Night Shifts Black/Tracing Holland


by Alyson Santos

I read A LOT. So I love it when a book can still surprise me. Night Shifts Black did that. Nothing about it went the way I expected it to and I freakin’ LOVED that about it! It’s going to make it hard to write a review without spoilers, but I’m gonna try!

So…. Callie frequents a cafe where a handsome stranger visits every day. Typical romance fare, right? Not quite. The guy, Luke, comes every day to stare at a chair. He doesn’t speak to anyone. Except Callie, whose personality makes her hard to ignore. I. Loved. Her. She’s gonna find a way into Luke’s life if it kills her.

The beauty of this book lies in its accurate peak into the life of someone dealing with depression. Callie gives Luke a one-page monologue about what depression feels like (a curtain that blocks you off from your loved ones) that felt like she had stepped into my head and written down thoughts from my own life some years ago. It’s dead on and makes those who have experienced the loneliness of depression feel less alone, more understood.

I must also talk about Luke’s best friend, Casey. Is there a shop where I can pick up one like him? At first you think he’s just a shallow hot guy, but he’s so much more. And I adore him.

While there is romance in NSB, it takes a back seat to the importance of friendship. And family. I loved that.

I also love how Santos speaks of music — how it feels to hear it. How it can touch you. She clearly has a musical background because the inside look at actually making and recording music is fascinating.

Tracing Holland is the sequel to NSB and I really enjoyed it!

The second book is told from Luke’s perspective. Santos does really well at something a lot of female authors struggle with, writing from the male POV. Luke comes alive on the pages.

Again, music plays a big part in the story and Santos describes it well. This is a rock romance how they are supposed to be and definitely worth the time.



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