As the responsible daughter of an irresponsible socialite, Dakota Hale has plenty of practice catering to the whims of the rich and spoiled—and she’s turned that experience into a thriving concierge business serving the needs of the Hamptons’ wealthy elite. But anytime the drama on land gets too outrageous, Dakota finds calm surfing the Atlantic waves. But when sexy mogul Max Carr hires her, it rocks her balance in a big way.
Max works hard, but he’s never had to put any effort into winning over a woman—until now. With her stunning beauty and keen intelligence, Dakota is worth the effort. But it’s plain she has no interest in a casual fling, and that’s all Max, with his grief-stricken heart, can offer. But one fraught night changes everything, with consequences neither Dakota nor Max anticipated. Now they must navigate the rough waters of society gossip and devastating secrets that threaten their fragile relationship. If they can trust in the strength of their growing feelings, they’ll find that the dreams they’ve been chasing are close enough to embrace . . . together.
Praise for Making Waves
“Spicy, tender, and vivid with posh Hamptons ambience, this compelling story hooks readers from the start and never lets go; thoroughly charming.”—Library Journal
“This plot-driven story of independent lovers determined to resist drama and societal expectations will resonate with romance readers.”—Publishers Weekly
“An outstanding reading experience . . . As she does so very well, [Laura] Moore develops a compelling and emotional story filled with complicated characters who must deal with past baggage if they are ever to build lasting relationships.”—RT Book Reviews
“Laura Moore writes the perfect fairytale stories. . . . If you haven’t read Moore before, then this is the terrific book for you to read. . . . The locale is lavish and affluent. The characters varied and diverse. The love story is scrumptious. Treat yourself to this enticing story. It’s pure romantic escapism.”—Heroes and Heartbreakers
“Laura Moore never fails to create a story that’s complex, emotionally compelling, and beautifully written. Making Waves had me from page one and stayed with me long after I finished.”—New York Times bestselling author Kristan Higgins
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
“Maniac” blared from the front pocket of Dakota Hale’s zipped hoodie. She ignored it. Whoever had invented designated ringtones was a veritable genius.
“That’s call number four,” Rae observed, exchanging a sponge for a micro-duster. Rae was doing the Friday shift with Dakota, a marathon of house preps, errands, and inspections before the owners arrived for the long weekend.
It was the fifth time Piper had called, and that wasn’t including the quick conversation they’d had earlier this morning, but who was counting?
Dakota replied with a noncommittal hmm and continued stocking the Ellsworths’ kitchen from the grocery bags that were next to her sock-clad feet. Ron and Myrna and their three kids had a weakness for Doritos and huge bottles of Diet Coke. She hoped their diet was healthier in New York City than when they came out to their East Hampton country home.
“You suppose it’s an emergency?”
Rae Diaz, the oldest of six children, had a heart of gold.
“Of course it is.” Dakota opened the cupboard next to the refrigerator and placed two boxes of spaghetti—never linguini, because Ron had a thing about only eating spaghetti—next to a bag of white rice. “Everything’s an emergency with Piper. She can’t find her new sunglasses. It’s an emergency. She’s forgotten the access code to her answering machine. A major crisis. Her favorite dress isn’t hanging where it should be. Time to call the cops.” She kept her tone light and amused as she rattled off a carefully edited list of items that Piper routinely treated as an SOS.
“You’d think she’d figure out that Fridays are our busiest days.”
Dakota shrugged. “The concept of work doesn’t register with her.” She placed a bag of Italian-roast coffee beans front and center on the shelf, where it would be easily spotted. “If it’s really urgent, she’ll leave a message.” She shut the cabinet door firmly. “I’m teaching her the concept of boundaries.”
“Good luck with that, girlfriend. We have three more houses to go. She may set a personal record just to show you what she thinks of boundaries.”
As if on cue, “Maniac” began again.
With an I-told-you-so lift of her brows, Rae shimmied her hips, twirled her dust cloth in the air, and pranced across the ceramic-tile floor in a fairly decent imitation of Jennifer Beals to give the gleaming glass doors of the double wall oven a final swipe. Rae had been dancing a lot today.
