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Desire and the Deep Blue Sea

(Love Unscripted #1)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  175 ratings  ·  61 reviews
They're pretending. Until they aren't.

Thomas McKinney has never wanted a woman the way he wants Callie Adesso. Since she started working alongside him at the Colonial Marysburg Research Library, he's spent his desk shifts fumbling pencils, tripping over his own feet, and struggling to remember both the Dewey Decimal System and the existence of her inconvenient boyfriend. Now,
Kindle Edition, 142 pages
Published July 18th 2019 by Hussies & Harpies Press (first published July 14th 2019)
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Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  175 ratings  ·  61 reviews

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K.J. Charles
Wow, Olivia Dade really is on a roll. Another terrific release hot on the heels of the cracking Teach Me (and with another terrific cover as well).

This is a really sweet story. Heroine with anxiety gets on a reality TV show to score a free Caribbean beach holiday, but ends up bringing her really annoying coworker for Reasons, just go with it. The great thing here is Thomas isn't the usual Annoying Romance Hero (ie smirking borderline sexual harasser). He's extremely focused and basically obliviou
Jacob Proffitt
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance, steamy
This is even shorter than the listed 133 pages because a preview kicks in right around 80%. So this is very short and probably over priced for the length. And for the quality, too, frankly.

All of the real action is in the past. That's when the two initially got to know each other. And when Callie started freezing him out because certain work habits annoyed her. And we eventually learn that's when he fell for her. So all we really get is a bit of a coming to understanding and a setbac
Ivy Deluca
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing

The Good
-Mad skills by Ms. Dade to take a novella length romance, something that is NOT easy to do well, and make it sing. Pacing is critical and the time flew by while reading. It’s not a long story, it left me wanting more, and best of all? There wasn’t a time where I was watching the clock or ready to put it down. I read it late one night (ok, super early morning because I just stayed up), and I regret nothing.

-I was so impressed with the way she established the personal relationship and central conflict so qu
4.5 stars, rounding up

I stayed up all night to finish this wonderful novella in one sitting because it made me smile so much. There is a lot to love about this story but here are the highlights for me:

-The heroine, Callie, is a librarian who has anxiety and the anxiety rep in this was so good. Like, for example, the way her anxiety manifested itself sometimes as a belief that she was “too much” and the assumption she was bothering other people with her behavior really ran

I've only just discovered Olivia Dade (thank you, Therese!), but she has that quickly become a favorite author of mine. I am very much behind on reading, but the minute this showed up on my Kindle I knew I had to pick it up. Desire and the Deep Blue Sea was just the most precious book. It was sweet, romantic, and had really good rep of what it is like to live with anxiety. Just before she is set to go on a couples reality TV show set in the Caribbean, Callie and her boyfriend break-up. She enlis
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love romance novellas, I love fake-dating stories, and for some reason, I REALLY enjoy reading stories set in the context of reality TV shows. So in other words, it was an absolute given that I would enjoy this story about a stressed-out librarian who has to fake a romantic relationship with her most annoying co-worker in order to keep her place on a reality TV show about the very best island resorts...

...until, of course, they're not really faking any more. ;)

I love the moment wh
Maria Rose
Desire and the Deep Blue Sea by Olivia Dade is a sexy and fun novella that explores real life challenges that affect relationships and how important communication is on the path to a happy ever after.

Callie can’t stand her librarian co-worker Thomas. Even though they got along well when he first started and he’s kind and friendly, his work habits have contributed to a lot of stress in her life, increased her anxiety levels and generally made her miserable. On top of that, she recentl
This was interesting. I liked it, and I liked that both the hero and the heroine had to work to effectively communicate with the other. The heroine had completely legitimate grievances with the hero's behavior at work, even if what he was doing was mostly inadvertent. And I liked that once they actually talked about them, she was completely direct with him about the nature of the problem and what needed to be done to solve it.

