Mills and Boon were so kind this year to send me a wonderful package with chocolates, face masks, and of course- two books! The first I read from M&B was Surf Sea and a Sexy Stranger by Heidi Rice. Maddy Westmore is on lifeguard duty when she has to rescue a man from drowning. The deliciously sexy man turns out to be millionaire entrepreneur Ryan King, though Maddy doesn't know who he is. Rye has turned into a bit of recluse since a motorbike accident, which left him with a bad knee and inability to perform sexually. He is standoffish to Maddy after she pulls him from the water, mainly because he is embarrassed, but also because he is extremely turned on by her. Maddy insists on checking up on him after the surfing accident, which leads to a surprising night of passion. Maddy, who has a shoddy family background thanks to an affair by her father and has been used by several past boyfriends, can't believe she gave in so easily to Rye's charms. And Rye can't believe he was able to get it up. The pair decide to give "just friends with benefits" a shot, but it is clearly not what they both want. But when their complicated backgrounds come to light, Maddy and Rye need to decide if they could make a relationship work, or if they are just not meant to be.
Surf Sea and a Sexy Stranger has a lot of romance and passion between the pages, but I kept finding myself a bit bored. I enjoyed Maddy's character, she was jaded yet innocent and I was really rooting for her, but Rye didn't connect with me so much. His womanizing and egotistical ways was a big turn off, so I didn't quite understand the attraction to Maddy and vice versa. Trying to be just friends with no strings attached was clearly not working from the beginning, and Maddy's outright resistance to date her boss (Rye) wasn't too convincing, and I think that is where the story fell flat for me. And there are a lot of sex scenes, which isn't really my cup of tea either. I did think the writing was very good though, this is my first read from Rice but it is evident she is very talented. The dialogue and description of the surroundings were both excellent, and I think I will try another by this author and see if I enjoy it more. Overall though, it was an interesting read and I would recommend this book. I would give it a try and see what you think of Maddy and Rye and their complicated romance.