ARC Review + Excerpt: The Deep End by Kristen Ashley

Posted March 2, 2017 by Pilar in Reviews / 5 Comments

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
ARC Review + Excerpt: The Deep End by Kristen Ashley
The Deep End
by Kristen Ashley

3.5 Stars


Released: March 7th 2017
Series: Honey #1
Published by St. Martin's Griffin
Format: eARC

“While this book was not a favorite of mine by the author, it was well written and the characters were well developed.”
~ Under the Covers

I was elated at the opportunity to review an ARC of The Deep End. I would get to read this book, the first in a brand-new series by one of my favorite authors before release, yippee que the trumpets. With all that excitement came a sense of temerity as having read the blurb for this novel, I was very aware that Ms. Ashley would take a huge veer away from her trademark formula. Ms. Ashley excels in writing an awesome set of an Alpha male and a strong female character all wrapped up with some suspense, culminating with a beautifully fulfilling HEA. I have experienced another favorite author of mine decide to try to navigate the written world of BDSM with and Alpha Sub and it was greatly disappointing. I struggled greatly with the idea of an Alpha Sub then and once I finished reading The Deep End I find that I still do.

In The Deep End, we meet Amelie, aka Leigh-Leigh a domme well versed in the BDSM realm and continuously searching for that special someone. Prior partners have not been able to stand the test of time, nor were they able to become a true partner in life. Enter Olivier aka Olly an ALPHA male huge and strong in every sense. Olivier is more of a novice who has conned his way into a membership at the elite sex club The Honey, Olly has been searching for someone to understand and meet his needs. The chemistry of Amelie and Olivier was strong yet for me I was not convinced that such an Alpha male could be so great a sexual submissive. It left me always wondering perhaps if this was a case of “Sybil” and maybe he was schizophrenic, a thought that would have made these vast personality swings more believable to me. The erotic scenes were many and some I thoroughly enjoyed, however I have a big issue with humiliation in any form and that is the way I perceived many parts of this book, whether that was not what was intended it is what I so strongly perceived. There were parts to this story that for my personal taste went too far, at one point I cringed as some references and scenes, almost making me think of bestiality, in fact her pet name for him was beast. During this journey as these 2 characters fall in love we meet other characters which I am hoping will have their own stories told in future installments. Future installments that I will read as I would like to see where else Ms. Ashley takes us amongst her talented storytelling in the world of BDSM.

While this book was not a favorite of mine by the author, it was well written and the characters were well developed. I recommend you read this book if you are comfortable diving into BDSM erotic romance, specifically with an Alpha Sub character you may be more open minded than I and not have issue with any of the scenes or actions of this story. I wholeheartedly wanted to love this book as she is such a beloved author of mine. An auto buy every time, I will still be ready to one click on the next release of this series and any other release that she may have.

If you like a good strong Alpha male character, yet are not too interested in the BDSM realm I strongly recommend that you read Rock Chick or please stop by her site for a full booklist and suggested reading order and make another selection as I guarantee they will not disappoint.




Click on the covers to buy the books





She turned back to him. “You seem to have a good deal of stamina.”

“Amélie…Mistress, I don’t think you’re getting’ that I seriously find you not hard on the eyes.”

She bent closer, as intended for this part of their session, some of her fair falling on his chest in another caress. She did this letting her amusement show, if not all of the emotion she felt at his compliment.

“I wonder, mon chou, if you think you can butter me up with compliments.”

“I don’t know. Maybe. Though not sure why I’d bother since I didn’t give you one and you just made me shoot a huge-ass load the like that have never come from my cock.”

“And he gives another compliment,” she said through a smile.

“You earn it, I’ll say it, he replied, his lips twitching. “That is, if I’m physically capable of speech.”

She was still smiling when she reached out a hand and delicately traced circles around his nipple.

His eyes darkened.

Her good humor increased.

“You’re of course aware I should do something about you being so audaciously cheeky.”

Another darkness crossed his face. “What?”

“I shouldn’t allow you to be cheeky with me.”


“Impudent,” she explained.

The look fled. “You mean, in uppity, hot-chick speak, a wise-ass.”

Amélie couldn’t help it, she laughed softly.

“She’s got a pretty laugh, too, to go with that pretty accent,” he murmured and she saw his eyes on her lips.

I could get lost in this one, she thought. Lost and never found.


About Kristen Ashley

Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA. She nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorise and she hadn't taken her first breath!).

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana but has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write.

Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multi-generational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland and existed amongst the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.


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Guest Reviewer at Under the Covers Book Blog
I am an “X” year old hotel executive lover of all things romance (It was instilled in me that after age 20 a lady should never reveal her age, lol). My love of romance began with Spanish telenovelas at a young age. I spent great spans of time with my grandparents who did not speak English and became engrossed in the world of telenovelas as they were always playing on the TV in their home. In my teens some of my first ventures into romance were Forever by Judy Blume, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. With the passage of time when I went to college I read anything that was available in the limited market, and romance section at the local B&N. My first favorites were by Jude Deveraux, Judith McNaught, Johanna Lindsey, Linda Lael Miller, Amanda Quick aka Jayne Ann Krentz, and Sandra Brown.

I go through genre phases at times but will read just about anything romance with the exception of NA/YA which I tend to stay away from. I have read some romances with MM roles however it is not what I prefer unless there is a Menage MMF relationship. The vast availability of talented work by so many authors and all at the click of a button make it feel like it’s Christmas every day and my wallet feels it as well, though sometimes some books I buy feel like lumps of coal in my stocking. I am trying to get on track with using Goodreads so I can keep it all straight. I live for the moments when I can lay in the sun on a beautiful island destination with my family, a tropical drink nearby, and my trusty paperwhite in hand, or just spending quality time with great friends, family or a book on my nook or kindle!

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Kathleen Bylsma
Kathleen Bylsma

Much as I love Kristen, this will not be in my book vocab…thanks.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts Pilar

Amy R
Amy R

Thanks for the review, I’ve already pre-ordered.


If done well, I can read an alpha sub but I haven’t found many authors who are able to do this.


Huh…from that excerpt, he certainly doesn’t seem like a sub. Thanks for sharing!