Book Club: In At The Deep End

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Author: Penelope Janu
ISBN: 9781489214492
RRP: $29.99

In At The Deep End is the debut novel of Australian Penelope Janu, who we recently interviewed as part of the blog tour for the release.

The story is a fantastic mix of humour, tension, romance and environmental issues and the bulk of it is set on the gorgeous beaches of Sydney.

Harriet Scott is a geography teacher, member of The Scott Foundation and passionate environmentalist. We meet her on the deck of the foundation’s ship The Watch, which is sinking in the waters off Antarctica. She is rescued by Commander Per Amundsen and we discover that she can’t swim. It is understandable that Commander Amundsen is less than impressed with this information because it certainly does seem very irresponsible to be in the middle of the ocean when you can’t swim and are not wearing a life jacket. Of course it isn’t as simple as that and as we get to know Harriet better we come to understand why she can’t swim.

The only child of famous adventurers Harriet is fiercely independent and has had an unconventional upbringing and education. She is a complex and fascinating character with more than her fair share of baggage. Losing her mum in a car accident at 14, and then her father at 18, has left her independent but deeply scarred. She is passionate about the work the foundation her father set up does and is happily in the public eye, as long as the media understands that her private life is off limits; not that she is left with much time for a private life after her commitments at school, her commitments with the foundation and the time she spends with old family friend Drew.

Commander Per Amundsen is an officer with the Norwegian navy as well as an environmental scientist, he is in the area conducting a scientific study which is interrupted by the mayday call of The Watch. Unhappy with the premature end to his study the Commander starts proceedings against Harriet to assist him in getting a new ship to continue his study, beginning with mediation. The Commander is an enigmatic character with secrets of his own and he’s quite protective of them.

It seems that both Harriet and Per want the same thing, a new ship to continue their important environmental work but the only way they can achieve this is by working together; which is not going to be an easy task if the sparks that fly between them are anything to go by. There are sparks of lust and then there’s sparks of antagonism and it’s often hard to tell which are which with these two.

The mystery of Harriet’s fear of water, what went wrong on The Watch and the Commander’s secrets all unfold slowly throughout the story. Harriet is determined to take part in the expeditions on the new ship but the Commander won’t even allow that to be considered unless Harriet learns to swim and I found that process fascinating to be involved in.

The environment is a large factor in the story and it isn’t by chance that our leads are Scott and Amundsen, they are both descended from the explorers Scott and Amundsen who competed to reach the South Pole first early in the 20th Century. This is a fantastic element to highlight to help with fundraising and to draw comparisons between current events (and explorers) and their ancestors.

Scattered throughout the narrative are blog posts that Harriet writes for The Scott Foundation website which talk about the original explorers and help to fuel the banter between Harriet and the Commander.

In At The Deep End is captivating and engaging, the characterisations are complex and detailed resulting in characters who are deeply flawed but fascinating. It isn’t just Harriet and Per either, the cast of supporting characters are also interesting and varied.

I loved this book and it was the perfect read to follow on from a couple that hit a little close to home. I look forward to seeing if we will find out more about Harriet and Per in Janu’s next book which will feature Per’s twin brother.

Penelope Janu can be followed on Facebook and her PenelopeJanu.com.

In At The Deep End is book #4 for the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 2017.

In At The Deep End is published in February by Harlequin and available from Angus & Robertson Bookworld, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

Thanks to Harlequin 20 of our Beauty and Lace club members will be reading In At The Deep End so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.

22 thoughts on “Book Club: In At The Deep End

  1. I always love the opportunity to read debut novels, especially from Australian women and I thoroughly enjoyed Michelle’s interview with Penelope Janu, the author of In At The Deep End. Hence I was delighted to be selected to receive the book.
    In At The Deep End is extremely readable and enjoyable and the historical and environmental facts have been extremely well researched. I particularly enjoyed the references to Roald Amundsen and Robert Falcon Scott, ancestors of the two main characters in the book.
    Harriet Scott is delightful and incredibly complex which is no wonder given that she was in the car with her Mother and Father when a horrific accident caused her Mother’s death and left her Father severely disabled. It also explains the fear of dark water that Harriet has and must overcome.
    Per Amundsen, a handsome Norwegian naval officer often shows characteristics that are similar to those known about his ancestor, Roald Amundsen, the first person to reach both the North and South Pole. I really enjoyed the snippets of information about the Polar Explorers throughout the book.

