It’s time to celebrate The Heart Series by Mary Whitney! I loved book one (Beside Your Heart) as you can see in my review. Stick around for the interview and generous giveaway.
Beside Your Heart by Mary Whitney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Beginning of Across-the-Pond Romance
I’ve had my eye on this series for some time and I’m glad I finally read book one.
When political operative Nicki Johnson googles her high school love Adam Kincaid, she finds out he’s dating an English aristocrat named Muff.
I gaped at the photo. I’d never seen Adam dressed so well. He wore a dark gray morning coat with tails, a vest, tie, and striped trousers. Next to him, Mary or Muff or Twat — whatever her name was — wore a pale pink coat dress.
The discovery fuels a sense of longing as well as many memories of the past. Beside Your Heart explores how Nicki and Adam meet in high school. I seem to enjoy New Adult more than Young Adult these days, so I think I’ll enjoy the next two novels about their adult romance better.
Nicki’s younger sister died in a harrowing car accident, and she is mired in grief throughout the story. Coupled with what happens to the relationship between Nicki and Adam, a sad tone pervades the novel. But Adam is lovely in how he helps her through her grief.
Her grandmother explains grief well:
“At times, your grandfather’s passing is as hard for me today as it was the day he died, but the pain isn’t as constant anymore. I can go days and even weeks of going along in my life with nothing. The it can hit me out of the blue, and I feel the grief all over again. Other times, you know when a bad patch of pain is coming…birthdays, holidays.”
I loved all the Englishisms, like shagging, snogging, and spotted dick, hehe.
Overall this is a well-written story about first love.
View all my reviews
And now for the interview with Mary Whitney…
Jennifer Lane (JL): Welcome to the blog, Mary! As you can see, I truly enjoyed Beside Your Heart. What were some inspirations for this story?
Mary Whitney (MW): Well, thank you! You’re a doll.
It was triggered by an old memory. I’m old enough to remember when ecstasy was legal back in the 80s, and I remembered going to a party the night before it was made a controlled substance. The funny thing was that no one was on X. They were all drinking. I was telling the story to a friend one day which sort of mentally sent me back to high school. My mom had also recently died, so I’d been wanting to write something to explore grief. Beside Your Heart isn’t autobiographical at all, though. Sadly in my high school, the male exchange students from overseas were never good looking!
JL: How does your law degree affect your writing?
MW: You can say people write about what we know. I’ve never wanted to write about laws, but I think people involved in law, law enforcement, and politics can be interesting – sometimes even in their boringness!
JL: I’m also drawn to writing about politics, especially romantic partners who spar over opposing beliefs. Tell us about your political romances and how politics might play out in books two and three of The Heart Series.
MW: I love a good debate, so romantic banter is just fun for me to read and write. With Nicki and Adam, their banter is driven by their differing cultures, though their political leanings are pretty similar. In my book, Compromising Positions, it’s a Republican and a Democrat, which makes for meaty, but playful conversation.
JL: I see in your bio you’ve lived all over the US! What’s been your favorite location?
MW: Honestly, I think there are great things and bad things about every place I’ve lived. Right now, I live in northern California which is pretty awesome, except for the drought and earthquakes.
JL: What are you working on now?
MW: I’m finishing up my next book, Attached. It’s true New Adult so it will be a departure for me. I’m also working on the audiobooks for No Ordinary Guy and Compromising Positions. David from Beside Your Heart is the main character in No Ordinary Guy. He’s Adam’s cheeky cousin, so the narrator is also a Brit. Compromising Positions is dual narration for both male and female POVs. Everything is out in June, so things are busy right now!
I can’t thank you enough for this interview. I’m always tickled when people want to chat! Thanks again!
JL: Thank you for stopping by, Mary, and good luck with your writing.