I didn't love that she hid how much she thought she dislik
Jul 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
*A copy was provided by the author for free in exchange for an honest review*

This a light fluffy quick easy read. All good things by the way. I really enjoyed it. I liked the characters. They aren't perfect but its just enough to make them interesting. Callie is a bit of a mess but it's so relatable. I love that she's not insecure over her body, normally that's a journey in any book with a fat character but here it's not even ever an issue. It's so refreshing. Thomas is a cute guy who doesn't
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An arc was generously provided by the author. The review is all mine.

Well, this was an absolute delight. Callie and Thomas, coworkers, who used to be friends until they suddenly stopped (for reasons the book does a fantastic job of laying out) end up on a tropical paradise island vacation as part of a reality show. The catch? They have to pretend to be in a relationship.

I loved both of these characters. Callie, with her anxiety which was shown, at least in my opinion, in
Xan West
I think I want to reread this before reviewing, but I want to mention that I loved the fat rep & anxiety rep.
Yes for the fat heroine that likes herself and doesn't bemoan her size.
But, I didn't realize how short it was going to be! Wish it had been longer to really explore the relationship, as the book basically spans 5 days.
Summer Nettleman
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was so quick, that I’m not clear if it’s a novella or not. It is utterly charming. Thomas can come off a bit obsessed but he’s so sincere and gentle, that it’s not creepy but rather lovesick. I’m not sure the reality show added all that much, and it could have given them a bit of conflict to give this story a little more depth, but overall this was a super cute read
Jul 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was such a cute read. It was short and sweet and exactly what I needed.

Callie breaks up with her boyfriend right before she is due to go on a reality TV show where couples go on a romantic trip to three islands in the Caribbean before being treated to a luxury break when they choose their favourite. She really needs the holiday after the stress of starting a new job, the frustration of working with a coworker who seems to more of a hinderance than a help, and she needed the brea
Aug 19, 2019 added it
Shelves: library, dnf, 2019
Sooooo maybe this'll change if I "get over my mad" but ... I'm 75% in and I think I'm done.

I ranted a bit to Wendy ...

Here's the thing - I get everyone was excited that this one was anxiety rep and fat rep and a "cinnamon roll" hero. (I still don't like that term...)
And the hero is great - he's soft, and incredibly attentive and caring. (Almost to an unreal degree...) But apparently supposedly he's also an asshole. Inconsiderate etc at work. I didn't feel those two were reconciled.
Jul 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I. Loved. This. Novella.
It was a literal beach-read for me, and it was perfect.
This is my second Olivia Dade book-- and this time, like last time, I put down the book, pulled up amazon, and pre-ordered the next thing she's releasing. She has a talent for getting right to the core of her characters, cracking them open, and making the reader fall in love. In the least flattering terms, Callie is an anxious mess, and Thomas is obnoxiously oblivious to the way his own idiosyncrasies burden the peo
2019 Ripped Bodice Summer Bingo: Beach on the Cover


🏖Desire and the Deep Blue Sea by Olivia Dade🏖
His thesis statement was simple, but it was powerful. Just five short words.

I could make you happy.
I’m not a fan of the term “beach read,” mostly because 1) I never go to the beach and 2) people should be able to read whatever they want on a beach, so technically everything is a beach read. However, I realized while reading Desire and the Deep
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
A gentle read featuring two librarians fake dating their way through an all-expenses paid trip to Caribbean resorts ... on camera. This is great if you're looking for two adults who communicate what they want to each other.
Jul 29, 2019 marked it as to-read
This is about two characters who become friends during their shared shifts staffing the library reference desk. That is all I need to know.
What's Callie to do when she's suddenly single a week before finally getting to take the tropical vacation of her dreams AND be on her favorite reality TV show Island Match? Maybe ask her totally beautiful but totally infuriating coworker Thomas to be her fake boyfriend, even if he's a big part of the reason she needs to get away?

Thomas, in love with Callie ever since she started working with him at the Colonial Marysburg Research Library, jumps at the chance to show her how good the
Eliza E
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sweet little book

3.5 stars: This is a sweet little novella full of wonderful human details. I like the way Dade thinks about how two people might fit together. What she comes up with is most often a story of a man who must figure out how to accommodate a strong women. And make no mistake, our heroine here *is* strong, despite character details that would normally indicate the opposite.

