Between the Lines (Ele’s Review)

Title: Between the Lines
Author: Sally Malcolm
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: December 10th 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary
Reviewed by: Ele
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5


Theo Wishart has given up on finding love.

Luca Moretti doesn’t want to find it.

A handful of summer days may change their lives forever—if they’re brave enough to look between the lines.

Eyes might be windows to the soul, but for Theo Wishart they’re all shuttered. His dyspraxia makes it hard to read people. He doesn’t do relationships and he certainly doesn’t do the great outdoors. Two weeks spent “embracing beach life” while he tries to close the deal on a once great, now fading seaside hotel is a special kind of hell.

Until Luca. Gorgeous, unreachable Luca.

Luca Moretti travels light, avoiding all romantic entanglements. Estranged from his parents, he vows this will be his last trip home to New Milton. His family’s hotel is on the verge of ruin and there’s nothing Luca can do to save it. He’s given up on the Majestic, he’s given up on his family and he’s given up on his future.

Until Theo. Prickly, captivating Theo.

No mushy feelings, no expectations, and no drama—that’s the deal. A simple summer fling. And it suits them both just fine. But as the summer wanes and their feelings deepen, it’s clear to everyone around them that Theo and Luca are falling in love. What will it take for them to admit it to themselves—and to each other?

This book is approximately 73,000 words

I had a hard time rating this one. I struggled a lot because, although I really enjoyed the story, my complaints were too many for me to round up. In any case, Between the Lines proves that Sally Malcolm is a new a force to be reckoned with in MM, and an author I’m definitely interested in.

The writing is absolutely beautiful. I like the dialogue but I love the prose. Not flowery but not too sharp either, just very evocative. Perfect for this type of slow burning, sweet romance. I usually get so bored with inner monologues but the words just flowed here.

I have all the love for Theo. What a sweet, kind-hearted and caring person. Because of his dyspraxia, Theo struggles with a lot of everyday stuff. This makes it very hard to connect and read other people. Luca was harder to like but I loved how protective and sweet he was to Theo.

The epilogue was perfect and necessary to the story. Extra points for Josh and Finn’s cameo appearance.

So, what didn’t work?

For starters, this felt a little bit insta-lovey. I mean it had only been nine days before the “I love you’s” came. For me it’s just too little time for all these feelings to develop and for Theo to make his grand gesture. The epilogue, though, made it a little better.

Speaking of which… I felt that Luca should have been the one to reach out and even grovel. He was awful to Theo but he did nothing to make things right, not even after he learnt the truth about the way things happened.

Another thing that frustrated me was the amount of miscommunication between the characters. The “fight” in the end could have been avoided in my opinion, if only the characters had been willing to talk instead of interrupting each other and jumping to conclusions.

Last but not least, Jude. I rarely base my rating and review on how secondary characters behave but this was important to the story. So MANY hurt feelings between Luca and his mother. Nothing was resolved in my opinion. They didn’t really talk about the core of the problem, Jude just defended her love for Don and Luca just forgave her. And as much as I love flawed characters, I draw the line at mothers who put their homophobic husbands above their kids. I know I’m kinda opinionated about this but it’s just how I am.

I realize I sound like I have a lot of niggles, but I still recommend this book to all MM readers and I sure hope there are more books to come in this universe.

Buy Link Amazon Amazon Global Author Link GoodReads More Author Reviews

Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Between the Lines provided by Carina Press via NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.


Mother, wife, teacher and READER. I read MM almost exclusively. My kindle is my best friend and the most important thing in my life after my son. My poor husband…

I read MM romance almost exclusively. As a reader I don’t have any hard limits except incest. I like Contemporary and Historicals and I rarely read Paranormal unless recommended…

Please comment! We'd love to hear from you.