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Running Deep

by Bette Hawkins

Welcome to the world of elite swimming with all its competitiveness and comradery—and sometimes much, much more.

It’s here that American swimming star Angie Thompson and Australian prodigy Hannah Clark—both the youngest on their respective teams—form a fast friendship that grows into something much deeper. As they train for the Olympics, the long-distance sweethearts exchange loving letters and lengthy phone calls—until Angie suddenly and unexpectedly severs their relationship, leaving Hannah confused and devastated.

Years later, as Hannah trains for a comeback at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, she is stunned to learn that Angie has been hired by the Australian coaching team. Although Hannah is still crushed by what happened all those years ago, the two athletes slowly form a tentative bond and get to know each other again—this time as adults.

Soon neither can ignore the intense attraction they still feel, now propelled to a higher level by a steamy kiss in a hotel swimming pool. Is it possible for them to win each other’s love…or are they just treading water?


$17.95 $16.95



Genre Romance
Length 212 pages
Publication Date April 16, 2020
Publisher Bella Books
ISBN 9781642471175
Editor Ann Roberts
Cover Designer Judith Fellows



"How did someone with no interest in sport end up writing a book about competitive swimming?

Anyone who knows me will tell you; I just don’t do sports. I exercise with yoga, cycling, and running, but there hasn’t been sport in my life since I was in high school and had little choice in the matter. I don’t follow anything or even watch it casually. I jokingly refer to most team sports as “sportsball” because I’m so ignorant about the differences between them.

One night, when I’d finished a book and was starting to daydream up another, I asked my girlfriend what type of story she’d always wanted to read. When she began waxing lyrical about a romance set within the world of swimming, it didn’t grab me at first. Yet the more she talked, the more I grew excited about the possibilities.

She loved the idea of rivals in a high-stakes competition getting together. I was into the concept of high school sweethearts whose love grows into something mature and sophisticated. We talked about how I could knit those ideas together, and we hashed out the basic plot. By the end of that conversation, I was not only sold on the idea—I couldn’t wait to get started.

To my girlfriend’s amusement, I became obsessed with swimming while I outlined Running Deep. I had a history of disappearing from the living room while she watched sport, but suddenly there I was, reading memoirs and biographies about swimmers and watching Olympics clips on YouTube. She patiently answered all my questions about logistics and let me know if something didn’t ring true. We’d never talked about my writing so much.

Of course, in the end, the details about swimming are not the core of the book. It’s a vehicle for the relationship, but I still wanted to create a sense of authenticity. And it sounds sappy, but if you read romance you won’t mind me saying it. I just really hoped my girlfriend would like it. It was her idea, and I wanted to do it justice.

This story has a happy ending. When she read the finished product, she loved it. I hope you do too."

—Bette Hawkins

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