Author: Kate Sherwood
Narrator: KC Kelly
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 4 stars
Buy Links: DSP
Received from Publisher
Blurb: At first glance, Cade and Aiden hardly seem like a match made in heaven. Their worlds couldn’t be further apart. Cade is quiet, serious, and determined to succeed; Aiden’s a party-loving frat boy. Cade comes from a rough home and worked hard to get the scholarships that make it possible for him to attend college; Aiden’s had it all thrown in his lap by supportive, kind, and wealthy parents. Cade wants nothing to do with Aiden, but from the moment they meet, Aiden is determined to find a way to bring their different worlds together.
Aiden manages to persuade Cade he’s a decent guy, and a tentative friendship becomes much more. But a trip to Aiden’s family cottage puts Cade in the path of a ghost from his past, and a dark secret he never expected to face again. Cade did what he had to do to escape his dead-end life, but now he sees he didn’t leave it as far behind him as he thought.
Review: In Too Deep was another character driven heart wrenching book by Kate Sherwood. I’m a fan of her work but had put this one off for too long. So when the audio book came out I decided to finally mark this one off my TBR. Another one I don’t know why I waited so long to read. Or listen to. Whatever! I think the way she balanced the pain and struggle of Cade was brilliant. It hurt. It was hard and frustrating but so real without turning me into a blubbering mess. Which is exactly what I want when I pick up these types of books. I really enjoyed this one. Having never read the books I didn’t have any preconceived ideas of the characters voices going into this book. I thought the narrator did an excellent job of capturing the depth of brokenness in Cade and the lighthearted kindness and confusion of Aiden. Throughout this book there’s the tiniest glimpse of hope for Cade until he meets Aiden. Then there’s fear because Cade wants something more.
Poor Cade is a brilliant mess of a man. I don’t think he ever really enjoys life. He’s so focused on his goal of graduating with the best GPA that happiness isn’t even an option. He’s always working or studying. Cade is basically putting off all joy for after he gets a good paying job. He has his reasons for this and they aren’t pretty ones. He has a dark and ugly past. His parents were worthless awful people. Cade learned the hard way he’d never get anywhere with their help so he went about making sure he made something of himself. No matter what types of things he had to do to get there. Cade had to pay for college somehow and an opportunity presented itself. One of my favorite things about this book was how Cade knew he did what he had to do. Didn’t regret it and would do it again. BUT he felt such shame about it at the same time. He did not feel anybody else could overlook that part of his life. His dirty little secret he can’t fully regret because he did what he had to do.
Aiden and Cade come from very different places. Cade is the son of bigoted loser alcoholic’s who are happy to use him forever while slinging the word faggot at him. Aiden comes from a very rich high society family that has always supported him. Never expected too much of him. So when Aiden tries to get the attention of Cade he’s a little dumbfounded when Cade continually turns him down. Aiden persists until eventually they start something. Their relationship is complicated. Cade has so many issues to work through. He had no desire to find someone. Not even a friend. Cade basically decides to enjoy whatever they have while it lasts because there’s no way he can have a real future with someone like Aiden. I have to say Aiden is remarkably easy going. I don’t know if I could have persevered through Cade’s rejections and issues. But I think that fight is what makes their connection so beautiful. The attraction and want is there but that’s not everything.
Most of this book is a struggle for the guys. There’s a point where I thought, okay. We’re finally getting to the part where they’re happy and everything is going to be okay. AND then the author drops the bomb on me. This part of the book was brutal. Listening to it made my skin crawl. That’s not to say that anything physical is on page but just the implication of it was enough to have me wanting to hide away from the ugliness. I wanted to scream at Cade to get away or tell someone what happened but again it’s his dirty little secret that could lose him the man he love. Cade is suffers the verbal abuse and is forced to remember the physical abuse he endured while trying to stay strong for Aiden. To hold onto what they have for just a little bit longer. This part of the book was so tense. I knew there’s be an HEA thank goodness but that didn’t make it any easier to hear it all go down.
I don’t mean to make this book sound dark. It’s not really but there is a very somber tone. For me this just highlighted the good moments. To hear about Cade smiling made me happy. Through those moments I understood what Aiden saw when he looked at Cade. I don’t know how I’d compare In Too Deep the audio to the book itself since I never read it. I do think the narrator did an awesome job capturing the complexity of the characters. I felt their joy and pain. Confusion and desire. I’d definitely recommend this to someone who’s in the mood for a hurt comfort book. Or anybody who enjoys great characters with depth. You may not love them both. They have their flaws but that didn’t take away from their story to me.