Book Review: The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by Elizabeth O’Roark

Goodreads: The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Devil #2)
Published: 20 January 2022
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

(4.5 pandas)

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.

TL;DR: Um, hello?! Josh and Drew had me all caught up in my feelings! UGH. I absolutely loved this romance! THE ANGST got me so good I think I’m gonna have to change my stance about not enjoying angst in romance because my gosh, even though they put my heart through the wringer thinking about how they’ll make things work, I wanted more of it! Once these two frenemies work their way past intensely disliking each other, there were so many sweet and tender moments that had my heart swooning.

CW/TW: anxiety, emotional manipulation, forced drug use, drug and alcohol abuse, gaslighting, panic attack, living/working in a war zone

Drew is an international pop superstar who’s surrounded by despicable spineless POSs who control her every waking move. I hated how everyone treated her and talked so horribly about her. Not to get too personal but Drew was relatable to me in many ways and it hurt to see her make herself so small to please others and to see her accept the way people treat her because she believes she deserves nothing better. 😢 I loved how she grows and even though it takes a while and she gets treated even more horrifically along the way, she learns to fight for herself and that moment made me cheer for her so much harder! Then we have Josh . Sexy, hard-shell, soft-hearted Dr. Bailey. We stan a simp hero and my gosh, the way this man protected, stood up for and encouraged Drew to love herself made me love him so much more! 😭 He doesn’t get growly about it but I loved the way he was ready to fight those who mistreated her and it didn’t even come off in a macho alpha way. Mate really had me cheering for him so hard!

They start off not being able to stand each other thanks to some overheard mutterings, misunderstandings and misconceptions. There’s definitely an attraction there but they both assume that they aren’t enough for the other. I absolutely loved the way their relationship evolves and how they allow themselves to be vulnerable and develop a strong friendship before their romance takes off. Even when they’re not on friendly terms, their energy was off the charts. When they were antagonistic toward each other, the connection and chemistry were so palpable that you didn’t know whether they’d fight or have hate sex. Needless to say, it was hot! 🥵 The angst really only served to make their love that much stronger in the end and it made me fall even harder for them!

Overall, there’s little that I didn’t enjoy about this. There were a few extremely privileged comments about Hawaiian locals and Somalian refugees, particularly of children that felt incredibly inappropriate. Even though these moments were ‘minor’ overall and they were acknowledged to be in poor taste by the characters, they felt awkwardly unnecessary? However, the chemistry, the friendship, and the soft, sweet and swoony moments made this book amazing for me. It was also great seeing Talia and Hayes again and seeing how far their relationship came from their book, and now I’m super excited to read Ben’s story next!

Have you read The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea or is it on your TBR?

13 thoughts on “Book Review: The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by Elizabeth O’Roark

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