4 Star and 3.5 Star Review for The Human Side (Sequel to New Beginnings) by Cori Garrison #FF #Romance @corigarrison2

: The Human Side (Sequel to New Beginnings)
Author Name: Cori Garrison
Publication Date & Length: January 16, 2015 – 194 pgs


The Human Side is a sequel to New Beginnings by Cori Garrison.

Shawn Evans has finally allowed someone inside her thick walls that she has used for so many years to protect herself. Rebecca Johns somehow managed to crack Shawn’s fortress and the two of them were now preparing for the birth of their baby, an event that Shawn had never foreseen in her future. Just when Shawn was starting to trust that she could truly be happy with someone, life throws a wrench in her plans.

Her father shows up and tries to keep Shawn and her sister Sam from helping their younger sister, Stacy, who has come to Charlotte to settle into a new life and job after college. Will her father’s cruel words, callous behavior and all the old pain she’s experienced cause her happiness to crumble or will Shawn allow Rebecca’s love to heal those wounds? Will she allow Rebecca to see her human side, the side of her that is torn apart by the fact that her parents hate her?

Sam Evans is dealing with her own pain caused by her parent’s rejection of her and more painfully, her son. She can’t fathom how her sister, Shawn, has dealt with this treatment from them for so long without being crushed. Can she be strong enough to help her sister through the darkness and face her own pain?

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This is a sequel to Ms Garrisons’s  first book New Beginnings. I was pleased to see this follow up took place shortly after the original.
From the opening synopsis we introduced to the difficulties Shawn faced from her early years and how this reflected in her personal and emotional development. As each of the main six women were slowly introduced I felt the author done exceptionally well in making both their relationships with each other and their own individual personalities much clearer. This allowed the reader to relate much more to the characters and allowed us to identify on many level the trials and tribulations they were facing both individually and as a couple.
It was a really romantic pleasant and heart warming story and sometimes, providing it is well written, this is all that is needed. As a reader it is good to feel that life can be a little like a fairy story and all  problems can be solved and there is an happy ever after. This novel cleverly inspires such a comfortable feeling and this is what I feel makes it a very worthwhile read. Escapism and enjoyment and even some spicy entanglements are all available in this easy to read and entertaining book.
This book was a bit of a pleasant surprise for me. The improvement in Garrison’s writing from the first book in this series to this one is noticeable, and very welcome. In this book, Garrison introduces the final sister of the family and her future partner and we get to go along on their journey to one another. Garrison does a much better job in this book of interweaving the sisters’ stories so the book is more cohesive as a whole, and we don’t get that jarring sense of separate stories within a book. It seems that the transitions from scene to scene are better as well. I still want a little more depth to the characters; they seem to fall in love too quickly, and some things which seem to indicate deep emotion are resolved a little too easily. At the same time, she still makes me like her characters and invest myself in their stories. And again, she does a really good job with the sex scenes. All in all, I enjoyed the book, and would definitely pick up another book by this author, especially if she continues to improve her writing in future books as much as she did in this one.


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Cori Garrison was born in northern Florida, raised in northern Indiana but has called St. Louis her home for the past 16 years. She lives with her girlfriend, 4-year-old son and 3 dogs. She graduated with her undergraduate degree in business and holds two Master’s Degree equivalent certifications in Employee Benefits and Human Resources. She majored in American History for the first two years of college and loves all things historical! She spent 14 years of her career working in Human Resources in the aviation industry before transitioning to IT. She currently works full-time as an IT Solutions Analyst (just a fancy title for a liaison to the business side, configuring software to meet their needs). Cori and her family enjoy exploring, travelling and spending time with family members.

Writing lesbian romance part-time was a hobby for years before deciding to self-publish her work. Her focus now is to write stories that share some of the struggles that LGBT people face in life and with their families and how those cause feelings of inadequacy, guilt, shame, etc. She wants to produce a story that actually speaks to readers and is not totally focused on sex. Of course, she always includes the steamy, romantic and quite frequently erotic, scenes! She currently is a one-woman show; writing, proof reading, editing, doing cover art, marketing, running social media sites and publishing her own work.

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