A heartrending, suspenseful and seductive novel from debut Author Anna Bishop Barker, that’s sure to grip and thrill.

From the moment I heard that Anna Bishop Barker was releasing a novel I knew it was going to be good. One: because it’s a Cristin Harber co-lab. Two: it’s Titan. Three: It’s Anna! I guess I wanted to be surprised, but I wasn’t because writers like her are the reason I fell in love with literature in the first place. Writers like Anna Bishop Barker are what made me want to submerge myself in literature. I’m sat here writing this review and all I want to do is ask her for a follow up on Max and Becca. Simply put. I want more.

Going Under is quite probably one of the best debut novels I’ve laid my eyes on to date. It’s suspenseful, gripping and disarming. I knew there was going to be action – because Titan kick major arse, but the ingenious plot that weaves through the characters connecting them to each other is nothing short of enthralling. Her banter is cheek achingly humorous at times and really allows you to lose yourself in the characters. Her endearment is honest and heart warming genuine… Oh, and geeky – in a completely sexy, sultry and cheeky way that just leaves you in a puddle of mush. I never thought that it was possible to swoon at banter – believe me, it is.

‘…Your first time is going to be the shit that poems are written about…’

In Max and Becca, Barker has created characters that scream out Tess and Angel. I don’t say this lightly, because I am hardcore Hardy. Like Angel Claire, Max is charming, endearing and cavalier. However, Max also personifies strength, compassion and tenacity. Oh, and he has brains… A drool worthy body… and his martial arts are on point. He’s that protagonist that you quite simply fall in love with. No ifs, no buts… you just warm to him and all of a sudden you want to be his leading lady. Mmmmmm…

‘You are my one shot at being the knight with the steed and the sword.’

Becca. This is where Barker has outdone herself and this is where her brilliance as an author shines through. In a genre filled with brooding male leads, Anna has created an equal to all of them. Think Gideon Cross, think Christian Grey… Talon Steel… Barker has created an enigma to rival them all in Dr, Rebecca Shaughnessy. She is intelligent, intellectual, successful and powerful – however, she is also standoffish and at times cold. What makes her standout from her male counter parts is the innocence that exudes from her that you can’t quite put your finger on until it happens. It, being the underlying sinister pull of the plot.

‘I want him dead. Do you hear me, Max? I want him dead.’

From the off you know that hell is going to break loose – hello?!? Titan, remember? – so, yeah. Shit is going to hit the fan and whole lot of fury will rain down. You just don’t expect it to tear you apart as it does. I mean, I’ve shed a tear or two over some characters… however, Anna Bishop Barker got rivers from me. It’s weird, because you kind of see it coming but you don’t and when it happens your heart stops, your mouth dries up and you are left floating somewhere between the bottom and the surface of a vicious abyss of pain. Yet, Barker carries all this out with integrity, sensitivity and fervour. Quite frankly, it’s a gift to the reader.

‘My only regret is that I can’t take away the memories that you have and the losses that you suffered.’

The thrilling suspense slices through you every time that her villain makes a move, and although you only get fragments from his perspective, they keep the pace of the frantic undercurrent. However, Barker’s cunning skill comes through with the addition of suspended kisses, unappeased lust and a sexual chemistry that sizzles far beyond the words on a page. If you’re expecting dirty, gritty sex – it’s not there, and that is what sets this book apart from many in it’s genre. Look, the sex is hot and it’s passionate and toe curling amazing. It’s also meaningful and heart-wrenching. It’s genuine and voracious and it leaves you as a reader hanging on every touch, taste… lick… However, it also serves to pump the anxiety of the premise to a point that you as reader want to get hands on with the situation.

‘Say it, and I’ll do it. Say it, and I’ll stop. Above all, don’t forget that I find you completely beautiful…’

I can’t begin to praise Anna Bishop Barker enough. Her ability to collide two worlds and manipulate them into becoming one is phenomenal. The way in which she has linked Max and Becca to Titan is uncanny to Cristin Harber’s Chased.

‘…the warrior was going to find him, And the warrior would make him pay…’

Barker has outdone herself. It’s only January and I already know that Going Under will make my top 10 of 2017. My only wish and hope is that this is the first book of many from this amazing lady. Many many more.

Going under is now available for pre-order on iBooks and Amazon and will be released on January 16th on iBooks and on the 24th on Amazon, Kobo and Nook. It is part of the Titan World Series that revolves around the Team Titan Series by Cristin Harber.

Titan takes care of its own.

Marta Aguiar
Written by Marta Aguiar
I'm a mid twenties mummy living in North London, a graduate in English literature and creative writing from the university of Aberyswyth in Wales. I love to bake, cook, read and watch films, and love spending time with my little toddler, Jasper, and our new addition, Mylo. I blog about our family life and my general interests, with the odd guest blog from my partner, Kayne.