Active duty is no time for romance, but when two naval officers find themselves in truly close quarters on the USS California, the temptation to fraternize is hard to resist. Can two ambitious sailors follow orders long enough to see if love is on the horizon when they’re finally above water?
Lieutenant Nic Riley is the only girl in a long-time Navy family, and she’s determined to prove she’s just as seaworthy as her brothers. When she aces training for submarine duty, it calls for a celebration—and one incredibly hot guy is happy to party with her all night long. But when Nic boards the sub and finds herself face to face with her hunky fling, the idea of spending six months underwater takes on a whole new meaning . . .
Having a girl in every port was Lieutenant Kyle Hutchinson’s style—until the explosive night he spent with Nic. Dating onboard is firmly off limits, but Kyle can’t get her off his mind much less out of his vicinity—until a junior seaman’s devastating stunt puts Nic’s career in danger. Kyle won’t let her take the heat alone, even when it means risking his own reputation, but fighting for a future together will be a whole new battle . .
Love Runs Deep has an intriguing submarine military setting that pulled me in, to request the book from NetGalley. And the story starts with a fun, light, carefree way with a hot as can be one night stand between two strangers. And continues so for about a fifth of the book, until it takes a drastically different and unexpected turn, almost like the characters took over and decided to tell a different kind of tale than was planned.
And that tale is all about women in a military, the problems that might occur, the sexual harassment they face, the consequences of it to everyone involved. Was it interesting? Yes, it was. I just think it overshadowed everything else in the story: the romance, the military family bonding, the support of your peers, the family drama, support, and dynamics, power struggles etc. Mostly I missed the developing of the romance, as now Nic and Kyle have a connection and physical attraction, but it's more like they are friends with a past of something more, the romantic relationship has no time or opportunity to develop. I liked both of the main characters, Nic and Kyle. They are charismatic, loyal, family oriented, sympathetic people. I liked them together, and I wish there would have been more of that in the story.
The 'danger' of reading an eARC is you never know how final of a product you have in your hands. This one obviously was a rather raw one, it still needed heavy editing, had timeline issues, and way too much of details of the submarine and navy life that didn't need to be there. But I am certain and hopeful all these issues are polished to the final copy.
What I expected to be a fun and light military romance story turned out to be a sort of a statement of women in the military in general and in submarines specifically. The technical steps of handling sexual harassment cases in navy came familiar, and the psychological effect of the violation to the victim and to the whole crew was well detailed. An interesting and curious start for a new series, a good story that left me wishing for more. The secondary characters are multiple to choose from to see what direction this series will go for.
~ Three Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
MY GRADING SCALE:
5 Spoons - Amazing, memorable story that I loved and want to read again. The best of the best and not given lightly
4 Spoons - Fantastic, entertaining story that I enjoyed and connected with and will gladly recommend to readers
3 Spoons - A good story, not much that stood out but I was engaged enough to spend the time to read it through
2 Spoons - A story with some issues, that were a problem to me
1 Spoon - Not for me