Live (Burnside #1) by Mary Ann Rivers – Review

Live by Mary Ann Rivers

Mary Ann Rivers kicks off a new contemporary romance series—sure to please readers of Ruthie Knox, Kristan Higgins, and Jill Shalvis—where love can be found unexpectedly.

If there’s an upside to unemployment, Destiny Burnside may have found it. Job searching at her local library in Lakefield, Ohio, gives her plenty of time to ogle the hottest man she has ever laid eyes on: the sexy wood-carver who’s restoring the building. But as the rejection letters pile up, Destiny finds an unexpected shoulder to cry on. With his rich Welsh accent, Hefin Thomas stirs Destiny so completely that, even though he’s leaving soon, she lets herself believe the memory of his scorching kisses will be enough.

Hefin can’t help but notice the slender, confident woman with ginger hair who returns each day, so hopeful and determined. So when the tears start to fall, his silence—penance for a failed marriage—finally cracks. Once he’s touched her, what Hefin wants is to take her back to Wales and hold her forever. But Destiny’s roots run too deep. What they both need is each other—to learn how to live and love again.


I can’t rave enough about how much I loved LIVE by Mary Ann Rivers. Every word written seems beautiful, poignant,… magical. sigh Few authors tell a love story that touches my heart the way she does, first in The Story Guy and now in LIVE.

Ms. Rivers’ writing style is masterful. I am typically impatient with too much descriptive details and find myself skimming. They are usually written like observations clinically reported. But Ms. River’s style is more intimate, she expresses raw emotions and reactions, what a person actually experiences on every level in a situation. As a reader I felt it too, sensed it, was absorbed in the character’s world.

Her heroine, Destiny Burnside, has lived her whole life in her small town in Ohio. She has lost both parents and more recently a job she loved so she clings dearly to the love, familiarity and stability she has there among her siblings, friends and neighbors. She is at a turning point in her life, feeling empty, missing something, but can’t imagine her life anywhere else. She is care-giving and nurturing by nature with her family and this is what gives her a strong sense of self. She spends her days in the public library searching for jobs and watching the most beautiful man she’s ever seen as he works on restoring the wood-carved panels in the library.

Her hero, Hefin Thomas, “The Woodcarver” has also noticed and admired Destiny each day as he quietly goes about his work. However, he is longing to go back home to Wales to find his center again and will only be in the states until his project at the library is complete. He already feels broken by the failed relationship with his wife, the American woman he came to the states to be with, and does not want to leave with any more regrets. His sense of honor keeps him from being the kind of man to have casual relationships so he tries to ignore his attraction to Destiny and succeeds until he sees her crying and can’t stop himself from comforting her.

The attraction between Hefin and Destiny is very strong. They decide they would rather have this time in their lives together to cherish even if it is fated to be short lived. They are both very sensual and passionate people who love deeply, loyally and feel at their best when they are able to spend time with and lavish their attentions on the people they love. You really feel how perfectly they connect and understand each other on a level even more intimate than just their sexual relationship, how they both want their relationship to be forever, and their anguish in knowing they will soon be oceans away from each other. Both have always been the unselfish kind to give rather than take and don’t know how to ask or even truly feel right wanting someone else to sacrifice for them. Both have so many reasons to be where the other is not, yet find their “home” is with one another. Their dilemma is heart-wrenching, and so beautifully, beautifully written by Ms. Rivers. My heart was breaking for these two right up until the end and then there was a wonderful twist. An epiphany brought on by loving friends and family that caused tears of joy to run down my face as these two “geese” found their perfect HEA.

~I received this ARC eBook free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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