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In Too Deep: A Small Town Romance (Stewart Island Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
What if the man you loved played a part in your father's death?
As an elite police diver tormented by her father's fatal drowning accident, Piper Harland is forced back to the one place she'd sworn never to return. Her tiny hometown on New Zealand’s isolated Stewart Island hasn’t much changed in the nine years she’s been gone. But she soon comes face to face with everything she ran from—grief, regret, and the scalding pain of a love lost.
The one place Ryan "West" Westlake belongs is a hundred feet below Stewart Island’s dangerous waters with one breath of air and only a line to guide him to the surface. Down deep he can forget his mentor’s death. Down deep he can forget the one woman who seared his heart when she left. Only now she’s back, and as it turns out, he hasn’t forgotten a thing.
Desire and tempers flare when West and Piper cross paths again. Can they face their past and be together? Two hearts. A second chance. Everything on the line...
IN TOO DEEP is the first story in Tracey Alvarez's best-selling Stewart Island books set against the stunning backdrop of Aotearoa, New Zealand. If you like heartwarming, sexy and sweet small town romances with a touch of comedy, you'll love sharing the journey with these authentic men and women struggling to find their special someone.
Download your copy of In Too Deep and dive into these sensual romance novels!
Intended for mature 18+ aged readers who enjoy their feel good romance on the steamier side.
Praise for the Stewart Island series!
"It's official…I'm hooked on this series! I want to jump on a plane and fly to this island, because apparently they grow them big and HOT in New Zealand…men that is!!!" ~ Swept Away By Romance
"Perfection comes in many shapes and forms, and Ms Alvarez delivers in her contemporary voice and quirky character traits that make a distinctive difference between average and stellar storytelling." ~ InD'Tale Magazine
"Just as the must-read series of Donna Kauffman (The Bachelors of Blueberry Cove), Jill Shalvis (Lucky Harbor), Terri Osburn (Anchor Island), Marie Force (The McCarthys of Gansett Island), Sherryl Woods (Chesapeake Shores) have entranced me with their seaside settings and caring communities - so has Tracey Alvarez - and I'm adding her series to my must-read shelf too."~ Fab Fantasy Fiction
Don't miss any of the Stewart Island books!
Book 1: In Too Deep. Featuring Piper and West.
Book 2: Melting Into You. Featuring Kezia and Ben.
Book 3: Ready To Burn. Featuring Shaye and Del.
Book 4: Christmas With You. Featuring Carly and Kip.
Book 5: My Forever Valentine. Due South Short Stories.
Book 6: Playing For Fun. Featuring Holly and Ford.
Book 7: Drawing Me In. Featuring Bree and Harley.
Book 7.5: Kissing The Bride. A Due South Short Story.
Book 8: Saying I Do. Featuring MacKenna and Joe.
Book 9: Home For Christmas. Stewart Island novella.
Book 10: Bending The Rules. Featuring Tilly and Noah.
"Out of the gate with her début at full throttle, Ms. Alvarez receives a blue ribbon!" - InD'Tale Magazine
"A gem of a small town romance set in gorgeous New Zealand. Heartfelt and romantic, I was rooting for Piper and Ryan all the way!" ~ USA Today Bestselling Author, Kylie Gilmore
From the Inside Flap
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.
- ASIN : B00HEZR8V8
- Publisher : Icon Publishing Limited (December 19, 2013)
- Publication date : December 19, 2013
- Language : English
- File size : 2185 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 332 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,811 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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The best thing about this book is the writing quality, complete with believable dialogue, even if the word choice is more crass than I usually enjoy reading.
The next best thing is the characters, although I have a bone to pick with the author for the ridiculous way that West behaves for the first half? of the book. He knew why Piper left, and he knew it was his fault, and he still acted like a complete jerk. Even in his thoughts, his attitude was that Piper was someone who left him--just ran away--when what he said to her years before should have gotten him a knee to the groin. It seemed to me that the author was just messing with the readers to make a longer, more tension-filled story. Other than West's attitude, the characters' back stories, secrets, and baggage all worked together to explain the relationships, but I had a hard time believing that Piper stayed away from home for eight or nine years, leaving right after high school. She had a close family before, so that seemed a stretch, even with all the reasons to leave.
An enjoyable story, but not one I'd probably read again.
Ms. Alvarez wrote a deeply complex story of family dynamics. It was full of angst, humor, anger, hurt, tenderness, and all the family dysfunction one could want to read about in one story.
Piper was carrying so much guilt, bearing it alone, having cut herself off from her family in order to survive.
West, appearing more stable and sure, also was struggling to survive. His mother abandoned him and took his younger brother with her when she left. We don't even get an explanation as to why, but we do get some insight into her self-recriminations about it. He's bearing the guilt of believing he was at fault for her choice, thinking himself unlovable.
The reason I didn't give the story a higher rating was that, at times, I was tired of the same old "Whoa is me," internal thoughts. I felt hammered by them repeatedly throughout the book. I'm not sure if it was because this author didn't trust we would remember why they were struggling or if she wanted to lengthen the story. Either way, it was tiresome and I found myself skipping passages, paragraphs, and pages to get past it.
Otherwise, I really enjoyed the book. I liked seeing the animosity the characters had change over the course of the story, especially discovering the heaviest burden Piper had carried for the past nine years. I can't imagine anyone having to bear the responsibility she had to. Untenable situation.
I also really liked the level of sensuality in this book; it felt real and had a good emotional pull. I will read more from this talented author.
Overall, I enjoyed this contemporary romance & recommend it to others.
Ryan (West) Westlake is one of the local bad boys. He's got commitments issues stemming from his mother's abandonment. Nine years ago he pushed Piper away because he didn't want to get in the way of her dreams. It's a decision he's come to resent and regret.
