Bio of author, Karen Stivali: Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies and fictional British men. When she’s not writing, she can be found cooking extravagant meals and serving them to family and friends. Prior to deciding to write full time Karen worked as a hand drawn animator, a clinical therapist, and held various food-related jobs ranging from waitress to specialty cake maker. Planning elaborate parties and fundraisers takes up what’s left of her time and sanity.
Karen has always been fascinated by the way people relate to one another so she favors books and movies that feature richly detailed characters and their relationships. In her own writing she likes to explore the dynamics between characters and has a tendency to craft romantic love stories filled with sarcasm and sexy details.
Karen has published three erotic romances with Ellora’s Cave: Marry Me (June 2012), Long-Distance Lovers (co-written with Karen Booth, March 2012) and Always You (Passionate Plume First Place Novella Winner, RWA 2012).
Karen’s first full-length novel, Meant To Be, released from Turquoise Morning Press on August 26, 2012. Its sequel, Holding On, released on November 26, 2012. A prequel to these novels, the short story All I Need, appears in the Foreign Affairs Anthology (Turquoise Morning Press, August 2012).
Coming in 2013 Karen will have several contemporary romances releasing from Samhain Publishing and Turquoise Morning Press. The first of these, THEN, AGAIN will release from Samhain on May 23, 2013.
Review of “Meant To Be”
Blurb: Sometimes you’re already committed to the wrong person when fate finally brings you the right one. When NYU professor Daniel Gardner’s career-obsessed wife convinces him to move to the suburbs, he hopes it’s a first step toward starting the family he longs to have. Instead of domestic bliss he finds his neighbor, Marienne Valeti. She loves her freelance design job, but must contend with a growing sense of isolation created by her husband’s indifference. A penchant for good books, bad movies, and Marienne’s to-die-for brownies sparks a powerful bond between them. Passion simmers, but they resist its lure, surrendering only in the seclusion of their minds. Their friendship helps them weather every hardship, from divorce to widowhood, leaving them both secretly wondering if it can survive a first kiss.
Review: I loved this book! From the first chapter to the last, the story and the characters from “Meant To Be” held my attention, leaving me wanting more with each swipe of my iPad. Karen’s writing gave the reader a clear view of what it was like for Daniel and Marienne to be married to other people, which allowed the reader to cheer for them to be together because of their spouses. One thing I really liked was how, without too much description or explanation, time and years flew by. There were a few parts where I thought it dragged on, but by the end I understand why certain parts were in the book. I’m not going to give anything away, but I liked how the book ended. When something tragic happened, I could now sigh with relief that everything was out in the open. The only thing I thought was missing was that there should’ve been more closure between Daniel and his wife. It seemed like she just disappeared.
Daniel’s and Marienne’s story is a truly heartwarming. It left me that feeling happy and that yes, friends can (maybe) turn into lovers. I recommend this book to anyone who wants a cute and quick read.
I give this book 5 out of 5 stars!
**Buy “Meant To Be!”