Literary, etc is an eclectic blog where we talk & review books, films, & whatever strikes our mood.
Ande’s dream has always been to attend Riverview’s prestigious culinary school. When she finally is accepted, she’s ready to put her life back on track, but doesn’t count on meeting one very sexy chef, Daniel. Daniel is an instructor and while she tries her hardest to keep away from him, their attraction is mutual and both purse a relationship. Soon Ande’s life as a student becomes complicated and if that wasn’t enough, her ex-husband is back in the picture. Not everything is at it seems and the more Ande gets to know Daniel, the more of a mystery he becomes. Will Ande be forced to choose between her dream and love?
T.A. Anderson’s Cutting Deep is such a fun, fast paced read! It has humor, suspense, and of course romance! We have good character development and was surprised at how strong Ande is. Ande isn’t one to back down from a challenge and oh boy does she give a fellow student a run for her money! When we’re first introduced to Daisy, I wasn’t sure what to make of her. She’s one of the few students who is always around Daniel and making snide remarks towards Ande about his past. Kudos to Anderson for delivering a twist regarding Daisy I didn’t see coming! We have a wide cast of secondary characters including Ande’s best friend Bennett. I felt bad for her because she was trying to be a good friend to Ande and yet wants to fall in love. I’m glad Ande was supportive of her relationship with Nate, who happens to be best friends with Ande’s ex-husband. Speaking of her ex-husband, Blake, I like him, but not what he did to Ande and I’m still not sure what to make of him or his intentions. Then we have Daniel who seems more mysterious than Charlotte Brontë’s Mr. Rochester. I found it difficult to warn up to him and he’s just a contradiction.
Narrative is first person via Ande and at times I questioned her reliability especially when she kept things from Blake and Daniel. The writing was engaging and filled with humorous lines. For example, Ande collides with Daniel during their first meeting and injures herself. When Daniel sees her again he says, “Ande, I’m glad to see you’re doing well. I know I plowed into you pretty hard.” When an arrogant instructor, Chef Rainard, makes a disparaging remark about Riverview and asks Ande if it’s true, she fires back with a witty remark about people from New York. Rainard glares at her and Ande says, “I was certain daggers would start shooting out of his retinas. This was clearly the start of the biggest East Coast/West Coast rivalry since Biggie and TuPac.” Anderson isn’t one to reveal facts immediately and slowly feeds the information. At times, this was frustrating because I wanted to know what was going on NOW, but in hindsight, we’d have no story had she revealed everything. I most especially liked Blake’s confession to what happened in Vegas. In the end, Anderson does a great job with the twists and turns and most I didn’t see coming.
With regards to Daniel and Blake, Anderson makes it difficult for readers to pick a side. We spend a large amount of time with Daniel and getting to know him that when Blake makes an appearance we’re not sure what to think. Add to the mix Daniel’s mysterious past and his constant trips, one really begins to question his likability. I won’t go into details because I don’t want to spoil things, but the person Ande ends up picking was the right one even though I felt she was forced to pick someone. I can’t help but think that maybe ____ is better off without her, but we shall see how things progress.
I debated with the rating between a three and four and in the end, decided on a four due to the plot twists and suspense. There were a few errors, but nothing that impedes reading and at times it was a bit too fast paced and while I’m not a fan of authors writing about mundane things (ie: brushing teeth, ordering lunch), I feel the insertion of a few of these would have slowed the paced a little bit. While Cutting Deep doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, we are left with questions especially regarding Daniel and what’s in the box given to Ande. I’m looking forward to reading the next in the series and see what’s in store for Ande and her friends.
If you’re looking for a fast paced romantic read filled with humor and intrigue, I recommend T.A. Anderson’s Cutting Deep.