My name is Amanda Conrad and I. Am. A doctor.
When my cousin Liv whisked me away to South Africa to be maid of honor in her super-secret celebrity wedding, I was about to begin a five-year residency at NYU and was on my way to becoming a plastic surgeon. My plans definitely did not include a rock-star best man sweeping me off my feet.
But what happened in South Africa needed to stay there—he’d return to his touring and I’d start my residency, with our fond memories of a whirlwind, fairy-tale week. But now nothing feels right—I’m questioning my once solid plans, and I can’t stop thinking about him. Our lives are so different… Am I ready to risk everything I’ve worked for since I was thirteen—and put my heart on the line? To dream bigger than I ever thought possible? To believe I can have it all? That’s the thing about growing up…sometimes you have to be brave enough to redefine happily ever after.
Amazon – Amazon UK – B&N
The Brightside series by Katie Delahanty is one of my favorites. The hilarious banter between characters, the sugary sweet romance, and the author’s creative way of involving readers in her stories won me over back when the first book was released. Three books later, and I’m still hooked. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC for Believe and, after going so long between reading In Bloom and Blushing, I was really hoping I hadn’t forgotten anything too important! Right away, I was reminded that Liv and Berkely were getting MARRIED, and I couldn’t wait to dive right in! I am thrilled to say I loved this one just as much as the previous two books. This book can be read as a stand-alone, but I would recommend reading the series in order– I promise it will be much more enjoyable that way!
Believe focuses on Amanda “Boots” Conrad, Liv’s studious and driven cousin, who is getting ready to begin a five year residency at NYU. We meet Boots in the previous books, of course, so I was excited to finally get into her head. She was always a fun character and brought a lot of love and light to this series as someone Liv could always turn to for advice or a listening ear. Boots, as well as all of our favorite characters from the previous two books, are living it up in South Africa for Liv and Berkely’s super secret wedding. This is where Boots first meets Mark, bassist for Berkely and the Brightside, and front man for a new band– Coconut Teaszer. If you’ve read my earlier reviews for this series, it’s no secret that Mark has been my *favorite* so far. Boots and Mark definitely make for an interesting couple. Boots is career oriented and has zero time for romance. Although it is clear that she is enamored by the love Liv and Berkely share, and would love to have it for herself someday, she is determined to stay grounded and keep her priorities in order. Considering she isn’t one for “celeb infested waters,” as Parker puts it, Mark’s lifestyle is all new to her and she isn’t quite sure that she’s cut out for it. For Boots, the idea of being with Mark is overwhelming. But Mark might be just the spark she needs to learn how to live life to the fullest. His outgoing and teasing personality brings out a side in Amanda that she keeps buried. He brings a much needed levity to her life and loosens her up a bit. He makes her want to live in the moment, a concept that’s pretty foreign to Boots, who is always planning for her future.
As much as Boots tries to convince herself, and everyone else, that she isn’t interested in love and has no time for a relationship, she can’t help herself– she falls for Mark almost instantly. They have a whirlwind romance in South Africa and, even after they return home, Boots can’t keep herself from dreaming of the happy ending they could have. Once the pair return home and back to reality, we see Boots as she tries to navigate life in New York as a resident. She’s stressed, exhausted, and swamped with work. Through all of this, Mark is ever present in her thoughts. We also meet a new, incredibly charming character– Mama Rosie, a bar/restaurant owner and mother figure for Boots. Mama Rosie is just the right combination of pushy and comforting– just what Boots needs. She gives Psychic Mom a run for her money. As is true with the previous books in this series, the supporting characters are so incredibly important to this story. Each character plays such an integral role, and the story wouldn’t be the same without them. These are characters that readers have grown to know and love, and depend on for sentimental moments as well as comic relief. I loved that we were able to catch up with these well-loved characters and see what they’ve been up to. It’s almost as if *every* character is a main character in this series.
As Mark and Boots’ relationship developed, the back and forth between the two was a bit frustrating. Certain misunderstandings or miscommunications were surprising considering Boots’ intelligence and determination in other aspects of her life. Then again, maybe that was the whole point– to show just how mixed up she was over Mark. As for the romance, it was a hit. Mark and Boots’ intimate moments were sweet and achingly romantic. The scenes are pretty much fade-to-black, but the build up is delicious. The chemistry between these two main characters is undeniable. They compliment each other extremely well. I never would have thought a silly game of True or False could make me swoon! Believe is a charming story, one that will make you believe in the posibility of love and happily-ever-after right along with the characters. This fun, fast paced book is one that’s difficult to put down, and one I think you’ll love just as much as I did!
Katie is a fashion designer turned novelist. She graduated with a BA in Communication Studies from UCLA and a Professional Designation in Fashion Design from FIDM. It never occurred to her that she was a writer until an economic crisis induced career shift from lingerie designer to ecommerce webmistress led her to start the company blog. Not being an expert in lingerie, she decided to write the blog as a fictional serial starring a girl named Olivia Bloom who worked for the lingerie line. And that’s when Katie fell in love with storytelling. She hasn’t looked back since. Katie lives in Los Angeles with her husband. (Via Goodreads
Connect with Katie: