Saturday, October 7, 2023

Breathing Under Water by Nicole J. Kimzey: Book Review

 *Book received for consideration. All thoughts are my own.

Some people wade into love. Others fall in the deep end.

Deacon King is the bane of my existence.

Ever since I came to this island to relax for the first time since . . . well, ever . . . my life is unraveling in a series of humiliating events. As I watch the carefully crafted control in my life slip through my fingers like sand, Deacon’s twinkling blue eyes and sly smile have a front row seat.

I’m trying to avoid him like the plague, but not only does he teach a class I signed up for but, unfortunately, he's also my neighbor.

I need to stop running into him, and he needs to stop flashing me his flirtatious smile, ocean blue eyes, and perfectly sculpted abs. He also need to start remembering that he’s married with a kid, or he is going to find out just how much trouble I can cause him.

I feel like this woman could cause me a lot of trouble.

Sam Turner is one of the most unexpected hurricanes to ever blow onto this island. She can’t catch a break whenever she’s around me and ends up in the most uncomfortable situations . . . for her. Personally, I find it adorable. I can tell she’s trying to avoid me, but there's a tug in the middle of my chest that keeps me finding ways to spend time with her—even though it's the last thing I should do.

She seems a little bit of crazy and a whole lot of complicated, but I think my heart’s in trouble.

And for some reason, she thinks I’m married.

Breathing Under Water is a sweet, clean, closed-door romance full of banter, laughs, chemistry, sizzling kisses, but with no explicit content.

Nicole grew up in the shadows of Wasatch Mountains in Provo, Utah. Her young writing career began with plays, song lyrics, and variety shows, all of which her family and friends were happy to support (read: forcibly persuaded to both pay money for, then sit through performances).

After her young entrepreneurial days ended, she married her college sweetheart, aka Boyfriend, who provides the inspiration for all her swoon-worthy leading men. They raised their two girls and two boys in Phoenix, Arizona then St. George, Utah, where they still live.

She loves randomly breaking into show tunes, spontaneous Disney trips, sharing her faith and love of God, woodworking in her garage-turned-shop, reading well-behaved books, and is rarely seen without a Swig in hand. She’s Marvel over DC, beach over mountains, Colin Firth over Mathew Macfadyen, salty over sweet, but don’t ask her to choose between Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings.

Nicole tries to infuse each of her stories with aspects from her own love story. That includes relatable characters, witty banter, laugh-out-loud moments, and sizzling chemistry. She’ll always keep the kisses steamy and the bedroom door closed.

Oh my goodness, this book was a rollercoaster of emotions! While it might look like your typical romantic comedy (and certainly had all the laughs to make it so), it was also so much more than that. Without giving away any spoilers, I will just say that this book takes on a few tough topics like abandonment and loss. Deacon and Samantha both have some hard things that have happened in their lives, and I absolutely loved the vulnerability in their story. There were moments in their story that were absolutely heartbreaking and had me in tears. The author did such a great job of letting us as readers know that there was more going on, without giving anything away until the right time. It kept aspects of the story unknown but gave enough of a hint that I didn't feel blindsided by anything. 

While I enjoy the lightheartedness of a good romcom, it really is this type of story where the laughs are blended with the tougher, more real moments that always become some of my favorites--- they're the stories I will undoubtedly remember long after the end. As tear inducing as some of those harder moments were, the laughs balanced it out perfectly. I found myself laughing out loud so many times... the meet cute was just absolute comedy gold... and was only one of many such moments throughout. Like I said, it was truly an emotional rollercoaster, but I absolutely loved it!

Breathing Under Water is a closed-door romance with fantastic chemistry and some innuendos, but nothing beyond kisses and no language. 


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