The best thing between Oliver Barrett and Mackenzie Williams is a fence. Ever since Oliver’s new-neighbour gestures were met with unfriendly responses, he’s decided to keep his distance. After all, he’s in this seaside town to get his life on track again. That doesn’t include working hard to get on Mackenzie’s good side–no matter how intriguing she may be.
His intentions are put to the test, however, when his dog becomes infatuated with hers. The two crafty canines do their best to break down the barriers between the properties. And where the dogs go…well, the humans must follow! It doesn’t take long for a powerful attraction to build between Oliver and Mackenzie. They soon discover that the worst of first impressions can lead to the best possible outcomes….
Sarah Mayberry is popular with pretty much everyone, but I think for a lot of Australian readers, her books are extra special because she’s giving us local versions of contemporary romances – books that usually have American settings. These are people we could see walking around the streets here. It’s something of a luxury for Australian readers of contemporary romance!
Sometimes it’s nice to read something a little closer to home.
However it isn’t just the (relatively) local settings that make me enjoy her books so much; Mayberry is simply a fantastic writer. Her characters have flaws and quirks that are often missing from books with romance at the centre. They’re less perfect, and much easier to relate to.
Some Mayberry books are driven by major conflict, while others are more focused on the developing relationship, largely ignoring big drama. The Other Side of Us is lighter on the conflict, but because this is an author who writes great characters, I didn’t miss it. I liked seeing the way these two damaged people found their way to each other.
The characters’ dogs play a big part in this one. I know zilch about animals, but thought the author did a good job giving the dogs their own personalities too.
Still, Supers set outside of the US are being turned American before publication. We don’t all speak American, and I don’t see the need to remove local flavour from non-American books. I definitely saw red when they changed the name of Sydney Harbour to ‘Sydney Harbor’ – you CANNOT rename our places to make them more American!
Also, while I quite like the less cheesy, newer Super covers, once again the models look nothing like the characters. Oliver is supposed to have long red-brown hair. Mackenzie is recovering from a major trauma, and as a result of this is supposed to have very short hair and scars. These generic toothpaste commercial-style models couldn’t be any more wrong for their roles if they tried.
This follows on from Mayberry’s last (excellent) book, where the glasses-wearing heroine wasn’t wearing glasses on the cover. It annoys me how much character individuality is ignored by Harlequin’s cover department.
But as for the actual content of the book? Sarah Mayberry proves once again to be a go-to author for good, relevant contemporary romances.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.