Book Title: In Too Deep: Due South Book 1
Author: Tracey Alvarez
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: Jan 20, 2014
Hosted by: Book Enthusiast Promotions
She vowed never to return.
To save her brother from financial ruin, Piper Harland must do the one thing she swore she'd never do—return to the tiny island hometown where Ryan ""West"" Westlake crushed her heart. Piper is tough, resilient and a little wild—much like the remote and beautiful Stewart Island where she grew up. As a cop who's part of the elite New Zealand Police National Dive Squad, bringing the dead back to their families still doesn't stop the guilt she feels over her father's drowning death. Now nine years later she's obligated to return to a hostile community as the outsider, and forced to work with the man who was once her best friend and first lover.
She's a risk he can't take.
West is an Island man, through and through. As owner of the local pub, he lives and breathes the local community, and sure as hell can't imagine living anywhere else. But most of all he refuses to ever fall for a woman like his flighty mother. He lost Piper once to give her the chance to fulfil her dreams of becoming a cop. But now she's back for an unexpected six week visit to help her brother—his best mate. Maybe West wants her a little bit, maybe he can't resist the temptation to tease and touch her, but can he fall in love with such a flight risk?
Saying goodbye for the second time might just destroy them both.
I live in the Coolest Little Capital in the World (a.k.a Wellington, New Zealand) where I've yet to be buried under my to-be-read book pile by our infamous wind—my Kindle's a lifesaver! Married to a wonderfully supportive IT guy (who doesn't mind cooking dinner while his wife mutters to herself and hammers away at the keyboard), we have two teens who would love to be surgically linked to their electronic devices.
As a teenager I devoured novel after novel in my maths class, which explains why I still don’t understand using the alphabet in equations. I discovered a stack of tattered paperbacks hidden in my mother’s wardrobe featuring scantily clad women wrapped around bare-chested hunks. Who needs a pimply-faced teenage boyfriend when you can have book boyfriends, right? So as a child I got my first taste of Happily Ever After in fairy-tales, but after reading romance—I was hooked.
Fuelled by copious amounts of coffee, I'm now the author of contemporary romantic fiction set predominantly in New Zealand. Small-towns, close communities, and families are a big part of the heart-warming stories I love to write. Oh, and hot, down-to-earth heroes—real Kiwi men, in other words.
When I'm not writing, thinking about writing, or procrastinating about writing, I can be found reading sexy books of all romance genres and nibbling on smuggled chocolate bars. What? You were expecting me to say free-dive training, hiking the world-famous Rakiura track on Stewart Island, and restoring classic cars? Nope, sorry. I'll leave such excitement to my characters as they explore their worlds and find the love of their lives.
Red alert. Red alert. Her next inhale stopped halfway down her lungs and her nipples budded into two hard points of Ohmigod-yes-please. She raised the tip of her chef’s knife and pointed it at his nose. “Keep your hands to yourself, Westlake.”
His gaze flared hot. “What if I don’t want to?” He took two slow steps sideways, two steps closer to her. “What if I’m tired of playing your game of ‘there’s nothing going on here.’”
The knife in her hand swiveled to follow his cat-like movements. “I don’t play games. And FYI there is nothing going on here. Nothing I’m interested in pursuing, anyway.”
Another step and he rounded the corner, crowding her backward until her butt hit the counter. He rescued the knife from her shaking fingers, laid it on the chopping board, and left his hand resting there, effectively trapping her.
“Liar, liar, pants on fire,” he murmured.
She shoved a hand against West’s chest to stop him coming closer, but all that achieved was runaway tingles up her arm from the hard, hot muscles beneath his shirt. He leaned into her fingers and the rapid bump of his heartbeat throbbed against her palm. Close enough to see her own reflection in West’s eyes, she froze when his pupils shrunk to tiny dots.
His nose twitched. “Something’s burning.”
Yeah, something was burning, all right. One more touch, one more second of him looking like he planned to do her on the kitchen counter and she would either catch fire or do something absurd like kiss him again.
Wow. Wow. Wow.
This should be enough to let you know what I thought of this book, but I guess it's not enough of a review, is it? :) I've been recently having trouble with books with an intriguing blurb that left me with a sour taste in my mouth once I finished them, so when I started reading In Too Deep I had no expectations - which I've decided is the best way to start a book, especially by an author I don't know.
I didn't need to get too deep into the book (forgive the pun!) to get hooked. A couple of Kindle pages and I knew I was going to like the story. When Ryan "West" Westlake entered the story, well, I knew I was going to love the book. :)
I was glad to find that West wasn't the only thing that kept me glued to my Kindle, though. With other books I found that a great (and handsome) hero was sometimes enough to keep me reading even if the story lacked a little depth, but this was definitely not the case. Yes, West is hot, there's no denying it - but Piper is a great heroine too, and the plot has just enough tension and chemistry to keep you reading.
I loved the way Piper's not the usual damsel in distress waiting for Prince Charming to rescue her. She's a badass cop with a tough shell, but at the same time she's also a broken soul who's trying to protect herself from more pain. I enjoyed reading how things changed for her as days went by and the departure date grew closer. I could feel how torn she was between wanting to belong and needing to leave it all behind. At times is broke my heart and made me want to hug her.
Ryan, or West as we get to know him throughout the book, is just... WOW. He's self-confident, a little cocky, funny and a sweetheart all in one. And he plays the piano - AW!!!! :) I could spend hours rambling about him but it wouldn't give you the idea. You'll have to read the book to understand what I'm talking about.
I loved the interaction between Piper and West, their banter and the chemistry. It gets stronger as the story progresses and this is just another thing that will keep you glued to the pages.
There are some great side characters, and I'm hoping ro read more about them in the next books in the series.
The book is long, definitely not something you can read in one sitting (unless you manage not to eat or sleep until you've finished it), but it's also one of those books you don't want to put down and at the same time you wish would never end. That's the effect it had on me. I loved every single scene and never felt as if something was unnecessary or just used to make the book longer (which is something I find quite annoying in a book). Every scene was important for the whole story and brought a little more details into it, creating a deeper connection with the characters.
Third person POV does not always help pull the reader in, unless it's used flawlessly. This is one of the very few cases when third person is way better than first. You always know who's thinking what, and you can feel their emotions even though it's not a first person POV. I loved the author's writing style, the dialogues and the descriptions. I've never been to New Zealand, but while I was reading I could see the places she described, the island where the story is set, the ocean, the beaches and all the settings. It actually made me want to pack up my stuff and move there. Kudos to Tracey for her writing.
I know this is the first book in a series and I wonder if the next books will still include West and Piper, or they will be about other characters. Either way, I know I'll definitely look out for more books by Tracey Alvarez.