Friday, August 31, 2018

Out in the Deep by Lane Hayes Release Blitz

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 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.

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Book 1
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Maybe I just needed a good night’s sleep. It had been a long day. And a weird one. I could never have dreamed up a scenario featuring Gabe Chadwick in my house after this morning. But here he was.

I gave him a thorough once-over as he walked into the kitchen. And again, the first thing that crossed my mind was, “Wow, he’s really fucking hot.”

“Nice place.”

“Thanks. Do you want some water or something?” I asked, awkwardly pointing at the fridge.

“No, thanks. I’ve had enough tonight,” Gabe replied with a laugh.

I should have said good-bye then and escorted him to the door, but I had a strong desire to keep him talking and maybe dispel the weird admiring thoughts going through my brain. Yes, Gabe was a good-looking guy, but I shouldn’t be fixating on his long eyelashes and the way the kitchen light framed him in a halo of sorts. I couldn’t let him go until my brainwaves returned to normal, and he was the same annoyingly smart and talented opponent I’d played against occasionally for years. The thing was, I didn’t really know him and at that moment, I wanted to.

“Where do you live?” I asked.

“About fifteen minutes away. I scored an apartment by campus. I have one roommate. Brent’s a volleyball player. We might get a third to cut expenses, but I don’t want to share a room, so that’ll be up to him.”

“Sharing a room gets old fast. Evan and I knew we wanted to live together, but I’d probably smother him in his sleep if I had to listen to him snoring every night a few feet away from me,” I said in a lame-ass effort to keep him talking.

Gabe chuckled. “That would be rough. Evan seems like a cool guy. Is he as neat as you? This house is spotless.”

“No, that’s all me. I can’t help it. I have a thing about order. Evan’s a slob. You should see his room. At least he tries in shared spaces. I don’t bug him about his unmade bed, scattered clothes, and random dishes he leaves on his nightstand as long as he keeps the bathroom and kitchen tidy. He’s been on the receiving end of a couple of classic Vaughn meltdowns,” I said with a self-deprecating shrug.

“A Vaughn meltdown,” Gabe repeated. “That must be a version of what I experienced this morning when you tried to drown me.”

“Fuck off.” I laughed, then looked away quickly when a rush of heat flooded my cheeks. Oh, my God. Please don’t let me blush. Not now. He’ll know something’s wrong with me.

Gabe stepped closer to me and cocked his head. “Are you blushing?”


“I don’t blush.”

“Whatever you say.” He winked and gave me a mischievous smile that turned me inside out.

This couldn’t be happening.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is the first book in a new series, and I am looking forward to future installments. This one is set around a water polo team in a hot and sunny place, and the college levels of freedom, which work denies us. It was lovely escapism!

Faced with his ex-girlfriend making out at a party with Gabe, his archrival at water polo, Derek realises that his jealousy is over Gabe, not Amanda, and has to finally acknowledge that he is definitely bi. As luck would have it, Gabe was only making out with her to make Derek jealous too – and soon they fall into a secret but intense relationship. I loved their tentative, sincere, and deepening romance playing out to a backdrop of training, studying, and avoiding being obvious. Of course, they do have to decide whether to take the next step, and how – but when the decision is forced upon them, just what will happen? Read the book to find out, it is well worthwhile!

This is a sunshine-filled California romance about beautiful men who spend most of their time in the pool wrestling in tiny swimsuits. Eye candy for the imagination, it is the story of two college water polo players who find themselves surprised by the sudden attraction between them.

Derek is a loveable hot mess. His temper gets him into trouble, but the same impulsiveness also allows him to embrace his feelings for Gabe without much angst. We meet him in his last year of college and he does a whole lot of growing up in the story. Gabe is more grounded and more driven – and his careful nature is a good match for Derek. He is more certain of his sexuality but also more cautious about revealing it. Derek’s affluent helicopter parents may have made life a little too easy for him but Gabe has had to work crazy hard for everything he has. I love the way these two balance each other.

This is a happy, feel-good new adult romance. It is a light and easy read that never gets too dark or heavy. The romance between Gabe and Derek is sweet and I loved the heat between them. It is a quick read – perfect for a beach holiday or a bubble bath.

4 Summer Read Stars.

After a bit of a rough start for me, not being pulled in due to the 'telling' storytelling, I was hooked to the very end once the novella found its pace.

As a sucker for love/hate, will they won't they, slow-burn romance, Out in the Deep hit all those notes for me. As soon as I connected to Derek, I read the book in one sitting. Resonating with me, I felt Derek's fury over Gabe rubbing him wrong, obviously on purpose. The tension was palpable, making the heart race during their intense interactions.

Derek's the captain on his college water polo team, only to find out his nemesis is joining the team. Gabe unintentionally gaslights Derek when it comes to the refs and the couch, both when on opposing teams and when on the same team, fueling the love/hate vibe.

The tension shifts to baiting banter and lust-fueled interactions, evolving into more for Derek and Gabe.

There's a small cast of characters, offering the opportunity for new installments, as well as a teaser of the next, which I cannot wait to get my hands on.

Why 4 instead of 5 stars?

The start was a difficult one for me, with a laundry list type feel instead of scenes, like a rundown of events told not shown. As I said, the novella found its pacing and I was hooked like a kitten after catnip.

My biggest issue was with the ex-girlfriend. It wasn't her actions that annoyed me, as people behave this way on a daily basis – it was how the author had Derek apologizing to her. People break up. To borrow Derek's words, he owed her nothing. It had been a year – it's on the ex if she is still harboring feelings for him. Women need to be held responsible for their actions, no differently than men should as well. While I appreciate that the author tried to show another side, in hope to not vilify women, those actions were only validated once she received gifts of food and apologies, not reprimands and restraining orders. On the reverse, if an ex-boyfriend stalked you, you'd get a RO for safety reasons. Let's also not forget using men to get his attention – human beings as if they are props. Why did this bother me so much? As I said, people act like this daily, but what I didn't appreciate is how the author had Derek (the victim) apologizing for being victimized. Full. Stop.

Definitely recommend this tension-filled, steamy, warm and fuzzy novella to fans of the author and MM romance fanatics.

Out in the Deep is the first installment in the Out in College series.

Derek is a college senior. He's confident in himself and his place on the school water polo team. Until one drunken interaction with his rival, Gabe, changes everything he thought he knew. He's confused why he's drawn to Gabe. He can't stop thinking about that drunken night in the bathroom. Gabe and Derek fall into a secret relationship where they can't get enough of each other. When they are forced to either reveal their relationship or walk away, who will win or lose in this battle?

I enjoyed this read. It was sexy watching these two find something within each other.

Out in the Deep is well worth the read! I can't wait for Evan's book next!!

To be honest, I was bored when reading this book. I am sure I'm in the minority, but it just didn't work for me. The first few chapters were too wordy, which automatically turned me off. I need dialogue. Derek is bi, he figures that out when his ex is making out with Gabe at a party. There was a lot of drinking and partying, mostly due to Gabe and Derek being young and in college but it got old. I didn't feel any chemistry between Gabe and Derek but that could have been because I felt the book was written through Derek's eyes. I'm sure others will enjoy this story, it just wasn't for me.

Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full-time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and won first prize in the 2016 and 2017 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in a newly empty nest.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Out in the Deep (Out in College #1) by Lane Hayes to read and review for this tour.

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