Meant to Be – Karen Stivali – 5 stars

February 17, 2013 Read in 2013, Sent 0



The 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.


My Thoughts:

I won this title a while back from Karen and kept having other titles come up that had to get read yesterday for review.  I finally took advantage of some downtime from work and real life to read this title and let me tell you …  WHY DID I NOT PUT THIS HIGHER IN THE LIST!!!

We have two incredible people stuck in marriages that aren’t working but they both have so much honor to them that they stay in hopes that things will work out.  When Daniel and Marienne meet the first time you can sense the kinship between them as they both have a lot of the same wants and needs.  They are both very family oriented due to bad experiences as they grew up but the friendship they form as they work through being so different from their spouses was beautiful but heartbreaking as you wondered why they stayed with the messes they were married to.  I mean I hated his wife and her husband with an almost maniacal passion.

Daniel is an NYU professor and is very happy with his job and his life in all but one way.  He wants the whole package…  house, wife, kids, basically a real family.  He didn’t really know his father and his mother passed when he was sixteen so he has this need to have a nuclear family made sense to me.  Watching him be more of an involved man when Marienne was pregnant than her poor excuse for a husband made me yearn for everything to fall in to place as you sensed that this is what she wanted as much as he did.  His wife’s way of manipulating everything around her just made me sick and watching him wake up to what was missing was wonderful.  I was cheering when he finally said what he needed to say even though it didn’t get to come completely out.  He’s a wonderful, caring man and any woman would be lucky to have someone that honorable and loving.


Marienne made me sad that she felt she was so unworthy she deserved what her husband did to her.  Did he hit her? No.  Did he do anything overtly horrible to her?  No.  But the subtle ways of his uncaring attitude and behavior spoke louder than anything.  Her memories of her wedding day/night made me cry for her.  No one deserves to feel like they are second best in anything let alone the relationship that should be the most important thing in their lives.  She’s always felt that maybe she deserves his uncaring attitude and makes excuses for it.  After you get to see her blossom a bit with Daniel’s friendship it is clear this is a woman who is perfect for him.  She just has so much love and attention to give to the right man if only she wasn’t with her husband.

I loved watching how closely they skirted the lines but never crossed them in honor of their partners.  They were attracted to one another but there is something so inherently honorable about each of them that even when the paths are open to their being together they walk in to it very slowly but they fit so well together that once it happens it does go quickly even with her insecurities.  Daniel was just so patient with her and shows her that he loves her in so many ways that I can’t wait to read the next one.  Actually….  it is pulled up on the Kindle and ready to go.

While I did win this from the author she did not require a review let alone a positive one.  Take a chance on this one it will make you sad but at the same time incredibly happy to follow their journey.



Barnes and Noble

Comments are closed.