Meant to Be

Meant to Be

by Karen Stivali
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Overview

Meant to Be by Karen Stivali

Sometimes you're already committed to the wrong person when fate finally brings you the right one.

When NYU professor Daniel Gardner's career-obsessed wife convinces him to move to the suburbs, he hopes it's a first step toward starting the family he longs to have. Instead of domestic bliss he finds his neighbor, Marienne Valeti. She loves her freelance design job, but must contend with a growing sense of isolation created by her husband's indifference. A penchant for good books, bad movies, and Marienne's to-die-for brownies sparks a powerful bond between them. Passion simmers, but they resist its lure, surrendering only in the seclusion of their minds. Their friendship helps them weather every hardship, from divorce to widowhood, leaving them both secretly wondering if it can survive a first kiss.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781622370276
Publisher: Turquoise Morning Press
Publication date: 10/29/2012
Pages: 394
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.88(d)

About the Author

Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies and fictional British men. When she's not writing, she can be found cooking extravagant meals and serving them to family and friends. Prior to deciding to write full time Karen worked as a hand drawn animator, a clinical therapist, and held various food-related jobs ranging from waitress to specialty cake maker. Planning elaborate parties and fundraisers takes up what's left of her time and sanity.

Karen has always been fascinated by the way people relate to one another, so she favors books and movies that feature richly detailed characters and their relationships. In her own writing she likes to explore the dynamics between characters and has a tendency to craft romantic love stories filled with sarcasm and sexy details.

Meant To Be is Karen's first full length novel.

