Always Yours. Kari March. 2014. Amazon Digital Publishing. 281 pages. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of The Book Gurus.]
I’m pretty excited to be taking part in a blog tour for Kari March’s latest release, Always Yours, her second release of 2014. Always Yours is a standalone sequel to March’s debut novel, Promise Me Always. I tend to prefer starting interrelated books with the first in the “series,” so I felt it was necessary to start with Promise Me Always. I was extremely impressed at her ability to ensure that Always Yours could stand on its own merits as it interwove the characters and events from the first book.
Always Yours centers on Cam and Cara, two young adults who’ve had their fair share of heartache at the hands of their family and romantic partners. For Cara, when the going gets tough, the people in her life leave. Cam, on the other hand, cannot keep genuine women in his life. When they meet, neither is at a place in their life where they want to welcome any serious attachment. Too bad their bodies (and later hearts) don’t seem to understand that. From the start, the two have undeniable chemistry, which leads to heated exchanges, both verbally and physically.
The characters throughout Always Yours are endearing. Each personality, coupled with March’s casual writing style, makes it easy to connect with them. It feels like this is a group of people I could fit easily into, and can even relate back to friends of my own. The series focuses on a group of young adults, so they’re still fun-loving which translates into the story and injects a solid amount of humor.
I find that many romance novels tend to follow a formula of “falling together” after minor roadblocks that are more mental thank anything. In Always Yours, there is genuine conflict coming from every direction. These are authentic in a way that is more realistic than a vast majority of books I’ve read in this genre. Frankly, it makes for a story line that had me rolling my eyes and wanting to curse at characters more than I care to admit. March also manages to foreshadow just enough that the reader thinks they know what’s going to happen, only to turn things in a different direction when you least expect it. In at least 3 different instances, I found myself saying “oh … well that’s not going where I thought it was.” Somehow, March is able to make the puzzle pieces fall together seamlessly. That’s incredibly refreshing.
March’s style of writing from both of her characters’ perspectives provides depth that most books lack. She switches between the two characters effortlessly, sharing details that would be missing if one only read from Cam or Cara’s sole viewpoint. The reader is able to get a more honest portrayal of what’s happening when it’s coming from the mouths of the two people most impacted, providing insights and rationales that would be lost otherwise.
I definitely recommend reading Always Yours. It is an interesting, well-written novel that will keep you entertained and make your eyes leak a bit. More than that, it’s an enjoyable read. I do recommend starting with Promise Me Always, which occurs chronologically later, but is a good intro the storyline between Cam and Cara. Either way, you won’t lose. I look forward to seeing where she takes these and other characters in subsequent books.