Deep Desire (The Hours Trilogy #1) by Z.A. Maxfield


 There’s no leverage like seduction… until love takes a bite of his plans.
As the Indiana Jones of historical erotica, there is no document existing—or just rumored to exist—Adin Tredeger can’t unearth. Why he would risk the biggest coup of his career to join the mile-high club is beyond him. But the disarming, dark-eyed man who somehow enters Adin’s locked airplane washroom has him completely nude and coming apart. All without a whimper of protest.
From that moment, Adin and Donte Fedelta engage in an international battle of wit and cunning. The prize—a priceless, 500-year-old journal with illustrations so erotic it could make the Marquis de Sade blush.

Yet Donte’s desire for the journal goes far beyond simple possession. The undead nobleman wrote
it. And he’s not above using every trick in his otherworldly arsenal—including seduction—to get it back.

Chemistry draws them together even as fortune tugs them apart. But when a third party joins the chase, they must unite to fight an enemy with a deadly goal—to erase Donte from history.

Product Warnings: This product contains one cocky college professor, one centuries-old vampire who is out to show him who’s at the top of the food chain, and red wine. Because it goes so well with humble pie.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24263445-deep-desire?ac=1
Deep Desire was not quite what I expected, but in a good way and in a way that makes it difficult for me to review. Despite knowing that the main character is a college professor, the book was written at a higher intellectual level than I expected. I’m not saying that it’s written to make the reader feel dumb or as a commentary on the author’s other writing, but rather it’s written in the appropriate voice for the characters. Adin holds a PhD and is considered one of the leading purveyors of historical erotic literature, and thankfully he speaks like an educated man. That may sound like an odd thing to say, but I’ve read many books where the author seems to think they have to “dumb down” their character to make him or her more relatable. I myself find it rather jarring to have a highly educated character speaking street slang all the time or using obscenities as every fifth word out of their mouth (not just when they’re with friends). I have nothing against characters speaking slang or dropping f-bombs as long as it’s appropriate to their character and Ms. Maxfield did an excellent job with both Adin and Donte in this regard.
The other aspect of Deep that makes the book memorable but difficult to review is that the reader is actually treated to two stories. Not only do we get to accompany Adin on his travels as he attempts to return home safely with his latest acquisition, a 500 year-old journal entitled Notturno, but we
also get to enjoy the love story that plays out in it as Adin begins to translate it after meeting its author. Enter Donte, the 500+ year-old vampire who wants back the journal that was stolen from him and is willing to do whatever it takes to retrieve it – including revealing his true nature as he seduces
Adin. I don’t typically enjoy the shifts between the present and the past as occurs in Deep, yet this is the second book I’ve read as of late that presented it beautifully and seamlessly, and I enjoyed it immensely. Through Adin’s translation of Notturno we get to experience the human Donte fall in love with his best friend Auselmo and the beauty and tragedy of their love story. Their story provides the reader with a basis of comparison for Donte’s interactions with Adin and we can see how much of his humanity remains in how he treats Adin.
In the midst of the two romances playing out – Donte and Auselmo’s love story from the journal and Donte and Adin’s liaison of the present – the reader is treated to quite a bit of intrigue as we learn that Donte is not the only person who is trying to steal Notturno from Adin. Adin’s possession of the journal and his being marked by Donte makes him a far more interesting pawn to the other players and the level of danger Adin experiences is intense, both physically and emotionally. While hating much of what Adin endured as a result of his intellectual pursuits, I enjoyed the action, mystery, danger, steamy sex, and romance that made up his journey. I was quite pleased to learn that the next book in the series, Deep Deception, is a continuation of Adin and Donte’s story and I look forward to reading it to find out what the future hold for this unlikely pair.