Live by Mary Anne Rivers

Grade: A
Hotness Level: Blaze
Kink Level: No Kink
Genre: Contemporary
Series: Burnside #1
Published: 1/21/14
Reviewed by Anne

Destiny Burnside is out of work, nearly out of money, and still mourning her father’s recent death.  Every day she treks to her local library to use their computers for her job search.  The only silver lining to this daily trip is the chance to see the quiet, good-looking wood carver doing restoration work in the library.  

Hefin is the woodcarver, and he’s noticed Destiny, too.  They’re both pretty quiet and shy, though, so it’s not until he sees Destiny crying one day that he approaches her.  He just wants to help her feel better.  This leads quickly to a friendship and an acknowledged attraction between the two of them.  The only problem?  Hefin’s time in the US is limited.  He’s heading home to Wales after he finishes the library project.  Destiny’s ties to her small town are many and strong, and this sets them up for an affair they know can’t last, but can’t resist either.

This is a kind of cliched setup, but I thought it was a very original story.  In fact, about half way through I realized I didn’t really know how they would work things out.  Hefin NEEDS to go back to Wales.  Destiny is very needed by her family in Ohio.  And, yes, I could guess at how they would work it out, but the journey to get there wasn’t a sure thing for me, and it was very enjoyable!

Another strength of this story was that Destiny and Hefin aren’t traditionally beautiful people.  Well, ok, Destiny kind of is.  I’ve always envied red heads and all their freckles.  It’s clear that Destiny doesn’t see herself as beautiful, but even more clear that Hefin DOES.  And Hefin thinks of himself as “quite hairy” which is not exactly a romance-land hero!

These two are both functioning, but functioning broken.  Limping along, living with the losses they’ve been dealt, and finding the courage to reach for more.  It was heartbreaking in a good way to read, because, yes, you felt their heartbreak, but you also got to go along for the ride through their healing.

I thought the sex scenes were hot and well written.  The characters felt like real people and the conflict was believable.  The pacing of the story was slow, but very enjoyable for me.  I can’t wait for more for Mary Ann Rivers!!

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