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Posted January 22, 2014
Lovely and Beautiful. A Nice Afternoon Read.
*Written for Craves the Angst Book Reviews*
This was a beautiful, heartfelt read. Destiny Burnside or Des for short was a great heroine who was selfless and kind and really cared about the people around her. She took care of her family, most of the time at her own expense, and she fell in love, wishing and wanting to truly live her life with no regrets or passions unfulfilled. When she officially meets Hefin after weeks of eyeing him at the local library where she's searching the help wanted ads and he's restoring parts of the library, she falls freely into love, knowing their time together will be short with a sorrowful ending, but she chooses to bravely move forward despite that.
Hefin is a wonderful hero. After a failed marriage that’s left him with a truck load of guilt, he doesn't want to hurt Des, knowing he’s leaving soon. But like she has, he’s been eyeing her for weeks, admiring the strong, chin-up female who takes her circumstances in stride. Hefin is a bit complicated but I loved the way he supported Des and thought about her.
These two have to go through an emotional journey to get to the end and it's sometimes fun, sometimes painful but always worth it because they aren’t leaving “what-if’s” to chance.
I loved the story and I really liked the characters. The reason for only three stars is there was a ton of inner monologue. Some scenes were so riddled with it I actually found myself skipping over paragraphs a few times just to get to the meat of the scene. The author would take us out of the present scene with loads of background information, sometimes having an entire page of it during a conversation between characters. It was a bit frustrating because I kept being pulled from emotional or playful moments to be given unrelated information or memories from the past. It was circumstances like those that left me wishing for less character thought.
The Wrap Up:
Great story and great characters. My copy needed some serious editing but it was an unedited copy so its understandable. I do wish there had been less monologue but overall, I enjoyed this beautiful story of two people who find love despite a difficult situation.
NOTE: Live is book one in the Burnside series and is an Adult Contemporary Romance written by Mary Ann Rivers. I received this eARC from the author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review through Tasty Book Tours .
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Posted January 21, 2014
Live by Mary Ann Rivers is the first book in her Burnside series.
Destiny Burnside is unemployed and beginning to get desperate over the situation. She diligently visits the library each day to complete job applications and have proof of her job hunt. It also does NOT hurt that a woodcarver on the library restoration crew is just about the hottest man she's ever laid eyes on and he has an accent!!!
Hefin Thomas is Welsh, divorced and very unassuming. When the girl he has been surreptitiously watching day-in and day-out starts to break down in the middle of the library he approaches her and tries to help before he's even fully realized what he's doing.
So - the meet-cute is out of the way and we spend a great deal of time learning about the characters and their inner-monolgue. It got a little wordy for me at times requiring I actually concentrate (Gasp! The Horror). I know, it's almost like real work :-D Kidding aside it was a book that focuses heavily on the inner conversations and trains-of-thought that make each character act the way they do.
I enjoyed the tale enough to be curious about the next book in the series and to hear about Sam.
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Posted February 24, 2015
After reading The Story Guy I couldn't wait to get my hands on Live by Mary Ann Rivers. She just has a way about her writing that draws you in.
Live begins the tales of the Burnside family, four grown siblings that have lost the one person who has held them together since losing their mother at a young age, their father. Destiny is not the eldest but feels she is the one who now has to take over that responsibility. Her siblings are all tied up in their own lives and Destiny has now become the caregiver, the mediator, the organiser. She shows maturity beyond her years but is unfortunately taken for granted by her siblings. This is her journey of coming into her own and finding love in an unexpected place with a person who helps her see that she is forgoing her own life for her siblings.
Mary Ann Rivers brings to the table, once again, a story of real life situations and family dynamics, of vulnerable and flawed human beings, a story that warms you heart as we watch the characters find love within themselves and each other. While some may find this authors writing overly descriptive, I like visualising and feeling everything that the characters see and feel.
Destiny and Helfin tentatively begin their relationship with no promise of tomorrow, in fact, it is with an ending in mind. Their relationship is temporary, on borrowed time and both are feeling constrained by their individual circumstances and beliefs. What I love about this story is the way that both Destiny and Helfin lead each other on a journey of self discovery, each gaining confidence and wisdom with every step they took. They both learned a lot about themselves in the process, realising that what they thought were roadblocks to happiness were only bumps in the road to make them sit up and take notice of the happiness they could have.
