This book was given to me as a gift. When I read a book whether it is given as a gift or in exchange for an honest review, the one thing that I always look for is a story that will grab my attention and keep me engaged. A story that is not predictable is always a plus. With that said, I began this journey with Ellie and Sam not knowing where we would be heading. J D.J. Van Oss delivered my wishes with Write By Your Side. A clean and contemporary romance is just what the doctor ordered. The story’s pages were not lined with exaggeration or cheesy lines. Mr. Van Oss gives his readers, his audience just enough details to keep his readers engaged as well as allowing the story to flow smoothly.
His skill at drawing the readers in through fully developed characters, well thought out plot line and resolution, as well as, giving us ample setting details to bring the readers into Golden Grove. Images of the Mississippi River as Sam and Ellie set off on afternoon boat ride on the Lady Phoenix. Another thing that I loved about this story is that both main characters are writers. As a student studying the craft, this was a brilliant and great surprise. This idea intrigued even more. Intrigued to see two writers in a relationship with different tastes in other noted authors and in other genres. Seeing the reality in Sam and Ellie’s relationship and not some overly sugar-coated relationship was a relief. This ability to create characters that are not too fantastical helps the reader to connect with these characters. In saying this, I am not only speaking about Ellie and Sam, but Ginger and Archie as well, and a few of the other supporting characters. Mr. Van Oss’s word usage and humor were an added bonus to this story. Referencing Gilligan’s Island quite a few times, Cruella Deville, the sarcasm and witty dialogue between Sam and Ellie, Sam and Archie, etc.
D.J. Van Oss knows what his audience wants and has proven in my opinion that clean contemporary romance is not limited to just women. Men can enjoy reading a good romance and writing one as well, and successfully.