Between the Lines by Ella Linden (Paradise Bay #1)
Released: January 27, 2017
Reviewed by Mandi
If you are in the mood for something light, and a small town where everyone is happy and successful and did I mention happy? This might be for you. Olivia has moved back to the small town of Paradise Bay where she spent many summers in her youth. She has had two serious relationships which didn’t end well and she is ready for a new beginning. She is an artist (who happened to switch to marketing major in her last year) and her dream is to illustrate comic books, but she hasn’t had a contract yet. She writes an online comic and becomes a part-time employee of a comic book store in Paradise Bay where she knows the two female owners. Because of that marketing degree, she agrees to help them with some new promotions.
Our hero is Andrew who was stationed in Afghanistan, suffers from PTSD and is now a famous horror writer whose books are made into movies. He is a known womanizer but is on a break from females and is a bit sarcastic. He meets Olivia in the comic book store and is attracted to her. But they both have commitment issues and when Andrew offers Olivia a job illustrating his graphic novel, she feels weird about sleeping with him since he is paying her. But eventually these two get romantic and a relationship develops.
There are a lot of …things…in this book but I’m not sure how many felt genuine. Olivia is an artist, comic book designer, marketing guru. I felt like she was all of that, it wasn’t just telling by the author – but – she excelled in every single thing she did. Which again led to the more happy tone of the book, but some flaws would have been interesting.
Andrew, I’m not so sure. He definitely felt like a writer but his military and PTSD background didn’t feel as real in the book. More just tell rather than show. We also have the brewery and the brother who owns that has a farmer brother who grows all the hops. We have a derby team which Olivia is encouraged to join. A volunteer firefighter – every character has a great life and amazing job and everyone is friendly with everyone. And honestly, we probably don’t get enough “nice” in romance books. But it was a little – too nice? Or we didn’t go deep enough with the characters to really feel what their life is like.
The romance in this one is okay. Olivia admits to herself pretty early on that she is heading to the big L word with Andrew but she is afraid to push the relationship forward. I felt the drama at the end was a little forced.
Cute story – maybe a little more depth could have wooed me more.