Side by Side Apart by Ann Galvan #SweetDelight

Side by Side Apart by Ann Galvan #SweetDelightSide by Side Apart by Ann Galvan

Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Meryton Press on April 20, 2016
Pages: 201
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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four-half-stars      two-flames

What would it be like to wake up from a severe head injury to realize you have lost eleven years of your life?  Elizabeth Darcy is now married and has children with the last man in the world she could ever be prevailed upon to marry.  Darcy, her children, her servants, and her family all quietly work to help restore her memories and sense of self.  It was fascinating, moving, and heartwarming to see this woman find herself and see her husband and family through new eyes.

I have read many amnesia romances and like what they did to a story, but this was unique because it was one of the few that I read for an after the happily ever after situation.  It was like a middle-aged woman was getting a re-set right in the middle of a full life.  The last memories she has of the man she calls husband is that she can’t stand him and now he is her husband, father of her children, and she is pregnant with his child.  Elizabeth must figure out how and why while trying to continue on with a life that she cannot remember.  She is a mistress of a grand estate, a mother, and a wife.  Though she has no feelings for this world and these people, she bravely decides to do her best and go forward.

The story is all from her perspective.  It is like a mystery of sorts as she figures out her own life.  Her biggest mystery is why did she marry Fitzwilliam Darcy?  Darcy is taciturn and circumspect.  She has to observe him carefully to see that her memory loss is his own deep loss.  Slowly she figures out that the arrogant, hateful man she thought he was eleven years before was so very much in the wrong.  It is his selfless acts, surprising kindnesses, and obvious love of herself and their children that slowly work on her.

This is a bittersweet tale in that it is a slow go and sad as Elizabeth has to learn to love her children and like and respect let alone love her husband.  Nothing is easily discovered even if she questions her ladies’ maid, her parents, her sister, her children, and her husband.  It was a long road back and I found that as she found her way, I was really cheering her on.

It was a gently-paced story that had an authentic feel to the times.  Propriety, language, taste, and activities were all just as would be for the time.  It was a picture of family life for a wealthy landed family of Regency times.

Elizabeth is the central figure, but her family and staff were well-drawn.  There are several scenes with her children.  However, it is the growing romance with her husband that captured my attention most.  Darcy is patient with her, but his love and passion are there smoldering and waiting.

So, this was a unique story that I found amazing and sweet.  My first time with this author, but I doubt it will be my last.  I would recommend this to sweet historical romance, historical fiction, and Austenesque fans quite easily.

My thanks to Meryton Press for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met:

Romance Roundabout #179 HR
New to Me #72 author

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • I sometimes like amnesia stories and while they are hard on the person trying to mae heads or tails of their life and hoping they get at least some of their memories back, it’s usually an interesting story to watch unfold.

    • This was an interesting story with the amnesia because she never actually got her memories back. She literally had to relearn her life. I’ve not read an amnesia story where the memories stayed gone like that.

  • oh wow this sounds like a wonderful book. I love amnesia themes, and I like the idea of her husband and children trying to help her recover and heal.

    • Yes, this was quite unique even for an amnesia plot and I loved that about it with the family all pitching in.

  • Sounds interesting with how she lost her memories and sees her family with new eyes and has to get to know herself again. I am not always a fan of amnesia stories, but sometimes they can work well. I like the sound of how this is basically a mystery about her own life, very original. I am glad you enjoyed this one, it sounds like a sweet and original story!

    • It was. I think what really worked for me is that she forgot for good and she forgot everything from a certain point. It was sad that she struggled with guilt that she couldn’t remember her children and she struggled with being married, but it made it more authentic.

  • RO

    Wow! Despite being only 201 pages, sounds like this packs a lot of good and creative storytelling! Hugs…

    • It really was, Ro. It was written in a classical style and all from her point of view from when she wakes up and everything looks unfamiliar or wrong to her. I enjoyed the perspective.

  • Oh, this sounds kind of cool. I’m not always drawn to amnesia type stories, but I’m totally curious about this.

    • Yes, I think it was some what unique because of how she thoroughly forgot what happened after a certain point and then goes through the story without gaining any of her memory back which forced her to relearn it all.

  • Interesting twist with this and our favorite all-time romance couple.

    • Yes, it was, Velvet. I loved this twist on a sequel and the writing style really suited the time period, too.

  • Debbie Haupt

    Wow, talk about a headache 😉 Great review Sohpia Rose

    • I know. That would be really scary to go through I think. Thanks, Debbie!

  • Oh that would be so hard! Very different to have it post HEA and having had such a life with children and everything. I can imagine that would be quite emotional and difficult. Very interesting.

    • Yes, it was the first time I’ve read one like it. Not the usual amnesia story or post-HEA one. I was riveted.