- File Size: 859 KB
- Print Length: 210 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1545484961
- Publisher: Titan World LLC (January 24, 2017)
- Publication Date: January 24, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01MYZGD89
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #399,581 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$12.99|
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Going Under (Titan World) Kindle Edition
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Max Lawrence is the new psychologist in her department and sparks surprising reactions in her...attraction, interest, anger, and frustration. Their banter is antagonistic, flirty, and full of sexual tension. He knows how to push her buttons to drive her crazy. And she has the ability to do the same to him. But the more glimpses of what she is hiding under her Ice Princess exterior continues to draw him in. He tries to peel back her layers to uncover the the funny, passionate, warm woman he can tell she is hiding.
But there are reasons why she has been guarded and wary. Her past marked her, and now seems to be affecting her present. Max has been trying to chip away at her walls and now she has no choice but to lay her secrets bare and hope that he will help keep her safe.
I was sucked into this funny, suspenseful, and romantic read. It builds at a believable pace and is full of tension. The characters were well developed and their dynamics evolved throughout. The external factors added drama, even more tension, and suspense. It was told in multiple points of view letting us get the full story from various people.
I got a bit giddy when some Titan friends made appearances and she even gave us a little peek into the future. This novella fit right into the Titan World, but can be read as a stand-alone. I am impressed that this is Anna Bishop Barker's debut. It felt like a fully developed story and not a short novella. It pulled me in and kept me flipping pages. I did not want to put it down. I loved her subtle use of water terminology throughout tying in a theme and the title beautifully. The story was layered with a gradual build up of finding out the secrets, the growing connection and feelings of the characters, the unraveling of the plot, and tying it in with the Titan world.
But I mostly adored the characters. Max was the perfect mix of deliciously hot alpha male with charisma, humor, and heart. He could be both a dirty talker and a such sweet talker. He was cocky, confidant, and persistent, but not an a******. He was protective, bossy, and determined to take care of his own. He just had that "it"factor and made me smile, laugh, shiver, and swoon. I absolutely fell for him.
And Rebecca had dealt with some harsh events and realities that led to a life without a lot of affection and support. She was a survivor,..strong, resilient, intelligent, independent, and caring. She put on a cold facade, but was really just guarding her vulnerable heart. She didn't want her past to take control of her so tried to ignore it, until she couldn't. She just needed to feel safe to share. But she was not a victim who wanted to be taken care of. She was strong-willed, smart, sarcastic, and independent-minded. And together they were intense, passionate, and challenged each other making them a perfect match. I loved their dynamics, chemistry, and banter. The pop culture references were fun.
Their story was intriguing, enthralling, and full of tension, suspense, and danger. There were some difficult and emotional situations, but there were also humorous, passionate, and swoon worthy moments. I was completely invested in them and the outcome. I really enjoyed this one, and am looking forward to more from this author.
Being an avid reader, especially in the Romantic Suspense/Military genre, I've seen a lot of very good and a few not-so-good, and a lot of different writing styles. "Going Under" is solidly in the Very Good category, and that's so exciting, because this is only her first novel! When you read a lot, you start to see a writer's style grow, their "voice" mature and evolve over time, so I can only imagine where she'll go from here.
Without spoiling anything, here's a few reasons why this book is so good:
- The theme of water is woven throughout the entire book. It's subtle at first but becomes more prominent, and it perfectly fits the story and the characters. Rebecca is at home in the water; there's water in the metaphors she uses, and it ties her to her past. Watery themes are elegantly used - you're not hit over the head with it, but it's powerful.
- Max is adorable! He's a former Army Ranger (which I have a weakness for, I'll admit), challenges authority, marches to his own drum and doesn't particularly care if he's not living his life the way others feel he should. He's intelligent, but human enough that he doesn't immediately figure Rebecca out the instant they meet. He's quirky and a little geeky, and 100% comfortable in his own skin. (You can't get much sexier than that!) Max is the perfect counterpoint to Rebecca’s need to be regimented, organized, and project the image she wants the world to see. All her life, she strives to meet expectations so high, it gives me vertigo.
- The relationship between Max and Rebecca is believable. There's no "insta-love" here. In fact, they can hardly stand each other at first! Their professional and personal relationship builds in a natural fashion over the course of months. I never had to suspend disbelief about how things progressed between them.
- Novellas usually feel short, as if scenes were skipped or left out, but "Going Under" is so well done, it felt like a much longer book. Which is not to say that it drags, because it certainly doesn't! Rather, the plot is fully developed and the writing is crafted in such a way that every scene, every piece of dialog, is meaningful and necessary. It's not sparse, so much as sleek. Most novellas leave me feeling unsatisfied, like the writer should have more fully-formed their idea and fleshed it out better, but "Going Under" isn't like that. It feels complete, because it is. This is what a well-written novella should feel like.
So all those things make a really well-written book, but there’s so much more to love. Max and Rebecca are FUNNY. There are so many little quips between them, little references to things that my inner Nerd went crazy for! There are even subtle little references that only a Titan fan will understand; little in-jokes that fit seamlessly into the story, but gave me fits of delighted giggles. I also loved how well “Going Under” fits into the world of Titan. I wasn’t sure how this story would tie in, but it totally makes sense. Anna writes the Titan characters we know and love so well, and even gave me a little extra insight into one of them (no spoilers, remember?).
“Going Under” was just a joy to read. If you’ve read and loved any of the Titan books by Cristin Harber, I guarantee you will LOVE this book. As always, be prepared for steamy scenes and some violence – but do keep tissues handy. There’s a lot of humor, but trust me when I say there’s a scene that will break your heart. That one moment in the book is a total game-changer (as it was meant to be), and has stayed with me. It’s the reason why it took me a few days to get around to writing this review.
If you haven’t read any of the Titan novels, I think “Going Under” would be a very good appetizer: it’s got love, sex, laughs, tears, danger, and a HEA. What more could you possibly want?