Deeper - Blue Ashcroft Title: Deeper Series: N/A Author: Blue Ashcroft Genre: New Adult, Romance Blurb: Rain Wilson isn’t ever going to love again.
It’s a promise she made the day her boyfriend died in a water park accident, one she still blames herself for. Now she’s a senior lifeguard in a new town with a new pool and she’s just going to keep her head down and everyone safe. Until a mysterious guy follows her into the waves at the pre-season bonfire and kisses her senseless. It’s just one mistake, and Rain is determined to put it behind her, until the dark haired, blue eyed hottie turns out to be her new co-supervisor Knight Mcallister. Knight is hot, tatted, and carrying baggage of his own. He’s not happy about having Rain for a co-supervisor, and he’s even less happy about his attraction to her. But between lifeguard drama, hot underwater kisses, and a growing attraction between them that can’t be stopped, Knight and Rain are being pulled deeper into their pasts, and realizing that sometimes too much broken can make a relationship impossible.
Then again sometimes it’s the broken parts of us that fit together best.
Thoughts: This book was a bit of an odd read for me. It was sort of like a puzzle whose pieces didn't all fit together properly. First off, I'll start by talking about the genre. Deeper is listed as a 'New Adult' romance - which basically means it fits somewhere in between Young Adult (YA) and Adult. To say it fits 'somewhere' in there is about right....the majority of the book screams YA. The characters and the overall vibe from the story just has a level of immaturity to it. Even though both main characters Rain and Knight are late teens/early twenties, they really came across as much, much younger - at least in their mentality. Of course, there were certain aspects of it that kicked it more into the adult aspect - for example a few scenes with sexual intimacy, hints of sexual assault, rape, etc. Nothing too graphic, but still....a bit much for the standard YA novel. The bottom line is that it just didn't mesh well with the overall immaturity of the rest of it.
There was also a lot of survivor's guilt splashed throughout the pages. While I liked the idea of it and thought it could have really added something to the storyline overall, the way it was addressed just left me having trouble connecting with the story - and with the characters. In Rain's case, we are expected to feel this deep level of grief for Rain and the loss of her 'boyfriend' - but calling him that is a bit of a stretch. They simply knew each other and worked together - they were friendly, but Rain had only just accepted a initial date with him right before the accident. And she had to talk herself into that! But she's willing to never have sex for the rest of her life - to never fall in love - because she blames herself for her part in his death. Yet, Knight - who knew his girlfriend since they were toddlers - had nowhere near the difficulty she had with getting on with his life. It just didn't make any sense and was hard for me to believe, not to mention unrealistic.
On the plus side, I liked hearing things from lifeguard point of view. I was not surprised to learn that the author herself loves the water, and did, in fact, work as a lifeguard previously. Those parts were by far the most realistic aspects of the novel. It was enjoyable to get some inside perspective on lifeguarding, the hazards, the training, and the lack of recognition they get for their life saving capabilities. I believe the book would have been better served either going strictly YA or strictly adult. I would have enjoyed it better either leaving the immaturity level young and skipping out on all the borderline adult stuff - or keep that stuff and age up the characters a few years and give them a bit more maturity. Regardless, I like the authors style of writing and the lifeguard twist - it just needed a lot of work when it came to exactly which route it was going to go.
Rate: D