It’s strange… Mike Haddican was a bit of an interloper for me in Heavy Issues and I had that weird meh feeling for him that you do for your brother’s friend that drives you nuts. I didn’t know if I liked him and I really had no clue he was getting a book. I think I may have been blinded by Max because he makes me melt and there is a desperately sad chance that all characters other than him paled or meh’ed in his stead.
Sorry, Mike, you got the short straw first time around (and second?), but at least we got to meet again, amirite? Cause this book is kittens and you talk like sin and have moves for which Joe Thornton would give pause to study. You are control in the corners, good hands, dominating the defense and then your biscuit’s in her basket quite often! I think that on many nights you had hat tricks!
Hockey analogies aside, this book might not have taken over the place in my heart that Heavy Issues holds, but I love the hell out of it. Deep Down has a great deal more playfulness in it, going back more towards More Than Meets The Ink than I think Heavy Issues has. The OGs are the Original Grandmas, Mike’s grandmother and her crew: Greta and Wilma. I have this ungodly love for the elderly. I was brought up by my grandparents and with my social anxiety I find it hard to be around a lot of demographics but elderly isn’t one of them. As a matter of fact when I have to go to the Arthritis Clinic I sometimes get chatting with fun advanced aged. One sweet ol’ babe sang me the Soft Kitty song from the Big Bang Theory when I wore my Soft Kitty Hoodie. David calls it going to my people. So the OGs are especially sentimental for me… and they are funny enough you could pee, but claim incontinence and say it’s the granny next to you and no one would know the better!
At Kyra’s questioning stare, Rachel handed her the cell.
First message was from Wilma. I’m Lesbian now. How long will you be fingering the cat?
Rachel’s answer came next. WTH Grandma?? Pls read your messages before sending.
Next messages were from Wilma. Oh my God. *LEAVING now. **FIXING THE CAR. Jesus, Mary, and Jerome! *** JOSEPH. Damn auto erect!
In between laughter, Kyra noticed a new message arrived. Poor, poor cat. Smartphone, my behind.
One thing that I especially love is that Elle refers to the texting mistypes as STDs or Senior Texting Disorder. I think that I have that and I’m only 40, 41 or 42. I’m not sure which but I am one of those and I have a texting disorder. Also a math disorder. But this book isn’t just about me being in love with three charming old biddies–although I am. They are fabulous and their instigation and scheming does make this a fair more clever a tale than the last two books were. Consider it adding a little seasoned embellishments. You need the elderly for seasoning.
There is a great deal of fiery putting hards stuff in dark moist places and Mike has a naughty mouth that seems to get Kyra, and my own mind, to think he is the gift that keeps on giving. While Cole was all DARK AND FOREBODING and while reading Heavy Issues you found yourself replying to him in ‘Yes, Sir’, Mike and Kyra have baggage and there is a lot of control issues in play. Mainly it’s Mike trying to control the remote control because everyone knows that having a pecker makes you especially wibbly when you give your heart. Mike’s heart has been Kyra’s since the galaxies birthed stars and he’s all sorts of control freak which makes him hot in his, “This is my nookie and we are doin’ it Mike Haddican’s way. Take 1. Control. Control. Control. Hulk. Smash!” Then he loses his crap, and control is gone, and he’s banging Kyra like she has the winning lottery numbers on the back of her uterus and he needs them to pay off his mortgage.
If there is anything I would recommend it is that I think you should read the prior books to refresh yourself before you read this. Also, you can see further down this page, To The Max is out and you can go straight through now if you have the time. I had a bit of a hard time remembering some of the far peripheral characters from book, to book, to book. Refresh for the best experience.
You will like this if you like Cherri Lynn’s Ross Siblings. You will like Lexi Ryan if you like these books. And if you like old people I will like you! Want to be friends?
Deep Down Synopsis:
Mike Haddican is a proud small-town gym owner, a renowned karate instructor, and all-around good guy. He’s never needed much to be happy: his family, his friends, his girl. Especially his girl. But when Kyra left him seven years ago to chase her dreams, she all but destroyed him.
Contemporary dancer Kyra Brims made it big, but it cost her dearly. With her life and career in shambles, she doesn’t need a do-over, she needs a friggin’ miracle. Injured, broke, and out of options after going through hell, she’s come back to Alden, the town she swore she’d never return to and home of Mike Haddican, the man who ripped her soul to pieces, to lick her wounds and recover.
