ARC Review: Keeping Her by Cora Carmack
Keeping Her (Losing It #1.5)
by: Cora Carmack
Publication Date: Aug. 13, 2013
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: New Adult
Source: e-ARC provided by Edelweiss and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 100 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars
As soon as I heard Cora was writing a novella about Garrick and Bliss I was all kinds of excited. And then when I heard it was dual POV, I was even MORE excited! Don't get me wrong- I loved and adored Cade's story, but I did find myself missing Garrick and Bliss, wondering what they were up to. Losing It was such a cute, fun read and one of my favorite things about Bliss was her awkwardness and clumsiness. It makes her very endearing to me. So happy to report that Bliss is still the same cute, awkward character in this novella. Garrick is as swoon-worthy as ever, but maybe even more so now that we can hear his thoughts and really see just how much Bliss truly means to him.
The novella begins with Garrick and Bliss preparing to travel to London to meet his parents. Bliss is beyond nervous. And with good reason! Meeting the boy's parents is always nerve-wracking. However, Bliss isn't the only nervous one. Garrick is quite nervous himself, as he knows how his parents (his mother in particular) are. He loves Bliss for who she is and the last thing he wants is to see his parents tear down and rip apart the one girl he wants to spend forever with.
I really felt for Bliss because in this novel we really see all her insecurities come to light. Not only is she afraid that his mother won't like her, but she is intimidated by the fact that he comes from money. She is afraid she won't fit in, that she won't be considered good enough for him. There were times where Bliss's inner monologue did get a little irritating because we can all see how much Garrick loves and adores her, but to be completely honest? I would probably feel the same way. It's so easy to look at all the surface things and ask yourself, 'What does this guy see in me when he could have so much more?'
I adored Garrick. He was always there to bring Bliss back down and was patient with her, always reassuring her that things would be ok. He knows meeting his parents is intimidating, but he is determined to make things go as smoothly as possible for her. His mom is really a piece of work though. I can't stand women who put on this fake, cheery demeanor and then spit poison at you all with a smile on their face.
"She's very sweet, Garrick. Is it just the clumsiness she's overcompensating for? Or something worse?" (e-ARC 39)
Ouch. Not only does Garrick have his mother to worry about, but he has some history with his father also. His father is one of those business success types who is only concerned with appearance. Garrick even goes so far to say that his father threw him and Bliss a surprise engagement party with the intent of impressing others, not for his son's sake. His father also doesn't hesitate in reintroducing him to a business associate who Garrick interned for when he was younger. He hopes to direct his son towards a more prosperous job opportunity. Garrick loves performing and doing theater and the last thing he wants is his father shoving a job offer down his throat. After spending just a few minutes with his parents we can definitely see why Garrick left when he was younger.
Seeing as this is a novella, there really isn't a whole lot of time to develop conflict and then resolve it. However, Carmack does a good job of throwing in a curveball for Bliss that has the potential to change everything. Instead of sitting down right away and talking to Garrick, she ends up trying to push him away and leaves him feeling very unsettled at not knowing what is wrong. Again, I felt for her. She is dealing with the stress of meeting his parents for the first time, knowing they are not overly welcoming and now has another issue to tackle. I think she handles it just fine and I was glad when she caved and told Garrick. They are a team and whatever problems they have, they should be facing them together.
Overall, this is a really cute novella and I'm so glad that we got to see Garrick and Bliss again. Garrick's friends Rowland and Graham were a hoot to read about and maybe Garrick's mom isn't as bad as we originally thought... I'm so ready to read Kelsey's book next!