Be sure to check out the other stops on this tour!
July 8 – Romance At Random
July 9 – Book Freak
July 10 – Nose in a Book
July 11 – From the TBR Pile
July 10 – Reading Under the Willow Tree
July 15 – Smexy Books
July 16 – See Michelle Read
July 17 – I Am, Indeed
July 19 – Book-A-Holic Anon
Title: The Story Guy
Author: Mary Ann Rivers
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Purchase Now: Amazon § Barnes&Noble § iBooks § Google Play § Other Retailers
About the Book:
I will meet you on Wednesdays at noon in Celebration Park. Kissing only.
Carrie West is happy with her life . . . isn’t she? But when she sees this provocative online ad, the thirtysomething librarian can’t help but be tempted. After all, the photo of the anonymous poster is far too attractive to ignore. And when Wednesday finally arrives, it brings a first kiss that’s hotter than any she’s ever imagined. Brian Newburgh is an attorney, but there’s more to his life . . . that he won’t share with Carrie. Determined to have more than just Wednesdays, Carrie embarks on a quest to learn Brian’s story, certain that he will be worth the cost. But is she ready to gamble her heart on a man who just might be The One . . . even though she has no idea how their love story will end?
Start with two people: alone and lonely, add in an instantaneously updated personals section in the local paper and an intriguing advertisement. “I will meet you on Wednesdays at noon in Celebration Park. Kissing only.” The deliciously sexy man in the photograph with the advertisement has Carrie intrigued.
When she sets eyes on Brian, the two have an instant connection: and that first kiss is simply electric. But, Brian is setting the ground rules for their meeting; nothing too personal, he will not touch her below the shoulders. Closed off and guarded, Brian is hiding or protecting something – and Carrie needs to know what.
Despite his desire for reserve and separation, Brian is drawn to Carrie and shares little pieces with her. Completely lost in the dream of what this could be, Carrie is told by a friend that he could be her “story guy”, one of those moments in her black and white life that contrasts in neon pink, a memory to treasure and look back on years from now. Story guys aren’t forever, they are sweet moments to show that you have lived and loved, if only for a moment, in a sensible life.
This was such a cleverly wrought story, full of emotion and some of the sexiest scenes and imagery created from the simple kisses to full on phone sex. Yet all of it felt normal and real, current to this society of internet connections and knowing people from IM and conversations, if not always in a face to face situation. Carrie’s realization that Brian’s closed body language is not to keep her out, but to keep him from shattering under the weight of his responsibilities and secret is heartbreaking. And her continued confidence in them, their connection and his goodness as she waited on Wednesdays for him to return keeps readers begging him to arrive.
Mary Ann Rivers has created a lovely short novella that will have you squirming, cheering and crying as Carrie is laid bare before you, all in her determination that a connection this strong is worth taking all the chances. With a couple of clever twists and an ending that everyone would wish for, this is a must read story.
I received an eBook from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Meet Mary Ann Rivers, Author of The Story Guy
Which authors have influenced your writing?
So many. Poets like Catherine Bowman and Sylvia Plath and Billy Collins. Essayists like David Sedaris and David Foster Wallace and Mary Clearman Blew. Children’s/YA’s writers like LM Montgomery and Lois Lowry. Virginia Woolf and Tina Fey. Charles Baxter.
In romance, it’s my co-pilots of Wonkomance.com including Ruthie Knox, Charlotte Stein, Serena Bell, Amber Lin, Cara McKenna, Delphine Dryden, and Shelley Ann Clark. Ruthie and I work very closely together as critique partners and there isn’t a letter of my writing that she hasn’t looked at—we pass pages back and forth all day.
I love Sarah Mayberry, Cecilia Grant, Sherry Thomas, Megan Mulry, Laura Florand, Alexis Hall, Courtney Milan, Megan Hart, Isabel Cooper, Jennifer Crusie, Anna Cowan. So many others. So many. I read voraciously, and widely. It is hard for people to recommend an author I haven’t read SOMETHING of, and probably enjoyed at least parts of.
I think the kind of writers who influence my own writing are those with approaches to realism that feels deeply honest and who have an underlying anchor to their writing that celebrates what it is to be human—loss, forgiveness, fierceness, sex, love. The writers I love and aspire to be have strong voices, too, something that yanks off the page and takes you right into the book. I love deep point of views, difficult emotional revelations, very realistic depictions of sex.
I like writers that aren’t afraid of taking risks, who try things in their books—it gives me the courage to try, too. Reading is safe, and so what’s inside the book can push a little, let us take on things we may not be quite ready for. I love those books that can get you exclaim out loud—that force some moment of oh, oh!
It’s what I want for my own books—voice and risk and the kind of naturalistic realism that makes us feel a little like we’re spying—almost as if we should give the characters some privacy. That’s what I read for, and what I write for.
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About Mary Ann Rivers
Mary Ann Rivers was an English and music major and went on to earn her MFA in creative writing, publishing poetry in journals and leading creative-writing workshops for at-risk youth. While training for her day job as a nurse practitioner, she rediscovered romance on the bedside tables of her favorite patients. Now she writes smart and emotional contemporary romance, imagining stories featuring the heroes and heroines just ahead of her in the coffee line. Mary Ann Rivers lives in the Midwest with her handsome professor husband and their imaginative school-aged son.