Title: Out in the Deep
Series: Out in College: Book One
Author: Lane Hayes
Publisher: Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 120 Pages
At a Glance: Minor issues aside, I really did enjoy this one. Hayes has carved a nice niche for herself in the M/M contemporary romance genre, and I think her fans are going to enjoy Gabe and Derek’s story.
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: Derek Vaughn is a little too serious. He’s a type A control personality with a penchant for order and a love of water polo. But he’s determined to enjoy his last year of college. The real world with a serious job and big expectations can wait for a few months. He’s going to soak up every minute on campus with his friends and teammates before he moves on. The only possible kink in his plan is the new guy on the team… also known as his nemesis.
Gabe Chadwick has big Olympic dreams. His transfer between Southern California universities has nothing to do with scholastics. The degree is his backup plan. He’s not there to party or make friends. And he certainly isn’t going to announce his sexuality. But he can’t deny there’s something special about the uptight team captain. However, when an unwitting friendship and mutual attraction collide, both will have to decide if this is the real thing or if they’re about to lose it all in the deep.
Review: It’s been a little while since I’ve read a Lane Hayes book, but when I saw the premise for her new novella, Out in the Deep, I pounced. I’m a sucker for both sports romances and new adult stories, and with a side of enemies-to-lovers thrown in, I couldn’t resist. I ended up being very happy with my decision, too, because Derek and Gabe’s story definitely had me smiling and swooning most of the way through.
Derek is extremely focused, driven, and put-together. He’s the captain of his water polo team, well-liked and respected by his peers and coaches, and is finishing up his business degree in his final year in college. He certainly isn’t expecting to have his world turned upside down by his arch rival switching schools and joining his team. But, that’s exactly what happens when Gabe becomes a more permanent fixture in his world. Not only does Derek find himself losing his composure in the pool, but he also discovers his bisexuality isn’t some small part of himself he can continue to ignore. The attraction he feels for Gabe starts messing with him pretty quickly, but at first Derek really does think he hates Gabe.
I forgot about Gabe Chadwick. I fucking hated that guy. I wasn’t a fan of anyone who believed they were God’s gift to humanity. So what if he was talk, dark, good-looking, smart, and a world-class athlete? Gabe was still a dick if you asked me.
I LOVED Gabe. He’s smart, sweet, and kind. I also loved his confidence, and how almost cocky he was about how things were going to go with Derek. I cracked up at some of their banter.
Gabe’s eyes twinkled good-naturedly. “So you think I’m hot?”
“What? Fuck you. No,” I sputtered
“Aw. I think that’s super sweet. Don’t worry. I won’t tell anyone you like me,” he teased.
“Maybe a little? I kinda hope so, ‘cause to answer your earlier question…yes. We’re gonna be teammates and probably best friends before you graduate…”
Hayes did a nice job with the relationship development. Even though the story is relatively short, nothing felt rushed or unrealistic. Things developed very naturally between them as they took their time figuring things out. I loved how supportive they were of each other, and how sweet and genuine their feelings were. And, their chemistry was off the charts. They were insanely sexy together. I especially loved Derek’s obvious admiration of Gabe. There were several moments where he mused how beautiful Gabe was, or just how much he admired him as a person, which I found extremely sweet.
There were a few little things that niggled while I was reading. There were some minor editing issues. I didn’t like the direction things went with Derek’s ex-girlfriend. And I felt like his relationship with his roommate was underdeveloped or could have been stronger. Also, a sort of big deal was made about a “secret project” Evan was working on and then never revealed, which was sort of annoying. (I did read the tiny excerpt for the next book that’s at the end of this one, and it seems it will be revealed in that story, but I think it should have been either discussed again or partially revealed here, or not brought up at all. Leaving it hanging like it was seemed strange.)
Those minor issues aside, I really did enjoy this one. Hayes has carved a nice niche for herself in the M/M contemporary romance genre, and I think her fans are going to enjoy Gabe and Derek’s story as well! I’m definitely looking forward to the next book in the series!
You can buy Out in the Deep here:
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