    Harriet and Per are thrown together in a way that neither particularly like and the tension but respect and growing love develop so that we get to understand them as people. Even though the story is woven around these two, the development of other characters is very well done so that you feel you know all those involved.
    The horror of the accident involving Harriet and her parents is evident early in the book but it doesn’t become completely clear until toward the end just why and how it has affected Harriet so that there are parts of her life that she can’t fulfil properly unless she can overcome her fears which give rise to panic attacks and migraine.
    The result and climax were predictable but the way it got there wasn’t. The way Penelope Janu wrote about Harriet’s panic and fear was extremely sensitive and graphic and you could feel the fear through the pages. The complex blending of environmental issues and medical illnesses of various characters is done without it feeling forced and with so much empathy.

    I will definitely be looking forward to the next book from Penelope Janu and thank Beauty and Lace and Harlequin Mira for the opportunity to read and enjoy Penelope’s debut novel. In At The Deep End is well worth seeking out.

  2. Thank you for the opportunity to read In the Deep End. I thoroughly enjoyed the mix of history, emotional, environmental and romance and in a style that suited the characters. There are so many adjectives that come to mind to describe Harriet such as determined, brave, quirky, full of life but at times she came across to me as immature so I was surprised later in the book to find out at what age she actually is. Her immaturity may only be due to the life events that shaped her so far, she has so much going on in her life.

    Per on the other is a closed character and I think the complete opposite to Harriet which meant that the romance was more like a head on collision! I found myself not warming to him until closer to the end of the book when we saw his vulnerability. The two characters did not mesh but who can explain the ways of the heart.

    Drew sounds just like a lovable grandparent who has made his whole life around Harriet and so I can understand her loyalty towards him. All in all Harriet is well rounded and on the surface seems to have her life in check.

    Great read for first time author and I look forward to seeing more.

  3. “In At The Deep End” rather put me in mind of filmed romantic comedies; at times it went more for the well scripted scene designed to get a laugh than for genuine character connection. It was a fun read, and has no significant flaws; but at the end I felt as though something important was missing. Perhaps it was that I had no genuine sense that these two would survive as a couple.

    Harriet Scott has led a rather rackety life, dragged around the world by her environmentalist parents. In many ways it was a wonderful way to grow up, but it ended in a tragedy that has left her emotionally and mentally scarred a decade later. She is now a geography teacher, but continues to work as a volunteer for the environmental foundation her parents established.

    As the novel opens, she is rescued from the disaster of sinking the Foundation’s ship in Antarctica. One of her rescuers, Per Amundsen, threatens her with a lawsuit (which frankly sounds pretty unlikely to get up in real life). To get out from under, she needs to find a new ship for the Foundation and Per to use. And it looks like she’s going to have to work closely with Per to achieve it. He in turn refuses to cooperate unless Harriet agrees to allow him to teach her to swim, to increase her safety on the ship.

    I found it hard to lose myself in the premise of the novel as fully as needed to really enjoy it. Harriet’s passion for the environment wasn’t convincingly conveyed; the lawsuit never sounded credible; the way Harriet allowed herself to be manipulated puzzled me. And I never felt that Harriet and Per built a relationship that went beyond bantering – it was truly hard to picture them together successfully.

    Despite that, there’s a lot to enjoy here. It’s snappily written, and the commentary on publicity and public images rang true. The details of Harriet’s tragedy, and its’ impact on her, were also brought to life with authority and credibility. The friendship between Harriet and her housemate was also well drawn.

