As some of you undoubtedly remember, I have mentioned my author friend Norah Wilson before (in On Cloud 9 and in reference to her contributions to the Black Out Cancer Gala a few few years ago as seen here).
Well a few weeks ago, around the beginning of December, she asked me if I would like a ARC, or advanced reader copy, of her new book and if I would post an honest review of it. Well I of course jumped at the chance because 1. she’s my friend 2. I love her books and 3. I also love being ahead of the curve when it comes to things I can recommend to my friends and to you my blog followers. 😉
The blurb on Amazon is as follows below.
Ocean Siliker has come back to Harkness, New Brunswick in defeat, after failing to set New York on fire with her playwriting. The first item on her agenda? Climbing White Crow Cliff, where her best friend Lacey Douglas died six years ago. If she conquers the mountain, perhaps she can rediscover her courage. But the only thing she finds herself is…lost.
Family obligations have left Titus Standish stuck in Harkness. While his younger siblings went off into the world, he stayed, working the farm and running the local search and rescue. He was there when Lacey fell to her death and blames himself. He dreads the day another mission takes him up there again. But when Ocean’s mother calls, concerned that her daughter is wandering the mountain, he leaps into action.
Ocean is thrilled to be found…until she sees her savior. She’s known Titus Standish all her life, and has loved him almost that long. But at four years his junior, she was just a kid with a crush. When Titus finds her, he’s determined to march her back down the mountain to safety. But Ocean has other plans; she’ll be damned if she’ll give up this trek. Yet all trails seem to lead to one place…straight into Titus’s arms.
Being from a small town myself, albeit in the American south and not in Canada, I knew right away that I would be able to somewhat identify with the characters because I vividly recall that “stuck in a rut” feeling from before I left home for the first time. There is something almost smothering about every little thing when you’re 18 years old and have spent your entire life driving the same streets, seeing the same people, and doing the exact same things day-in and day-out that your parents and grandparents did at that age. Somethings are just universal and this book explores both that small town lifestyle and that restless inner part of us that craves a grand adventure.
With that in mind, I set aside a few hours of quality reading time and got down to business. My thoughts after reading the book are as follows below and are part of my published review as seen on Amazon.
This book features a handful of loveable characters, each struggling with their own personal demons. For Titus, it’s the sweet taste of freedom because he never had the opportunity to leave small town life behind. For Ocean, it’s the heartbreak of defeat because she managed to escape the clutches of her hometown but couldn’t make it in the big city. They are facing dissimilar challenges but yet they are linked not only by the small town they grew up in but also by the the tragic death of a mutual friend that haunts them both for different reasons and in different ways. Factor in their family obligations, a picturesque small town setting where job opportunity is scarce and where everyone knows everything about everybody else, and you have the basis for unrequited love and a great read.
I also really liked the creative foreshadowing by the author that allowed me to get a small sense of what is weighing on the minds of two of the secondary characters, sister Ember and cousin/brother Scott, while still focusing primarily on the internal struggles and self doubt that plague the two main characters. That little sneak peak into their lives made me more interested in reading their books because I feel more invested in their characters now. I’m really looking forward to seeing how their stories develop in the follow up books.
Would I recommend this book? Yes. Definitely. I think it’s something that a lot of people can identify with because we all have challenges to overcome at some point in our lives, either external or internal and this book touches upon quite a few of them.
A Fall from Yesterday: A Hearts of Harkness Romance (The Standish Clan Book 1) by Norah Wilson is now available for purchase from Amazon. And as far as Ember and Scott’s stories go, here is the links to their books in this series:
Ember’s Fire: A Hearts of Harkness Romance (The Standish Clan Book 2) is due to be released on February 2 and is now available for pre-order from Amazon.
And Scott’s story, Promise Me the Stars: A Hearts of Harkness Romance (The Standish Clan Book 3) will be available on March 1 but you can go ahead and pre-order it as well, courtesy of Amazon.