Wednesday, May 23, 2018

REVIEW/RELEASE BLITZ: Between the Lines by Renee Harless

Genre: Contemporary Romance

An unspoken rule.

A friendship that will be tested.


He was my crush at thirteen and ten years later that feeling never ceased. 
I thought that time and distance would change us but I never expected the feelings to grow. 
Now things are complicated. 
His sister is my best friend. 
She’s also his twin. 
And I’m stuck in the middle.


She was always my fantasy come to life and I knew even at sixteen that girls like her were rare. 
Soft, feminine, sweet to her core - she was my complete opposite. 
I knew how to keep her away when we were young, but I’m finding it hard to keep her out of reach when everyone is pushing us together. 
My sister can never know the things I plan to do to her best friend.

~Book Review~
2.75 Stars

Quinn Miller, 24, has returned to her Texas hometown to get a break from L.A., and to visit with her childhood best friend, Izzy, when she discovers she still has a crush on Izzy’s twin brother, Trevor Shaw.

I side-eyed Quinn’s celebrity status many times and not just because I prefer plots about average people.  I might have bought that she was simply an actress, a profession that’s a dime a dozen in LA and would have explained her relocating after high school; but, it was the fact that she became an instant star upon arrival in LA, appearing on dozens of magazine covers and walking the red carpet, that was unrealistic and inconsistent.  She travels without a bodyguard; thinks she can’t get into a small but busy local club; and when she does, she gets drunk, taken out by a cop in uniform, pukes, and passes out. Yet this never makes social media or the tabloids??? 

The paparazzi later appears and then seems to disappear. Again, it’s really inconsistent. And made Quinn difficult to connect with.  I think there was potential to make Quinn a fuller character, especially if the issue with her parents would have been more fully developed, but her parents and that side plot felt flat.  

As for Trevor, well I could have done without the “there is never a shortage of women to finish the job for me” comment following his assertion that he wasn’t hasn’t taken care of it himself in years. I find a man who can take care of it himself instead of whoring around a lot more attractive.  But then later, Trevor monologues that he didn’t actually practice his playboy reputation; he just never squelched the rumors. Again, inconsistency.

I was also bothered by this line:
“…she doesn’t need to be treated like the women I’m normally with. She needs to be treated with the care she deserves.”
So other women don't deserve to be treated with care and respect?

 I get the message this statement was going for—the heroine is special; but there’s no need to degrade other women simply to prop the heroine.

I also eye-rolled a few instances of romance world trite vernacular.  Oh and he calls her “sweetheart” 37 times. (Trust me, it felt like he said it every time he opened his mouth.)

On the plus side, there are plenty of detailed steamy encounters and the reader gets to experience their romance. Trevor was actually pretty sweet when he was taking her out. The story is overall safe without any real OW/OM drama. That’s always a plus!

But there’s something about their interactions, including Trevor’s sister’s opinion on it all, that came across rather high schoolish.  
“‘Oh my God, how could we forget about Izzy? She’s going to flip out…she can not know about this. It would kill her.’”
Told via Quinn and Trevor’s alternating first person point of view, this is a best friend’s sibling “forbidden” romance.  The whole “forbidden” angle felt forced/contrived.  I couldn’t help but feel that if someone was really your best friend, you should be comfortable confiding in them, whether it is her brother or not when you’re all TWENTY-FOUR YEARS OLD, not twelve.  And I’d also hope that said sibling would handle the situation more supportively. The way it played out, I thought Quinn and Izzy’s friendship seemed somewhat superficial, though I don’t think that was the intent. A mature conversation between everyone involved would have gone a long way.  

Last but not least, there’s a strange continuity error when Quinn can’t wash her vibrator because “we have no water without the power on.”  Umm, when my power goes out I still have water.  Those lines are totally separate.  Still, I’m sure she could have improvised.

All in all, it was just an okay read, and if you can get past the above issues which distracted me, you might enjoy it. 


Renee Harless, her husband, and children live in Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.  She studied Communication, specifically Public Relations, at Radford University.

Growing up, Renee always found a way to pursue her creativity. It began by watching endless runs of White Christmas- yes even in the summer – and learning every word and dance from the movie. She could still sing Sister Sister if requested. In high school she joined the show choir and a community theatre group, The Troubadours. After marrying the man of her dreams and moving from her hometown she sought out a different artistic outlet – writing.

To say that Renee is a romance addict would be an understatement. When she isn’t chasing her toddler around the house, working her day job, or writing, she delves head first into a romance novel.

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