The Other Side of Us

The Other Side of Us - Sarah Mayberry I haven't read many Harlequin SuperRomances, but my impression of the line is that they aim for meatier, more realistic stories than other category romances. The Other Side of Us definitely fits the bill, a strong, believable story with mature characters -- by which I don't mean older, although they are a little older than usual, but intelligent, independent, and thoughtful. It also has the heat level you'd expect from Sarah Mayberry, though it takes a while to get there.The main characters are both wounded people: Mackenzie literally, by an accident that has left her scarred and slightly incapacitated, Oliver metaphorically by the crushing infidelity of his wife. (Incidentally, for those who are super fussy about adultery themes -- Oliver is separated but not technically divorced until the end of the book.) Neither feels in any state to begin a relationship, but when they wind up as temporary neighbors, friendship and attraction grow irresistibly between them.The was low-key as romances go. What I most liked about it was the characters, and how they felt like real, complete people. Both are facing serious life changes, and rediscover passions in their careers (Mackenzie for documentary filmmaking, Oliver for songwriting) as well as passion for each other. I love reading about creative people, so that really worked for me. Children are never mentioned -- both of them are approaching 40 -- and that was a refreshing change from the romance norm.Mackenzie's issues -- including some problems with mobility that affect sex -- seemed well drawn, but don't take over the book. Her self-esteem is understandably shaken, but rather than making a big deal over not minding her scars, Oliver barely notices them.I have to say, I generally prefer more conflict and drama in romance; Oliver and Mackenzie are basically so well matched and such decent people, there isn't a whole lot of room for things to go wrong. Despite that, I liked just about everything about the story.(Reviewed from e-arc provided by netGalley)