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The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by Elizabeth O'Roark

The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

by Elizabeth O'Roark


Book 2 in the Devil's series

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.



Oh my god, I loved this book!


But it's going to be hard to write this review. In A Deal With the Devil, the first book in the series, I already wrote about how impressed I am with Elizabeth's talent in weaving the enemies to lovers/frenemies trope into her stories. So to avoid repeating myself in the long winded way I did with the last book, I'm just going to put it simply here; Elizabeth O'Roark has PERFECTED enemies to lovers, in my humblest opinion.

Something that The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea had over the first book in the series is the uniqueness of the storyline. I mean, it's not the first time I've read a book where the woman has fallen in love with her boyfriends or ex's brother, but with the circumstances, side characters, and setting, it felt wholly unique. It added a level of unpredictability which is rare in contemporary romance, and an extra amount of attentiveness to the story. There was not a moment where I was bored, and THAT is what I'm looking for.

Well ... I'm also looking for the romance too.

Luckily for us romance readers, Elizabeth O'Roark can write amazing romance.

The underlaying sexual tension, and the steamy scenes are of course, superb, but the actual romance of the story is what truly makes this book perfection. Elizabeth is able to convey through words the chemistry between two people beautifully - even characters who dislike one another. As someone who has read a lot of romance, and is currently starting to write herself, I understand how difficult this is to do. Invoking feelings with words is incredibly difficult, but for Elizabeth O'Roark, she is a master at it.

You need to read this book! Actually, read the whole series. It's on kindle unlimited, but honestly, Elizabeth is now an auto-buy author for me. You won't regret purchasing her books.

Josh: “We should go,”

Josh says, glaring across the room.

Josh: “Someone better hold Drew’s hand so she doesn’t get trampled by all the normal size humans.”

Drew: “Extreme height is correlated with early mortality,”

I reply, craning my neck back to maintain eye contact. He raises a brow.

Josh: “That’s Marfan’s syndrome. And you sound hopeful.”

Drew: “Only if it could take place without ruining the trip.”

Joshua. So far, he’s exceeding any and all expectations. Because I expected him to be a dick, and my God he’s killing it. Fan: “Is he your boyfriend?” one of them asks, sweeping her appreciative gaze over him.

Drew: “Him? No. Satan isn’t allowed to take a companion on the Earth’s surface, as far as I know.” Drew: “I’m trying to imagine you and Sloane having sex,”

I reply, mostly because I know it will make him uncomfortable. He stumbles and catches himself.

Josh: “What?”

Drew: “Don’t worry, it’s not sexy. I picture more of a Ken doll, Barbie doll situation, with you two rubbing your smooth parts against each other. Or two robots fucking, in some kind of simulation set up for scientists to observe. I’m not entirely clear on why scientists would need to observe robots fucking…still working that part out.”

Josh: “Please stop talking,”

he begs, but I see that twitch to his lips. Josh: "Pretend you’re back lounging at the pool.”

Drew: “Do I have a drink?”

I ask. I’m still crying, and it’s so goddamned embarrassing. But he laughs.

Josh: “Yes, you have a margarita, but they forgot the salt. So you’re trying to get the waitress fired.”

Drew: “Of course I am,”

I whisper.

Drew: “The salt’s the best part.” Tali: “So what I hear you saying,”

Tali says once I’ve finished updating her about the trip,

Tali: “is that Joshua rushed across the ocean to save you, lifting you into his brawny arms.”

Drew: “Oh my God. Stop.” Tali: “And I notice we haven’t discussed Six even once. I assume he’s still in prison?”

I exhale and scratch the back of my neck.

Drew: “They think it’ll all be settled tomorrow. And don’t make him sound like a serial killer. He made a little mistake, and you’ve got to take the good with the bad, Tali. You put up with Hayes being British, I put up with Six smuggling weed in a guitar case.”

Tali: “Sure, okay, but Hayes is also sweet, and loving, and okay-looking, which balances out the fact that he’s British.”

I hear a shout in the background and she stifles a laugh. She smiles, and though she’s barefaced—her hair in a messy bun, her tiny form swimming in an oversized sweatshirt—she’s never looked more beautiful to me. Drew: “You’re kind of a keeper, Joshua Bailey.” Someone offers to take our photo together.

Drew: “He has this affliction,”

Drew tells the guy as I hand him my phone.

Drew: “He’s unable to smile. I’ve started a Go Fund Me on his behalf but we haven’t had much success because he looks so cranky in the photo.”

The picture is taken. I thank the guy and glance at it when Drew is looking away.

