Also by this author: Bad For You
Also in this series: Bad For You
Series: Dirty Deeds #4
Published by Forever on October 8, 2019
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Tropes: Single mom, single dad
Source: Netgalley, Forever
Buy on Amazon, Buy on Audible
Narrator: Holly Warren, Jean-Paul Mordrake
Length: 11 hrs and 40 mins
Following the sudden death of his wife, Nathan Bell has spent nearly two years burying himself in work and neglecting his biggest responsibility: his daughter. Overcome with guilt, he wants to connect with little Marley, but he doesn’t know how to do it alone. And then Jenna Savage throws him a lifeline.
A single mom of twins, Jenna is more than capable of taking care of Nate’s adorable two-year-old, and wants to help Nathan however she can. Soon, attachments are made, forcing Jenna and her kids into new territory. And the closer everyone becomes, the more right it feels.
Falling in love forces Nathan to face his biggest fear, and when hearts, both big and little, are on the line, the only thing scarier than needing someone is losing them all.
DOWN TOO DEEP
by J. Daniels
Ever since reading Four Letter Word I wanted to know Nate’s story. A widower with a toddler, whose mom committed suicide? That had angst written all over it. Now let me start by saying that DOWN TOO DEEP was way less angsty than I expected.
We start out with Nate’s parents basically dropping his kid in his lap and saying “you’ve got this.” You see, Nathan hasn’t been taking charge of Marley’s raising since his wife passed away due to postpartum depression. I did see that he loved his daughter but over the course of the first half of the book I got to watch him falling in love with her cute and animated personality and that was all kinds of heartwarming. Being the owner of a restaurant he can’t just drop everything to raise his child so when Jenna, Brian’s sister (Four Letter Word) offers to babysit Marley Nate is not just relieved, a huge weight has been taken off his shoulders.
His desire to know his daughter was written all over his face. And the way he’d look at her before he left for work and ask about her day when he got home…how he made an effort even though he appeared so unsure, which, God, was the most important thing he could ever do—Nathan was trying so hard.
Jenna is a supermom. She is one of those women who are born to have children, who make it their life goal to be the best mother they can be and make it look easy. The moment she meets Marley she falls in love. Jenna seems sometimes like she could be a pushover because she is very easy-going, kind, sweet and young but I’m happy to report that she’s got a backbone and stands up for herself where it counts.
Falling in love was overwhelmingly scary. It was also becoming the easiest thing I had ever done.
I loved the family dynamic. I know, a lot complained about the super slow burn romance and that the focus was too much on the kids. I didn’t feel that way. I found it wonderful to watch all of them fall in love with each other. Jenna and Nate’s friendship grew so strong over time, they could talk about anything and it was sweet to see how Nate adopted Jenna’s kids.
“You’ve become my favorite person to talk to.”
Now I have to admit that from the previous books I expected Nate to be a lot more somber and broken. In DOWN TOO DEEP he showed some teenager-like behavior and said some things that kinda sounded a little cheap to me and a little out of character, like:
“What are you thinking about right now?” I asked.
“I’m not thinking about anything.”
“And I’m not borderline obsessed with your rack.”
Maybe I’m nit-picking because other than that I loved sexy Nate who made the females in his life giggle with abandon.
We get to catch up a little with Brian and Syd and Jamie and Tori. There are side characters I see potential for books in a new series. Travis, Jamie’s brother for one and then there is football player Davis, Nate’s best friend.
Overall, J. Daniels gives us an emotional, sweet and sexy, slow-burn love story for Nate and Jenna and the epilogue was one of the most beautiful and my favorite part of the book. The angst picks up a little in the last 15, 20% of the story and you can’t help but root for them.
I’m a little sad to say goodbye to this series but if my gut feeling is right we’ll be able to hang out with the characters of this series in future books. This installment is a worthy conclusion of the Dirty Deeds series that left me happy and content.