by Charlotte Stein, Cara McKenna
Published by the Author (Self-Published) on June 6, 2017
Sub-Genre/Theme: Contemporary, Erotic
Format: ARC, Ebook
Buy: Amazon, B&N
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I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley.
An erotic romance…told entirely through text messages.
The words he typed were never meant to be read, yet they found their way to her. Two wounded strangers, prisoners of their own lives, brought together by a wayward text.
Without ever hearing each other’s voices, a friendship blooms between them. Without ever seeing each other’s faces, an attraction grows. Without ever touching, the two become lovers.
But when words suddenly aren’t enough, will this bond be able to tear down the walls that keep them apart…or was it only ever fantasy?
My romance reader dreams have come true.
Two of my favorite authors, Charlotte Stein and Cara McKenna, got together and made a book baby. The result is Way Down Deep—a sexy, unique novel written entirely in text message format. That’s right—text messages. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this format, but I knew the story itself would be amazing, coming from these authors. This is an emotionally charged romance that left me smiling and still, craving more.
We start with a series of dark, heavy messages from an unknown sender. Those messages are raw and somewhat vague, yet brutally honest. The sender doesn’t expect a reply—for reasons made clear later—but receives one anyway.
Through the many messages that follow, slowly more is revealed about the sender: a single dad named Malcolm, originally from the U.S. but now raising his young son in England. The recipient is an agoraphobic young woman named Maya, also living somewhere in England, who alludes to a traumatic past. Malcolm and Maya reveal bits and pieces of themselves to each other with every message that they send. Sometimes those tidbits are mundane and seemingly trivial, like favorite songs, movies, and books. During other moments, their interactions are deeply personal, with the anonymity of words and without the potential awkwardness of face-to-face contact.
The relationship quickly becomes intimate—not just in a sexual way, though fear not, it certainly makes a turn in that direction as well. Additionally, though, Malcolm and Maya see in each other a commonality that they’ve each been missing in their lives. In each other, they become seen for possibly the first time in a long time—maybe ever—and in turn, they each become known.
Way Down Deep is a unique twist on the epistolary novel: one that’s brutally honest, raw, and scorchingly sexy. Fans of Stein and McKenna will recognize each author’s distinct voices in Maya and Malcolm. Together, it’s a combination that I adored. When it was over, I didn’t want it to be—I wanted more from these characters I’d fallen in love with. I highly recommend this book and hope that Stein and McKenna will collaborate again in the future.
Rating: 5 stars