Sometimes you can't be all things to all people. Sometimes you have to let go of the apron strings and live your own life.
Helfin is such a loveable character, his charm, his thoughtfulness and the way that he loves Destiny. He is strong and knows what he wants from life but is wary as a result of past experiences. I loved everything about him.
You can feel the pull between Destiny and Helfin and the strong connection they have. We already know about this author's prowess with regards to writing one hell of a kissing scene and in Live she does not disappoint, giving us romantic and passionate scenes. The story surrounding Destiny and Helfin is emotional and heartwarming, at times sad and thought provoking. Mary Ann Rivers takes you on a heartfelt journey and I am looking forward to reading the next book Laugh in this series
Posted October 15, 2014
Posted June 16, 2014
I was surprised that "Live" was so sexual; when I first started it I thought it would be tame, but boy was I wrong. There were many sex scenes, and I thought they all were well written, and I liked how the scenes really focused on the small things. I really liked Destiny and Hefin, and I thought they had excellent chemistry. I'm glad it was acknowledges that her siblings suck because they were getting on my nerves, but I see this is book 1 in the series, so I have hopes for them to get over themselves in their own books. I thought Destiny and Hefin together was really sweet, and I was rooting for them to figure out their issues. I do wish the ending had a bit more to it, but I still enjoyed this story, and I look forward to reading more books in this series.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 11, 2014
Live by Mary Ann Rivers is a romance based on a hero and heroine who are both unselfish and deeply in love with each other.
Destiny Burnside is existing during a very bad year. Her father passed away, she lost her job and her sister had a horrific accident. She's been trying to keep the family together since her father passed away and continues to look for a new job. She has had to sell everything to keep herself existing, so she has to go to the Lakefield Public Library every day for her mandated job searches for her unemployment. The high point of Destiny's day at the library is she gets to see "the woodcarver" who is working at the library's restoration project.
Hefin Thomas is "the woodcarver" employed at the library for the restoration project. He has watched Destiny every day as she comes into the library. He is finishing this last project before leaving the US and returning to Wales. He has experienced unemployment first hand since he moved from Wales ten years ago to be with his girlfriend. They had married after arriving in the US but his unemployment and their haste into a relationship made for tough times that just couldn't be overcome. He is now divorced and ready to return home and begin working on engineering projects that he had left behind.
Mary Ann Rivers did an excellent job of describing the emotional turmoil that is felt on people who are unemployed. Hefin and Destiny both expressed their loss of dignity and confidence in their abilities extremely well. Hefin was there for Destiny when it all finally crashed down on her.
The principal secondary characters in this novel were Destiny's brothers, Sam and PJ and her sister, Sarah. Of Destiny's family, I liked PJ the best. He seemed to have the least amount of emotional baggage that he carried into adulthood. There was another character, Betty who was her landlady/surrogate mother. Betty was always there for Destiny when she needed her. I would love to have Betty for a neighbor.
Although it is a romance, it's also very adult in that in many ways Hefin and Destiny are very pragmatic about their relationship and even when it turns from friendship and attraction into love, they are both aware that it may have a finite ending. I also liked the way that Mary Ann would desribe Destiny in explicit detail, such as "bony elbows" or "bony knees" and all of Destiny's freckles. Her description made Destiny a richer character because she wasn't "perfect" but she was beautiful to Hefin. I don't know of anyone who wouldn't appreciate being in a relationship where your flaws are accepted and you are still beautiful.
I was surprised and pleased by the ending. It is definitely a richly poetic book in many ways and yet a complelling romance.
This book was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Posted May 2, 2014
Posted April 27, 2014
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Posted February 20, 2014
Let me start by saying that Live is a book I feel ridiculously unqualified to review. Well, maybe not unqualified, but this book deserves the best of me, when what I really want to say is: "Wahhhhh I loved this book so much and I'm so happy I read it and I think you should read it too!"
