It was all supposed to be so simple.
Navaya Howard is an erotic writer in a rut. Her readers are fed up of her stale plots and Navaya can’t blame them. She’s been celibate for over a year and a half since finding her now ex-boyfriend’s side chick’s positive pregnancy test on her bathroom counter. How can she write steamy romances if she can barely remember which body parts go into the other?
Navaya enlists the help of her best friend, Xander, to revive the inspiration that used to have her sitting comfortably at the top of her game. What happens when the sex hits deeper than either of them expected and the tender emotions can no longer be denied?
Navaya and Xander’s arrangement has gone far deeper than intended.
Will their friendship and their hearts survive the fall?
Thank you so much to Sil @ thebookvoyagers for the recommendation!
Go Deep is a novella that zooms in on my favorite meta trope: a writer or author who needs inspiration and their journey to do so. Bonus points here, I like my romances EXTREMELY sexy and this completely delivered. It may only be around 150 pages, but Rilzy Adams had me thinking about her characters, and her characters TOGETHER, for a good while longer. When I saw Sil talking about how amazing this book is, I truly had no idea quite how long I’d be thinking about it for (Read: I finished two weeks ago and still think about it daily).
Navaya and Xander have been best friends since their mothers were pregnant. Xander is the most protective friend, and as a result of that, his previous girlfriends often felt jealous of his platonic relationship with Navaya. When the book opens, his then-girlfriend is in the process of this jealousy wreaking havoc on their relationship. After this relationship, as well as Navaya’s previous relationship, end, Navaya propositions Xander to have no strings attached sex with her to provide sexual inspiration for her next novel.
By sexual inspiration, I mean… I need to lay down. Like, these are some next level sex scenes. Let me set the stage Last weekend, I did an Instagram Live and talked about Go Deep, and I asked everyone who was watching to name the least sexy restaurant they possibly could. There were a variety of answers, including Whataburger, McDonalds, and my personal favorite, Golden Corral (sorry Golden Corral, I love ya, but sexy you are not). However, none of these were the correct answer, which was also provided by a couple people, who named restaurants along the lines of The Boiling Crab, where patrons are provided with large bowls of seafood swimming in pungent, savory garlic-filled sauce, destined to stain hands and salt breath for eternity. That’s right, Rilzy Adams wrote an entire… something that took place at a restaurant named Hot and Juicy Crawfish. I don’t know how she did it, but she wrote the sexiest scene I’ve ever read at the least sexy restaurant I’ve ever had the pleasure of dining at, although the food was delicious.
The “best friends to lovers” trope always includes some type of anguish over the potential loss of previously safe friendship boundaries and, in the worst case, the whole friendship. There was definitely no shortage of anguish here. However, it was so refreshing to see that Xander had a bevy of supportive friends who were able to talk through his inner conflict and reflect on his past with Navaya. Romance novels with a cast of supportive side characters are my favorite because of how essential talking to a somewhat objective but always cheerleading third party is when dealing with feelings.
My favorite aspect of Go Deep is the straightforwardness of it all. Although there is history and complexity, both Navaya and Xander came to realize their feelings because they had been there all along, and just needed some guidance towards the truth. It really felt the whole time like they were destined to be with one another and there was no need to drag out their story any longer when they had the correct support systems in place to vent and untangle their thought processes. A novella was the perfect fit for their love story, and it didn’t feel rushed or underdeveloped whatsoever. Their love for one another had already been developed throughout their lifetime and it was comforting and electrifying to see it be amplified through their physical connection.
MY CONCLUSION: HIGHLY RECOMMEND
If nothing else, do it for the Hot and Juicy Crawfish. But truly, Go Deep is worthy of all five stars I rated it on Goodreads.
Is this book for you?
Premise in a sentence: Navaya, an erotic romance author, receives a slew of bad reviews for her latest work and propositions her lifelong best friend Xander for sex, for inspiration for her next book.
Perfect for: Readers who like their books sexyyyy, readers who like the best friends to lovers trope, anyone who likes romance
Genre: Adult contemporary romance novella
Trigger/content warning: Explicit sex on page, cheating (mentioned from past, not enacted in plotline)