Cassidy's Courtship

Friend, Lover, Protector

His Tender Touch

Too Close For Comfort

In Too Deep by Sharon Mignerey
(Silh. Int. Mom.# 1228, $4.75, R) ISBN 0-373-27298-7
Intense, taut and deeply romantic are how I would describe In Too Deep. This is definitely a story that will stay with you once you are done.

Lily Reditch had just come through a horrifying part of her life. She had just finished burying her husband when she witnessed a murder. Now the trial is over and the mob connected murderer is in jail. She has returned to her family’s home in Alaska with her daughter, Annemarie, to try to start all over again.

Quinn Morrison is a fellow scientist who has agreed to hire Lily. He is thrilled to get her because of her credentials. He is immediately attracted to her, which is not a good thing. Quinn has his work and a poor history of relationships. He was abandoned by his alcoholic mother when just a child, and spent his years going from foster home to foster home. He tried marriage when he first got out of college, marrying an older woman with two kids. The divorce occurred less than a year later.

On Lily’s first day, her car rolls out of the parking lot and down a hill, right towards her and Quinn. Quinn tries to stop it and gets hurt. A few days later, another “accident” occurs when they are out on the boat gathering specimens for their research. Lily ends up overboard. Finally, Annemarie gets lured to a dangerous cave by the ocean and when Lily tries to save her, they both almost die. Quinn and others rescue them.

Lily begins to worry that someone is trying to get her, and is confronted with that fact when the U.S. Marshal who protected her during the trial shows up unexpectedly. Now she has to choose between entering the witness protection program, or staying and building a life with Quinn and Annemarie.

Quinn and Lily slowly fall in love as their friendship deepens. Once they make love, they find they are intimately well matched, which makes it harder to keep distance in their relationship. They struggle with their fears and their yearnings.

Mignerey has developed the suspense in a believable scenario that is full of depth. Despite a hint of the identity of the villain, I didn’t really know for sure until Mignerey chose to reveal him. This is woven into the romance so that the story flows and is vastly enjoyable. The sex is hot, but not interfering and the relationship deepens in a natural manner.

There are a few discontents I must share. There is a lot of story alluded to, apparently from previous books. Although I caught enough to understand Lily’s relationship with her two sisters and brother-in-laws, there were times when I worried I was missing something significant. In the end, no lack is noticed, however. Another mild concern is that the setting could have been Anywhere USA, so the Alaskan connection was overlooked. This was not detrimental to the story, but it always makes me wonder why an author chooses a setting if they are not going to use it to enhance the story.

Lily is a strong heroine and Quinn is the strong, silent type. Neither is perfect. Both express their fears and work to overcome them. Yet both are able to admit their vulnerability and this leads to greater understanding and a more believable love.

In Too Deep is on of those books to snuggle up with on a rainy afternoon…but suspenseful enough that you want to make sure those doors are locked before you do.

--Shirley Lyons

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