Published by Harlequin on 2 January 2013
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: Kindle Freebie
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Oliver found out that his wife of six years, Edie, had been cheating on him with her ex for most of their marriage, and he felt like his life was falling apart all around him. As he really needed to get away from everything, he decided now was a good time to go and sort out his late aunt's house near Melbourne, to think, to feel better and to get both the house and his life back in order.
Mackenzie was a TV producer, finally quite successful, when she had a horrible car accident she almost didn't survive. Almost a year after she was still not back to work, and she was doing her best to do all her workouts, and to get her life back to where it was. All she wanted was to get it back, to be able to live exactly like she did before - with long days of work, and not a lot of time to play.
When I picked up The Other Side of Us for free on amazon, I thought I’d get a light, slick romance. Something hot that would just take a couple of hours to read, then be forgotten… What I got was a profound story about two broken characters, a beautiful narrative about hope, fighting for your life, and love. I fell in love with both Oliver and MacKenzie, they were both trying to patch their lives back together, and their first meeting really didn’t go well. However, they were both willing to look past that first meeting, and when they started to get to know each other they realized that having someone they could share their doubts and dreams with was exactly what they needed.
Oliver was a sound engineer, former guitar-bass player in a successful band, and he was able to take some time off work to go near Melbourne to clear out his late aunt’s house and get it ready for sale. He went with his little dog, Strudel, as his only company. He soon found out that his prickly next-door neighbor, Mackenzie had a dog as well, a certain Mr. Smith, who was very smitten with his Strudel. I loved the humor the two dogs brought in to the story, because The Other Side of Us certainly did have a lot of sadness going on, especially in the beginning.
As Oliver and Mackenzie got to know each other better, they both started to feel more alive than they had in ages. Oliver first started realizing that he hadn’t really been happy with Edie. Then, he started noticing how attractive Mackenzie was – scars, prickly personality and all. Mackenzie thought Oliver was very good-looking in an understated kind of way, but she thought he was a bit stuck-up as well. Their friendship seemed very real to me, and as they showed more of themselves to the other, they also learned a lot more about themselves! The Other Side of Us made it possible for both of them to see other sides of their own personalities they hadn’t really looked at for a long time. And they both liked this new discovery.
When they started to fall in love, and took their new relationship to the next level, things weren’t easy for either of them! Oliver was still angry about how his marriage had ended, and Mackenzie was insecure about her new body, filled with scars and difficulties to move. The thing that really made them both feel so good together, though, was their complete honesty both with each other and towards themselves. I was pleasantly surprised to read a romance novel where the problems the couple face isn’t so much what happens around them as what happens inside their own heads. As The Other Side of Us progressed, both Mackenzie and Oliver grew as characters, and I really liked the way they interacted – and the two dogs were like the extra sprinkle on a beautiful ice-cream!
The writing shifts in point of view between Mackenzie and Oliver, and this way, the readers really get to know both of them. I loved the fun interactions, and when the romance and sex start, things heat up tremendously! I was so pleasantly surprised with The Other Side of Us, I have to recommend it to my fellow readers! It has both a very hot romance, the characters who seem very real – because they are far from perfect, and the development of their personal lives as well as maybe something more that can become a new life for them together.
The writing shifts the point of view between Oliver and Mackenzie, and the changes in the characters are really well done. The narrative show both their internal struggles and the growth they need in order to go forward in their lives.
He grunted and pushed back his chair, taking his empty mug to the sink. Sometimes, the voice in his head was way too much of a smart-ass.
Mackenzie watched him take the stairs two at a time, allowing herself a few indulgent seconds of butt-staring – it really was a very, very nice ass – before shutting the door and heading for the kitchen.
Their normal lives might be a thousand miles apart, but she was the most interesting woman – the most interesting person – he’d met in a long time.
“Aye, aye, Captain,” she said, giving him a salut. He gave her a quizzical look. “Am I being too bossy?” “Not yet. Skating close, but I’ll let you know when you get there.” “I can hardly wait.”
His face burned with embarrassment. Which served him right for being such a yokel. “Maybe we should get started before I have to have my foot surgically removed from my mouth,” he said, heading for the door.
She shrugged. She had no idea what to do, either. “This is where a basic grasp of English from you two would be really handy,” she said to the dogs.