Between the Lines by KD Williamson is the third book in her Cops and Docs series, although it doesn’t matter if you’ve never read Blurred Lines or Crossing Lines. Between the Lines stands alone and has no connection to them except by theme, because it features a police officer falling in love with a doctor.
Tonya Preston is a psychiatrist in New Orleans, still counselling people through the trauma of Hurricane Katrina seven years later. Her life is quiet and ordered, and her detachment and champion-level compartmentalization skills are the only way she can live with her temperamental father and the emotional burden of her work. A dangerous encounter at a gas station leads her into contact with Haley Jordan, a cute butch rookie cop who quickly makes her days a little messier than she’s ready for.
Haley’s life is pretty great. She has good friends, a solid relationship with her mom, and she’s started a new job on the NOPD, although her partner kind of sucks. She’s drawn to Tonya and is willing to wait as long as it takes, but can a relationship flourish between them when real life rears its ugly head?
KD Williamson does amazing character work in all of her books, so that it’s like you’re reading about people and not just characters that someone made up. Whether it’s Tonya, Haley, or any of the supporting cast, it felt like I could have met any of them in real life and known who they were. None of them are perfect or even idealized, and it’s in their flaws that we find ways to become attached to them.
Tonya is a total ice queen, for reasons that make sense (and I won’t get into because I don’t want to spoil anything). She’s a woman who is used to carrying a heavy emotional load and protects herself by using those compartmentalization skills I mentioned above. As a biracial woman, she also often deals with racism, even from the patients she’s tasked with helping at the hospital, making an already difficult job even worse. She has an incredible arc, both because of Haley being part of her life as well as decisions she makes for herself, and I was captivated the whole way through.
Haley is smart, good looking, confident, and—my personal favourite—a gigantic geek. Seriously! I love that she’s such a geek! When we first meet Haley and she’s getting angry about the ending to Mass Effect 3? I immediately fell for her because the ending to that game left me bitter for years. Clearly we’re meant for each other. What I appreciated even more than that about her? Despite being more than a decade younger than Tonya, she has incredible emotional intelligence, giving her the time and space she needs to grow to know and trust Haley. She never pushes Tonya for more than she can give out of their friendship and their later relationship, and she’s the perfect companion for her.
The Writing Style
While I really enjoyed Blurred Lines and Crossing Lines, it felt like KD Williamson’s writing hit a whole new level with Between the Lines. There’s even more depth to the characters, the plotting is tighter, and the pacing is very good, which is especially important because it’s not a short book. I also thought it was particularly interesting how she used Tonya’s dreams as a way for us to see both the experiences that led her to this point and her journey in the present.
Oh goodness, everything? Seriously though, if you check out KD Williamson’s bio you’ll see that she’s a Hurricane Katrina survivor and has worked in the mental health field for years. Her experience with both brought a richness to Between the Lines that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.
Absolutely none for me.
Between the Lines was an absolute home run for me. Everyone should read it, especially if they like to read about cops, doctors, or stories with very well developed characters. I went into this book with high expectations, and KD Williamson blew past all of them. I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us next!
Excerpt from Between the Lines by KD Williamson
Haley walked out of the bathroom rubbing a towel in her hair. The sound of her cell phone ringing the whistled tune from Kill Bill made her drop the towel and head straight for her nightstand.
“Hey, you there?”
“I am. You answered just in time. I’m pretty sure your voice mail was about to pick up.”
“Lucky me, then, and the fact that you’re callin’ me? Bonus.”
“Is that a problem?”
“No, just pointin’ it out as a good thing. It means you’re invested.”
“Oh? Is that what it means?” The amusement in Tonya’s tone couldn’t be missed.
“Yes, me and the universe say so.”
“The entire universe is on your side?”
“Mm-hm, think about it. Look at how we met. Look at everythin’ that happened afterward. It’s gotta be the universe.”
“So we have no choice in this whatsoever?”
Haley smiled and sat on the edge of the bed. “You made your choice when you agreed to the phone thing.”
Tonya was quiet for a few seconds. “I guess I did.”
“Any regrets?” Haley had to ask, but she really hoped Tonya wouldn’t answer. Still naked, she got comfortable on her bed. She held her breath and waited.
“Yes…just one. That it took me being worried to call you.”
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9783955338251
- Publisher: Ylva Publishing
KD Williamson Online
Note: I received a free review copy of Between the Lines by KD Williamson. No money was exchanged for this review. I will always review books as honestly as possible and on occasion I refuse to review books.