I was smiling. It leaves me wondering if maybe I haven’t gone far enough. If maybe I’ve been letting a lot of people walk on me for a very long time, because the worst things they say about me aren’t nearly as bad as the things I say about myself. Josh: "You deserve someone who worships the ground you walk on, Drew. Someone you can lean on. Who cares more about your happiness than his own.” Drew: “Were you under the impression I was going to show up in a ballgown and heels? I’m not Sloane.”

He gives a disgruntled laugh.

Josh: “Glad you’re still managing to take potshots when she’s thousands of miles away. I just meant, like, don’t wear some stupid lacy thong that’ll ride up your ass the whole time.”

I look at him over my shoulder.

Drew: “Spend a lot of time thinking about my panties, do you?”

He blinks, shocked and guilty. So guilty, like a little boy caught with his hand in the cookie jar. He schools his expression.

Josh: “Fine. When you’re chafed, don’t come crying to me.”

Drew: “Did you really imagine that if I had chafing on my genitalia, I would come crying to you? Oh, Josh, can you take a look at my vagina?

I ask in a whispery baby voice.

Drew: “It hurts so bad.”

Josh: “Jesus,”

he grunts, plowing forward to where the water is deeper.

Josh: “Forget I brought it up.”

Drew: “You don’t need to worry about my panties!”

I shout after him.

Drew: “I’m not planning on wearing any.”

He exhales then, and it’s not weary or disdainful. He sounds like he just got the wind knocked out of him. I hope he’s past the rocks, because he dives right in. Drew: “What are you trying not to laugh at?”

Josh: “You’re gonna go over like a turtle on its back with that thing on, and you’ll never get back up,”

Drew: “Don’t laugh too hard. If I fall, I’m taking you with me.”

Our eyes met.

Josh: “Of course you are,”

he said softly. It’s only a second, but infinity rests within it. And I see exactly what we could have been. I see what he wants, what I want, and how terrifying it would be if it was at all possible. He would be more. He would be the long journey into the unknown. And I’m pretty sure, with him, I could be convinced to try. My hand moves to her hip.

Josh: “I’m not molesting you. But I can’t sleep with my arm straight at my side.”

Drew: “That surprises me. Not what I pictured.”

Josh: “I didn’t realize you pictured me sleeping.”

Drew: “It was only when I wanted to creep myself out. Mostly, I saw you posed like a corpse.”

I smile in the darkness.

Josh: “So wishful thinking, then?”

She laughs.

Drew: “Precisely.”

Sloane was wrong about her. Maybe my feelings for her are messy, but she isn’t. She’s a tiny little fighter, resilient and perfect just as she is. It doesn’t take long, with my breath against her hair and rain lashing the tent, for her to fall asleep. But I lie awake for a long time. I will never forgive my brother for this. I’m going to stay calm tomorrow, until I get her home, and I’ll probably put a good face on things for my mother’s sake. But I’m never going to fucking let this go. I know when he wakes because for half a second he curls closer, and then I hear him say “shit” far too close to my ear and feel him roll away. I suppose I could pretend to be asleep but that’s really not me.

Drew: “Happy to see me this morning?”

I ask instead.

Josh: “Don’t get too flattered. I just need to pee.”

Drew: “I wasn’t flattered. I assumed it was one of your robotic parts malfunctioning. Though I find the idea of a malfunctioning sex robot weirdly titillating.”

Josh: “Drew,”

he says between his teeth,

Josh: “that really isn’t helping.” And that’s all it takes: he closes the distance, pulling me against him, and his hands are cradling my jaw and his mouth is on mine as if it’s always wanted to be there. For one long, breathless moment, nothing exists but him and the way he is kissing me.

Josh: “I would give anything for things to have been different,”

he says. And then he walks away, disappearing into the crowd of people boarding their flight. Drew: “Holy shit,”

I say, staring at her stomach. She didn’t look so pregnant the last time I saw her, but now…

Drew: “You can’t possibly have two more months left.”

She laughs and sinks into the chair across from me like a pregnant woman would, hand on her stomach as if she’s not sure the baby knows to come with her.

Tali: “It’s bizarre, I know.”

Drew: “What if this kid is Hayes’s size? Your vagina will be permanently ruined.”

She raises a brow.

Tali: “It’s as if you consulted a list of the worst possible things to say to a pregnant woman and are running through them as fast as possible.”

Drew: “Sorry. No filter.” Drew: “I’m nervous. You make me nervous.”

His upper lip quirks up for half a second as he pours, quietly pleased.