Now due to Ben's (Piper's brother and West's best mate) mishap, Piper has come home. The tension is thick. If Piper and West aren't at each others throats, they're fighting their mutual attraction. Will they wise up and grab a hold of what's in front of them or let their insecurities ruin their second chance at happiness?
In Too Deep is the first book in the Due South Series by Tracey Alvarez. It is the second series I've read by this author and I am hooked. Her characters are realistic and are fast becoming old friends. The dynamics and dialogue between the characters really show their complexity and love for each other. I'm delighted that the next book is about Kezia and Ben.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated for my review, and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own.
Top reviews from other countries
Piper was with her father when he died, nine years ago. She was his diving buddy. But Ryan 'West' Westlake, broke her heart the night before and her concentration wasn't where it should have been, so she didn't see him struggling until it was too late.
Unfortunately, at 15 years old, she couldn't lift the man, over twice her weight, into the boat, so she had to let him go.
They never had a body to bury, so straight after her father's memorial service, Piper left Oman, New Zealand, for Wellington, to become a dive cop.
Nine years and one phone call later, Piper finds herself on the ferry that will take her back to Stewart Island. Her brother is in big trouble and could lose his business, taking people out on his boat to cage dive with the sharks. Piper is drafted in to help him.
But when she comes face to face with West, she realises her biggest fear isn't what's below the surface...
Piper an 18 year old girl who was upset about being dumped by her big brothers best friend goes free diving with her dad who she hadn't realised had been drinking the night b4, when something goes wrong and her dad dies in the sea she has to decide weather to pull him from the sea so she can bring him home to there family or stay in the water with the great white sharks. Living with the guilt for 9 years she returns to the island to help save her brothers home and the family business this would be easy if she hadn't turnt her back on her family in guilt and being blamed by her brother for her dads death, to become a police officer and diver officer, when she returns to the island she not only has her brother to deal with but west her ex boyfriend who she has to work with to help save her brother, lots of history and tension make for a great book, after ups and downs they finally fall in love once again, will it be a happy ending, I won't spoil it for you, but if you love a sweet romance then this is the book for you.
The story takes place (as do all the Due South Series stories) on Stewart Island, off the South Island of New Zealand. It revolves around the characters and goings on in the town community of Oban, the main town on Stewart Island.
Characters: Piper Harland and Ryan (West) Westlake.
Piper is a member of New Zealand's elite Police National Dive Squad and West is the owner of Oban's bar/restaurant/hotel called Due South
Piper has not been home to Stewart Island for nine years. She receives a plea from her sister, Shaye, to return home to help save their brother, Ben, from losing their family scuba diving business, so she heads home on leave for six weeks. Ben's broken his ankle and coupled with a financially risky venture recently added to the scuba dive tour business, they need to keep it afloat to pay the bills. But Piper needs the help of the man who broke her heart nine years before. Ryan (West) Westlake has a commercial skipper's license to operate Ben's boat and Piper can't help Ben without him.
West is loving every minute of Piper's tight lipped reluctant acceptance of his help. He sees what's going on with Piper more than everyone else in the tight knit community of Oban. West and Piper have history. Messy, heart wrenching history. History dating from the time Piper "ran away" to be a cop in Wellington nine years before, right after her Dad drowned.
Piper just wants to get through the next six weeks, her heart unscathed, and get back to her normal life in Wellington. But life is never so straightforward as that, is it...
The background to Piper and West's story is gradually revealed and you can see why each character behaves the way they do. I loved it. I couldn't wait for these two to sort out their issues, they gravitated towards each other naturally, they couldn't resist the attraction. Marvellous story telling with well described, rounded characters.
In Too Deep is the story of a second chance romance between Piper and West. Piper is in the process of trying to make an important decision over where her future is heading, career wise after her heartbreaking history starts to have an impact on her present. Finally heading home, we start to understand Piper and Tracey Alvarez’s development of Piper tugs at your heart strings, at times, with how torn she is, especially when throwing her history with West into the equation.
Although the characters have history, I liked how the author was able to carry their tension through the story, while also capturing their chemistry, and actually dealing with their issues, rather than just sweeping them aside and moving the characters forward to a happy place. The dual points of views also strengthen this story further; it was great to see both Piper and West’s troubles from both their points of views.
The descriptions of the locations were very vivid and enhanced this story further. I felt In Too Deep was well paced, with a unique storyline on what could be seen as a ‘typical second chance romance’ story; I definitely couldn’t predict where the story would end up., The HEA gave Piper and West’s story a well rounded finish with no cliffhanger. This story can be read as a standalone romance story or part of the series.
I loved the writing, strong characterization and worldbuilding. Initially, I wasn't sure if I would enjoy a small, rural community setting but the author wrote it so well that you couldn't help falling in love with the place.
Piper and Ryan (West) have spent years dodging each other and as the story develops we being to understand why. The author skillfully builds longing and angst and I really felt the emotions of both characters. I felt it dragged a little in the middle and I thought I'd die if they didn't get their act together.
Both characters develop and grow throughout the story and eventually learn to let each other in. It was really sweet and romantic (and there's plenty of steamy action too!)
The ending was a bit too cheesy for me (though I'm not usually opposed to a bit of cheese)and the only other thing I didn't like was the slight change in perspective and tense on occasion which was jarring. Minor complaints though. For a debut novel, I think it's very accomplished, and I look forward to reading more from the author.
Thanks to Tracey Alvarez for running a promo on this book which enabled me to pick up a copy for free. I've already downloaded the second installment and I look forward to getting stuck in.