Monday, March 7, 2011

Review: Undertow

Cherry Adair
Romantic Suspense
Cutter Cay/Book 1
St. Martins/January 1, 2011

From the back cover ~


Teal Williams is content with her career as a ship’s master mechanic—until Zane Cutter, the “Casanova of the Caribbean,” makes her an offer she can’t refuse: to climb on board with him for a real-life treasure hunt. Teal must help him dredge up a shipwrecked vessel containing an abundance of gold, silver, and emeralds—and she’ll claim part of the prize.


Zane needs a mechanic — not a lover — and Teal, who can also dive, is perfect for the job. So it suits him just fine that Teal is completely immune to his charms…or so he tells himself. But with a deadly enemy in their midst—one who’s silently edging closer—Zane and Teal sink into troubled waters. Trapped in the middle of a perilous sea, they have no one to turn to but each other as they face down a danger that runs unfathomably deep—and a passion that runs even deeper…

Loved the premise in the fascinating world of diving for treasure. The atmosphere of the ocean, both beautiful and deadly gave the story a unique backdrop for the suspense and the romance. Unfortunately, the characters and the plot didn't live up to the fascinating world they inhabited.

Teal Williams has been hiding from the men in her life. Her abusive ex-husband, her estranged father and the man she's been in love with since she was a child. To get as far away from her ex, she takes a job for the same brothers her father works for. She's also hoping to get closer to her father and have some kind of relationship with him. She's not happy about having to spend a month on a boat with Zane Cutter but doesn't have much choice - she needs the job. Teal is shy and keeps to herself. She'd rather spend time in the engine room than socializing with the other crew members.

Did I like Teal? Not exactly but I didn't exactly dislike her either which is just as bad. I found her actions towards Zane annoying. She's attracted to him but she continues to give out these mixed signals. Glaring at him when he's dancing with a bare breasted woman at a party. He sees Teal glaring and goes after her, things get a little hot and heavy but then she pushes him away. This seemed to be a reoccurring theme with Teal. I had the Katy Perry song "Hot N Cold" running through my head a lot.

Zane Cutter is the youngest of the three Cutter brothers. He's the "Casanova of the Caribbean". Yep, that's one of his nicknames. He doesn't hide the fact that he loves women. Which is why I didn't understand him getting mad when Teal threw his rep in his face. He had parties on the boat, inviting lots of bikini clad women, and the bare breasted one previously mentioned. He flirted with them, pissing Teal off. He says he did it to make her jealous and admitted that it was a bad idea. He got that right.

I still don't understand why the parties? They're diving Zane's dream find so you would think they would have plenty of work when they're not diving. There are a lot of boats in the area, watching to see what Zane's team brings up. A one mile radius rule is in effect for the other boats, to discourage thieves, so why not enforce that rule and keep the others away? Zane knows things are being stolen from the dive site but doesn't know who is doing it. I'm not familiar with diving operations but the way this one worked, it didn't make sense to me.

The romance was confusing. Zane thinks Teal isn't his type. Then he gets a look at her legs - he's a leg man. He starts falling for her fast. Teal is already half in love with Zane and doesn't like it one bit! As I mentioned, there is a lot of pulling forward, pushing back on Teal's part. It just left Zane confused. When they do get together Teal's insecurities about her looks, due in part to her ex's mental abuse, surface. Zane does say all the right things, helping Teal believe that he really does find her very attractive. I did like those scenes. Zane showed that he's not an insensitive ass but really cares about Teal.

There is action, aside from the diving. The thieves resurface, causing more problems and danger for Zane and his crew. Then the Men in Black show up complicating things even more for Zane and Teal. Their diving services are required which puts a crimp on the salvaging. Much drama and suspense ensues with both Teal and Zane showing they are very resourceful when fighting the bad guys. There is even an underwater shootout. Seriously, why would you use a gun underwater? You can fire a gun underwater but the aim will suck unless you are practically on top of the target.

My first Adair book and while it didn't wow me, I find myself curious about Zane's brothers Logan and Nick. And Adair's website is impressive in it layout, easy of navigation and details about her books. Definitely fun to check out.

Rating: C

Books in this series ~

(August 30, 2011)
Vortex (February 2012)


  1. Hmm, doesn't sound like the best book. I'm not a huge fan of Ms
    Adair... I feel her writing just doesn't work for me... Good to know you thought his book was so-so, completely eliminates my chances of picking it up :) Thanks Les!

  2. Nath ~ I guess you're welcome. :) This is only my first of hers so I haven't given up yet. I'll wait for reviews for the next one before picking it up.