Genre: contemporary romance
Queer Representation: cis lesbian
As I’m sure readers have noticed, I’m not the biggest fan of contemporary romance. I often find it lacks greater plot outside the ‘how will they get together,’ which I enjoy, don’t get me wrong, but I like it with a healthy side of pew pew, too.
I picked up OPEN WATER on a whim because I had a lot of traveling to do and the author is also a scientist. I was very surprised by the content: excellent pacing, strong characterization, solid but not overbearing use of tropes (evil girlfriend especially…come on, we all have one), all set against a thrilling Olympics setting.
Even readers unfamiliar with rowing sports will be swept away by the description and competition. The romance is slow and sweet, with no sex scene but great emotional payoff. The ‘chase’ is just about perfect, with plenty of twists and turns.
There are a few POV switches that appear to perhaps be unintentional, as the book is mostly third limited with a few forays into omniscient, but it doesn’t really detract from the story. The editing is clean and the cover more than reasonable (especially for small press).
OPEN WATER reminds me a lot of CHASING GHOSTS (so no surprise I like it) in its focus on a greater plot over romance. Like CHASING GHOSTS, the characters have rich external lives. Unlike CHASING GHOSTS it doesn’t have a sex scene, but really the romance and build up was more than sufficient in this book.
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