Forgetting and letting go proved impossible when they were worlds apart; now that they’re stuck together they don’t stand a chance, especially with Mike’s grandma and her partners in crime plotting, meddling and refusing to give up on them.
As the passion that never died burns out of control, so do old hurts and unresolved issues. Both have reasons to be angry and feel betrayed, but now that they’re older, are they wise enough to make things work?
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Deep Down Excerpt:
“This is a bad idea, Grandma,” Mike said as he walked out of the dressing room at the community center, wearing nothing but his boxers and an intimidating scowl that, unfortunately and as usual, had no effect whatsoever on the old lady.
“Nonsense. The girls are anxiously waiting. Let’s roll,” she said as she pushed him forward and down the corridor.
Scratch bad. This was a shitty idea.
His grandmother was barely five feet tall and a hundred pounds when drenched. How she got the strength to push his big frame while he was literally dragging his feet was beyond him.
“Besides, you promised you’d do it.”
He snorted. “No, I didn’t. I promised I’d help you with your senior courses. Meaning I’d drive you around, do your shopping, and stuff like that. I didn’t agree to pose for your male-anatomy painting lessons. You know I’m too busy for this.” He’d stopped working as a foreman several years ago to run the family gym full-time with his dad, but last month Cole had taken on the renovation of the town’s library pro bono, and Mike had volunteered to help. That plus the gym and the martial-arts classes in the afternoons had taken up all his time. Fuck it if now that the library was almost ready he was going to invest whatever was left of the summer in this. “Can’t you guys use, I don’t know, a statue? Or better yet, a picture. There are plenty of books and—”
“Live human-anatomy painting, Mike,” she interrupted, emphasizing the word “live,” “and one is never too busy to help his grandmother.”
Well, it depended on how nutty the grandmother was, didn’t it?
“What about Mr. Honbacker or Mr. Stilt from bingo nights?” he asked, trying to get out if it. “I’m sure they are free and willing.”
His grandmother clicked her tongue. “The idea behind these classes is for us senior citizens to enjoy ourselves. We do know we have a foot in the grave. We have enough of a reality check every time we look in the mirror, honey. Besides, Mr. Stilt’s prostate is acting up again. He can’t stay still fifteen minutes to save his own life. And about Mr. Honbacker,” she added, lowering her voice, “Greta had a…fling with him. They are not on speaking terms. Some kinky thing he did with his false teeth, I hear.”
Oh man. There was an image he wouldn’t be able to erase from his mind even if he lived to be one hundred.
That was what he got for being nice—permanent brain damage.
“You’re a flawless specimen in the prime of your life,” she continued, reaching for his arm and squeezing his biceps appreciatively. “Handsome and fit. A perfect Michelangelo’s David.”
He turned his head to her. “You’re kidding me, right? Come on, do I look anything like Michelangelo’s David?”
She pondered his words as her gaze traveled over his bulk and tattoos, then settled on his face. “Well, your hair isn’t curly.”
He rolled his eyes. Trust her to focus on the most insignificant things.
For one, his hair was cropped so short it was barely there. And two, he was heavily tattooed, weighed around two hundred forty pounds, and a lifetime of practicing boxing and martial arts had granted him a body that had little to do with that of an effeminate boy.
“You’re a bit rougher than Michelangelo’s David,” she finally conceded, “but you’ll do nicely, I’m sure of it. The girls will be pleased.”
For the love of God.
“I’m your grandson, and you’re pimping me out. Don’t you see anything wrong with this picture?”
“Just humor us. We’re a bunch of women in our eighties. Half of us are blind; the other half won’t remember what we did today tomorrow. And you only have to pose. The girls voted for body oil to highlight your muscles, but they couldn’t agree who should help you rub it on, so I vetoed.”
“Fuck me,” he muttered as he dug his heels in.
That was what he got for going along with her wacky ideas. For not putting his foot down. Like when she decided her girls needed self-defense classes. They needed an extra edge, she’d said. Extra edge for what? What were those grandmas going to be doing? Strolling around Southie sporting colors? Considering their age, the best bet if anyone tried to rob them would be to hand over the purse. Better that than risk any injury. His grandmother hadn’t agreed, of course, and now, every Tuesday, there was a self-defense class for seniors down at the gym, where Mike was supposed to teach those charming ladies how to knock down a potential assailant without breaking any bones of their own.