My issue is that I’m starting to fear this author I’ve been really enjoying has a limited range of charact
Jul 21, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: disappointing
After reading "Teach Me" by the same author, I went in expecting a bit more depth and plot development than this... I don't even know where to start, so I'll make bullet points.

* The heroine is, apparently, plus sized (though it doesn't say so explicitly, which sometimes makes it confusing to understand) and suffers from an anxiety disorder (though not about her body/size --not very believable in my opinion. I'm not saying she has to be insecure about her body, but come on, who isn't or hasn't
I really struggled with rating this book, so I apologize in advance how lengthy this review is.

Compared to flood of positive reviews, numerous praises on various platforms and a word of mouth, my lackluster enjoyment while reading it, made me think I was missing something. I even decided to postpone writing my thoughts on this novella, until I read a full length book by the same author, to have a better “feel” of Olivia Dade’s style.

As of writing this, I still feel I’m missing somet
Book Gannet
Jul 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’ve always had a strange love for reality TV stories (even though I hate the actual shows *shrugs*), so the idea of this book was catnip to me. And although I did enjoy it, the TV stuff doesn’t really play a part – except to get these two spending time together alone and away from work.

Which was actually fine. This show sounds exhausting – spending one day in a luxury resort on one island before moving to another, then another, then picking which of the three you really want to stay
Aug 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Olivia Dade’s Teach Me was one of my favorite books this year. I was thrilled to be offered an ARC for Desire and the Deep Blue Sea by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Callie and Thomas work together at a research library. Callie and her boyfriend are scheduled to go on a reality tv show in which couples tour island resorts. When the book opens, Callie’s jerk boyfriend has just dumped her and she is about to lose the paid vacation she desperately needs. She sees Thomas bobbing
Kate (kate_reads_)
Aug 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a quick and fun read! Librarian Callie is desperate - she’s been looking forward to a much needed vacation and time in the Caribbean. She’s getting to take this vacation because she’s all set to be on an episode of HATV’s show Love Match - where couples try out 3 different resorts on camera and then choose one to stay at for the rest of the trip.

However - one week before her trip, Callie and her boyfriend break up. She can’t go alone! The whole point of the show is about cou
Mayumi Cruz
Jun 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Desire and the Deep Blue Sea is a light novella packed with relatable realities in the workplace and a dash of humor. The fake boyfriend trope is always a delight to read, and Callie and Thomas got to do it in front of the camera in various amazing island settings.

What I especially liked in this book is the way each of them described the other, which was a dead giveaway of their feelings. This brings home the fact that true love sees beyond a person’s physical attributes. It’s the li
Jen (That's What I'm Talking About)
Callie and her boyfriend broke up just week before they are supposed to be contestants on a reality TV show that would take her to three island resorts. Desperate for a much needed vacation, Callie enlists the help of her coworker, Thomas, to be her pretend boyfriend. The problem: Thomas drives Callie crazy at work and this vacation is supposed to take her away from him. Meanwhile, Thomas has had a thing for Callie since she started working at the library, so when she asks for his help being her ...more
So cute, but I really feel like this could've been a full-length novel easily - there's a lot of exposition in the beginning that would probably have been more interesting/impactful/whatever if it'd been shown and not just told to us, like (view spoiler) I also wish a l ...more
Felicia Grossman
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This story is so, so, so, so, so (like a million "sos") cute. It's fake-dating between co-workers, one who is annoyed by the other (though she finds him hot) and the other who has been PINNING (in all caps) for her. They have to do it on a reality TV to get a free vacation. It isn't super lying because the producers totally know, which is perfect for a novella because it left room to focus on the relationship between the two of them, which on its surface seems like it should be really easy, but ...more
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While I was growing up, my mother kept a stack of books hidden in her closet. She told me I couldn't read them. So, naturally, whenever she left me alone for any length of time, I took them out and flipped through them. Those books raised quite a few questions in my prepubescent brain. Namely: 1) Why were there so many pirates? 2) Where did all the throbbing come from? 3) What was a "manhood"? 4) ...more

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