    I enjoyed reading this, but at the end I found it hard to see these two as a long term couple – they didn’t seem to have built a relationship with the foundations to last. Still, it’s a diverting novel.

    1. well to me this was a book of fantastic reading. It was the sort of how to people at the very top of their form, do not want to come down from there, and be average. both people Per and Harriet are at the top of lifes wonderful glitter world, and it is hard for them to come down to be under the other person. Per whose life has been a wonderful haul, and harriet who remembers all her famous and wonderful parents taught her, also finds it hard… for them to come together to be the front line of a new boat ……… for which the finances have to be colle ted from and thru the general public, is very difficult, but they say that opposites attract, and eventually this does happen. happening to be involved with water, all my life, to me the backdrop is one I have learnt about over the years, so it was of more interest. you will enjoy this book, but please devote the time to read and understand where both sides are coming from …….

  4. ‘In the Deep End’, a book written by Penelope Janu and generously supplied by publishers Harlequin and Beauty and Lace for review.

    The dramatic opening of the book introduces Harriet ‘Harry’ an independent, strong willed women who is rescued in wild seas when her boat crewed by fellow environmentalists sinks. The Australian Navy and Commander Per Amundsen reroute their journey to reluctantly rescue them, therefore squashing the Commanders plans for his own scientific research project. He remains resentful, threatens to sue but agrees to a deal for joint exploration if Harry and The Scott Foundation can supply a ship for his continued research. Battle grounds are drawn and these two make a fiery pair, both reluctant to give an inch. Both well known people, distantly related to the first explorers to Antarctica nearly 100 years previously. They will use this angle for a joint venture to raise funds for this new trip.

    Janu introduces us to other characters along the way. We get to learn about Harriet’s adventurous and committed parents; her surrogate father Drew who suffers dementia in his 60s and is cared for diligently by Harry; members of The Scott Foundation and their relationship to Harry; Liam, her house mate who remains a stalwart strength to Harriet.

    Harry and Per are such intricate characters. However an immediate attraction occurs. You think you are getting to know them and they surprise you with an unpredictable event or speech. It is scintillating and frustrating at the same time. They both hold close secrets and are reluctant to divulge the details, causing trust issues between them. They seem at most times such polar opposites (no pun intended!), that they will never get their act together. I wondered when reading the book if ever their romance would become stable and committed. My only regret is that it took to the final pages before something coherent in their relationship developed.

    It was an emotional blockbuster, including very interesting recaps of the past Amundsen/Scott Antarctica campaign with highlights of new adventures along the way.

    It was a great book. However I would have loved to discover more of their relationship once it reached a stable foundation. Maybe this is a hint of another book to come.

  5. I found this book a little hit and miss. Whilst it was very funny and made me laugh, I kept waiting for these moments to come and got bogged down in the highly descriptive detail that the author used to describe what was going on.

    To be honest, I did start to skip over descriptive parts to get back to the story line and perhaps I may have missed out on something by doing so.

    I did however like how the author introduced the characters as the story progressed which made it easy to get to know each character as against having heaps of them thrown at you at once and juggling to remember who is who and why they are as they are.

    I love the strong female character however as the book unfolds was disappointed at how she fell into the stereo typical damsel in distress and allows herself to be controlled.

    The ending of the book left me disappointed as it didnt close the story and left many questions unanswered. Hopefully this was a deliberate act from the author and an opening for a sequel. I am not however sure I would read it.

  6. Thank you for selecting me to read In The Deep End

    The main characters are Harriet ( Harry ) and Per they are both strong willed people who care about environmental issues

    I sort of figured out in the beginning that these two would get together and I was correct

    Maybe the author is writing a second book and we might find out if they stay together

    It was interesting reading about Harry’s life when she was growing up with her parents traveling the world

    Looking forward to reading the next book Penelope Janu writes

  7. Beauty and Lace

    Comments on At the Deep end

    The protagonist in this easy, fun read was a well-drawn character, with a great back story, although she acted quite immature at times for someone in her early twenties. It would have helped if that had been remarked upon in the story somewhere – after all, she did have an unusual upbringing and early tragedy in her life and perhaps her acting out was related to that. I was less interested in the standoffish Per, but I do tend to measure such characters against Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, and Jane Austen, of course, was the queen of portraying such types. The ‘action man’ jokes were great, though!

