There was (is?) a lot of controversy in the KA community about this book, the first in Kristen Ashley’s new series, The Honey Series. I considered not buying it, not because I shy away from BDSM, but because readers were saying it was so NOT KA. I do know that I like her contemporary romances in an obsessive way. The fantasy stuff? So far, I could take it or leave it. The one paranormal series I read was really good. So, I dove in.
Honestly, there wasn’t anything to worry about in regards to it “not being KA-like”. Her style was front and center. I had no doubt that what I was reading was by Kristen Ashley. The next issue was the fact that this was brand new territory for her: BDSM and an alpha sub. KA is known for her extreme alphas and I love them. I had no idea what to expect from an alpha sub (never read about one) let alone one of KA’s uber alphas. Again, she made it work. I was pleasantly surprised.
Right off the bat I loved the characters. Amelie and Olivier are fantastic characters. The whole book is told from the third person POV, which is a bit of a change for KA, but she flips back and forth between both leads and I LOVED this. We really get to know Olivier in ways we haven’t with previous heroes. He was the perfect alpha sub to start this series because he has all the doubts that readers have. He’s plagued by his nature which is so contradictory to who he is as a man. Readers go hand in hand with him as he explores this and it’s fantastic! Amelie is a beautiful character, and the perfect match for Olivier. I loved them together, both in and out of the bedroom.
What kept this from being a 5 star is in the details. First, KA researched the hell out of this book. I came away with a clear visual of how the club scene works as she portrayed it. She never sugar coats anything. And, the details are vivid. This is erotica, plain and simple. Just erotica with a bit more of a story than usual. So, those details worked. What didn’t work and really disrupted the pace was the movement and positions that Amelie put Olivier in. As I’m unfamiliar with this it was extremely difficult to follow at times. I was able to just gloss over (because at the end of the day I’m reading for the story, not the sex). Other readers, I know, struggled.
But, while I enjoyed this, I’m not sure I’ll read the rest of the series. I keep thinking that one alpha sub is enough to read about. I don’t know if I want to have this experience again, though I admit Branch and Evangeline did piqué my interest. So… we’ll see.
4 Stars for The Deep End. Heat level: Off the charts.
The Deep End was published in March 2017 by St. Martin’s Griffin. Book two in the series, The Farthest Edge, releases on June 6, 2017.