Tag: Mary Ann Rivers

Live by Mary Ann Rivers


Book: Live

Author: Mary Ann Rivers

Series: The Burnside Series #1

Review by: Onnica

Basic Story: Destiny Burnside is usually chipper, undaunted by life’s obstacles and always offering support to her family and friends. Each day, she gets up and heads to the town library to begin her job search and do all she can to secure a new role. She’s had to sell her car and laptop in order to make rent and is finding life pretty tough. Her only respite from going through the daily motions is gazing secretly at the handsome carver who is working on a project at the library. Who is he? And what would she do if he ever looked her way?

Hefin Thomas is a long way from home. Having left his Welsh homeland in order to marry his holiday fling, he’s struggling in Lakeland, Ohio. He’s lost his identity and one failed marriage later, his faith in ever finding himself is hanging by a thread. He decides he has to get back on track – leave Ohio, get back home and get his dreams and his life back on track. When he notices Destiny’s meltdown after yet another rejection letter he has two choices: walk away and pretend not to notice, or go to her.

They agree to see each other until he goes back to Wales, knowing that goodbyes will be painful, but neither heed the warnings. Hefin is drawn more and more to Destiny and her world and is no longer sure the act of saying goodbye will be possible at all…

Why you should read this: If you’re a fan of Mary Ann Rivers’ writing, then you should take a look. It’s pure poetry – the way she can describe a simple act like a smile is beautiful. She is so talented at painting a vivid picture of the landscape and the characters’ state of mind. This is an introduction to the Burnside family and Des is a great heroine. She’s neither a martyr, a doormat nor a bitch – she’s great and the way she opens her heart to those she loves is so touching. Hefin – I don’t think I’ve read too many stories with a Welsh sex god as the hero! He’s lovely, a decent human being who just wants to live and find a life for himself and find someone to love. He’s adorable.

What you might hate: It took me a while to get into the rhythm of the book, I’ll be honest. The poetry of each gesture I mentioned earlier sometimes held up the action and the book’s progress for me. This series is going to be a family saga I think, and book one definitely lays the foundations for a heart-wrenching series that will follow. Des’s family is in crisis and for the first half of the book I was wondering how it would end. There are dark times for the Burnside clan and sometimes it was a little depressing. Or maybe I’m just a wuss who’s used to froth, but I don’t think so.

Rating: For the book’s beauty, the loveliness of the main characters and the hopeful second half of the book, I’m giving this book 3/5. The author clearly went to great pains researching all things Welsh and I admire that a great deal. Read when you’re in a good mood, rather than feeling down or the first half could be tough!

Live is out now.

Our Top Three Picks for Holiday Reading!

Yes, that season is upon us yet again and I can hardly believe it. It’s cold outside, fairy lights are just about everywhere and love is all around. Whether you love or hate the Holidays, we thought we’d check out some of the best seasonal reads on offer.

First up is Naughty and Nice – 3 Holiday Treats:

The holy trinity of awesome authors – Ruthie Knox, Molly O’Keefe and Stefanie Sloane all naughtyandniceappearing in the same collection? These three stories could not be more different – they’re all equally heartwarming, panty-melting and full of seasonal cheer. My favourite would have to be Ruthie Knox’s Room at The Inn – the tale of Carson and Julie, college sweethearts who, despite breaking up years before, can’t seem to move on from each other. Then there’s Molly O’Keefe’s All I Want For Christmas is You, a tale of a very young couple going for what they want despite the odds and plunging into marriage. Or if you fancy love in 19th Century England, try One Perfect Christmas, a story about two childhood friends who can’t seem to get their acts together and tell each other how they feel.

Second is a collection of holiday reads with a difference. Loveheating up the holidays romance, minus the schmaltz and toothache? Me too! Heating Up the Holidays is a collection of three very different tales set around Thanksgiving and Christmastime. Lisa Renee Jones, Serena Bell and Mary Ann Rivers are all exceptional writers. Where else would you find an alpha CEO, a night-blind biologist and a couple reconnecting after a quick meeting on New Year’s Eve together in one place?

Lastly, but by no means least, is my favourite as it’s a sequel to New Life by Bonnie Dee – New Yeara book that I reviewed way back in January. New Year¬†picks up a few months down the line for Jason and Anna. Their relationship is going from strength to strength and things could not be going better. It’s the holidays and the pair decide to spend the run up to Christmas with Anna’s family. Tensions are high, as Anna’s family are a clan of over-achievers who clearly value ambition and direction in life. Anna worries that Jason will struggle in the stuffy environment and is not looking forward to the scruting he’ll be subjected to. Jason is happy to go with the flow – as long as he and Anna are together he can put up with the jabs and fake smiles for a few days. Thinking he should make a grand gesture, Jason wonders whether Christmas would be the best time to propose to Anna. Only one way to find out…

Why you should read this: I love Anna and Jason as a couple – they’ve overcome so much over the course of their relationship. Jason had a very bad car accident that left him with memory issues and he’s unable to deal with certain situations well, but together they find ways to deal with it. This was a lovely novella, bringing another slice of the pair and gives the reader a chance to see whether they’ll survive as a couple.

Rating: Easy decision – 4/5 for a short, snappy and very sexy revisiting of a great couple. If you haven’t read New Life, then you must – just to see where and how it all began.

New Year is out now.

The Story Guy by Mary Ann Rivers

The Story GuyBook: The Story Guy

Author: Mary Ann Rivers

Review by: Onnica

Basic story: Carrie West is a librarian – single and happy with life. Well, that’s her story and she’s sticking to it. Hobbies include socialising and browsing the classified ads for fun. Never taking the ads seriously, she likes to imagine the people behind the profiles. One day she sees an ad that grabs her attention. He wants to meet on wednesdays, kissing only. For some reason Carrie can’t get the guy out of her head, but surely contacting a random stranger for a make out session would be crazy, right?

Deciding to take the plunge, (after all he seems nice from his profile pic) Carrie meets Brian, an attorney, who is keen to give no personal details away. Can she be satisfied with a very narrow relationship that consists of weekly appointments, but no emotional intimacy? Despite the rules, Carrie determines to draw Brian out and find out the reasons behind his self-imposed restrictions. She finds out more than she bargained for – Brian could be the one for her, but how will she convince him?

Why you should read this: this novella is so sweet, funny and intelligent. The characters are well drawn considering it’s a novella and I read it so quickly in order to find out what Brian’s deal was. The novella should receive an award for its descriptions of a kiss – it was so HOT! The development of their relationship had me pulling for them and I guarantee you will too. Brian is lovely. He’s not your typical hero – he’s a glasses-wearing, bike-riding attorney, which is why he’s just so damn sexy. The telephone scene is a must-read – that’s all I’m saying!

What you might hate: it’s a novella and I know they’re not for everyone, but this story will give you a rosy glow all over – it’s worth a look.

Rating: 5/5 for me – a perfect, short and snappy read with loveable characters and a lot of heart. It’s intelligent and has some great dialogue. Get your copy now.