Title: Love Runs Deep
Author: Gail Chianese
Series: Changing Tides #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Available: 21st Feb
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 . . .
Source: ARC from Lyrical Shine (Kensington) via NetGalley
I was mildly intrigued by the idea of a forbidden navy romance, but this book veered off in a few unexpected directions. A six month tour on a sub might have been interesting, if a little repetitive with the complications of conducting a relationship in so small a space with such a lack of privacy. But that’s not what we get from this book. What happened instead definitely made for compelling reading and certainly tested the strength of all characters involved, even if it did rather overshadow the romance at times.
I liked Nic. She’s strong and competent and focused on her goal, without being arrogant or pretentious. The way she handles being the first woman on the sub is great, and her strength throughout everything that follows is amazing. I wouldn’t have faulted her for running and hiding more than she does, but the way she fights through showed her real strength. Shame she wasn’t always so strong when it came to Kyle, but I guess you can’t have everything.
I loved Kyle. He’s hard working, smart and cares for those who matter to him. He doesn’t always handle everything as well as he might, but his unwavering support for those he loves is wonderful. A bit more communication between him and Nic at times might have been nice, but some alpha male foolishness could be expected.
Actually, when it came to the relationship between Nic and Kyle I wasn’t convinced by the chemistry in their first, second or even third meeting. It comes out of nowhere and I didn’t really feel any connection between them leading up to their one night stand. As the book progressed and they formed more of a friendship, their connection became much stronger and I loved the way Kyle supports Nic without ever needing to be asked. He does seem to be the one who makes all the sacrifices, though, and it might have been nice if things had been a little more balanced between them.
However, with everything else going on, it’s easy to see why the romantic balance was sometimes off. I was a little saddened that the story headed in this direction, but considering the world we live in, it didn’t feel at all unlikely. I appreciated how Nic’s reactions were portrayed and how much of battle she faced to come to terms with everything. When compared to her deep emotional struggles, though, the romance felt rather rushed, especially at the end.
On the whole, though, I enjoyed this. It wasn’t the forbidden romance I expected, but it made for compelling reading and had some great side characters – all the brothers especially. I will definitely be keeping my eye out for more from this series.
Love Runs Deep is out February 20th.
Visit Gail Chianese for more details.