“Come on, Mike, you know we’re harmless.”
Yeah, harmless his ass. He’d rather face a bloodthirsty firing squad or, better yet, the Hulk in a no-holds-barred underground fight than deal with all the guilt-tripping of the OGs—the Original Grandmas—what his grandmother and her partners in crime, Greta and Wilma, had fittingly named the messenger group they shared.
“Besides, you’ve been fooling around with too many women to count. I bet half the continental US has seen you naked. What does it matter if a bunch of grannies see you in your undies? Oh, look, I got a rhyme. Sort of. I need to remember it. For my creative-writing course. I’m compiling my memoirs.”
“Your memoirs? Why do you need creative writing for memoirs?”
She let out a soft snort. “You wouldn’t believe it.”
Next time Mr. Bowen came for a visit, Mike was so bribing him into taking her to Eternal Sun Resort in Florida. From what he’d heard, the senior community was more than adequately equipped to keep his grandmother entertained and the rest of the world out of trouble.
In the meantime, he needed to do some damage control.
Probably sensing he was about to hightail it out of there, she pulled out the big guns. “You promised, Mike. You can’t break your promises to me. For all you know, I could drop dead tomorrow, and you’d have to carry the guilt of breaking my heart for the rest of your life.”
God grant him patience.
“Oh please, you’ve been using the same I-could-drop-dead-tomorrow line to get away with whatever you wanted for the last twenty years.”
She shrugged. “I’ve just been lucky, but clearly I’m running out of time. The probability of me kicking the bucket becomes higher and higher with every passing day. You shouldn’t risk it.”
Right. She was in great shape, not only for her age but for someone ten years younger.
“A shameless blackmailer, that’s what you are,” he muttered as they approached the room, following the sound of animated chatter. “No oil. No rubbing. Heck, no touching at all. And the boxers are staying on, are we clear?” He wasn’t sure if Michelangelo’s David was a complete nude or if he had something covering his junk, but Mike had his suspicions, and no way in hell was he risking it.
She patted him condescendingly. “Of course, dear. It’s not our intention to make you uncomfortable in any way.”
Really? Thank fucking God, because he’d been nothing but damn uncomfortable since he’d set foot in the community center.
“For the record, Mike, none of us has had sex during this century, granted, but equipment-wise, I doubt you have something we haven’t seen before.”
He choked on the breath he was taking. He wouldn’t bet on that.
The second he entered the room, a perfectly heart-shaped ass clad in barely-there boy shorts that left the undersides of the ass cheeks in plain view welcomed him. Well, maybe this wasn’t such a bad idea after all. The girl was bent over, so he couldn’t see her face, but what he could see was very promising.
“I thought you needed a model for the male-anatomy painting class,” he whispered as he lifted his chin, greeting his grandmother’s blue-haired posse.
“No, I needed a male model for the anatomy painting class.”
She should have started with that. As an incentive if nothing else. He was still pissed he’d be spending every Wednesday posing in his damn underwear—hopefully—but at least he wouldn’t be alone in his misery and could entertain himself with eye candy.
He caught his grandmother’s gaze drifting away to the floor, a flash of unease on her face, and his joy took a nosedive.
Oh boy, why did he have a shitty feeling about this? Before he could ask anything, the owner of that glorious ass straightened, turned around, and his fucking heart jumped to his throat and stopped.
There, standing in those sexy-like-hell shorts and a sports bra, showing off her toned, curvy, and mouthwatering body, looking surprised as all fuck—and displeased as all fuck too—was Kyra.
No, not his Kyra anymore, he corrected himself.
He instinctively took a step back, the air suddenly too thick to breathe.
She’d been back in Alden for a bit over a month now, and this was the closest he’d been to her.
Much closer than he wanted to be ever again.
“A word?” he growled to his grandmother while moving back to the hallway, dragging her along.
Hoping he was out of earshot, he stopped and turned to her, his jaw clenched so tight he had trouble getting any words out. “Are you crazy?”
She thought for a second. “Is that a trick question? Because I warn you my admission won’t have any legal validity, in case you’re having funny thoughts.”
He ignored her. “Kyra? Really?” He hated the raw bitterness dripping from his voice, but there was nothing he could do about it.
She lifted her shoulders. “I had nothing to do with that. I was in charge of bringing a male model. Greta is the one who got Kyra.”
