Thursday, May 12, 2016

Review: Below the Surface by Elizabeth Lee


Daniella Alvarez and Dylan McKendrie used to be in love. They used to be a team. An inseparable force to be reckoned with. But, when tragedy struck, their relationship sank faster than the ships they used to scour the ocean floor for. Now all that's left are scattered remains of what used to be. 
Dylan, no longer seeking the mysteries on the ocean floor, now goes for the sure things and the guaranteed paychecks. When a longtime friend suggests he has hard proof that one of those legends that used to keep Dylan up at night could be real, he's torn between going after the gold and maintaining the life he'd built since leaving The Florida Keys. 
Daniella was always a dreamer. She's always been chasing what would most deem unattainable—professionally and personally. Everything she'd ever wanted seemed to slip through her fingers the day he left, which is exactly why his return has her seeing red.
Can the two of them put their past aside long enough to figure out a mystery that has plagued them both for years? Can they work together to see what lies below the surface?

Review by Jen Hagen 

This was an interesting plot as I have never read a book about deep sea recovery and treasure hunting.  I will admit it took me a little while to fully comprehend the logistics, but the author did an excellent job writing at a level the reader can understand. 

The back history between Dylan and Dani is this in a nutshell – 5 years ago he left to go to Boston leaving behind Dani in Florida.  Prior to that they worked together on his father’s boat recovering lost ships and treasures – he as a navigator and she as the diver.  They were in love, but love wasn’t enough to get him to stay in Florida.   Dani always had a dream of finding a ship filled with Spanish treasures that was rumored to have hit the ocean bottom over 300 years ago.  It has come to Dylan’s attention that they may actually have a chance at finding this ship due to new evidence that has fallen into his hands.   Does he keep this info to himself or does he do the right thing and let Dani know?

I couldn’t very well go find a boat that she’d believed to be real and not give her the option to join us.  An option that I wasn’t sure she’d even accept.

You’d better believe she’s going to take the option that involves finding that ship!  It’s time for Dani and Dylan to put aside their differences and join together to find the hidden treasure.  They need each other in order to succeed, and they need to forget they had a past.

The only thing that lingered between us now were feelings of betrayal.  She wasn’t the only one that was bitter.  Old wounds I’d thought time and distance had healed threatened to burst wide open.

Dylan and Dani were very cordial towards each other and it was refreshing not to constantly have main characters throw the past in at every opportunity.  Dylan and Dani need these treasures for money as they  both pretty much live on a month-to-month basis.  Plus there’s the extra drama of past debt from Dylan’s father.  It’s essential to find the buried treasure in order to move on from the past that holds too many festering wounds.

“I think we have different recollections of what happened.  The words “please don’t go” were never ones that came out of your mouth.”
Did Dani not fight for their love?  Would Dylan have stayed?  This is a great opportunity for them to find the treasure and rediscover their love never left.

He reached out his hand for me and I accepted his hand in mine.  Our fingers intertwined and hand in hand we swam down to the ocean…

The story is told from dual POV and can be read a standalone.  There will be another book  in the series featuring secondary characters.

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