Remember when you were in high school and you fell in love for the first time? Well Beside Your Heart by Mary Whitney is going to bring back all those memories for you. This wonderfully written story reminisces about what was, what might have been and what could be and is an absolute delight to read.
Title: Beside Your Heart
Author: Mary Whitney
Genre: New Adult Romance
Publish Date: 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?
Beside Your Heart is a beautifully written tale of love, loss and the transition from teenager to adult. Nicki Johnson is deputy press secretary for the newly elected president. Smart, succesful - she has everything any woman could ask for, except the love of her life. In a moment of melancholy she Googles Adam Kinkaid and finds pictures of him splashed across British tabloids with a stunning British Aristocrat on his arm. As Nicki reminisces, the story returns to their unforgettable senior year of high school together and we learn of the incredible connection the two shared and a love that no matter how strong, couldn't withstand the vast distance between Cambridge and Texas ... or could it?
Mary Whitney has done an amazing job with this story. She dealt with the issues of grief and loss within a family, first love, first time, and high school friendships in such a realistic way. It absolutely took me back to life as a teenager and those intense feelings of love, lust, family drama and heartbreak.
Nicki and Adam meet at school. Adam is in the US for one year as his father has taken up a teaching post at a University. Charming, gorgeous, the impeccable English gentleman, Adam has no shortage of female admirers at school. Nicki on the other hand is doing whatever she can to blend in as she struggles to deal with the tragic loss of her younger sister in a serious car accident. Nicki and her mother survived the accident, but both are traumatised and devastated by Lauren's death.
Nicki is scarred, both physically and mentally and struggles to talk about Lauren and all things connected to her. Adam manages to find a way behind the walls she has built up. He is patient, considerate and what blossoms between the two is simply beautiful. Sadly for the two of them, it is very difficult for them to simply enjoy their time together as there is essentially a huge countdown clock hanging over their heads until Adam must return to England with his family.
Nicki is a very mature young woman and having suffered such pain at the loss of her sister she tries to guard her heart from further pain. The depth of feeling between Nicki and Adam is something more than the usual high school sweethearts and it is heartbreaking to read as they deal with a series of events leading up to Adams return home.
While I loved Beside Your Heart I was very frustrated with how it ended. I would have loved another chapter or perhaps a few more pages in the Epilogue as for me, it felt like a rather abrupt finish to a story that had unfolded slowly, beautifully and in a realistic and detailed way. Here's hoping there will be another book to follow in the not too distant future.
4 out 5 stars
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.
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