The Story Guy by Mary Ann Rivers

Let me start this review by saying The Story Guy by Mary Ann Rivers is a bit of departure from the usual sorts of books that tend to attract themselves to my reading-radar. So I'll just lay it out nice and plain: The Story Guy is a full-on romance novella with lots of sizzle and adult...situations. If you like stories that fade to black at certain moments, this ain't it. Ahem. That said I found myself glomming onto this particular read like you wouldn't believe because A. it came highly recommended by rock-star Angie and B. it features a teen services librarian as the heroine. Full-stop. That just may be my weakness right there. So if this sounds like something you might enjoy, continue on friend. And if not, well, I'll see you on the next go round.

As I stated before, Carrie is a protagonist I can absolutely get behind. She's a glasses-wearing librarian for Pete's sake who might just be a little bit, well, maybe...lonely. With a fulfilling job and friends who love her, she's never felt the need to truly put herself out there if only to avoid the awkwardness inherently involved in the dreaded first date. So she waits. Until one late night (or is it early morning?) when, sleepless, she curiously clicks on an on-line personal ad for what seems to be the most unexpected request. 
I will meet you on Wednesdays at noon in Celebration Park. Kissing only.
Feeling totally unlike herself, Carrie responds to the cryptic request and agrees to meet this mysterious stranger. And after that first day, Carrie embarks on a bit of a surprising, if not highly unconventional, courtship with a man so badly in need of rescuing it's almost painful at times to watch. Because if there's ever a man in need of a bit of rescuing, it's Brian. As in the words of Carrie's co-worker Justin:
"Wow, Carrie. When I said you should go for Story Boy I didn't realize he was a Russian novel."
The Story Guy is a novella that does not read like a novella. It reads like an incredibly well thought out, full-length novel with dynamic pacing and challenging characters. Despite their obvious, instant attraction it's Brian and Carrie's intensely personal conversations that go a long way in revealing their true selves more than any number of dates could have that propel this story from mere good to bloody brilliant. Take this startlingly raw confession of Carrie's on why she hasn't been dating much lately.
I was making some kind of request for some specific kind of love, and instead of that love, the love I needed, I would get another kind. Like, I would need...daisy love, you know, pretty love, sweet love that nonetheless was ubiquitous in roadside ditches in summertime, and instead I would get orchid love. Love that needed misting and replanting and pruning and fertilizing and died anyway. So I stopped asking, and it was okay, except I've been feeling like I don't have enough...of something.
Daisy love. *sigh* Who doesn't crave uncomplicated daisy love at times? And Carrie's ability to articulate those feelings in such a poetic just makes me feel so much. And that is what Mary Ann Rivers is so adept at in this debut -- making one feel all these great, big Emotions.

And maybe I'm getting a bit off track here but for me, while reading The Story Guy, I could not get the song Rescue Me out of my head. Cheesy as that sounds. But maybe that's the highest recommendation of all that I could give this story -- I just can't plain get it out of my head.

Because Everyone Likes a Second Opinion:
Angieville review
Karen Knows Best review

book source: review copy from publisher


Angiegirl said...

I love that passage. "Some kind of request for some specific kind of love..." *sigh*

Loved it.

Holly said...

Although some of the sexy times were a bit much for my taste, I enjoyed this one, and the writing itself is just lovely. I bookmarked a lot of passages on my Kindle.

Anonymous said...

This one was just lovely, isn't it? I was a bit taken aback by how good it was. So glad you enjoyed it as well. Yay for reading more romances! See, even Holly is now reading sexytimes. :P