Theo Wishart has come to New Milton to buy The Majestic Hotel. His father is his boss and Theo is constantly trying to prove himself, and landing this deal will further his career. Theo has a hard time reading people and while his dyspraxia has made certain areas of life more difficult, Theo only wants to be defined by what he can do. Theo wants to find love, but after a disastrous experience, he doesn’t think that’s likely to happen for him.
Luca Moretti grew up at The Majestic, as the hotel has been in his family for generations. He always thought that one day it would be his, but when his mother remarried, Luca did not feel welcomed in his own home by her new husband. Luca now travels the country and this summer he has returned to The Majestic. He knows it’ll likely be his last visit as the hotel is going under. Luca also thinks he has no interest in being tied down romantically, that is until he meets Theo.
In order to close the deal, Theo will be staying at the property for two weeks. Beach life is not for Theo, but the view of Luca adds to the appeal. Luca feels that getting involved with Theo is just short of sleeping with the enemy, but the men agree to a summer fling. With no expectations and no promises, the men seem doomed before they even have a chance to begin.
Sally Malcolm offers a story of two men that, despite their prickly exteriors, is on the sweet side. Theo arrives to the small beach town and has something to prove. He needs to make this deal to show his father, who is his boss, that he can handle it. Theo has a neurological disorder called dyspraxia that makes some things in his life more challenging. While Theo does sometimes wish certain things were easier for him, this story is not about him trying to overcome anything.
When Theo and Luca crash into each other, there is something there immediately, but Theo doesn’t think that romance will ever find him, and Luca’s not at all interested. Luca has a lot of anger built up with his mother and the situation with The Majestic. The hotel has always been his home and Luca has so many unresolved feelings and is too angry to say what he really wants. He can’t even admit that he really wants Theo.
From the beginning of the book, I knew how it would end, but it was still engaging to see it play out. These guys don’t communicate, oh they have their reasons, and it takes one of them to really step up and go after what they want to make both of their dreams come true.
Theo’s father was a character that seemed misplaced to me at times. He was presented originally one way and then was shown another way and it was never quite clear if he was on Theo’s side. He was a driving force behind a lot of Theo’s choices and scenes with him didn’t fully work for me each time.
Ultimately, I enjoyed Sally Malcolm’s writing style and Between the Lines is a sweet story about going after your dreams and going after the one you want to share them with.