And Dakota had been gritting her teeth and refusing to press the answer button on her phone. The obvious solution would have been to turn it off, except then she’d have been unavailable to the people who did need to reach her—her employees and clients. Premier Service, the concierge business Dakota had started four years ago, was founded on the premise of being available to clients and providing exceptional service. If they wanted something, Premier Service was there to provide it. For Dakota, solving any problems her staff might encounter on the job was equally important. Impossible to do if she couldn’t answer their calls.
Repeating the word “boundaries” to herself, she opened the refrigerator door and scanned its contents, double-checking that in addition to the Diet Coke there were two bottles of champagne chilling to accompany the appetizers she’d picked up at Loaves & Fishes, a gourmet food shop in Sagaponack, which sold everything from flaky croissants to boeuf bourguignon to assorted salads and sides for the beach crowd.
Next she inspected the freezer and made sure the pints of cookie dough and chocolate ice cream for the kids were fresh—no freezer-burned contents to gross out the young Ellsworths—and aligned neatly on the top shelf.
She’d brought up two bottles of a Bordeaux from the temperature-controlled wine cellar in the basement—Ron’s pride and joy—to go with the entrée and the dessert of chocolate mousse—Myrna’s favorite.
All good with the food and booze.
Turning around, she adjusted one of the daisies in the vase she’d placed in the middle of the counter, then surveyed the rest of the kitchen. Everything was in its place and spotless, as with the other rooms in the sprawling home.
“Our work is done here. On to the Morrisseys,” she told Rae.
While Rae stored the dust cloth and cleaning products in the utility closet, Dakota scooped up the empty canvas shopping totes and from her leather hobo bag fished out the bundle of keys for the day’s visits. Together they walked to the front door, where Dakota stepped into her Uggs and Rae her clogs. Then Dakota punched in the security code she knew by heart; the Ellsworths were long-standing clients. The alarm system on, Rae opened the front door, and she and Dakota stepped out of the house, whose design always made Dakota think of children’s building blocks stacked haphazardly and then held together with clear packing tape. It was not an uncommon architectural style for the Hamptons. After all, fabulous wealth didn’t mean good taste. But at least the Ellsworths’ home was hidden by trees and not sitting exposed, smack dab in what used to be a potato field, like so many other Hamptons properties.
“Maniac” sounded again.
“Will she never quit? You know, I used to love that song.” Rae’s tone was mournful.
“I’ll find another one for her,” Dakota promised.
“Don’t bother. Piper and ‘Maniac’ are forever linked. Besides, switching ringtones will only ruin another great tune.”
It was one thing to ignore people who couldn’t control their speed-dial impulse. Annoying her smart, dependable employees was not good business practice, and Rae was her very best.
With an inward sigh, Dakota resigned herself to her fate. She’d simply have to stay calm and refuse to get swept up in whatever drama Piper was currently starring in.
Wise words, but often difficult to put into practice.
“Right. You drive to the Morrisseys, I’ll call Piper.”
She tossed Rae the keys to her old Toyota Land Cruiser. Rae caught them and climbed in behind the steering wheel while Dakota settled herself in the passenger seat.
“I can only imagine what it’s like, dealing with her,” Rae said. “But she does have her good points. She can be funny as hell.”
“I know she can.” Maybe she’d luck out and catch Piper in a humorous mood. One that wasn’t cringe-worthy.
“But,” Rae continued, “if she’s calling because she wants to wheedle another free cleaning out of Premier, you hand that cell over to me, stat. I’ll set her straight. Because that is just wrong.”
Dakota pretended to laugh along with her.
Since Piper often spent the day with a phone attached to her ear, she answered immediately. “Hello?”
“It’s me. I saw you called.”
“Dakota, I’ve been trying you for ages!”
“I know, I’m sorry. I’m at work.”
“Your clients, they take up so much of your time.”
“Yeah, they can be funny like that.” Dakota stared out the window as the car sped past oak scrub with the occasional spindly pine breaking through the brown canopy. Every few thousand feet a driveway cut into the woods, a pebbled or sandy drive marked by a small white wooden sign with black lettering—hands down the Hamptons’ favorite style—and the house number. Rae was driving east. Soon she cut across Route 27 to the coveted area known as “south of the highway,” where tall elms stood and, closer to the ocean, the narrow roads were bordered by potato and corn fields and privet hedges screened the multimillion-dollar houses within. Whether north or south of the highway, every house she and Rae passed represented potential customers. Dakota was determined to add as many of them as she possibly could and expand the business she’d built.
