Knee Deep (Love in the Suburbs #4) by D.E. Haggerty
Coming July 29th
Knee Deep is a second chance romance combined with a version of the enemies-to-lovers trope. This read was also very hard for me to review. Because this is a perfectly fine romance but one that I personally didn’t particularly like. So basically, a fine read – for someone else.
The storyline is pretty basic. Violet’s just starting to get her life in order after years of struggle and depression. Then her ex, Luke, moves back into town and proceeds to ruin her life, again. She hates him with all her being for the way he left her years earlier, but she’s still attracted to him. And when they get together, the chemistry’s still there… Meaning it’s a run-of-the-mill second-chance story.
There’s a lot to like about this read. The dynamics between Violet and her girlfriends is great. There’s lots of banter and I do love me some good, on-point, snark. The writing is pretty good and Haggerty keeps up a fast story-telling pace. I liked how Violet’s an Luke’s previous mental issues added another layer to the story, and more depth in general. I read Knee Deep as a stand-alone, which was fine, but it’s clear I would have appreciated the world-building and Violet’s circle of friends much more if I’d read the first three installments. The story is emotional – which is a plus if you swing that way – and the sexytimes are hot – which obviously is a plus if you ask me. And I really, really, wanted to like this book.
But I had such a hard time with Violet’s and Luke’s immaturity and – I’m sad to say – what I perceived as sheer stupidity, that the positives of the read couldn’t compensate for the irritation I felt over their behaviour. Violet and Luke are supposed to be adults. But they do all this stupid shit without realizing, even years later, that it’s stupid.
Everyone has the right to make mistakes, no question there. But really, after ten years, there’s no excuse for keeping up the dumb. I can’t go into details without spoilers, so I won’t. But the premise of the book is based on on-going, less than smart, behaviour. Yes, there were absolutely extenuating circumstances explaining the way things went down in the first place, but ten (10!) years later both Violet and Luke should have been able to reassess and rethink. But no, they just kept at it.
Also, it really didn’t help that the plot-twist (which was obvious from a mile away) was a continuation of that unintelligent thinking and one of my least favourite tropes to boot.
So, obviously, this was not a read for me. I’d say this is more a book for the readers who have read the three previous Love in the Suburbs installments and loved them. But since I haven’t, I don’t wear the rose-tinted glasses of a Suburbs-enthusiast, and my rating will have to be a meh.
I'm a Swedish book nerd reading mostly steamy English romance novels. And since there is so much good stuff out there, and so much shitty stuff too. I just want to give credit where it's due (and diss the rest).