Diving In is a sweet, fun light read with very likeable characters that are remarkably well developed despite the short length of the story.
Max Jansen is the owner of Jansen & Sons, the pool maintenance company he inherited on the sudden death of his father a few years previously. Since taking over the helm, Max has used his education and knowledge to expand the business into other areas, but retains the core business his father started. While he generally leaves the pool cleaning up to his employees, there's one job he can't resist taking on himself: the pool maintenance at the Caldwell residence during water polo season. The reason for that is in the form of one sexy Everett Caldwell, Olympian and current centre for Forest Glen's Water Polo Team. Which is how said polo team ended up training in the Olympic regulation standards pool at the mansion of the owner of soft-core magazine, Flesh and father of Everett, Hal Caldwell. Of course it's a complete fluke that Max always manages to start his job just before practise finishes and the athletic men in their speedos jump out of the pool. Ok, maybe not such a fluke. And it's Everett in particular that has Max's fantasies working overtime.
The story very much focused on the romance between the two MCs. The sport of water polo in itself wasn't really a feature of the story, mainly only used as background. Although having said that, it was nonetheless believably incorporated into the story as a part of Everett's character, and the practicalities of things like travel weren't conveniently ignored. The secondary character of Nikki Adams, Everett's friend and the assistant art director at Flesh, is just as clearly defined as the main characters. She's forthright and funny and I loved every appearance she made. Even the character of Brenna, Max's sister-in-law, felt like a fleshed out character and we don't even actually meet her. Both of them have well developed and likeable personalities. There was quite a bit of humour throughout the text, but it's not in your face. There, without being over the top hilarious. The only fault I found with the story was I didn't really understand Max's persistent lack of self esteem when it came to Everett's interest in him. He had a good, supportive upbringing, he's intelligent, and he's not socially awkward, so it felt a little out of place. It was emphasised just a shade too much and seemed unnecessary to the story, but it really is a very small thing in a well-crafted and very enjoyable story. It was rather amazing how the author managed to inject such a lot of personality into the characters despite the relatively short length of story.