Josh: “You just spent several days risking life and limb trudging through mud with me. You’ve shared a tent with me. How could I be making you nervous now?”

Drew: “I wasn’t about to sleep with you any of those times.”

His eyes darken in a way that makes me shiver. Feral, dangerous, certain eyes.

Josh: “And you’re about to now?”

Drew: “We could play Monopoly if you prefer.”

Josh: “Monopoly is a stupid fucking game,”

he says, stepping between my legs. He’s decided something. I shiver again.

Drew: “Sounds like someone’s not very good at Monopoly.”

He pulls the champagne flute from my hand.

Josh: “I could kick your ass at Monopoly. Grab St. James Place and you’ve won the game.” Josh: “I’ve wanted you since the first night I saw you. “Last summer, at the party.”

Drew: “You acted like you hated me at that party.”

His mouth curves up just a hint. An almost smile that is rueful and apologetic at the same time.

Josh: “Sometimes,”

he says, pulling the sheets over us both,

Josh: “it’s easier to hate something than admit you’re just pissed off you’ll never have it.” Josh: “Don’t apologize. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t hope there was a blowjob somewhere in the next seven hours.”

I glance from him to the privacy glass.

Drew: “I could ask him to circle the block.”

His eyes fall closed.

Josh: “Fuck. Now I’m hard. All you had to do was offer and it happened that fast, Drew.”

My hand unlinks from his and travels, hip to groin. He wasn’t lying. It’s lovely and long and firm. I manage to give it one solid squeeze before he removes my hand.

Josh: “Not here,”

he says through gritted teeth.

Drew: “No?"

Josh: "I have a pretty specific fantasy involving you doing that, and you’ll probably want to be undressed when it happens.” Drew: “I wish we had that whole two weeks back, from Hawaii. I wish it had been different.”

Josh: “I do too, but it was pretty perfect in its own way.”

I smile.

Drew: “You mean the little replica of the Washington Monument in my back during the camping trip? The moment I realized you kind of liked me?”

Josh: “I don’t love the fact that you’re calling it little, baby.” I pull him down to me again by the lapels of his coat.

Drew: “I love that you came here to see me.”

Josh: “It didn’t feel like a choice,”

he says, his mouth ghosting over mine, sliding to my jaw.

Josh: “I couldn’t fucking stay away.”

Drew: “Can you wait for me? I can be done here in an hour, tops. Less if I’m rude.”

Josh: “Sure. But I fully support rudeness.” Josh: “You have no idea how bad I want to fuck you right now,”

he whispers in my ear.

Drew: “No condom,”

I remind him.

Josh: “I’d fashion one. I’d turn into fucking MacGyver and create it from a shoe lace and my driver’s license.”

I laugh.

Drew: “Sounds hygienic.” Drew: “Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to buy condoms,”

I whisper, moving toward the door.

Drew: “And Josh? Buy a lot.” Mom: “I like your hair,”

she says. Of course she does. I could walk into her law firm now as a junior associate and no one would blink an eye. The teenage rebel in me wants me to go to the bathroom and shave it off, pronto.

Drew: “Thanks,”

I say grimly, taking the seat across from hers.

Mom: “And you’re sober,”

Drew: “Tell me something, Mom,”

I reply, looking over the menu,

Drew: “are we always going to throw our worst moments in each other’s faces? Because you’re not cheating on my father right now either, but I managed not to bring it up.” Josh: “Drew,”

he says hoarsely,

Josh: “don’t do this. I know it’s a messed-up situation, but I’d give anything to—”

I’d give anything to—. Those are the words that bring me up short. I’ve heard that before. It was bullshit then, and it’s bullshit now.

Drew: “No, Josh, you actually wouldn’t give anything, because if that was true you’d be here. And if that was true, you’d be willing to tell your family and you wouldn’t have hidden me from your colleagues. Let’s call a spade a spade: you’re not willing to give up a fucking thing.” Josh: “You came all the way here for me,”

he says. I swallow.

Drew: “Of course I did,”

I say roughly, and then there are tears rolling down my face.

Josh: “Because you love me.”

I nod.

Drew: “Yes. But your family—”

He steps closer and reaches toward me. One hand lands on my waist, the other cups my jaw.

Josh: “And you’re in this for the whole ride, wherever it takes us?”

My eyes widen.

Drew: “Yes,”

I whisper in a choked voice. In the distance someone shouts What the fuck? But Josh is smiling. The world is falling apart around us and he’s smiling.

Josh: “Me too,”

he says and then he kisses me. In front of his entire family and all the people in this waiting room, he kisses me like he thought he might never see me again.


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