Book Review: Desire and the Deep Blue Sea

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Librarians and beaches don’t usually mix.

If you want a sure fire way to make sure I read your book, just classify it as “librarian romance.”

Callie is a librarian in a Research Library who has recently broken up with a terrible ex-boyfriend. Problem is, she and aformentioned ex are supposed to be the stars of a reality show called Island Match, where she and her partner will have an all expenses paid vacation. Callie NEEDS this vacation. She’s been working her ass off and suffering with this terrible dude for so long, a week on a beautiful island is what she deserves damnit. However when she calls the producers to tell them her ex is out of the picture, she also spills that she is dating someone new. A co-worker. Who she is notably not really dating, but man is he a dreamboat.

Thomas McKinney is a fellow librarian working alongside Callie. Whereas she is a multi-tasker, capable of handling so many things and once with aplomb, Thomas is the opposite. He can only concentrate on one thing at a time, which causes Callie to feel anxious as she always has to pick up his slack. I feel deeply that I would also strangle Thomas. Truth is, Thomas has always been in love with Callie, and gets nervous around her and forgets how to do his job, which leads to her thinking he’s frustrating and annoying. When she asks him to play the part of her boyfriend, he jumps at the chance to fix the view she may have of him.

Over the course of the week, Callie and Thomas play the role of happy couple. As this is a novella and just shy of 150 pages, things move very quickly when it comes to their relationship. They actually admit feelings for one another far earlier than I imagined they would, and they managed to handle it in a pretty adult manner with far less communication issues than I expected. Thomas is basically a perfect dude in that he listens to her and talks her through her anxiety without trying to necessarily ‘fix’ Callie in any way. That being said I found Thomas to be kind of boring? He’s almost one dimensional in that he’s basically a character created to appease Callie. He goes out of his way to communicate with her and help with her needs but I didn’t get the feeling that the reverse was very true. She obviously cared about him but the book read more as the story of a woman looking for acceptance from a man regarding her anxiety rather than looking for love in some ways. I don’t know how to explain it. It may be due to the fact that the book is so short it’s hard to build a lot of emotional depth, but it was still something noticeable. Overall, a quick love story that was a nice read.

Though someone please tell Olivia Dade to stop using “mercurial.” She uses it correctly, don’t get me wrong. She just uses it about 7 times in the novella and man did it stick out to me. No one uses that word in every day conversation so every time I saw it in writing it popped out. Very random, does not affect the writing at all just a pet peeve.

Title: Desire and the Deep Blue Sea
Author: Olivia Dade
Format: Paperback
Pages: 140
ISBN: 9781945836046

Three Descriptors: Light, realistic, sweet

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