    I liked the clever links to Amundsen and Scott, the focus on environmental themes and the way Harriet’s phobia was taken seriously and felt true to life. I feel the author could have used some other ways to introduce conflict rather than relying on the main characters to supply it through their constant arguments. They were quite nasty to each other at times – although it certainly did add drama to the story!

  8. In At The Deep End is a debut novel written by Australian author Penelope Janu. It follows Harriet who is a sort of environmentalist star who has grown up with her parents exploring the world, however a terrible accident happens which Harry has never forgotten. She is now a geography teacher. Recently she was on a ship that severely malfunctioned, leaving another ship on their own voyage to detour and save her. That ship was commandeered by Per (pronounced like pear) who wants to sue her for her mishap, as he had to put off his expensive voyage. They reach an agreement to get a new ship financed by Harriets foundation, but with one exception, Harriet has to learn to swim – of which she is terrified of water!!

    It took about 150 pages into the story to find out why Harriet is so intensely scared of the sea. So I found the story a bit slow going, but it is extremely easy to read and pick up from where I left off. The support characters throughout the story were nicely told I think, and they all had their own little stories happening around the main one.

    I found Harriet frustrating at times, I know she has an intense fear and phobia, and also hasn’t had a great love life, but how she spoke to Per at times just made me roll my eyes. A fair amount of the story is working her towards hopefully getting back in the water so she can go on an environmental trip. It was interesting to read her work through her fears and eventually find peace within herself and what happened.

    Per was also just as frustrating, with his stern tones and fed up attitude like he knew everything and was always right, I didn’t warm to him at all though, he always seemed so cold, angry, spoke with harsh tones and acted aggressively and always wanted to control the situation. I thought surely he has to have a soft side, but these instances were seen very minutely at times, so in the end I concluded I didn’t like him at all.

    I have to give thumbs up to the book for keeping me reading though, I liked how the environmental factor was good for a change of story to your usual romantic books, but just for me the characters put me off. Thanks to Beauty and Lace for letting me read and review the book!

  9. In At The Deep End, written by Australian lawyer come novelist Penelope Janu, is a refreshing contemporary romance, featuring underlying themes of the environment and emotional loss. At the book’s heart are two leads who are so very different, yet they manage come together in their mutual respect for the environment and their undeniable attraction for one another.

    In At The Deep End opens with a hooking and dramatic start. Harriet Scott is both a geography teacher and dedicated volunteer on her parent’s environmental vessel. Determined to continue her parent’s legacy, Harriet finds herself with her team on the vessel The Watch, conducting vital research in Antarctic waters. When the ship goes into distress, Harriet and her crew are saved from their sinking vessel by a Norwegian naval officer, named Commander Per Amundsen. Per and his crew are also in the area conducting scientific research. Saving Harriet and her team from a sinking ship has major implications for Commander Amundsen, as the rescue effectively ends Per’s research. Per is incensed and consequently threatens legal action over Harriet. Following legal negotiations, Harriet agrees to find a new vessel to enable them both to combine their research in Antarctica. Harriet also agrees to learn how to swim, with the help of Per, as this caused a major hiccup in Harriet’s rescue. Forcing these two polar opposites together in a situation of forced cooperation, results in personal battles being fought, dreams being achieved and it sparks a passionate love affair.

    It is always a great pleasure to be introduced to a new voice on the Australian women’s writing scene and an opportunity to review In At The Deep End, enabled me to discover a great new writer. In At The Deep End was a novel that had me completely engaged, as well as entertained. It is the sort of novel that offers escapism from everyday life and had me furiously reading late last night. I desperately wanted to know if the two main characters would get their happily ever after. And for the record – after a bumpy, as well as sensual road to eventual happiness, I was completely satisfied with the close of the novel.

