TITLE: IN TOO DEEP
AUTHOR: PORTIA DA COSTA
Details: Received from Black Lace
Through Book Geeks
Gwendolynne Price is thirty years old, not at all skinny, recently divorced and working as a librarian. She loves her job but wouldn’t call it exciting until, one day, she opens the suggestions box in work and finds a letter addressed to her. The letter is explicit and sexy. Somebody, calling themselves Nemesis, has taken a shine to her and is telling Gwendolynne, in detail, exactly what it is he loves about her, what he imagines she gets up to when she is alone at night in her bed and what he would like to do with and to her. The letter is as enticing as it is disturbing and Gwendolynne knows she should hand it over to her superiors so that the author may be found and dealt with. But, there is little enough excitement in her life and the idea that a man finds her as exciting and attractive as the author of the letter seems to do makes her feel good. And this is not the only exciting thing or man in the librarian’s life right now. There is also Professor “Hottie” Daniel Brewster. Historian, television celebrity and all-round gorgeous man he is using the library’s cellar and resources for his research. And on the same day Gwendolynne receives her first letter from Nemesis he joins her during her lunch break. Over the following days Gwendolynne’s life gets a lot more exciting, but also more complicated and confusing. While messages from Nemesis continue to entice her, her interactions with Professor Hottie get ever more intimate. Is this just a crazy coincidence or could Brewster possibly be “Nemesis”? Gwendolynne’s life has gone from boring and predictable to an emotional and erotic roller-coaster. She knows she is in too deep but decides that she’d rather take the risks than go back to what her life was before. A happy ending may seem unlikely, but her present is definitely more than she could have hoped for.
There is a lot I liked about this book. I loved that the main character is a librarian – well, since I’m one myself I would, wouldn’t I? I also appreciate that Gwendolynne is not described as a gorgeous girl with a supermodel sort of body. In fact her description makes her rather voluptuous and therefore easier to relate to for most readers. And I loved the idea of the naughty letters and emails she receives and subsequently acts out.
I was less charmed by the way in which the story was told. I’m not a huge fan of stories told in the present tense in the voice of the main character, and this one is. It tends to lead to a lot of internal dialogue and second guessing on the part of that character and I found myself getting a bit tired of that after a while. I also wasn’t convinced by the, apparently, sudden shift in attitude of Gwendolynne. She seems to go from rather straight-laced to completely wanton over the time it takes her to read one letter. The story would have been more realistic for me if there had been a bit more reluctance on her part. Having said all that, this story did charm me in a fairy-tale sort of way; it works very well as long as you don’t take it too seriously. Also, despite my reservations in relation to the way in which the story is told I have to admit that this book was very easy to read and obviously written by an author who knows her craft.
As far as the sexual relations in this book are concerned I would have to say that although there are plenty of them and they are graphic enough I didn’t find them shocking or embarrassing. In fact, they didn’t seem to greatly affect me in any way, shape or form. I would call them interesting rather than enticing and I guess that defeats the purpose of erotic fiction a bit. Of course, this could be due to personal taste. It is quite possible that another reader would get a lot more out of this book.
This book comes with a bonus short story by the same author called “A Lavish Affair” and if I’m honest I think I enjoyed this short piece more than I did the longer novel.
Overall I thought this was a charming work of romantic erotica, an easy read and a nice fantasy. Just one word of warning; despite what the sticker on the cover of the book says, this book is not a lot like Fifty Shades of Grey. They are both works of erotica, but that is where the similarities end.