Recommended by Angie

Clearly, Hydraulic Level Five is an unusual name for a romance book. I was thinking it was some kind of homage to some kind of steampunk somethingorother. But no—Hydraulic Level Five is a reference to whitewater rafting and the dangers of treading in rough waters. Throughout the book, metaphors for extreme sports appear as the relationship struggles of the main characters, Kaye and Samuel, unfold. I admit to struggling with the large cast of characters, the interjection of current and past manuscripts written by Samuel, as well as the references to whitewater rafting. Getting past—or reading through—those metaphors is a heartbreaking love story that is making its way back to being a heart-warming love story. Uncovering all of the past mistakes on the parts of pretty much everyone in the story is what makes HL5 a great read. I hope the sequel delves into the behind-closed-doors side of their rekindling love. [September 2013]

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Publisher's Synopsis

Hydraulic Level Five (n.): A whitewater rapid classification indicating large waves, continuous rapids, large rocks and hazards, potential large drops, where precise maneuvering is required. Often characterized by "must make" moves, i.e., failure to execute a specific maneuver at a specific point may result in serious injury or death.

Kaye is an extreme sports addict with a kind heart and an axe to grind with her childhood sweetheart and ex-husband, renowned writer Samuel Caulfield Cabral. While Samuel enjoys a celebrity life in New York, Kaye remains in their hometown of Lyons, Colorado, running her PR agency and chatting daily with Samuel's family, the beloved Cabrals--first-generation Mexican-Americans who have embraced Kaye as their own.

But when Samuel returns home for his sister's wedding with a new love interest, stunning editor Caroline Ortega, the gloves are stripped off. Kaye is determined to unearth the reasons behind the death of their marriage and why two people who lived to love each other were driven apart, all leading to startling revelations about Samuel, about life, and about herself. She soon realizes that maneuvering the tumultuous waters of her relationship with Samuel will prove as dangerous as any outdoor adventure she might attempt... at least where her heart is concerned.


I’ve been working hard on the ✨magical✨ internet since 2006 when I retired from teaching elementary school to stay at home with my two baby girls. Those baby girls are now ornery teenagers, and I'm a single mom, old school lifestyle blogger, smut book peddler, and Shameless Book Con HBIC.

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