    What really worked for me were the great combination of themes in this novel. From the subtle history of polar explorers, to the awareness raising of vital environmental issues, to the chalk and cheese style romance between the leads and the background of main character Harriet, each adds a perfect layer to this compelling story.

    Janu’s characterisation is great. This extends both to Janu’s main protagonists and her supporting characters. Harriet is a likeable lead protagonist, who has many traits that the reader is able to connect to. For me, I loved her bossy nature in particular, as well as her passion and her vulnerable side. There was a rawness, as well as realness to her character, which made her authentic in the eyes of this reader. Per, the main male protagonist in Janu’s story, is an entirely different matter. Initially, I was unsure of what to make of this man. However, the situations Janu places him in, along with his interactions with Harriet and the gradual reveal of his back story, enabled me to warm to him by the end. In fact, I thought he was a more than worthy hero, guaranteed to make many a reader swoon! In reference to the swoon factor, if you enjoy a touch of heat to your contemporary romance novels, In At The Deep End will more than satisfy your needs. Although I am not one for steamy love scenes, this one transferred well to the page and fitted in snugly with the storyline. What I loved about the romance side of this novel was witty style of banter exchanged between the lead couple. The dialogue that runs back and forth between the two protagonists was highly enjoyable and definitely exuded a good dose of unresolved tension.

    My final word on In At The Deep End concerns the setting. Setting is always a big drawcard for me and this novel succeeded in providing me with an appealing, as well as different setting. I have not read any novels set in Antarctica involving rescue missions and scientific exploration before this one came along. As a result, I enjoyed being taken on an Antarctic adventure with Harriet, Per and their crew. Likewise, the scenes set around the northern beaches of Sydney were depicted nicely by Janu.

    In At The Deep End is a clever tale of accidental love that I enjoyed immensely. It is well worth the effort to dive in deep and take a chance on this refreshing novel, by a debut Australian novelist who shows great promise. I for one will be on the lookout for Penelope Janu’s next novel.

    *I wish to thank Beauty & Lace for providing with a copy of this book for review.

  10. I think that Penelope Janu should be commended for writing a romance novel that breaks the mould be using the unique storyline of an action man and a female adventurer.

    I also love that Harriet is such a strong and independent woman, even if she does have to overcome some of her own emotional baggage with respect to the past.

    My main criticism (and it’s me being rather nit-picky) would be with respect to some of the dialogue. I couldn’t buy that Liam would call Per “Polarman” and I felt that some of the sex scenes would have been stronger if more had been left to the imagination of the reader.

    But apart from that, “In At The Deep End” is a great little book.

  11. Great book!!! It’s got it all tragedy love and fear. It was easy to read and when I put it down I couldn’t wait to get back to it. Wonderful characters and a hot and spicy romance I recommend this book to anyone xxx

  12. Great book!!! It’s got it all tragedy love and fear. It was easy to read and when I put it down I couldn’t wait to get back to it. Wonderful characters and a hot and spicy romance I recommend this book to anyone xxx grab a glass of wine get comfortable and enjoy this fantastic book.

  13. Harriet Scott has led a rather rackety life, dragged around the world by her environmentalist parents. In many ways it was a wonderful way to grow up, but it ended in a tragedy that has left her emotionally and mentally scarred a decade later. She is now a geography teacher, but continues to work as a volunteer for the environmental foundation her parents established.
    In At The Deep End is a clever tale of accidental love . It is well worth the read dive in deep and take a chance on this refreshing novel

    1. Your review consists entirely of a quote stolen from my review, and one stolen from Amanda Barrett’s review. Do you have an opinion of your own?

  14. I really enjoyed Penelope Janu’s In at The Deep End thanks to Beauty and Lace and Harlequin Books.

    The historical connection with Scott and Amundsen was very interesting and I loved hearing about Harry’s earlier adventures with her parents and Drew. Her upbringing and the tragic accident has left her in a highly unusual position but she seems to be handling it with strength and grace. It did bother me that she was a few times portrayed as helpless, but she was at times also quite frustrating and impulsive. What bothered me more were the threats made against her by Per early in the book. Nevertheless as Per’s character grew somewhat I warmed to him more and who doesn’t enjoy having a good looking Norwegian commander around?!

