Summary: “I never thought it would go this far… that a man with such terrible secrets would steal my heart and make me want him so much, when his life of danger and lies should have made me want nothing more than to turn and run. I understood him, you see. I knew that beneath all of that money and power, and yes… violence, was a man in desperate need of love. So desperate that he took from me something I wasn’t ready to give: my future.”
Brielle Dalton thought the few months in Vegas she needed to finish her dissertation would also be a chance to have some fun before ‘real life’ took over. But she never counted on meeting Cristos Vicario, the irresistible but troubled owner of the Adagio casino. The attraction was instant and all-consuming, but in the beginning neither knew that their lives had crossed before, and the result had been nothing short of tragedy. By the time Brielle discovers who Cristos really is, and what he has done in a reckless attempt to keep her, it’s too late. She’s already in too deep.
In Deep, and its sequel In Deeper, by Kella McKinnon, is…a train wreck of a story. Brielle Dalton is an anthropology student, finishing up her PH.D in Las Vegas when she meets Cristos Vicario, a hotel/casino owner who is hiding more secrets than not. Their attraction is instant and explosive leading both of them to make choices that defy every rule they’ve set up for themselves. Reading about them doing so is like coming across an accident that you just can’t look away from. It’s horrifying, yet you’re compelled to watch until every last bit of broken glass is cleaned up.
As an anthropology student, Brielle prides herself on her ability to read people. She’s intent on working in Honduras to help the people there affected by the drug trade, especially after her father is killed by the leader of biggest cartel in the country. That she meets and falls for Cristos, yet fails to see beyond the façade he’s created made me want to bang my head against the wall more than once. Cristos is a dysfunctional, hot mess of a man who has made it his life’s mission to escape the world created for him by his family. Certainly an admirable quality, but one that never quite matches up with the character on the pages of these two books.
I tried hard to like these books. There were moments that I felt the story was picking up as Ms. McKinnon would explode with descriptive passages that made her words jump off the page. But, these were few and far between in the 600 or so pages that make up this series. First, and foremost, 600 pages and two books was just too long to tell this story. Scenes are repeated so often that this could have easily been one book. For example, no less than four times does Cristos drag Brielle out of a nightclub after seeing her dance or talk to another man. At least twice he has her “removed” from a job she’s in. Brielle moved back and forth from her dingy motel room to Cristos’ hotel too many times to count. These were all wasted words and scenes that slowed the pacing and made the characters unlikable because they kept repeating the same mistakes over and over.
And, Cristos is unlikable. Though he appears to finally break free of his misogynistic, violent, ego-centric ways by the end of the book, he was hard to take the rest of the time. From my perspective, he was all about Cristos. Almost every lovemaking session started with him declaring his over the top need for Brielle, followed by her ending up on her back with little to no foreplay. While I’ve read other reviews that found this “hot”, I can’t say I agree. That he is a needy character is never in doubt, but I was hard-pressed to find the growth in his character. And this lack of growth rolled over to Brielle by extension as she continued to go back to this man in a textbook abusive cycle. (Example: he pulls a gun on her and she makes excuses for his actions, ending up back in his bed the same night).
Based on the reviews at Amazon, I’m alone in my opinion (not the first time) so certainly check out the sample chapter and decide for yourself.
I received these two books in exchange for an honest review.