Review: Meant to Be by Karen Stivali


Meant to Be by Karen Stivali
Turquoise Morning Press (August 25, 2012)

Rating: A
Heat: Warm

Heroine: Marienne Valeti – Artsy, Married
Hero: Daniel Gardner – Beta Hero, Married
Setting: New Jersey, USA



Meant to Be follows the de-evolution of two marriages and the burgeoning of a once in a lifetime friendship. A story about two individuals, their lives running parallel to one another, becoming entangled and irreversibly connected. Soul mates finally finding their true other half.

When Marienne Valeti and Daniel Gardner, recent neighbors, first meet while volunteering for the local theatre, they discover they have many things in common. And, more importantly, they really enjoy each other’s company. Which leads to, with their respective spouses, many Friday night dinners together. And while Marienne and Daniel grow closer and closer, they find the distance between them and their spouses getting wider and wider.

Because Marienne and Frank, and Daniel and Justine, really shouldn’t have ended up married. Both couples couldn’t be more opposite from their spouses. Where Marienne is quiet and nurturing, Frank is crude and insensitive. Where Daniel is thoughtful and laid back, Justine is driven and uncompromising.

And, as weeks and months and years progress, Marienne and Daniel find in each other the things that are missing in their marriages. Someone who cares and actually listens. Someone who enjoys them for who they are. They become each others confidantes and support. It was so beautiful to see two people grow so close, so intimate, without actually becoming intimate. It made me believe in them and really cherish their friendship. Which is the backbone of this story.

A story that I was completely absorbed by. Other than a few short breaks, I pretty much read it in one sitting. Which sometimes makes it so much harder to collect my thoughts when I'm done, because I just read and read and didn't stop or pause. And then, at the end, I'm just left with... a feeling. A warm and sweet and happy feeling. As well as more than a few dried tears on my cheeks.

Meant to Be is a subtle romance. A slow and gradual love story that felt genuine and... real. Both Marienne and Daniel came to life on the pages and I wanted, so badly, for them to get their happily ever after. And I enjoyed every moment of watching them get there. I can’t wait to see what happens next for them in Holding On.


Favorite Quote:

She trudged upstairs, walking into the bathroom and turned on the shower. As she took off her clothes, she caught sight of her reflection in the mirror. Her hair was a mess; her eyes had smudges beneath them. She’d forgotten that she left the house straight from bed. She looked awful.
Daniel saw me like this.
She groaned and closed her eyes, cringing, but then she remembered the look on his face as he’d hugged her, the way he’d kissed her head. Her had instinctively touched her hair. She could still feel his lips. She hadn’t felt judged; she’d felt loved.


Thoughts While Reading:



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