    The environmental themes throughout the book I found relevant and fascinating.

    I would have liked to know what happened with Liam as he certainly seemed to have a thing for Harry and also what happens to Harry and Per and the foundation after Antarctica. Hopefully some of this may become clear in the next book!

    Overall I found this a fabulous dose of escapism and without thinking too critically I thoroughly enjoyed the romance. Thanks very much to Harlequin Books and of course Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read and review In at The Deep End!!

  15. The front cover of In At The Deep End by Penelope Janu describes the book as “a quick witted romantic comedy about losing your cool.” This combined with the pictures of a swimming dog (labelled hopeless romantic) the head and shoulders of a dark haired attractive man rising from the sea (labelled control freak) and in the forefront a young attractive blonde haired woman (labelled trouble) drew me to the book with anticipation.

    Harriet Hillary Amelia Scott (preferred name Harry) was raised by her environmental scientist parents on board the ship The Watch while travelling the world as they made documentaries. On board as second in command was her father’s boyhood friend Drew McLeish. When Harry was 14 she and her parents were involved in a tragic accident that killed her mother and left her father a quadriplegic. Not long before her father died he set up The Scott Foundation, putting most of his assets into it and giving it ownership and control of The Watch. Her father’s death also left Harry without an obvious source of income and so she became a geography teacher, with a penchant for realistic and sometimes caustic illustrations. Drew took over as commander of The Watch and retained a fatherly relationship with Harry.

    The story begins with Harry in Antarctica aboard The Watch as it is sinking, she has ensured the rest of the crew have got off safely and yet despite being unable to swim she is clinging to the bridge without a life jacket on. It is under this scenario that she meets Commander Per Amundsen who “gallantly” puts his scientific study in jeopardy to rescue her.

    From this promising beginning the story line and characterisation for me became alternately irritating and frustrating. Per wants Harry to provide him with a new ship so he can resume his scientific studies, Harry comes up with a compromise idea which would involve her and Per playing on the Scott Amundsen names and raising funds through the foundation for a new ship. Per is determined not to let Harry anywhere near any new ship, and doesn’t want to be involved with any fundraising. In the meantime both of them are tiptoeing around each other in a love hate relationship, both refusing to communicate anything about their feelings or secrets to the other and both behaving like spoiled brats.

    We are half way through the book before we discover what actually happened in the accident in Brazil and get some explanation of Harry’s phobic reaction to water (although I found it hard to make sense of the explanation of what occurred – but as that would be a spoiler I won’t go into that here, suffice to say it reinforced my frustration with the story line).

    I did enjoy the references to the original Scott and Amundsen expeditions and explanations as to what went right and wrong with them and thought this was integrated well into the story.

    Sadly I missed the humor in the book that others who have reviewed the book obviously found, but that is just indicative of the different responses that people have to humor and books in general.

    Overall I spent most of the book wanting to give Harry a slap and tell her to grow up, others have commented that she is only young, but at 26 and with the upbringing she had I would have expected a greater level of maturity from her. Per came across as a self centered narcissist alternating between iceman and action hero. The only character I really related well to was Drew and I thought Janu handled his demise into dementia sensitively and accurately.

    While I personally did not enjoy the book I can see that it is a book that would appeal to many and I would encourage others to read it if they have the opportunity. Many thank to Beauty and Lace and Harlequin books for the opportunity to read and review In At The Deep End.

  16. Another book that I found quite enjoyable maybe because I am expecting a sequel to finish of parts of the story.

    It had everything romance intrigue humour & a dash of sexy scenes with strong characters that clashed with each other both being strong willed but I liked it & would recommend it to family & friends.