But it was October. Already the Hamptons had an abandoned feel to them. While she loved the uncongested roads and quieter tempo of the off-season, the businesswoman in her worried about making payroll.
Her mind on the upcoming slow months, she went on, “There’s nothing wrong with being busy when you run a business, Piper. It’s much better than the alternative.”
Piper made a sound that conveyed her complete disinterest in the topic of Dakota’s work—successful or not. “Have you tried that eye cream I told you about?”
Piper’s new favorite serum made Iranian beluga caviar look cheap. “No, not yet.”
“I’m sure it would help. You look so—”
Since she really didn’t want to hear how tired she looked, Dakota quickly asked, “Was there a reason you called?”
“Oh God, yes! It’s the worst, Dakota. I can’t believe it. What will everyone say?”
Dakota pressed the acupressure points below her brows. “And we’re talking about . . . ?”
“Elliott, of course. He sold the house without even telling us. Mimi’s fit to be tied. How could he do this? What was he thinking?”
Elliott was Piper and Mimi’s older brother. Upon their mother’s death, he’d inherited the family manse, Windhaven, a six-bedroom shingled “cottage” near the end of West End Road in East Hampton that came with a guest house, pool, manicured lawns and mature plantings. The property was further graced with sweeping views of the ocean on one side and the tranquility of Georgica Pond on the other. In the hotbed of the Hamptons real estate world, Windhaven would command top dollar.
“Well, he did say maintaining Windhaven was becoming too time-consuming.” Which was Elliott-speak for the house being too great a financial burden. Admitting that something was no longer affordable wasn’t in the family’s vocabulary.
“Yes, but I didn’t believe he’d actually go and sell our family home! Surely he could have come up with an alternative.”
Not if he needed a large infusion of cash. The stock market had taken some serious hits recently, and that might have shaken the investors in the Templar Group, the hedge fund Elliott managed. If they’d grown nervous and decamped, he might have been left scrambling. But mentioning the topic of Elliott’s finances, his unlucky investment strategies, or anything that hinted at the waning of her family’s fortunes would only ramp up Piper’s agitation. Better to stick to the immediate mini-crisis at hand.
“I’m sorry. Really I am,” she said, opting for a palliative response. “I know you liked the house.”
“I loved it. There’s no place like Windhaven on the East End. Or anywhere. An enduring symbol of my family’s history is gone, gone forever.” Piper was obviously in a Scarlett O’Hara kind of mood. “Mimi’s beside herself, absolutely furious.”
“Yes. You mentioned that. Do you know who bought it?”
“Elliott may have told me. Some nouveau riche type.”
Dakota’s sympathy dipped toward the empty mark. “Well, again, that’s too bad about the house. I’ll call tomorrow—”
“You have to come over today. Mimi’s driving out. You know what she’s like. After five minutes I’ll be exhausted, and I have a dinner with Duncan tonight. I want to be at my best for him.” Duncan Harding was Piper’s latest lover. They’d met at the Southampton Social Club, a trendy restaurant and dance club.
Dakota’s surfboard was strapped to the Land Cruiser’s roof. A gear bag holding her wetsuit and neoprene booties sat in the trunk. She’d been hoping to head out to Montauk after work and catch some waves.
“Pretty please, Dakota? I need you,” Piper said with a sweetness that never failed to exasperate, since it was only employed for one purpose.
And yet she gave in. Again. Irritated with herself as much as Piper, she asked in a clipped tone, “What time?”
“I’ll try to make it.”
“Oh, good. I knew I could count on you. I love you, sweets.”
Even though it was expected and tacitly demanded, Dakota’s reply was nonetheless sincere. “Love you, too, Piper.”
“Oh, one more thing. Can you pick up a bottle of vodka? Mimi will be wanting her martinis.”
