February 25, 2013

Book Review: The Other Side of US by Sarah Mayberry

At First Sight: Oliver Barrett was shocked to realize that his wife Edie had cheated on him for five and a half years out of the six they were married and on the wake of his discovery he's trying to deal with his anger and bitterness, so driving 12 hours to pack up the beach house that his recently deceased aunt left him and his brother sounds like a good idea... until he meets his neighbor Mackenzie.

Mackenzie Williams was a hot-shot TV producer on top of the television food chain, until she was involved in a bad car crash that left her body scarred and with a steep recovery curve to climb. A year later she still has trouble making it through the morning without throwing up and she's quite worried she's about to lose her job.

So when Mackenzie meets Oliver she's not exactly at her most friendly and each subsequent encounter does little to improve on each other's first impression, even if their dogs are mutually besotted with each other.

But, still, when a sudden storm puts Mackenzie's house in danger, Oliver goes over to help and afterward they strike a quick friendship. Soon they are talking about their pasts and their disappointments and fears and hopes for the future.

Their friendship is beautiful, and the intense attraction they feel is not entirely unwelcome either... even if the timing kind of sucks.

Second Glance: The Other Side of Us was a story about two people meeting and forming a friendship after what probably was the shittiest period of each of their lives. Mackenzie and Oliver are in their late thirties and both of them thought that they had their lives figured out until fate threw them massive curve balls that eventually lead them to live next to each other.

And once they make it through the first painfully awkward encounters, their relationship blossoms into something neither of them wanted or was prepared for, but that at the same time makes them feel alive and normal for the first time in months.

I loved getting to know Oliver, I fell for him from the start. He was such a good guy and didn't deserve what his ex did to him, he's a musician and loves his dog Strudel and it's trying really hard to work past his bitterness.

Mackenzie was harder to like, during the first few chapters I actually thought she was a bit of a bitch, but once she lets go a bit and she starts to open up more with Oliver, she grew on me. I still liked Oliver better but I could see why he grows to like her.

They had a great chemistry together and that was fun to see too. I also liked that they both acknowledged that their relationship was moving and growing much too fast, that the timing sucked and that they were both a little damaged, but that whatever they had between them was worth exploring anyhow.  

There were a few things I wasn't so wild about: the final fifty pages of the book felt a little rushed and, like I said, I didn't like Mackenzie that much at the beginning, but I'm not letting that ruin the book.

Bottom Line: I have said before that Sarah Mayberry is quickly becoming one of my Go-To Authors when I'm in need of good contemporary romance and The Other Side of Us is proof of why. I love the characters, I love that they spend a lot of time together and they get to know each other, I even liked the fact that they were a little older and more mature. Plus they were awesome dog-owners. 
starstarstarstar1/2Personal Favorite

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