This one’s a keeper.
In “Sideways: The Sideways Series Book 1”, author Annie Carisle manages to create a mash-up of sorts of all the elements that make fiction so great. She incorporates intrigue and intensity, throws in some humour before things get too intense, and then comes back and throws in some gut-wrenching plot points.
In “Sideways”, our protagonist has a picture-perfect existence, which any seasoned reader will instantly knows is a catalyst for pending unraveling. Olive Prescott, said heroine, is viciously attached one night, forcing her to reevaluate her stance on life.
There are some roadblocks to Olivia’s road to happiness, primarily one man who is described as having “dark, soulful eyes” who keeps trying to integrate himself in Olivia’s life. This throws another wrench in Olivia’s current attack-induced state of second guessing herself and her romantic choices.
But wait! This book is also told from the POV of said man with the eyes. Gabriel Hughes, a savant when it comes to security and investigations, is enamored with Olivia but is unsure, as Olivia is, if romance is something that should go from in-the-cards to something more real.
The novel gracefully moves from a contemplation of human emotions to the more visceral needs of human life. It’s an interesting exploration of the choices we make, as well as with the coping mechanisms we have adopted with the choices that have already been made.