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
All of Laura Moore's books are very enjoyable, highly recommend this one, too
I love Dakota, she’s had a horrible background, one of those where she’s tolerated -just- by her mother’s family, and really treated as if she should be grateful for every scrap of attention. They’ve always let her know she’s not quite good enough, illegitimate, doesn’t know her father and a blot on the family name. She’s grown up very self reliant, made her own way in life and set up her concierge company, building on what she knows, how to sooth and cater for every whim of the rich and pretentious that live/holiday in the Hamptons. She’s made some good friends there too, not all the rich are shallow and spoiled, and she values those who see her for what she is, and not just as the outcast Hale. Max, what a man. Loved him, and the tension between them, the sizzle just burned off the page from their first meeting. Dakota doesn’t get involved with clients though and tells him that. I loved the way he still carefully kept pursuing Dakota, knowing she really wanted him as much as he wanted her. Clever to use her love of surfing to spend time with her, and from there they moved into – well, hot and sensual sex but a bit more too. Dakota wants a family of her own eventually, she knows Max isn’t interested in that, but still can’t seem to let go, telling herself its just a casual relationship with an expiry date at some point. Max too finds he’s breaking his usual roles, letting her into his life, when usually the rules are clear, it’s a fling, casual, fine while its on and when times up he’s off. Then there’s a hiccup, and that was a very emotional part, I so felt for Dakota, just trying to be nice. They’re off, and though the parting seems OK they are both sad, regretful. Then something happens that brings them together again, puts them right in the forefront of Society gossip, threatening Dakota’s hard won business and Max’s work position. It doesn't stop there, even more comes out, secrets on both sides that really pull at the heart, and things that could threaten the current fragile relationship between them. Its easy to see how their delicate new connection could easily get derailed. Dakota had some great friends and I loved seeing them. They really valued her, saw her as a person, and got so angry at how Piper and Mimi treated her. There’s that saying about friends being people who’d help you hide a body, and Dakota’s would just say where is it, and come armed with a shovel. ( and probably champagne if it was Piper or Mimi!!) I’m hoping that one of those friends, Lauren, is in for a book of her own, she’s got a very sad past, and deserves a shot at happiness for herself and her two children. It would be great to stay with this group of characters and see more of how their lives develop. I love the not so nice people too in a story, they add that sharp edge a good romance needs for me, the balance to the happy side. Dakota’s mother, Piper was a classic rich b itch, brought up to assume the world revolves around her and her wants. Throw in a bitter aunt who resents the success she’s made of her life, and an uncle who we don’t actually meet but know he regards her as a nonentity and its no wonder she’s learned to rely on herself, work her own way in the world. She could have been a horrible person – and yet she’s wonderful, a great friend, kind to those who need help, hard working and ethical. I was so happy at the ending, loved the drama that came on the way to it. ARC supplied for review purposes by Netgal
Making Waves, the first Beach Lane book by Laura Moore, is a fall/winter book. It would have been weird to read in spring, except I live in the Rockies and spring often means snowy/rainy gloomy weather. The timing worked out rather perfectly in that respect. The season reflects the initial impression of Max Carr, hedge fund billionaire that has just purchased Dakota Hale’s family home and hires her to remodel it. To say Dakota’s relationship with her family is strained is an understatement. Her mother is self-absorbed; her grandparents and aunt downright hostile. Her willingness to remodel the family home certainly doesn’t help matters. This is really Dakota’s book, though a significant portion of her growth comes from her interactions with Max. Max himself is not unchanged by their relationship. They quickly find they are better together than they are apart, though the lesson takes a while to sink in. I really enjoyed this book. At times I felt like I could know some of the secondary characters better, but that didn’t diminish my love for Dakota and Max. This is a great read for a hot cup of tea and a warm fire. I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this novel.
NUMBER OF HEARTS: 3 1/2 Dakota Hale has always known what it was like to be an outsider. From a birth she was an outcast in her family. But that didn’t stop her from becoming an wonderful person that has made her own success. Max Carr is your Wall Street guy who only thinks about the next deal, the next dollar and the next adventure. He is pretty much a self absorbed rich guy. But buying Windhaven is about to change his life in ways he never could imagine. Making Waves was a good read. I have enjoyed Ms. Moore’s books in the past so of course when I saw she was starting a new series I knew I needed to read. I am looking forward to the next installment in this series. I would really like to see Piper and Mimi suffer more in future books. Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley & Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine in exchange for an honest review. This review is my own opinion and not a paid review.