Sure she had nothing to do with Kyra being in there. His grandma, Wilma, and Greta made the three musketeers look like total strangers.
“Not doing it. No fucking way.”
“What’s the problem? You told me you were over her.”
Sure he was over her.
Over and fucking done, but that didn’t mean he wanted to spend any time around her. For one, because even now, seeing her or hearing her voice still sent a surge of pain through his chest, which, considering how fucking badly she’d crushed him all those years ago, pissed him off to no end. That, of course, he wasn’t going to explain to his grandmother.
Not that she needed any explanations to read him.
“I thought we could be mature about this,” he heard her say.
Fuck mature. He was running for the hills.
If it hadn’t been for the fact that he’d promised Cole he would help with the library’s renovation, he would have gotten the fuck out of Alden the very first day she came back. Then again, his father couldn’t manage the gym by himself, so he was stuck.
Since her return, out of pure self-preservation, he’d become a master at avoiding her, which in a place the size of Alden was a damn feat. Posing with her for a couple of hours in a confined space, without immediate means of escape, would blow to hell and back the frail status quo he’d managed to achieve. Not to mention he would lose whatever little was left of his frigging peace of mind. He’d have nothing to do but stare at her. At those gorgeous gray eyes of hers that he, once upon a time, used to wake up to. At that bee-stung, luscious mouth he used to spend hours kissing. At that sexy hourglass body he used to love fucking.
He shook his head. “Grandma, I—”
She sighed. “I understand. If you can’t take it, you can’t take it. I’ll walk right back in and say you can’t do it. You shouldn’t feel like any less of a man for it. It’s okay your feelings are still tender, my boy,” she said, patting his chest. “Nobody will think less of you.”
He groaned in exasperation. Fantastic. Now he’d look like a fucking pussy if he backed down.
Whatever. Worse things to look like in life than a pussy, even for a born fighter like him. Not sure what exactly, but he was sure there were some.
He turned around and began walking away.
“Michael Haddican, if you leave, we have to cancel the class. The whole course, probably. If we cancel, she won’t get paid. She needs the cash. She’s in trouble, my boy. I heard in two days—”
“Don’t want to hear it,” he said through gritted teeth, his tone harsh.
He didn’t want to hear a damn fucking word. Not a one. The sight of her and Sam was painful enough. He didn’t need a sound track to go with it, thank you very much.
He got a handful of steps more before he stopped and let out a low, pissed-off growl.
“Mike, please,” he heard his grandma say.
He slung his head forward.
Fuck. Shit. Crap.
©ElleAycart Deep Down 2014
Special Max Bowen Giveaway and Sneak Peek Event:
It’s time to celebrate two great Elle Aycart/Bowen Brother Events here on All The Things Inbetween! Not only am I reviewing Deep Down here… To The Max has just been released and the next Hashtag on February 16 will feature a sneak peek from the To The Max that was snipped from the book. –I guess that is THREE great things!
To honor the release, and because Max is my favorite Bowen, I am doing Super Elle Aycart Giveaways using Amazon’s new Giveaway system. Let’s see how this works; new things are scary! =)
These will be physical copies, paperbacks, and are sent directly from Amazon. I will give away one of each of the already released books using the new #AmazonGiveaway platform. Please bear with me as we stumble through this together. I don’t get your deets, everything is done through Amazon. All these giveaways are ending in staggered dates as I wanted to see how setting up one worked first before I set up another and Amazon like anticipation because it apparently takes 24 hours before it goes into effect. Leave and learn! Play and win!
I will be giving away copies of To The Max but Amazon Giveaway doesn’t do digital giveaways and I’m trying to figure out how I will be giving those away when the time comes.
Holy Elle Aycart! So many book giveaways! Stay tuned and win yours!
To Enter Click Here —-> More Than Meets The Ink (Book 1 Bowen)
Meet Elle Aycart:
After a colorful array of jobs all over Europe ranging from translator to chocolatier to travel agent to sushi chef to flight dispatcher, Elle Aycart is certain of one thing and one thing only: aside from writing romances, she has abso-frigging-lutely no clue what she wants to do when she grows up. Not that it stops her from trying all sorts of crazy stuff. While she is probably now thinking of a new profession, her head never stops churning new plots for her romances. She lives currently in Barcelona, Spain, with her husband and two daughters, although who knows, in no time she could be living at the Arctic Circle in Finland, breeding reindeer.
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