xxx