Live is a story of "hellos" and "goodbyes". About forgiveness and having the courage to reach for what you truly want. Destiny Burnside spends every day at the library, job searching. Her father recently died, her sister was in a debilitating accident, she lost her job, she and her siblings are drifting apart. Every day, she watches Hefin Thomas, a woodcarver doing a restoration project at the library. One day the stress becomes too much, and while Destiny is quietly crying, Hefin approaches her. Apparently he's quietly noticed her as well. Hefin consoles Destiny, helps her in the search, and the two strike up a friendship of sorts. I say of sorts because it is very quickly apparent that the two are wildly attracted to each other. Their bodies and souls seem to literally be drawn to one another.
Hefin, though, is set on returning to his home country, Wales. (Yes, he's a Welsh woodcarver who is sensitive and sexy. His forearms are a sight to behold And he blushes. A lot. Control yourself if you can.) A quick and failed marriage that lead to unhappiness and resentment has made Hefin weary. He misses his old occupation, his family, and his home. His mind is set on leaving, and he tells Destiny that he will not ask her to come with him. Seems harsh, I know, but Hefin does not want Destiny to be driven to the same resentment that he experienced at giving up his life for love. Destiny is very pragmatic about all of this, understands his point, and doesn't even think she would go to Wales if he asked anyway. So the two spend their short time together saying "hello", but also preparing to say "goodbye".
Along the way, Destiny gives Hefin insights into love and blame, to forgive himself for his part in his failed marriage. Hefin pays immense attention to Destiny, sees her in a way no one ever has. He wants her to truly live a life of her own. He realizes that Destiny knows herself far better than he did in the same situation. He wants her with him, exploring the world, living a life of love. The question of whether she accepts is not answered until the very end of the book. These two were ridiculously unselfish, in no way try to manipulate, control, or bully each other. I feel smarter simply having read such great characters.
I honestly don't believe everyone will love this story. It's not exciting and shocking. The tone might be considered quiet, but the emotional intensity and the beauty of the prose had my heart clenching the entire time. Live is already one of my favorite books of 2014. I look forward to reading the next book in the series, Laugh, and whatever Mary Ann Rivers writes..
Posted February 19, 2014
Having recently lost both parents, small town girl Destiny Burnside has been hit with blow after blow of bad news. Now feeling empty and alone, failing to find a job to replace the one she lost, Des does her due diligence at the library, searching online for job prospects, getting rejected each time. Breaking down, trying to sob without being noticed, a deep and masculine, accented voice asks if she is okay. And there he stands, the tall, masculine hunk of man she has been ogling from afar. Hefin Thomas came to America to be with his new wife, but found things here are not what he was told they would be. Now divorced, alone and ready to pack up and go home to Wales, tail between his legs Hefin has been watching Des, too. Their attraction is hot, passionate and filled with emotional connections, but it has a time limit, it will all end when Hefin goes home. In all respects, they are perfect for each other and knowing they are running out of time is heart-wrenching. Will they ever see each other again or will their time together be a fond memory that will warm them in the night?
Live by Mary Ann Rivers will touch every emotional string you have, as you hear each of their thoughts and concerns, worries and wants. Their intimate moments are intense, sensual and wonderful. Ms. Rivers has created two very likable characters that have lived through intense pain and want to come out the other side whole again.
A quick read, this character driven plot brings the joys of love and the need for connection to life.
I received this copy from Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept in exchange for my honest review.
Posted February 10, 2014
This is a hard review to write. Why? Because I really enjoyed this book. This book comes down to family. How much do you give before you start to let yourself live for yourself?
This is the story of Destiny(Des) Burnside. She has lost her father, her job and her sister was involved in a series accident which leaves her pretty incapacitated. While all this is going on, she has to mediate between her sister(Sarah) and brother(Sam), a doctor, who feels he knows what's best for Sarah. She meets, a woodcarver from Wales, who she sees everyday on her way to the library searching for jobs. Destiny and Hefin start dating, knowing that Hefin will be returning to Wales once his job is done. They go into their relationship with no expectations of it lasting once he's gone.
I loved the relationship between Destiny and Hefin. Both are damaged. Destiny from trying to keep order in her family's lives and Hefin from a divorce that really hit him hard. They end up taking comfort in each other. They find a peace with each other that they haven't been able to find on their own.
