As 2022 comes to a close, I’m celebrating my 20 favorite romance novels of the year, and The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea definitely makes the list. The Devil series has been fantastic as a whole, but I sincerely enjoyed this angsty, forbidden romance – it might be my favorite of the Devils. It’s got sexual tension that sparks off the page, and I loved how the forced proximity made the characters’ feelings come bubbling to the surface. Every bit of it was bingeable, and the book (and series!) left me wanting to read more and more from O’Roark. She’s quickly becoming a one-click author for me, and I’m not complaining.
You’ll find my original review below!
Easiest 5-star rating I’ve given in awhile – I absolutely loved it! This was nothing like I was expecting and everything I wanted all at once; an unpredictable, bingeable ride that had me turning the pages all day long. I loved the chemistry between these two, and I love peeling back their layers bit by bit to discover the complexity that laid beneath. As with the fantastic A Deal with the Devil, these broken characters fit together perfectly. This easily reads as a standalone, but also fleshes out some of the characters that were introduced in the first book. And if I was a little worried about the brother-swapping element in the blurb (okay, I was definitely worried), my fears were quickly extinguished. This did not feel like a love triangle at all; there’s a clear winner from the start, and the forbidden element just made this more devourable.
The story follows Drew, a pop star who is a bit of a mess. If you read A Deal with the Devil (definitely not required reading), you’ll know that she’s been in a toxic on-again/off-again relationship with a musician, Six. While Drew knows that Six isn’t a knight in shining armor, at least she knows what she’s getting with him – and her complicated past makes that the desirable option. Though the two called it quits months ago, Six has asked for another chance, so Drew agrees to go on vacation with him. Little does she know that it’s a family vacation, one that includes Six’s parents and brother – the buttoned-up doctor who seems to hate Drew. Josh is the complete opposite of his brother, a cold, emotionless guy who sounds perfect on paper. Well, perfect for someone who isn’t a hot mess like Drew. But as the two spend more time together, Drew realizes that Josh might not be an unfeeling robot after all.
So I’ll address the brother-swapping, since you’re probably wondering about it. I was good with it. Drew broke up with Six months ago, and he’s clearly no good for her. Yes, he wants her back, but she isn’t so sure that’s a great idea. They haven’t been together in quite awhile, though they’re stuck in limbo on the trip, and he doesn’t deserve Drew, quite honestly. I’d probably be interested in reading his love story, but he’s going to need to clean up his act first. Josh, on the other hand, I LOVED. The man is no devil, and I loved him more and more as the story progressed. He’s kind and supportive, loving and loyal, and everything that Drew never knew she needed in her life. It was really refreshing to have the heroine be the one who is such a walking disaster, and I also loved her character the more we got to know her. This story unraveled in a way that I wasn’t expecting at all, and the unpredictability paired with the great chemistry had me hooked the whole way through. I devoured it in one sitting, and I was swooning by the end.
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.
Start the series today!
The series is only loosely connected, but we DID meet the heroine of The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea in A Deal with the Devil, and got to know her relationship status. The two books really have nothing to do with one another otherwise, so it’s certainly not required reading. HOWEVER, A Deal with the Devil was EXCELLENT. I loved the slow burn, enemies to lovers vibes and the hero is such a lovable jerk.
He might not be the devil, but working under him for six weeks is my idea of hell.
Hayes Flynn is an arrogant jerk known best for his scotch habit and the way he spreads his British “charm” all over Hollywood, never with the same woman twice. He’s the last person I want to work for, except he has a face I can’t look away from, and the longer we’re together, the harder he is to hate. Because under that smug exterior is a heart he doesn’t want to show—one that was badly broken a decade earlier.
A part of me wants to fix it for him before I leave…but can I do it without breaking my own in the process?
Read the review here
About the Author:
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 eight novels and recipient of the 2017 IBPA gold medal for romance. She lives in Washington DC with her three children.
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