It’s such a pleasure today to share my publication day review of In Too Deep by Elly Redding. Published by SilverWood Books, it’s now available in paperback and for kindle from Amazon in the UK and US. My thanks to Elly and her publishers for providing my advance reading e-copy.
I’ve met Elly a couple of times now, when visiting the Belmont Belles at Leicester, and have enjoyed sharing her excitement as publication day for her second book drew nearer. Elly has appeared here on Being Anne twice before – a spotlight post with an extract from True Colours in February 2017 (you’ll find it here) and a lovely post with her top five writing tips in April 2017 (you’ll find that post here). I never did manage to fit True Colours into my reading list – one of my many regrets – but I’m delighted I’ve now finally managed to experience Elly’s excellent writing…
Set in the rolling countryside of Devon, In Too Deep is the emotional story of a woman’s determination to win the trust of the man she’s adored since they were thrown together as children, by forcing him to confront the darkness of his long-lost past.
One little lie. A guilty secret. And the man she mustn’t love…
It’s been six years since Isy Forrester left home. In that time, she’s strived to forge a new life for herself in London, away from Jack Mancini, her father’s adopted son, and his devastating betrayal of everything she thought they had.
Only now her father’s in hospital, and the house that’s been in her family for generations is at risk. Forced to return to Devon, she finds Jack as infuriating and stubborn as ever, and just as irresistible. Soon she realises the bright lights of London can’t hold a candle to him.
But Jack has a past, one which he refuses to share with her. And until he can trust her with these deepest secrets, how can she risk her heart? How can she even begin to help him, when he won’t tell her what happened all those years ago – before her father brought him home to Hambledon Hall?
In some ways, this book was a surprise – there’s an edge I hadn’t been expecting, a touch of darkness, that legacy of secrets of the past. But there’s also a perfect balance, often really difficult to achieve – a lightness, such well drawn characters, a convincing romance, and a story really well told.
I very much enjoyed the simmering attraction between Isy and Jack, thrown back together after six years apart, their earlier separation particularly traumatic for them both. Both characters have a really satisfying depth, fleshed out by looking at their past. I particularly liked the “sparkiness” of their present day exchanges – the author has a considerable gift for natural dialogue.
And when the story does dip into their past – as they work together, a little uneasily, to secure the future of Hambledon Hall – I was entirely engaged by the story, with its intriguing twists and its layering of secrets.
There’s an interesting exploration of family – I particularly liked Isy’s relationship with her father – and I really enjoyed the way the story was told, the layers of secrets slowly uncovered, the emotional complexities so well handled. Both the main characters need to learn to trust again, after the earlier damage – and that recovery and rebuilding makes for an excellent read, with real uncertainty about where the story might be heading.
And there’s a particular confidence about the writing – no hesitation in confronting the emotional challenges, a real easiness that makes the reading a pleasure. I very much enjoyed this one…
About the author
Elly Redding is an award-winning romance writer. Having originally written screenplays, her first novel, True Colours, won the Festival of Romance’s New Talent Award, and third prize in the Independent Author Book Award Words for the Wounded, as well as being voted Chill with a Book Readers’ Book of the Month Award and receiving a B.R.A.G. Medallion. Born in London, she now divides her time with her husband between Bedfordshire and Devon, where she loves art, dancing and watching the waves.
Elly is a member of the Society of Authors and Alliance of Independent Authors, and would love to hear from you. She can be found on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. To find out more about Elly, you can also visit her website.