Sunday, May 20, 2012

Overseas - Love, Over Time, Over Distance...


Title: Overseas
Author: Beatriz Williams
Publisher: Putnam, Adult

Release Date: May 10th' 2012
Available to order here: Amazon / Book Depository / Barnes & Noble


When twenty-something Wall Street analyst Kate Wilson attracts the notice of the legendary Julian Laurence at a business meeting, no one’s more surprised than she is. Julian’s relentless energy and his extraordinary intellect electrify her, but she’s baffled by his sudden interest. Why would this handsome British billionaire—Manhattan’s most eligible bachelor—pursue a pretty but bookish young banker who hasn’t had a boyfriend since college?

The answer is beyond imagining . . . at least at first. Kate and Julian’s story may have begun not in the moneyed world of twenty-first-century Manhattan but in France during World War I, when a mysterious American woman emerged from the shadows of the Western Front to save the life of Captain Julian Laurence Ashford, a celebrated war poet and infantry officer.

Now, in modern-day New York, Kate and Julian must protect themselves from the secrets of the past, and trust in a true love that transcends time and space.

About the Author

A graduate of Stanford University with an MBA from Columbia, Beatriz spent several years in New York and London hiding her early attempts at fiction, first on company laptops as a corporate and communications strategy consultant, and then as an at-home producer of small persons.

She now lives with her husband and four children near the Connecticut shore, where she divides her time between writing and laundry.

My Review

"Overseas" by Beatriz Williams is quite simply put, a game changer. The kind of book that completely makes you re-think a genre. As a matter of fact, it is SUCH an interesting and different novel, that I'd say it simply surpasses being confined within one genre. It is not just contemporary adult fiction, it is also a romance novel, along with elements of historical fiction, and nuances of the sci-fi genre. But instead of being a hodge-podge of confusion, what you get is a melange of literary genres very craftily combined into a witty, charming and wonderful narrative.

I've seen some reviews, and some readers, compare this book to "The Time Traveler's Wife", which is an absolutely amazing book and one of my favorites. I, however, respectfully disagree. There are some similarities, perhaps, because of the element of time-travel but where The Time Traveler focuses on how the time travels affects a romance, I believe author William's book focuses on how a simple romance can exist beyond the perimeter of time. The time travel doesn't encumber the romance, it facilitates it.

Kate Wilson works on Wall Street, and although she has heard many things about Julian Laurence, the mysterious and reserved British billionaire running an enormous hedge fund, she is completely unprepared for how handsome he is, and even more unprepared for the way he looks at her. They meet, they talk and a harmless romance ensues. And yet, despite his gentlemanly and knight-like ways, Julian Laurence seems to be surrounded by secrets. And even as he opens his heart, and his home, to Kate he keeps his secrets to himself. As the mystery around Julian Laurence unravels, Kate uncovers the truth that is SO shocking, it is almost impossible to believe! Will she believe him? Does she trust him? Will this explosive secret bring them together, or tear them apart? And above all, will their romance stand the test of TIME and DISTANCE? 

I must admit, I rarely ever read books like "Overseas" because I'm a bit of a cynic when it comes to romantic fiction. My idea of romance is snuggling with your significant other on a couch, watching black and white movies, and eating a pint (or a gallon *shrugs* lol) of icecream. The tearing of clothes, the whispers of sweet-nothings, the showering of presents, and the constant blushing of a heroine does NOTHING for me. "Overseas" contains ALL of the aforementioned elements, YET, they are written with such wit, such charm, and such warmth that instead of becoming cliches, I actually came to enjoy them. But what kept me rooted, above all, was the current of mystery that surrounds Julian, and his past, that underlies the romance between Kate and him. 

Another confession: I almost always despise it when a rich guy comes into the life of a middle-class girl, and sweeps her off her feet, showering her with lavish presents, and turning her life around. I rebel against the idea that a man needs to come and rescue me from anything, even my poverty! lol :P And yet again, there's Kate Wilson, being wooed by the filthy rich Julian Laurence, and being showered with every material object imaginable, clothes, jewelry, etc. But here's the catch, here's why this book is different - Kate never, not even at the end of the novel, takes any of it for granted, and never becomes entangled in the snare of riches and materialism, and she retains her dignity and her character till the very end. Now Kate is the kind of heroine I can live with being showered by lavishness!

Ultimately, "Overseas" completely changed the way I looked at the genre of romance in adult fiction. I've now come to realize that romance in fiction is not the problem, but the usage of cliches to perpetuate such a romance. Beatriz Williams, on the other hand, creates multi-layered characters, who are lovable, charming, sweet and easy to become attached to. She never allows her characters to lose themselves, or changes their nature, for the sake of romance. Kate is a smart, sensible, girl who puts loyalty and love above all else. And Julian is a man of honor, and is reminiscent of another character I absolutely dream (literary) hero, Mr. Darcy (Pride & Prejudice), in his chivalrous ways. This book has me hooked in a way that is purely sinful! The romance...the sweetness.... It's beyond amazing! Do I need to say any more?!?! Go and get your copy, RIGHT THIS VERY MOMENT! 

My Rating : 5/5 Stars

Disclaimer:  I received an Uncorrected Proof of this book via G. P Putnam & Sons (via LibraryThing Early Reviewers). I was not compensated monetarily, or in any other way, for my opinion. The opinions stated in this review are solely mine, and are not representative of views of the author, or publishing company, of this book. 


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