Welcome! We are one of the stops today on the Beside Your Heart Blog Tour. Enjoy.
Beside Your Heart by Mary Whitney
New Adult Romance*Paperback/eBook, 256 pages
Publish by Omnific Publishing (June 17, 2013)
Event organized by: Literati Literature Lovers
Late one night Nicki Johnson plays with emotional fire and Googles her high school love, only to find his name splashed across the British gossip columns. Back in his native England, Adam Kincaid is successful and dating a woman from an aristocratic family like his own. With a career in politics, Nicki’s no slouch, but she knows Adam is living a world away from her life. Yet there was a time he was no farther than the next locker. Nicki will never forget their year together in high school—the year of her sister’s death, the year her mother checked out. Adam helped Nicki through suffocating grief, and she led him through a coming of age. Was it just high school, or was it something more?
About the author:
Even before she graduated from law school, Mary knew she wasn't cut out to be a real lawyer. Drawn to politics, she's spent her career as an organizer, lobbyist, and nonprofit executive. Nothing piques her interest more than a good political scandal or romance, and when she stumbled upon writing, she put the two together. A born Midwesterner, naturalized Texan, and transient resident of Washington, D.C., Mary now lives in Northern California with her two daughters and real lawyer husband.
First love. Grief. Heartbreak. Trust. Acceptance. Beside Your Heart tackles a lot and the reader doesn't even realize so much is going on with main characters Nicki and Adam until after their story has ended. Nicki is a well-rounded character--incredibly strong to a fault where I sometimes wanted to shake her. Nicki is coping: with surviving a terrible car accident which claimed the life of her younger sister, Lauren, living with a mom who spends too much time outside the house afraid of living with Lauren's ghost, ashamed to reveal the scars on her body, and afraid to truly love the English classmate who has to leave Texas when their senior year ends.
Their story takes us on an intense, emotional journey. I teared up, laughed, felt melancholy then hopeful, and never wanted to stop reading. Nicki has an incredibly strong voice for a teen girl, so much angst, and yet such amazing control. There were so many dimensions to her, layers revealed in certain scenes like when she visits her dad in Chicago and opens the door to her sister's untouched room and with Adam (the beach-insert sigh here). Nicki compares herself to a movie character from The Three Faces of Eve and she is spot on with that assessment. She has three faces, each one different for her family, her friends, and for Adam.
What can I say about Adam? I'm so glad their relationship took time to develop. There was an attraction between them but he was already dating someone. When Nicki calls him out on the way he flirts with her and she stops talking to him, I loved her even more. She is refreshingly candid and unique in a genre flooded with lesser-minded heroines. She is not perfect and Adam calls her on her selfishness in time. He brings some different sensibilities being from abroad but when it comes to love, this language is pretty universal. Nicki and Adam's love story is the heart of this novel. Gritty, realistic, honest, and romantic, from now on when I hear the word "sweetheart" I will think of Adam Kincaid and Nicki.
Mary Whitney explores the ups and downs of young love, showing us just how deep feelings shared between two teens can go, the way a powerful intimacy turns two people into a couple. Some say first love is simply an intense crush, not the real thing. In Nicki and Adam's case, what do you do when your first love is the love of your life and continents divide you?
The story begins in present day and then her relationship is revealed from the past and this takes up much of the book. I had no idea there would be a cliffhanger. Mary Whitney, how could you do that to your readers? All joking aside, Beside Your Heart enchanted me and made author Mary Whitney an instant favorite.
Rating: 5 LOVED, LOVED, LOVED IT!
This cover gave me the impression this was a New Adult romance even if the bulk of the story occurs in high school. I like the image and it does reflect Nicki and Adam's relationship.
I received a promotional copy in return for my honest review during a blog tour.
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