This is a beautiful tale of loss, family, and love. It's about letting yourself take a step into the unknown. It's about taking risks. But, all in all, it's about letting yourself love and find your own happiness.
I would highly recommend this book. I am so glad I read this book. Even when I was done, Destiny and Hefin stayed with me. I wanted to see more of their journey. It's definitely a must read.
Posted February 3, 2014
I can't rave enough about how much I loved LIVE by Mary Ann Rivers. Every word written seems beautiful, poignant,... magical. *sigh* Few authors tell a love story that touches my heart the way she does, first in The Story Guy and now in LIVE.
Ms. Rivers' writing style is masterful. I am typically impatient with too much descriptive details and find myself skimming. They are usually written like observations clinically reported. But Ms River's style is more intimate, she expresses raw emotions and reactions, what a person actually experiences on every level in a situation. As a reader I felt it too, sensed it, was absorbed in the character's world.
Her heroine, Destiny Burnside, has lived her whole life in her small town in Ohio. She has lost both parents and more recently a job she loved so she clings dearly to the love, familiarity and stability she has there among her siblings, friends and neighbors. She is at a turning point in her life, feeling empty, missing something, but can't imagine her life anywhere else. She is care-giving and nurturing by nature with her family and this is what gives her a strong sense of self. She spends her days in the public library searching for jobs and watching the most beautiful man she's ever seen as he works on restoring the wood-carved panels in the library.
Her hero, Hefin Thomas, "The Woodcarver" has also noticed and admired Destiny each day as he quietly goes about his work. However, he is longing to go back home to Wales to find his center again and will only be in the states until his project at the library is complete. He already feels broken by the failed relationship with his wife, the American woman he came to the states to be with, and does not want to leave with any more regrets. His sense of honor keeps him from being the kind of man to have casual relationships so he tries to ignore his attraction to Destiny and succeeds until he sees her crying and can't stop himself from comforting her.
The attraction between Hefin and Destiny is very strong. They decide they would rather have this time in their lives together to cherish even if it is fated to be short lived. They are both very sensual and passionate people who love deeply, loyally and feel at their best when they are able to spend time with and lavish their attentions on the people they love. You really feel how perfectly they connect and understand each other on a level even more intimate than just their sexual relationship, how they both want their relationship to be forever, and their anguish in knowing they will soon be oceans away from each other. Both have always been the unselfish kind to give rather than take and don't know how to ask or even truly feel right wanting someone else to sacrifice for them. Both have so many reasons to be where the other is not, yet find there "home" is with one another. Their dilemma is heart-wrenching, and so beautifully, beautifully written by Ms. Rivers. My heart was breaking for these two right up until the end and then their was a wonderful twist. An epiphany brought on by loving friends and family that caused tears of joy to run down my face as these two "geese" found their perfect HEA.
~I received this ARC eBook free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Posted January 30, 2014
Destiny has had no luck on her job hunting and just when she is feeling her lowest Hefin Thomas steps up. She has had her eye on him at the local library and while embarrassed he has saw her down she wants to make the most of getting his attention. She knows he is going back to Wales soon but she still begins a romance with him. Hefin has had a failed marriage and isn't looking to start any kind of relationship knowing he is leaving. He can't resist Destiny and finds he is wanting more than a fling he wants her to come home with him. Destiny has to many things going on and her family is here for her to leave. Even when they fall in love thy still know it has to end.
Destiny has lost her father to cancer and her sister has had an accident. She lost her job and is trying her best to hold everything together. She can't give up and has to keep going. A lot of times she will feel guilty for taking time for her self. I really liked her and how she tries her best to help others. Hefin is an amazing guy. He isn't perfect and lets it be known he is not. He doesn't hold anything back and is amazing talented.
I really liked this book and reading about not just Destiny's troubles and life but Hefin's as well. Destiny has her family and all their problems she is dealing with as well as she is still getting over her dad's death. She is happy with Hefin and while she does want more with him she knows it can't be. Hefin has his issues as well. He has an ex wife he is still trying to sort things out in his head about and he wants to go back home. They both really come together at a time they really need another person. Even in a short time they have so much they deal with and they begin to heal each other. This is a delightful story I am sure many will love and want more of.
