Disclosure of the Heart (Beside Your Heart #2)
By Mary Whitney
Published November 5th, 2013
Source: Received from the author in exchange for an unbiased review for this blog tour (Thank you!)
About the Book:
Sixteen years is a long time to wait for your true love to reappear, and, anyway, Nicki Johnson couldn’t wait for the impossible to happen. Hard life lessons have taught her that fairy tales are children’s stories, and fate is cruel. Burying her hopes, she’s spent the last sixteen years focused and driven toward her career, and it’s landed her with a job at the White House with a gem of a boyfriend. But when her high school love, Adam Kincaid, walks into the White House as a BBC reporter, Nicki’s world is thrown into turmoil as she relives their past. Adam has come back for her, but has he arrived too late?
If you’ll remember, I stumbled on Mary Whitney’s Beside Your Heart and absolutely loved the unique story telling. Well, Ms. Whitney is back (finally – phew!) to let us know what happened to Nicki and Adam after high school. Honestly, if you haven’t read Beside Your Heart, I really won’t be spoiling anything for you. It’s pretty well-known from the synopsis of book one that Nicki and Adam are not together after high school.
But now, fifteen and half years later, Adam is trying to get back into Nicki’s life. The big question is, will she let him in?
Disclosure of the Heart begins immediately where Beside Your Heart left off, but from Nicki’s point of view (POV). Coming face to face with Adam after all these years, old feelings surface. But it’s not going to be that easy for Adam. There’s the whole problem of their conflicting jobs. Oh, and a very jealous boyfriend of Nicki’s. It’s gets pretty messy before we get to our happily ever after (HEA). But rest assured, this time around we DO get a our HEA!!!
I still love the character of Nicki! She is one strong, self-assured, and smart girl. I really enjoyed reading about her work and how she strategized continuously, even after she left the office. Her entire life seemed like one big strategy game. But she’s still a romantic at heart and that came through, too.
I felt like Adam came across a wee-bit “flatter”, like less of his personality showed through, than it did in Disclosure of the Heart. There were moments in the story when Nicki would notice Adam looking at her a certain way and because we only had Nicki’s POV, we were always left wondering what Adam was thinking. It was like a piece of the story was missing.
And this leads me to why I rated this book a 3.5 stars. I really love Nicki and Adam and I love the political slant to this romantic story. I truly loved the story overall! But I was conflicted for days on what I was going to rate this book. It just seemed like the book was so close to being perfect, but it just missed something that would have made it “fantastic” or “outstanding”. Again, I’m struggling on how to get this across – loved the story but it just missed a piece of greatness? I think it was missing Adam’s POV (yeah, duh…).
I really wanted to know right then and there in the story what Adam was thinking when he had that hurt look on his face or when he was scowling over a drink. I wish Ms. Whitney had written this book in a dual POV format with both Nicki and Adam’s contrasting views.
But not to fret, Ms. Whitney did save Adam’s POV for a book of his own. Forever Your Heart is Adam’s story and it’s expected to be published in early 2014. And YES, I will be reading it!
So, are you wondering what makes Mary Whitney’s writing so appealing to me, despite my qualms about missing Adam’s “voice”? Well, I’m super lucky to be able to share an excerpt with you!!! I picked this one specifically because: 1. It’s non-spoilery, 2. It’s HOT!!!
Read and let me know your thoughts…
First, a little tiny set-up… Sylvia is Adam’s sister and they all have just spent the day “hanging out” together, per se…
[note note_color=”#EDE2C6″]As I admired the aged cover, Adam walked in.“Hello,” he said, walking slowly toward me. He looked and smelled fresh, making me smile.
“Hi. Sylvia is in the shower.” I held up the book, running my hand along the leather binding. “This is beautiful. It looks very old.”
“It was my grandfather’s,” he said as he came to my side.
“Really? That’s wonderful.” I remembered how much he’d loved his grandfather. I opened up the book and saw there was something in it. “What do you keep in here?”
He didn’t answer, but he didn’t need to. I had already lifted out the photograph of me taken almost sixteen years before. I looked so young, sitting on the beach with the Gulf of Mexico behind me. I glanced down at the open page just to see if there was any significance to where he’d placed it. Recognizing the stanza immediately, I swallowed hard and whispered, “‘Splendor in the grass.’”
It could’ve been corny, but it wasn’t. That poem was depressing; our history was too sad for it to be sentimental.
Like he’d been caught red-handed, Adam exhaled hard. Without reading the book, he recited the Wordsworth that was so fitting for us.
What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind.
The moment was significant, but I wasn’t quite sure why. Was it because he’d kept that photo for all these years? Or because he still felt the same way today?
I simply said, “Yeah, I know it. I was an English major.”
He nodded, and I looked back down at the photo.
Touching a corner, I added, “That was a long time ago.”
“Not so long ago.”
I lifted my eyes to see him staring me down. After a few seconds that felt like an eternity, I had no sooner placed the book back on the shelf when he grabbed me in his arms, and our mouths opened up to one another. It was a good thing he kissed me, because I couldn’t have stood to look at him any longer. My emotions were helter-skelter, and kissing him gave me something to do and a way to convey them. As he moved his lips over mine with abandon, however, I felt like something had snapped for him, but what?
After a moment, I gasped out the same question I’d asked him months ago on the dance floor: “Adam, what are you doing?”
Through a rush of kisses, he murmured, “I’m falling in love with you again.” [/note]
About the Author:
Even before she graduated from law school, Mary Whitney knew she wasn’t cut out to be a real lawyer. Drawn to politics, she’s spent her career as an organizer, lobbyist, and nonprofit executive. Nothing piques her interest more than a good political scandal or romance, and when she stumbled upon writing, she put the two together. A born Midwesterner, naturalized Texan, and transient resident of Washington, D.C., Mary now lives in Northern California with her two daughters and real lawyer husband.
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Book Tour organized by Literati Author Services, Inc