Between the Lines – T.J Ryan

Pages: 280
Released On: 14/02/2023

Jonathan’s done playing the token diversity character. Despite being the son of an award-winning director and a screen sensation, he has struggled to find his own identity in his craft. He only felt normal that amazing night with the mystery girl who had no idea who he really was. No acting required.

Tessa prefers to live behind the scenes, perfect for a screenwriter. With her final year of university looming, her dream of getting into the National Film and Television School for her postgraduate degree may actually be within her reach. One problem – aside from her talent, she’s a nobody and a drunken one-night stand with a guy who turned out to be an A-list celebrity is hardly a claim to fame.

However, when Jonathan needs to reinvent his image after a disastrous interview goes viral – his former fling could be his one chance to take control of the narrative. Tessa is the perfect good girl for the media to fall in love with and Jonathan’s industry connections will give her the advantage she needs. As the pair agree to stage a fake romance to further their careers, the lines blur between reality and playing pretend.

When genuine feelings develop between them, the media attention puts a further strain on their fledgling romance. What’s more, both Tessa and Jonathan have secrets of their own that could shatter their newfound happiness forever.


Thanks to Ted for the gifted proof of his book in return for an honest review.

I will admit that I have known the author Ted for well over a decade, but he knows me well enough, and I have too much respect for him as a writer, to give him a false review. Everything I write here will be an honest account of my own opinion on the book, and is not a reflection based off of an acquaintance.

Whilst I was happy to read it and offer my views, I wasn’t expecting to be enamoured with it, as it’s not normally my favourite genre. However, it really surprised me. I knew he could write, what with his experience of scriptwriting and whatnot, but I wasn’t expecting it to be this good.

The two main characters are absolutely gorgeous. I really loved Tessa, she’s initially unassuming, a bit timid, a bit wanting to stay in the background. She’s trusting but damaged, passionate and loving. She more than holds her own as one half of our protagonist couple.

And I did love Jonathan. At first you might think him as the big A-List alpha male main star kind of man, but he’s got so much more than that. Handsome and talented and famous, yes, but he’s caring and sensitive an id like one of him in my life please.

The secondary characters are just as great. You have Mia, Jonathan’s agent, who is strong and feisty and protective, and his mother Ophelia, who is dark and dirt and wicked. There’s lots of other characters that I won’t go into detail here, but who excellently play their part in moving Tessa and Jonathan’s story along. There isn’t a wasted character in it.

I liked how he dealt with representation. It could be said that people who do not fit the ‘norm’ (white, slim, cis-gender, able-bodied, straight) are only being cast in movies or TV shows in order to tick a box. But that’s nearly always never the case. I know it is sometimes, but people are normally cast because they’re the best person to hire, rather than for their sexuality, their skin colour, their physical ability etc. Ted hasn’t rammed the representation angle down our throats in order to tick a box, he’s genuinely added it when it’s needed, and you really start to feel for this black actor whose skin colour is often a reason for his casting, and when he starts to stand up for himself, he’s instantly seen as the bad guy.

I almost forgot that this had been written by a peer. Not that I didn’t expect it to be good, but it feels so well accomplished, and it’s just so bizarre to be in the position of knowing the author and seeing them through this medium.

There was the odd typo which most people probably won’t even notice, but because I’m as penikity as I am, I see it. But to be honest, there are typos in the most meticulously proofread books out there so it’s not the end of the world, but I had to mention it in order to give a full honest review.

It flows so naturally, it has natural dialogue, great character creation and development, a fun plot. And it’s only book one in a planned series, so it’s going to be an exciting journey.

It’s so fun and juicy and riveting, I could definitely see it as a TV series. It’s full of drama, love, lust, anger, secrets, a little bit of everything and it just makes for a fabulous read to lose yourself in. I finished it in one day as I just had to know what would happen next.

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