Meridian’s Erin McBride launched her career as a novelist in 2012 with You Heard it Here First. After reading and enjoying her short novella, The Agency, last fall, I was eager to read her first solo novel (she co-authored Beyond Perfection in 2005). She did not disappoint!
McBride’s distinctive voice is evident throughout the book, making it authentically her story. Her writing resonates with me at a level that has me constantly reminding myself that this isn’t autobiographical—it’s fiction.
The story is one of a Haley McAdams, single woman living and working in Washington, having been forced out of her job on Capitol Hill and rebuilding a career as a successful writer for an on-line financial publication. Haley unlocks the mystery of a classic Washington scandal and quickly finds her life turned upside down.
McBride’s writing sparkles when she gives Haley a handsome love interest, Camden Morrison, a news anchor as famous for his dimples and good looks as for his reporting. She gives the adult protagonist the opportunity to challenge her new beau to eschew sex before marriage and fills the book with palpable tension as Haley struggles as much as her boyfriend to honor their commitment.
Written for a general audience, the book will certainly connect with single women who can relate to the challenges of adult courtship without sexual intimacy. LDS singles will relate to facing that dilemma of losing a relationship or losing virginity, always hoping for the one, true love that will lead to marriage.
McBride’s gift is evident when she is writing about relationships. She captures mood with action and pacing that keep you glued to the page as the bond between the characters grows. If you’re like me, you’ll find yourself hoping against hope for love to prevail against all odds.
McBride also does a great job of capturing family dynamics, providing readers with a lifelike view of Haley’s family that at times had me feeling like I was intruding on family dinners. The fact is, romantic relationships extend beyond those directly involved to include family members and McBride brings that home.
Haley’s career provides context for a romance that is uniquely Washingtonian. For anyone with a connection to that city, the book will feel as real as the Sunday paper. With plot lines drawn from today’s headlines, there is no difficulty finding relevance in the story.
For better or worse, the story is not brought to a full conclusion in this novel, which is the first in a series of three novels that will complete the story of Haley’s romance with Cam. The sequel, This Just In! was released last week.
You Heard it Here First is available at Amazon.com in both Kindle and paperback formats.