(U.S. link: The Story Guy )
Published: July 8th 2013, Loveswept
Carrie works her dream job as a librarian, has good friends, and considers herself a fairly happy person Tonight, after a minor melt-down at work, she feels like scouring the local personals. She usually reads them in a specific order, just so she can finish with her own 30-45 year age group last. She doesn't necessarily read them to find dates.....but more out of interest, to find out the kinds of things men are saying. These men tend to be more straightforward in the personals than they are on those dating websites. Then she stumbles on an interesting ad with the headline 'Wednesdays only'. A picture of a handsome guy accompanies the ad that promises a lunch hour in the park of kissing only, no touching elsewhere......and only on Wednesdays. Odd, but Carrie is intrigued and she responds.
Brian is a contract lawyer, and as good looking as his picture promised, but there is not much more he is willing to part with in terms of information. He does tell Carrie that she isn't his first 'Wednesday', and that he has good reasons for setting such strict parameters around any further involvement. He simply is looking for someone who he can get lost with, for a little while each week, until one or the other fails to show up indicating the end of the arrangement.
The kiss they share that day is unlike anything Carrie has experienced before. Despite the fact that all touching occurred above the shoulders, the kiss seemed to involve her entire body. And Carrie cannot help but try to push the boundaries Brian has set for their arrangement, at the end of their first encounter. But he quickly shuts down any hope for any more involvement than the promised Wednesday kissing only. More careful in her approach, but no less determined, Carrie continues to gently probe Brian's closely guarded life, trying to find an explanation for the insistence on their arrangement, but also for the sadness she has seen in Brian's eyes.
Little by little, Carrie uncovers more and what she sees only makes Brian more attractive, and she is pretty sure the attraction is mutual. However, instead of helping it relax Brian's self-imposed restrictions on seeing her, it only seems to reinforce them. Carrie has to break through layers of his defences and both of them are learning how to choose for themselves.
A unique, sexy and touching novella.
Both characters in this story are faced with a choice, to go from the familiar to the unknown.
For Carrie it means that she can stay safely ensconced in her relatively comfortable existence, with no particular highs or lows, surrounded by her friends and her familiar surroundings, not worrying about what will come tomorrow, because it will be the same as today......OR; she can take a risk and choose Brian.
In Brian's case the choice is to continue to avoid any self serving choices, like a loving relationship, and continue to focus solely on his responsibilities, because it is simpler to deny himself completely, than it is to impose the incredible weight of his life on someone else, still risking the hurt of a broken heart when his life proves too complicated.........OR; he can take a risk and choose Carrie.
An incredible feat for a debut novella. Extremely well written, with compelling characters, a very interesting and poignant plot line and some deliciously descriptive scenes. I would jump to read whatever Mary Ann Rivers has in store for us next!!