Sink or Swim is the final installment of the Beach Kingdom Series (following Mouth to Mouth and Heat Stroke).
Sink or Swim is Andrew and Jiya’s story (friends to lovers!) and can be read as a standalone title, although the characters are introduced in the two previous series books.
Sink or Swim will release on August 20th on Kindle Unlimited.
Andrew Prince wakes up before everyone else. He schedules the bar shifts, demands perfection from Long Beach’s lifeguards—most of all himself—and makes sure the family debts are paid. His unfaltering worth ethic might leave him exhausted, but it comes with one advantage. It distracts him from the love he’s been harboring since childhood for the girl next door—who he cannot have.
Jiya Dalal has dreams. To fly a plane, see the world below…and prove irresistible to her best friend, Andrew. But she needs to be a good daughter first, which is becoming an increasingly difficult task, since her parents expect a good marriage and the man she loves with all her heart refuses to pursue the blistering connection between them. Just when she’s beginning to believe Andrew truly doesn’t want her, a moonlight tryst on the beach exposes his true feelings. But an echo from the past kept them apart before…and it’s only growing louder with every stolen kiss…
Goodreads Link: https://bit.ly/2MbDTXM
I admittedly have a love/hate relationship with friends-to-lovers’ romances. I love them because there’s a foundation to the hero and heroine’s relationship; they share a backstory and a solid connection before initiating or finally admitting to anything more. My disdain, maybe that’s too harsh of a word, but sometimes, that’s exactly how I feel, comes from the characters’ fear of taking that next step because the mixed signals and the hot and cold reception that they receive from one another causes more problems than it would to just be honest about becoming something more.
In the final book in Tessa Bailey’s Beach Kingdom series, readers are finally given Andrew and Jiya’s story, which means that it’s time for the only Prince brother to get his other half. But this Prince male may be the most stubborn, and while logically I understand why Andrew keeps his distance from Jiya, it’s not any less frustrating to know how much he loves her but fears he doesn’t deserve her from an event from his past.
I truly felt bad for Jiya; I know that Andrew wasn’t playing games with her and that he desperately wanted to be with her as more than best friends, but I almost didn’t want her to keep waiting for him to get his act together, to stop punishing himself and stop bearing a burden that shouldn’t be his alone. But what I also understand is that the heart wants what the heart wants and Jiya’s never been one to give up or stop fighting. What does complicate things for Jiya is the pressure from her mother to move on, to find a husband, and to settle down and her mother believes that Jiya will have none of those things with Andrew.
There’s a little bit of everything in Sink or Swim: there’s an exhaustive amount of sexual tension, quite a few steamy scenes, a bevy of emotional confrontations, some self-loathing, and a bit of suspense. And all of these plot points make for a good read and a satisfying conclusion to a great series.
4 Poison Apples
Jiya looked up and found Andrew watching her intently. “What is this, Andrew?”
“We’re dancing,” he rasped, his gaze slightly unfocused.
“You’ve never danced with me like this before.”
His gaze strayed to her lips, before he resolutely dragged them away. “Do you want to stop?”
“No and that’s the problem.” Come on, Mrs. I Don’t Play Games Anymore, bring up the elephant in the room. It’s not going away. “You’ve been different with me lately. Is it…” She took two bracing breaths. “Is it because I’m dating?”
He started to deny it, then changed his mind. “Might be. Yeah. I know that’s fucked up,” he said. “You’ve always been min—my best friend. We won’t have this if you start dating someone seriously. If you…”
“Get married?” His complexion turned gray. “Mmm.” Cement caked her insides, but she was used to it by now. She’d loved Andrew since she was a child. She’d waited patiently for him to love her back—as more than a friend—and he hadn’t. He’d done nothing about it. So while she yearned to dissect his every word and rejoice in them, ached for what he was feeling, she couldn’t do it anymore without being a fool. “Ask me the question, Andrew. The one you ask me every night.”
A line formed between his brows. “Can I do anything for you, Jiya?”
“Yes.” She took his face in her hands. “You can stay my friend. No matter what happens. Fine, things are changing in my life. But I couldn’t bear it if I ever lost what we have. Just stay my friend. Promise me.”
His jaw bunched. “You know I’d cut my heart out before saying no to you, right?”
“Then you have your answer.” He wet his lips. “But we’re finishing the dance.”
About the Author
Tessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans and laptop, driving cross-country to New York City in under four days.
Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention.
She now lives in Long Island, New York with her husband of eleven years and six-year-old daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love.