June 14, 2013

Spotlight on: In Too Deep by Michelle Kemper Brownlow

In Too Deep by Michelle Kemper Brownlow
Publication date: June 6th 2013
by Sapphire Star Publishing
Genre: New Adult Romance


Gracie has just finished her freshman year of college in Memphis when she takes a job at a local pizza joint in her home town of McKenzie, Tennessee. She is the epitome of innocence when she meets Noah. Noah is unabashedly handsome, intriguingly reckless and just cocky enough to be sexy. Gracie’s instincts tell her to stay far away from him and based on the stories she hears from her co-workers he leaves broken hearts in his wake. But still, she can’t explain her fascination with him.

Noah puts aside his bad boy ways when what he thought was a summer crush has him unexpectedly falling in love. But soon after Gracie transfers to UT Knoxville to be with Noah, their unexpected love becomes riddled with anger, deceit and humiliation.

Jake, Noah’s former roommate and Gracie’s best friend, can no longer be a bystander. Gracie’s world falls out from beneath her and when she breaks she turns to Jake for strength. As Jake talks her through a decision she’s not yet strong enough to make, together they uncover a truth so ugly neither of them is prepared for its fallout. Will Jake pull her to the surface or is Gracie Jordan finally In Too Deep?

In Too DeepIn Too Deep by Michelle Kemper Brownlow

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book should come with a warning somewhere along the line of: Do not read unless you want to feel like you were hit by an 18-wheeler, and then while you were trying to drag your mangled body to safety, the fucker backs up over you again. You know, except figuratively instead of literally, and in a more emotional punch-to-your-heart feeling. But in a good way.

Seriously though, this book will definitely put you through an emotional wringer. In Too Deep deals with the emotionally and verbally abusive relationship between college students Gracie and Noah. The relationship starts off in a seemingly perfect way, but quickly goes downhill after Noah pledges a fraternity. He confesses to cheating on Gracie after she becomes suspicious one night at a party, and then everything goes to shit after that.

Michelle Brownlow does an eerily spot-on job of describing the subtlety and depths of an emotionally and psychologically abusive relationship. Noah is a real pro at twisting Gracie's words, and manipulating every situation until she is doubting herself and thinking that maybe she is the real problem. He is a grade "A" douchebag that is easy to hate. There are moments in the book where you might feel a little twinge of sympathy towards him, and then WHAM! He stomps that out right quick.

Gracie starts out as a sniveling, cowardly, mess. I wanted to slap some sense into her right off of the bat - and Oh My God, every time you turned a page she was crying - but I couldn't help but empathize with her. I wish she would have grown a backbone sooner, but I guess in this instance better late than never really does apply. But, her whole "maybe he will change, I don't know how to be without him" mentality does really start to wear thin. Especially after all of the many, many horrible ways he treats here. And don't even get me started on how lame his excuse was about how he was such a big jerk and treated her like shit because he was just afraid of how much he loved her. Puh-leeze. I can't believe she bought that for a second. However, even though I rolled my eyes at this, it did bring a big dose of reality and honesty to the story, because I personally know people who are in relationships like this. So, once I got over my knee-jerk reaction to it, the story hit even closer to home.

And then there's Jake. **Sigh** Handsome, sensitive, eternally patient, sexy, understanding Jake. He starts out as Gracie's best friend, but quickly becomes her rock that she turns to when her and Noah's relationship implodes. Jake is seriously the perfect man. He wipes her tears and listens to her for hours on end, whining and crying about the loser that she let hurt her again. Then when the time is right, he can become a super sexy, orgasm inducing, M-A-N. How Gracie even has to think twice about who she needs to be with is beyond me. But apparently she is "conflicted."
My heart held two men. Once because I wanted him to help me find what we once had, and one because he could help me find the girl I once was.
To me, the choice was clear from the beginning, but for some unexplainable reason, Gracie keeps returning to Noah. She keeps letting him in and letting him hurt her over and over again. It is truly painful to read. That is definitely a credit to Michelle - it is written well enough that I feel Gracie's pain.

I really, really, loved this book! I definitely recommend it as a must-read for everyone. Just don't forget to have lots of tissue handy....and maybe a pillow to punch once or twice when you think of Noah's face.

View all my reviews

Michelle Kemper Brownlow has been a storyteller her entire life. Her debut was on the high school cheerleading bus granting requests to re-tell her most embarrassing moments for a gaggle of hysterical squadmates.

Earning her Bachelor’s degree from Penn State University in Art Education and then marrying her very own “Jake,” she moved to Binghamton, NY where she taught high school. After having two children she quit work and finished her Master’s degree in Elementary Education at Binghamton University.

The Brownlow family of four moved to Michelle’s hometown of Morgantown, PA while the children were still quite young. A few years after moving, her family grew by one when they welcomed a baby into their home through the gift of adoption. The family still resides in PA, just miles from where that high school cheer bus was parked.

Michelle has been an artist for as long as she can remember, always choosing pencils and crayons over toys and puzzles. As a freelance illustrator, her simple characters play the starring roles in numerous emergent reader books published by Reading Reading Books.

“Writing is my way of making sense of the world. When I give my characters life on the pages I write, it frees up space in my mind to welcome in new stories that are begging to be told,” says Brownlow


1 comment:

  1. “This book should come with a warning somewhere along the line of: Do not read unless you want to feel like you were hit by an 18-wheeler, and then while you were trying to drag your mangled body to safety, the fucker backs up over you again. You know, except figuratively instead of literally, and in a more emotional punch-to-your-heart feeling. But in a good way.”


    I am so thrilled to stop here on the IN TOO DEEP blog tour and your review was amazing! Thanks for all the stars! It is an amazing feeling as a debut author to have readers fall in love with your characters...well, maybe not Noah, but that was the point! :)

    Hope I can WOW you with the sequel! :)


Thank you so much for your comment! I read each and every one of them, I swear. :)

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