Mary Ann Rivers was an English and music major and went on to earn her MFA in creative writing, publishing poetry in journals and leading creative-writing workshops for at-risk youth. While training for her day job as a nurse practitioner, she rediscovered romance on the bedside tables of her favorite patients. Now she writes smart and emotional contemporary romance, imagining stories featuring the heroes and heroines just ahead of her in the coffee line. Mary Ann Rivers lives in the Midwest with her handsome professor husband and their imaginative school-aged son.
Ten Things About Mary Ann Rivers
*I have never really decided what to do with my hair, though I pine for a statement look.
*I sometimes listen to the same song all day long.
*I play the cello.
*I’ve kept some kind of journal or diary for thirty years (I am 39).
*I’ve gone to see all the presidential candidates I’ve voted for speak in person.
*I’d rather have drinks with three or fewer people than go to a party.
*I once surprised a burglar in the process of breaking into our home. I had got up to go to the bathroom. He ran away, so I assume I was completely terrifying in my t-shirt and underpants.
*Writing is the primary way I entertain myself, if I have a choice. I’m always writing something.
*I’ve been reading romance since I was ten-years-old. When I was eighteen, I wrote to Jude Deveraux, and she wrote back (this was before the internet, so I wrote her in care of her publisher).
*I’m married to a Shakespeare scholar who is semi-famous (for Shakespeare scholarship).
Mary Ann River has a way with words. Yes I know she’s an author and that should be kind of obvious but her way of words just kind of leaves me breathless. They work their way deep inside you and just kind of settle there and resonate with you. I’m still thinking of The Story Guy and Snowfall – her first 2 novellas I read last year. Every once in a while a particular scene of Brian and Carrie pops in my head because it was so beautiful or I think of Jenny and Evan and their scene in the car. So when her first full length novel came out I was so freaking excited!
The Burnside Series is about a family of siblings in a town in Ohio, both parents have passed away and they are generally pretty close. Destiny, who goes by Des, is feeling pretty broken at this point in her life. Her father passed away last year, her sister’s health is getting scarily bad and her unemployment is also reach the dangerous point. Des has even begun driving her father’s old limo around to pick up some extra money. She spends most of her free time at the library, looking for jobs. During that time she falls in lust with a gorgeous Welsh man, whom she would never dream of approaching. But when he approaches her to help stop her tears one day she’s startled.
Hefin is some sort of Welsh god. For some reason I just fell in love with everything about him immediately. This is not always true of all romance heroes – many times that needs to be kind of drawn out but not with Hefin. He comes across as quiet, charming and sweet but without the cockiness of some typical romantic tropes. But from the beginning he is also just as broken as Des seems to be – he came to the US to get married, not knowing anyone. The marriage did not work out and left Hefin feeling homesick. To that end he is leaving and Des and he both are completely aware of this at the outset of their romance.
Their romance is tentative and beautiful, made more so on both parts because they set out on the journey both knowing it would end with Hefin leaving Des in Ohio. From here we get to see different parts of Des and her interacting with people both in her neighborhood and in her family. I’ve read that Rivers wanted to make both of those an integral part of the whole series and I’m so glad because the interactions with neighbors and the history that will bring going forward is definitely something I look forward to.
What makes this whole book work overall is the writing style and the characters. The writing is lyrical and poetic and touches on different topics such as grief, divorce and illness. I was thrilled not to be disappointed since I had such ridiculous high hopes for this book. I look forward to the next book in this series which comes out in May and will be Sam’s book – Love.
I received this ARC via Netgalley in return for an honest review.
Rafflecopter Giveaway ($25.00 E-book Retailer of Winner’s Choosing, or Loveswept Tote)