Thursday, January 20, 2022

The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by Elizabeth O'Roark - ARC Review & Blog Tour



You don't really know a guy until you've vacationed with him...

When Drew Wilson's ex-boyfriend Joel "Six" Bailey asks her to go on his family trip to Hawaii with him just as her life is falling apart, she decides it's the perfect time to give him another chance.

The hitch? The Bailey family includes Six's rude older brother, Joshua--a hot-nerd doctor who has hated Drew since the moment they met and once suggested she'd steal the family silver.

Drew is determined to win the Baileys over and give this thing with Six a fair shot...but Joshua is making that difficult. Not simply because he is in her way at every turn, but because--as one tropical adventure leads to the next--she's beginning to wonder if obnoxious, odious Joshua might be the brother she actually belongs with.


There were parts of this book I really liked, a lot: the build up of the relationship, the friendship and the emotional connection between them, the banter between Drew and Josh.

However, while the first part of this was really good, the second part, the relationship between Drew and Josh, fizzled as it wasn't developed.

Even the book seems to know this. The parts in Hawaii, where it's developed and engaging, have chapters that start with telling you the date, so you know only a day has passed. This stops after they leave Hawaii, almost like the author doesn't want to admit how quickly time in the book is now moving, hoping the reader won't notice.

We meet Drew and Josh when Drew is dating Six and on a Hawaiian vacation with Josh's family. The almost enemies to friends connection between them is so well developed I couldn't wait to get to the parts of the story where they were a couple.

Unfortunately, once I got there, the meetings felt contrived, rushed, and while romantic with a hint of angst, they never reached their full potential (especially one in a less than safe locale that I didn't actually believe was even happening) and the book felt like the author had a list of loose ends to tie up and was tossing words on the page to get through the things on an outline.

Romance? Check
Angst? Check
Harsh Breakup? Check
Scene Where Reader Understands Josh's Job is Dangerous? Check
Happy Ending? Check

What was well developed at the beginning was hurried and rushed at the end and the pay off was flat.

That said, I enjoyed the beginning of the book enough to still recommend it, even though I really wanted more from the end. This isn't the first title I've read by this author and it won't be the last, even though this one wasn't my favorite.

I recommend this title overall.

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Meet Elizabeth

Elizabeth O'Roark spent many years as a medical writer before publishing her first novel in 2013. She holds bachelor’s degrees in journalism and arts from the University of Texas, and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from the University of Notre Dame. She is the author of ten novels and recipient of the 2017 IBPA gold medal for romance. She lives in Washington DC with her three children.

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