I love novels about women that are able to finally stand up to their imprudent relatives, after years of being walked all over and treated like they do not matter. Making Waves by Laura Moore is all about Dakota Hale, a strong young woman that goes after what she wants with an honest resourcefulness. This sweet and hot love story takes place in one of the wealthiest areas of America, the Hamptons. Dakota owns a successful concierge service. She takes care of many households and most of her very wealthy clients appreciate her honesty, good taste, and quick response time. She has a few very good friends and when she needs some time to unwind, she surfs. Her mother is a rich socialite, that never learned how to mother or nurture. Dakota's newest client is Max Carr, an investment strategist. Max is worth millions, due to his unfailing business acumen. Dakota and Max's sexual chemistry is instantaneous, and due to circumstances beyond their control, their casual affair becomes a full blown relationship. This is a well-written love story with an engaging plot and well-defined characters. I found Dakota and Max to be intelligent and real, and I loved the way Ms. Moore developed them both as individuals and as a couple. Their time together was replete with warmth and lustful attraction. A few of the secondary characters were quite manipulative, which brought an additional intensity to the story-line. Overall, this is an exciting and slightly emotional read that twists and turns in all the right places. Complimentary copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
Adored this one! I love this authors writing style and the way she weaves a wonderful romance that feels real and genuine. No insta-love, low angst. Just a nice easy slow build where you really get to know the characters. Dakota is hard working and determined and while Max seems to get everything easily he's just as determined and what he wants right now is Dakota. Convincing her to give him a chance is something he will most definitely have to work hard at! A great story and one that should be on the must read list. I highly recommend it.
Book Info Paperback, 240 pages Expected publication: April 25th 2017 by Ballantine Books ISBN 0425284824 (ISBN13: 9780425284827) Edition Language English Series Beach Lane #1 Other Editions (1) Source:Netgalley EARC Buy book from Amazon B&N BOOK BLURB A self-made woman with a sweet, successful life discovers that even the best-laid plans are no match for unexpected passion in the beginning of a brand-new series for fans of Julie James and Tracy Brogan. As the responsible daughter of an irresponsible socialite, Dakota Hale has plenty of practice catering to the whims of the rich and spoiled and she's turned that experience into a thriving concierge business serving the needs of the Hamptons' wealthy elite. But living and working among the upper crust has never tempted Dakota to follow in her mother's jet-setting footsteps. Anytime the drama on land gets too outrageous, Dakota finds calm surfing the Atlantic waves. But when sexy mogul Max Carr hires her, it rocks her balance in a big way. Max works hard, but he's never had to put any effort into winning over a woman until now. With her stunning beauty and keen intelligence, Dakota is worth the effort. But it is plain she has no interest in a casual fling, and that's all Max with his grief-stricken heart can offer. But one fraught night changes everything, with consequences neither Dakota nor Max anticipated. Now they must navigate the rough waters of society gossip and devastating secrets that threaten their fragile relationship. If they can trust in the strength of their growing feelings, they ll find that the dreams they’ve been chasing are close enough to embrace . . . together. My Thoughts Dakota Hale has spent her life feeling like a second glass citizen thanks to her Mother Piper and her Aunt Mimi. Conceived out of wedlock Dakota’s grandparents even ostracized she and Piper and cast the two out of the Hale family to all intents and purposes. Thanks to that past Dakota finds trust hard to come by, especially when it comes to trusting men. Now closing in on 30 Dakota has parlayed her doing odd jobs into a full blown-full service concierge business. Proving, at least to herself, that despite her less than stellar upbringing hard work and being responsible/dependable does carry weight in the world of the wealthy and privileged whom she works for. Max Carr is many times over a very wealthy man, however even with all that money a past trauma has left him unable to commit to one woman for any length of time. That stays true until Max meets Dakota, a beautiful sexy Amazon who he instantly lusts for but unexpectedly that lust is only the beginning and soon turns into a deeper feeling he vowed years ago to avoid. Dakota and Max have to overcome their personal hangups along with the jealousy driven efforts of her Mother and Aunt to not only keep them from cementing a solid relationship but also trying to erode the continuing success of Dakota’s business. Talk about a dysfunctional family, the Hales should have Dakota’s mother and aunts picture by the words in dictionaries they are so outrageously painted by the authors descriptions of the two women’s actions. One wild ride I would have hated to miss out on reading! [EArc from Netgalley in exchange for honest review]
Well written. Have read most of her books and they are always well done.