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Running Deep by Bette Hawkins


This is a very well written second-chances sports romance where the MCs are geographically placed across continents (Australia and USA) from each other.

At fourteen and fifteen, Australian Hannah Clark and American Angie Thomson (respectively) are the youngest in their teams. Shy and introverted Hannah is accosted by Angie during a meal time and they form a close friendship which continues via letters. When Angie’s father has some work in Melbourne, Angie jumps at the chance to visit Hannah and the two girls spend an idyllic two weeks together. Two weeks that change their lives as their friendship becomes more. Their relationship thrives till the day Angie vanishes. No more letters. No more calls. Hannah is heartbroken. Many, many years later, Hannah (who’d ‘retired’) is making a come-back and trying for an Olympic Gold – one that she’d lost to Angie the last time they’d seen each other. She has a shock when she learns that Angie is an assistant coach for the Australian swim team.  

There is something about Bette Hawkins’ writing that gets you thoroughly involved in the story. We’re not able to put our finger on this but though the story is a simple second-chances romance with very little angst, it is very, very involving and readable. We love the hark-back in time when letters and short (and very rare) long-distance calls were the means of being in touch. Those days of penpals.

The story is narrated from Hannah’s PoV, but Angie is the more interesting character. The past, Angie’s background and the reasons for Angie disappearing on Hannah are unfolded at a perfect pace. Hannah is a steady, rather stolid person while Angie is rather like a celebration – open, vivacious, fun. But are very authentic. The chemistry between them is great which makes this a lovely read.

Definitely recommended.   


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