In Deep (#1) by Kella McKinnon
“He’s bad news. Looks all polished and business-like, but he isn’t, not underneath. He’s heartache and misery all covered up in wads of cash and fancy suits. F*cks like a beast though.”
That’s the warning about Cristos Vicario that Brielle Dalton receives. But she doesn’t heed the warning.
“Once is chance. Twice if fate.”
And fate is one theme of the book. Brielle’s path crosses with Cristos more than once and he can’t resist the pull to her. Cristos Vicario is a billionaire playboy with a dark side. Hooking up with him is a gamble, bigger than any bet placed on the tables of his casino in Vegas. She’s nothing like he normally goes for. Brielle is an anthropology student working on her Ph.D., temporarily in Vegas as she finishes up her dissertation.
Cristos is the type of man used to getting what he wants and in a lot of stories his type would get the girl with his ways. But Brielle is admirable in her resistance to him, even when she feels the pull between them as much as the reader. And yet Brielle has a ton of patience with a man that won’t break his hard fast rule of kissing. The rule being he doesn’t kiss!
Cristos is demanding, domineering, and temperamental. He’s crafted in a way that makes him more likeable to the reader, and perhaps even vulnerable by the back story of his life, provided at times during his point of view. The alternating first person point of view works well at showing both of their sides. Cristos ways are frustrating to Brielle, but make more sense to the reader given his past and upbringing.
What is Cristos’s big plan for his life? How will Brielle change/interfere with it? Will he ever open up enough to hold onto Brielle or will he lose her, a casualty of his trust issues?
Book one ends on a cliffhanger as this really is a two-part story so plan on reading both when you pick it up.
In Deeper (#2) by Kella McKinnon
In Deeper is the conclusion to Cristos and Brielle’s on and of again relationship. Cristos’s impulsive nature is even more apparent in this book as his actions are often fueled by his own fears and desires. There is a lot of back and forth and repetition with break-ups, switching hotels, and intentions with birth control. Cristos must decide what he ultimately wants and commit to it.
While Cristos’s past, revealed in book 1, allowed me to have more sympathy for him, in this book I found him a little harder to like, and it wasn’t even necessary what it’s revealed he’s done at the end. He’s very controlling, and Brielle’s lack of resolve in this one made her not as admirable as she was in the first book too.
Will Cristos finally grant Brielle that all important kiss? Will he reveal all his secrets to her? And if he does, will she still want him?
Much of the new action doesn’t come till the climax. And some of what goes down is like a scene out of a TV show. I’m a reader partial to more realism in certain “life” moments (really trying to avoid spoilers here) so it felt a little over the top for me, but others might enjoy the drama. I was glad to see Criss complete his goals and technically come out on the other side. He got what he needed in his life, and Brielle got what she wanted, whether she knew it or not.