If you’ve read the earlier books in Carly Phillips’ Billionaire Bad Boys Series, you’ll love Going in Deep, the last book in the series. Julian and Kendall are great characters, each dealing day-to-day with things that anyone of us can relate to. I liked it enough, but even though it’s labeled as a standalone, I felt that I was an outsider looking in as I read.
Going in Deep is a second chance romance with an ugly history between the characters. Just a few years ago, Julian used Kendall to get to her twin sister’s boyfriend (now husband) and Kendall was left brokenhearted. Like bad things sometimes do, Julian’s failed plan ends up having positive repercussions for both him and Kendall. It’s the catalyst for Kendall to finally help herself after years of letting her twin guide her through the highs and lows of being bipolar. For Julian, it’s his realization that he’s not living a life he can be proud of, sending him to AA to finally deal with his drug addiction.
Without giving away too many details, it doesn’t take long for Julian to regain Kendall’s trust and affections after he convinces her how sincerely sorry he is. I loved how open Kendall was to letting Julian back into her heart. She’s compassionate and loving towards him when faced with his remorse and her feelings grow quickly for the man he is now. Julian is the first person in Kendall’s life to treat her as an equal and without kid gloves. Though she’s been living alone and working since her sister moved out, Julian helps her take the last steps to realizing that she doesn’t need to be defined as bipolar. It was beautiful watching these two make each other better people.
The true conflict of the book comes from Lexie and Kade, Kendall’s sister and brother-in-law. That they dislike Julian is an understatement, both for what he did to Kade and for how he left Kendall broken. Their rejection of Julian pushes Kendall and Julian to a breaking point that could’ve had horrible consequences for both. Instead, author Phillips handles both addiction and mental illness with care. I applaud how the reader can easily relate to both characters as they recognize triggers and deal with them accordingly.
I rated this 3.5 stars because, for me, the book felt at times like a giant epilogue for the rest of the series, a cleaning up of loose ends. As Kendall and Julian reconnected, their shared history left me feeling like I’d missed part of the story, which I had. A new reader is told how bad Julian was and how out of control Kendall was, but it’s hard to visualize as they’d taken place in another book. It took me until I was almost finished to feel as though I’d finally gotten into the heart of who these characters were.
3.5 Stars for Going in Deep. Heat level: 4
I received a copy of Going in Deep from the author in exchange for honest feedback.
Going in Deep was published by CP Publishing in May of 2017.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Carly Phillips is the N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels, including the Indie published, Dare to Love Series. She is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers. You can find out more about Carly at www.carlyphillips.com.