38 Followers
44 Following
iola

iola

Currently reading

A Valley of Betrayal
Tricia Goyer
The Legion of Honor
Sharon Yoset, Sharon Yoset
Impostors at Blue Heron Lake
Susan Page Davis, Megan Elaine Davis
The Sacred Cipher: A Novel
Terry Brennan
Sons of Thunder
Susan May Warren
Blood Ransom PB (Mission Hope)
Harris Lisa
The Other Side of Us - Sarah Mayberry Mackenzie Williams was a producer on popular daytime soap, Time and Again, until a car accident left her in hospital with multiple injuries, then months of rehabilitation. She is now living in remote Flinders (on the Mornington Peninsula, about an hour south of Melbourne) with her dog, Mr Smith, while she recovers enough to return to work--if her job is still there.Oliver Garrett has moved with his schnauzer, Strudel, from Sydney to Flinder, to escape from the ruins of his marriage. Strudel forms an immediate attachment with Mr Smith, the dog next door, which places Oliver in close proximity to Madeline. Even though she is rude and career-minding, and represents everything he dislikes in a woman. Or so he thinks. As they try and rebuild their smashed lives, their relationship develops, and both Mackenzie and Oliver find they have more in common than they initially thought.This isn't a Christian book or even (as far as I know) written by a Christian. But it is written by an Australian (who has also lived in New Zealand). Authors like Sarah Mayberry and Nalini Singh prove that Australasian authors can compete on the world stage in their respective genres--Harlequin romance and paranormal romance, respectively. That’s not to say that other Australian and New Zealand authors can’t, more that many of them focus on such local plots and culture that it can be hard for them to find an international audience.But, from the international point of view, this is an interesting comparison of cultural differences. Words like 'mate' and 'mum' imply an Australian setting, but the story opens with Oliver filling his tank with gas, not petrol. Later there is a mention of store-bought desert. Personally, I find this Americanised vocabulary annoying. Do publishers do this because Americans don't want to read anything 'foreign', or do publishers think Americans are too stupid to translate words like 'petrol' and 'garden' into American English?Some of Mayberry's previous books have focussed on the physical relationship at the expense of plot and character development. However, this is a Harlequin Super Romance, so the focus is supposed to be on the relationship, not just the physical aspects (although there are some explicit scenes that you won’t find in Christian fiction). While The Other Side of Us still has plenty of mutual attraction, it also has some good character development and even a few insights into deeper human nature (like a comment about those who pursue music for the sake of success rather than for the love of the music. I suspect the same could be said for writing). I also really liked the fact that it was longer than most Harlequin books – at 85,000 words, it’s close to a full-length novel. Overall, this is a better-than-average Harlequin. It has solid, likeable characters, a well-constructed plot, and is well-written. A must for Sarah Mayberry fans.Thanks to Harlequin and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.