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  • 2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

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    Unique storytelling!

    Charlotte Stein and Cara McKenna are go-to authors for me when I’m looking for an edgy, sexy romance and this first collaboration shows their trademark styles combined in one intriguing package. Way Down Deep is an epistolary romance, told entirely in the form of text messages between the hero and the heroine. It’s common to have text messages or email make up part of a novel, but to have the whole story told this way is pretty unique. The result is a super sexy and enthralling romance. The story begins with a text message to an unknown number, from a depressed writer who never expects the message to be returned. But to the writer’s surprise, someone does reply, a stranger, who tries to send some encouraging words to the initiator of the conversation. It’s gradually revealed which writer is male and which is female, and the slow unveiling of their lives takes place. Malcolm is a single dad, adjusting to being the sole parent of his toddler-aged son, and Maya is a homebound young woman. Can two strangers find companionship and even love from an online relationship? I loved how this story unfolds, with intimate details given out over time. And then, because they are strangers and sharing things with each other, things take a more dramatic and sexy turn. Soon they’ve got their day and night messages arranged so that at night they can share some of their deep sexual fantasies with each other, while during the day they relay more of the day to day details of their lives. They both have some trauma in their pasts that has affected them deeply and makes an online friendship one that is safe as it comes without the risk of rejection. But they also develop feelings for each other and come to a point where writing to each other isn’t enough anymore. I don’t want to give away any spoilers as it’s the kind of story you’ll want to experience for yourself. The two writers are distinguished by the use of different font styles which made for a much easier read than I’d anticipated so the story flows smoothly and once started, is hard to put down. The ending suits the story and will leave you satisfied with the romance and the connection between the characters. I would definitely be interested in reading a collaboration by this author duo again!
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    Way Down Deep by Charlotte Stein and Cara McKenna

    I think WAY DOWN DEEP by Charlotte Stein and Cara McKenna is one of the most intimate books I've ever read. The style in which it's written -- the texting, doesn't make it awkward at all. It makes it personal. I almost felt like a voyeur at times. And these two strangers, each so mired down in their own pain and unimaginable struggles connect with each other so completely. It's just beautiful. So pure. They laugh, and cry, and just put it all out there. They share their fears, their failures, their dreams, their passions, their victories with bone deep honesty. I laughed. I cried. And I was jealous that I am not connected with someone as purely as they were to one another merely through texting. And the ending? Perfect. This is my first time reading a book from either of these authors. I'm impressed. 4.5 stars ~Complimentary copy downloaded from NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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