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Meant To Be 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
melissarg More than 1 year ago
Awesome from start to finish! Read the book, you will be wrapped up in it from start to finish. If you have read her novellas you know what I mean. A++++++ Don't miss out on this great read!!
Maria-Rose More than 1 year ago
Meant to be by Karen Stivali is a lovely, heartwarming and somewhat poignant story of two people who through fate and circumstance become friends while married to other people. There is no cheating in the story, and one wonders how a romance can be achieved in this situation, but the author takes care to show the developing friendship between Daniel and Marienne at the same time as their own marriages start to unravel. When they are both single again, will they take this chance to explore a future together? Daniel and Marienne are neighbours, and as they interact their compatibility is clear, but so is their commitment to their spouses. Daniel is married to an intense, high powered businesswoman who doesn't understand Daniel's desire to live a more laid back life, without public scrutiny. He's a professor, writing a book on the side and content with his career, even as his wife pushes him to try to be more. He finds it a relief to spend time with Marienne, who accepts him as he is. He also finds it's easy to share things with her that he knows his wife wouldn't understand. Marienne is married to a businessman who spends long hours in the city. Even when they married, she questioned whether she was just settling for a man who has shown interest in her and could provide her with some financial security. As he works long hours and doesn't seem to show much interest in what Marienne wants to do with her life, it's not surprising that she begins to share things with Daniel. They have so much in common that their friendship progresses at a quick rate and becomes a solid thing they both rely on. When Marienne becomes pregnant, Daniel seems more interested in the baby than her own husband, and it also brings to the forefront the fact that Daniel's wife will never want to have children. The story while starting in the present, quickly moves to the past and most of it highlights the development of Marienne and Daniel's friendship until a sudden event changes everything for them and their families. When Marienne and Daniel are single once again, their friendship is as strong as ever and has set the stage for them to realize how good they could be together. I really loved how the story played out, the ups and downs of their relationship and the honest effort given by them to keep their marriages going despite it being clear that they had married the wrong people. For the most part the story is lighthearted and while there are some emotional moments, it's really a sweet love story with them finding happiness at the end. There are some love scenes with the couple, but not until their marriages have ended. When I started this story I wasn't sure what to expect but I found I couldn't put it down – it's a compelling and thoughtful romance with engaging characters that make you root for their happy ending.
ljtljtljt More than 1 year ago
If you are in the mood for a unique twist to the friends to lovers romance trope, then Meant To Be by Karen Stivali is the book for you. This is an engaging, well-written novel with an authentic love story that took complete hold of my mind, body, and soul. The two main characters light up the pages with their amusing banter, genuineness, and need for companionship. New neighbors Marienne Valeti and Daniel Gardner get to know each other through their love for community theater. As their friendship blossoms, they realize that their respective marriages are unraveling. Although they are slowly developing romantic feelings toward each other, they are not cheaters, and remain loyal to their spouses. They share a deep friendship that is tangible. Marienne is a freelance graphic artist, baker, and she sometimes views the world through rose-colored glasses. Daniel is an English professor at NYU, with model-like looks and mad bedroom skills. I truly loved this story. To begin with, it takes place in my hometown and Ms. Stivali references many of the places I used to frequent. So I immediately formed a bond with the setting. Secondly, Marienne and Daniel touched my heart with their integrity, strength of character, and ability to truly care for each other as friends. Marienne's mother is a mean witch, and there was never a moment that I did not despise her, which I attribute to great writing. If you are in the market for a slightly emotional and entertaining romance, check out this absorbing read. Holding On, the sequel to this amazing book is available. Complimentary copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
JerseyGirlBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Sometimes things happen for a reason and brings a chance for a once in a lifetime friendship that is simply meant to be ... Meant To Be is the story of two people who form an unconventional friendship that blossoms into love that only comes when soulmates find each other. It is a story about finding your true soulmate while already in a committed relationship. The story follows the relationship of two couples who become neighbors and the unconventional friendship and love that blossoms between two of the spouses over a span of a few years. NYU Professor Daniel Gardner and his wife Justine move to the suburbs, and his hope is that the move will be the first step to starting a family. But on the contrary, Justine becomes increasingly more career obsessed.  Marienne Valenti loves her freelance design job, but she is in an increasingly isolated marriage to Frank, who is also career obsessed and shows a growing indifference towards her. The Gardners and Valentis are neighbors who become friends when Marienne and Daniel first meet while volunteering for a local theater and discover that they have things in common and enjoy each other's company, which leads the two couples to start spending time together. As time goes on, Marienne and Daniel grow closer as they bond over mutual interests, and they begin to rely on each other's company and support as the distance grows between them and their respective spouses. While they share an attraction and blossoming love for each other, they remain faithful to their spouses. This a story of two people whose close friendship evolves into a loving relationship that is simply meant to be. Meant To Be is a beautiful portrayal of an unconventional friendship between a man and a woman. Written in the third person narrative, author Karen Stivali weaves a subtle tale of romance and love that evolves from an amazing bond of friendship between two people that is genuine and real. Marienne and Daniel's close friendship transforms into a meaningful relationship when the burden of their personal baggage and missing pieces from their respective marriages pushes them together. I loved the gradual development of Marienne and Daniel's relationship. I was captivated and drawn into their love story. The author does a wonderful job of demonstrating real life in the depiction of how their relationship grows with their engaging dialogue and intimate interactions. I couldn't help but feel for them as they handled the many trials and tribulations that arose, while being able to nurture and grow their bond of friendship. Meant To Be is simply an amazing story that is heartwarming and genuine, it is one that will make you believe in soulmates, and that some special friendships are just meant to be. Marienne and Daniel's story continues in the sequel, Holding On.
Lucy_Felthouse More than 1 year ago
Meant To Be is an erotic romance with an emphasis on the romance. There are sex scenes, but they're not overly graphic, but this is the perfect tone for the book, which is beautiful and happy-sigh-inducing throughout. This is the tale of two couples who are neighbours. NYU professor Daniel Gardner has recently moved to the suburbs with his wife, Justine. He hopes this is going to be the next step in his marriage - children. However, instead of things going in that direction, he finds Justine becoming increasingly career-obsessed and apparently dissatisfied with her lot in terms of their relationship. Fortunately, his budding friendship with his neighbour Marienne Valeti is a saving grace. She lives with her husband, Frank, and loves her freelance design job. However, Frank, too, grows increasingly obsessed with his career - working all hours without telling her, being indifferent towards her, and so on. These acts, and the fact they have more in common with each other than their respective spouses pushes Daniel and Marienne closer together. In each of their minds, things go far beyond friendship, but they remain faithful. Their close relationship helps both of them through every hardship, from divorce to widowhood, but even when they're both single, will they act on their feelings? This was an absolutely amazing read. It was incredibly romantic, yet realistic. Not to mention very well written. I grew very quickly to like Daniel and Marienne, and became very interested in their journey throughout the book. It has everything; love, loss, friendship, deceit and much more. Meant To Be was a real page-turner, and I can't wait to read the next book so I can find out what happens next. So if you're a sucker for a beautiful romance, you should definitely check out this book.
MMMReader More than 1 year ago
Genuine and Sweet. This is a great story of friends falling in love. It has a slow and gradual build that feels authentic. Hightly recommend to anyone. Can't wait sequel!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was my first book by this author and it was an absolute wonderful story. She kept me wanting more and I ended up reading it all in one day. Roller coadter of emotions for bith Marienne and Daniel. Looking forward to their sequel.