  17. Thank you for the opportunity to read “In At the Deep End” by Penelope Janu. It’s a story with a mix of history, emotions, environmental elements and romance.

    Harriet Scott (Harry) is a determined young woman, brave but does come across as a little immature at times. Harry was raised by her environmental scientist parents on board the ship “The Watch”, travelling the world making documentaries. After a tragic accident when Harriet was 14 life changed for her when her mum died and her dad was left a quadriplegic. Before her dad’s death he set up the Scott Foundation. Harriet is a geography teacher, but also works as a volunteer for the foundation that her dad established.

    When Harry is rescued by Commander Per Amundsen a Norwegian naval officer when “The Watch” sinks her whole world is turned upside down. Due to the sinking of the ship Per had to halt his scientific studies and blames Harry for been incompetent. Per wants Harry to provide him with a new ship to enable him to finish his studies but through a series of events with highs and low a new ship is eventually found and his studies are completed. It’s interesting that Harry believes Per is a total control freak and Per believes Harry is an accident waiting to happen. Both Harry and Per have secrets from their past, and both need to get past their emotions and believe in each other.

    I found the ending of the book a little disappointing as it left many questions unanswered, but having said that I really did enjoy the book. Maybe there will be a sequel!

  18. I really enjoyed reading In At The Deep End by Penelope Janu.
    It was lovely to have a different take on the modern day romance.
    The story surrounding Harriet Scott and Commander Per Amundsen is both fiery and enjoyable.
    Harriet is a women in her twenties living and working aboard a scientific ship called “The Watch” and Per a Norwegian Naval Officer that rescues her when her ship strikes trouble and sinks .
    I think we can all relate a little (or perhaps a lot) to our own relationships.
    Both are strong willed characters that clash often but are drawn to each other at the same time.
    While labelled a romance it is much more than that with adventure and secrets to be had.
    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Harlequin for allowing me to read and review this novel.
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book and definitely recommend it to others that are looking for something a little different to your average romance novel

  19. i really enjoyed ‘In at The Deep End’ by Penelope Janu. It was both engaging and entertaining. It has a bit of everything, romance, relationships, mystery, as in, secrets, ecological issues and even a bit of history about explorers Scott and Amundsen.

    Both Harriet Hillary Amelia Scott and Per Amundsen are strong characters and this is evident in their dealings with each other.
    Per Amundsen rescues Harriet when the ship ‘The Watch’ she is working on runs into trouble and sinks. Per hasnto abandon his own research mission to do this and is not feeling very friendly or sympathetic towards Harriet when they first meet. In fact he tries to sue her until she comes up with a plan to help them both.
    And so begins their strange and complex relationship. One that will not progress until each overcomes their fear and shares the ‘secrets’ they are trying so hard to hold on to.
    i really love the way Janu explores and develops the relationship of this couple. I really couldn’t wait for them to finally get together.
    My only criticism, and it is minor, is the cover of the book. I’m not sure what it is but something doesn’t sit well with me. I don’t honk it does the book justice. Not sure what would be more appropriate , perhaps one of Harriet’s sketches of Per? Something a bit more serious? Not sure.
    To finish off I’d like to say again that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel and can’t wait to read Penelope Janu’s next offering.

    Thank you to Harlequin and Beauty and Lace for giving me the opportunity to read this novel.

  20. Thanks again to Beauty and Lace for giving me the opportunity to review this book. Its always exciting opening a package with a new book.

    I totally loved this book ! It was your Total Romantic Comedy all wrapped into one. I loved the two characters Per and Hariett. She the independant woman who wants to take on the world and he who is the protective hero and wants to save the world. The environmental issues discussed in this book was a great highlight which made the book more interesting.

    Even though the book had some tragic events, it was a light hearted and an easy read which i could not put down.

    Congratulations Penelope Janu on this novel. Looking forward to reading more books from yourself. How about a sequel to this book, i am sure many of us readers would like to know if Per’s and Harriet’s first born will be a boy or girl.

    I hope Harriet can continue her adventure……..

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