Posted January 28, 2014
At first, I thought this was a book about a woman learning to live and love again. But I quickly discovered Live is about both a man, Hefin, and the woman, Destiny, who have let life's tragedies stifle their will to truly live.
Rivers takes us on a journey through Hefins and Destiny's slow reawakening. We find ourselves thrust into the lives, circumstances and heart ache that melded these characters into these people trying to find a way to truly live again. The story is sad, their situations not as devastating or overwhelming as they allow them to be. At times, I couldn't help but feel that both Hefin and Destiny needed to move on and go with the flow.
I did enjoyed the premise, Live was a sweet story of discovering one self and love.
I received this ARC copy of Live from Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept in exchange for a honest review. This book is set for publication January 21, 2014.
Posted January 27, 2014
I have totally fallen in love with Mary Ann's story and her characters. I started reading and was hooked immediately. I got so hung up on the story I had to stop and walk away every couple of chapters thru out the whole story. I don't have words enough to describe how deep these characters are. Destiny has lost her job and spends her days in the library filing applications for a new job. Hefin, who is Welsh, is working on a renovation for the library. He is basically moving on when this job is over. He is alone and Des has a messed up family. They are always together. This is not an under 18 book. It gets pretty graphic in a loving way. I won't spoil the end of this story. Give this book a chance and you too will be dragged into the story too. This will be a good re-read story.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 22, 2014
A sheer pleasure of a read!
When I read a book as good as this, I feel lucky, lucky, lucky. What a grand feeling!
I am so pleased that Mary Ann Rivers is adding her amazing voice and vision to the world of Romance. I love The Story Guy and I love Live as well...maybe more.
This love story is utterly smart, completely tender, vividly detailed, and achingly real.
The hero and heroine could be called plain if you went by the descriptions of them we get from the book. They certainly are not a part of the conventional beauty set in our culture or that of Romance's mainland.
But, of course, no one is really plain or ordinary and we get to see that sheer shining beauty of the body and soul through the switching point of view of the hero and heroine.
Our heroine is a Ginger (a red head for those of you uninitiated in the ways of our people lol). Rivers captures in the sensuality of this book all the more pleasurable aspects of being a Ginger and the men that love them. Take this from a Ginger married to a Ginger loving man. She is dead on. Fans self. Destiny also has knobby knees, sweat in her hair line, and is skinny.
Our hero is tall but rangy, thin even. The size of his member isn't detailed but it seems to do a fine job. He has a hairy chest. Thank the Goddess. He is Welsh of a mixed unnamed racial background. Hefin. Sigh.
The romance starts with a crush, settles in with bad timing for both of them, sings its glory in small and large gestures of true seeing another and some damn good sexy times, and gives a HEA is joyous but also achievable.
This is the start of a series where we get a peek into the lives of Carrie and Brian from The Story Guy and the foundation is well laid for the tales of Destiny's siblings.
The writing style here is notable as it is poetic and philosophical. It has air and light though. There are very funny and surprising moments. I think I have already mentioned sheer YUM of the love making--its a little bit dirty actually for all the beauty but the kind of dirty we all enjoy in our own beds (or cars) from time to lucky time. The sex is hot, messy, sometimes full of laughter, emotionial and real.
The side stories and secondaries are pitch perfect and the conflicts are so raw and human they hurt but they also heal and give us the wonders of this genre done well--an understanding of others, a belief in love of all kinds, and joy in the body, the mind, and the soul.
I could tell you all kinds of other wonderful things about this book like the great girl talk, the insights on mortality, grief, illness, care taking, divorce, the love of art and its healing powers as well as those of friendship and family and the pondering on place and home but this book is one of those that unfolds before each reader. Go, discover all the little wonders to be had in here. Go.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Sam's story come out in May of 2014. Ho Ho, Grumpy Ginger Man--you are gonna get yours!
I was given this book for my honest review,
Posted January 21, 2014
I find this book difficult to review. I truly loved the story! It is warm, funny, and human. It has a great small town and characters I loved. With that said I really didn't care for the writing style. It didn't flow well for me and I found myself looking up more words in the dictionary then I feel I should have to when I am escaping with a great romance. So why rate it so high, the story for me wins out!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.