ARC: Going Under by Lexi Ryan



If I met Alexandra DeLuca for the first time today, I would only need one word to describe her:


She’s everything she was when we said goodbye. Beautiful, stubborn, sweet…and off-limits.

After two years leading separate lives, our worlds have collided. Now that she’s back home working and taking classes beside me, she’s bound to make me lose my mind.

She’s all I’ve ever wanted, all I’ve ever dreamed of, and the one thing I can never have.

Not because she’s my best friend’s sister.
Not because all four DeLuca brothers would come at me with fists swinging if I hurt her.
Not even because she’s way better than I will ever deserve.

I keep my distance because we didn’t meet for the first time today. We met five years ago when I was a different person. When my demons ruled me. Even though I’ve changed–even though I’ve gotten my life together and become a better man–I can’t change the past. And the secrets that haunt me would destroy her.

But I’m not the only one with secrets, and when the truth comes out, I don’t know where to turn. What do you do when your world washes away beneath your feet and you feel like you’re drowning? What do you do when the woman you promised yourself you’d never touch is the only thing that can keep you from going under?

GOING UNDER is a standalone novel and the third in The Blackhawk Boys series.

Football. Secrets. Lies. Passion. These boys don’t play fair. Which Blackhawk Boy will steal your heart?

(I apologise for how long I’ve taken to post this review. I finished this book on 1st January.)

I liked this book… then I didn’t like it at all.

I wanted to take note of all the things wrong with it but couldn’t stop reading it at the same time. It confused me good so I had to read on and find the solution, and it confused me bad so I had to stop and try figure it out myself, try to make sense of what was happening. I think that’s why I couldn’t rate thing any higher. I wanted to love this book, and I’ll probably read the other books- I am interested in Keegan & Olivia and Mason & Bailey’s books. But, I had so many problems that just took away from my enjoyment of the book.

Let’s start with the main problem: this book was over-complicated. For those of you who’ve read this, you may say “that was the point”, “it made the story better” etc. but let me explain. This book follows Alex and Bash, each both completely in love with the other, although not together. We know Alex had a crush on Bash for a long time and, since returning from Colorado where she had been living for two years, has realised her feelings never left. But, Bash wants nothing more than friendship but we don’t know why. We find out near the end why he “couldn’t” be with her and, it wasn’t all that complicated or bad. I think it was dragged out a little too long. And, just when everything is going to be okay, another thing is stopping them from being together. Another thing that Bash should have just come clean about when he was telling her everything else. I think it was a bad excuse to drag this book out that little bit longer.

While Bash is dealing with all of his problems as to why he can’t be with Alex, we also learn of a lot of problems Alex’s dead twin sister had. Alex had gone to Colorado to get away from all these problems but soon came back, realising she needed to deal with them where they began. To be honest, with me explaining it right now, it doesn’t sound as complicated as it actually was. But, I can’t really go into any more detail without spoiling it. One little thing that also added to this problem was there were too many people involved. It wasn’t just about Alex, Alex’s sister and Bash… it was about a whole host of people. It was like each little dark corner of everyone’s past made up one big room full of secrets. They all intertwined, even sometimes to the extend where you had to draw it out in your mind and connect the dots, make a mind-map of everyone’s secrets.

What I will say with this “complication”, it did me guessing. I’d get an idea in my mind about something, read a chapter and completely think the opposite. And, sometimes it would turn out to be my second guess but sometimes it turned out to be my first.

Also, near the start of the book, I got confused between Mia and Olivia, it made it sound like Mia was his sister when Olivia was. It made it sound like it was only one girl. I got confused. The book sometimes just assumed we knew things. Like it assumed we knew why Bailey was in pain when talking about Mia’s dead brother, Nic. It turned out they were dating. (Now, reflecting back on this, I realise this is the third book in the series. They are stand-alones but their characters inter-connect. Possibly readers learned these facts in the previous two books but I wasn’t one of those readers.)

A good thing about this book was I had so many pink highlights. (I colour-code my tabs and highlights, and pink is for quotes/scenes etc. I love.)

In short, I think the problems I had with this book affected my reading experience to heavily. The book kept me engrossed, I can’t deny that, but I also spent was too much of my time trying to figure out things that weren’t explained. I really like the characters of Alex and Bash but I the same time I feel like I barely know them. (I know in the earlier books you do see a bit of Bash.) Bash spent a lot of time trying to draw Alex away from his past when that was part of who he is.

This was the book I finished 2016 with and the book I started 2017 with. (I literally finished at 12:02.) I’m sad to say I was disappointed. (I appreciated all the football though. But, now thinking about it, I don’t actually remember the football.)

three-star.75 star rating






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