The Story Guy by Mary Ann Rivers
July 8, 2013
Reviewed by Mandi
The first person to recommend this book to me was Claudia, but since then I’ve seen a lot of buzz about this book and for good reason. Mary Ann Rivers gives us an emotional, moving, sometimes funny, sometimes sad book about two strangers who start with a simple kiss and end with much, much more.
Carrie West is a librarian who is just plain lonely. She has friends, she has great parents and a good job. But after a few years of not dating she is in a funk. Her loved apartment feels too small and she finds herself breaking down in tears in random places. She enjoys reading the personal ads on MetroLink, a website where you can pretty much post anything. They are usually a bit more seedy than a normal dating site and Carrie often finds them amusing and more honest. One catches her eye:
I will meet you on Wednesdays at noon in Celebration Park. Kissing only. I won’t touch you below the shoulders. You can touch me anywhere. No dating, no hookups. I will meet with you for as long as you meet me, so if you miss a Wednesday we part as strangers. No picture necessary, we can settle details via IM. Replay back with “Wednesdays Only” in the subject line.
And in a rush of craziness, Carrie emails him, and he responds. With much anticipation, nervousness and fear, Carrie meets him at the park for an hour of kissing. It changes her life.
Brian is an attorney who craves and needs human contact. He has a big thing going on in his life, that doesn’t’ give him much time for anything fun or relaxing. But he can steal away an hour from his lunch to indulge. I’m not going to tell you what is going on with him, as Carrie is left in the dark for a lot of the book as well. But it’s quite impactful and when you learn it you will go, ahhhh. I understand now. Brian and Carrie have this instant chemistry, one that Carrie yearns to pursue, but Brian just can’t. He can’t do more than just kissing her above the shoulders because he knows what will happen if he lets his heart fall for her. But that darn heart has a mind of its own.
This story features two mature, responsible people who both realize that even though you are falling in love, it’s not simple. It’s not always filled with rainbows and happiness. Carrie realizes something big is going on with Brian, and she wants to convey to him so much that she can wait or do whatever it takes to make his life easier
If I’m broken, the break will be clean and easily mended. If he breaks, I’m not sure if there will be enough pieces to approximate. I can afford to go along with what he thinks will protect him. I can have this, and I can give him what he thinks he needs, even if he may deserve better, Even if I don’t know if he actually does.
That statement says so much. For a man she only meets to kiss on a bench, she is ready to give so much to him. I found there are so many powerful moments in this book like this.
For all the seriousness this book is so damn sexy. There is kissing on a bench and phone sex and real sex. It’s really hot. And parts made me giggle too. Carrie has friends who help her navigate through this ordeal and they are fun and supportive. Carrie herself is a hoot as we get this only in her point of view. Her internal monologue can be very entertaining.
In 120 pages, Mary Ann Rivers writes a powerful love story. I immediately went to download her back list and then realized this was her debut. I can’t wait to see what she does next.