REVIEW – Keeping Her by Cora Carmack

KeepingHer

Last year I kept hearing about Cora Carmack. All the noise came to a thundering roar when I saw this semi-embarassing Nightline segment about the rise of the New Adult genre. It’s fully embarrassing, actually. This genre and the people who read it deserved much better treatment than this. I digress…

Click HERE for the video. Start watching around the 4:00 minute mark for Cora.

Ignoring the fact that Juju Chang appears to not have read LOSING IT.

“It’s like Nancy Drew grew up and she’s a little bit slutty…”

Um, no. There is nothing slutty or Nancy Drew-ish about Bliss, but I give full credit to Cora for dealing with Ms. Chang with such aplomb. Cora’s the queen of writing about awkward, though. It’s only fitting.

A little background about LOSING IT.

My 30 second review is that it’s ADORABLY AWKWARD. Bliss is a virgin. Garrick is a hunky Brit she meets in a bar one night when she’s trying (badly and half-heartedly) to throw off said virginity. Hijinks ensue. Storm clouds gather. The couple finds love and finally DOES IT (c’mon…that’s not a spoiler), thus living up to the title. Mostly, Bliss and Garrick’s journey is sweet and will make any reader go, “Awww”.

Their joy is carried over briefly into Cormack’s next novel, FAKING IT, which centers around another LOSING IT character, Bliss’ platonic-but-wishes-he-was-more-but-she’s-blissfully-unware-of-his-feelings-best-friend, Cade. FAKING IT is Cade’s story, honestly, but getting over Bliss is a big part of the plotline.

Now we get a glimpse into their first trip to meet Garrick’s family in London in KEEPING HER.

A WARNING before I continue. THIS BOOK ENDS AT THE 72% MARK. The remaining 28% is a preview of FINDING IT (Bliss’s college bestie’s tale), and reruns of LOSING IT and FAKING IT. I only tell you this so when you think the story is resolving itself far too nicely at the 70% mark, you’ll be prepared. It’s a novella. It’s supposed to be short. It’s just that e-reader percentage game…consider yourselves warned.

First up…the official “blurb”.

Garrick Taylor and Bliss Edwards managed to find their happily-ever-after despite a rather . . . ahem . . . complicated start. By comparison, meeting the parents should be an absolute breeze, right?

But from the moment the pair lands in London, new snags just keep cropping up: a disapproving mother-in-law-to-be, more than one (mostly) minor mishap, and the realization that perhaps they aren’t quite as ready for their future as they thought.

As it turns out, the only thing harder than finding love is keeping it.

Honestly, without giving away the farm,  these are my reasons to read KEEPING HER.

1.  Garrick’s back story is a big chunk of the story. His parents are old-money aristocrats in London and don’t appear to approve of his lifestyle in the states.

2.  Garrick’s best pals from childhood provide plenty of comic relief once our lovebirds touch down at Heathrow.

3.  Both characters are given a chance to be tested and prove each other to the other time and again. It’s nice to know it wasn’t all about the sex in the first book. Garrick is so head over heels for Bliss…a well-deserved glimpse into his psyche after LOSING IT was clearly Bliss’ tale to tell.

Bliss’ inner-dialogue makes me laugh out loud. A few great Bliss-isms:

When Garrick’s mother calls.

When I saw her name on the called ID, it was like seeing the Dark Mark hovering above my apartment.

Her dreams for London.

I wanted to mind the gap at the tube station and eat fish and chips and try to make the Queen’s guards laugh. I wanted to see Big Ben and the Globe and the London Bridge and Dame Judi Dench. Or Maggie Smith. Or Alan Rickman. Or Sir Ian McKellen. Or anybody British, really.

Holy crap. This was really happening. And I wasn’t just a tourist. I was visitng with someone who’d grown up in the city. With my fiance.

Take that, world.

After taking too long at Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross Station, a boy sticks his tongue out at Bliss.

“That kid better watch it. I’m totally a Slytherin.”

All told, KEEPING HER is more time spent with people you likely already loved hanging out with in LOSING IT. Time well spent, in my humble opinion.

Stay delightfully awkward Cora. I’ll be back for more.

4 Stars

Find KEEPING HER and Cora Carmack on the interwebz

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