Monday, September 3, 2012

Review: By The River by Katey Hawthorne

By The River (Elementals #1) by Katey Hawthorne
4.5 Pants Off

After a bad breakup, Adam Kavanaugh returns to his sleepy old river town to find himself. His family hasn't changed, but he has some work to do readjusting to small town life, so much that he wonders if he's made a mistake by coming home.

But from the moment Leith Marshall pops out of the Ohio River and smiles at him, there's no turning back. Between Leith's swimmer body, sweet laugh, and gentle soul, Adam is head over heels. Leith lets Adam into his little world bit by bit, from his mother's abandoned aquarium shop to his elderly father's fairy tale delusions.

Which might not be so delusional after all. Leith does have a certain affinity for water. It seems almost to listen to him. The current never pulls him downriver, the tub doesn't splash, and the pool hardly moves around him even at an all out sprint. He can't spend a night away from his river, and then there's the way he sings. Adam has to admit, he'd steer his ship straight into the rocks for that.

So maybe Leith inherited a few things from his mysterious mother. It doesn't mean he'll disappear like she did. That's absurd.


By the River is the "water" in the Elementals project.

I am so in love with this story, just so freaking in love. It’s hauntingly beautiful, with unique characters, and the writing just seems so very real. I am so in love with this small little town, and I felt so important to be invited to get to know Leith and Adam.

Adam has moved back to his hometown, after sampling life in the big city. He has no idea what he wants out of life but he is sure about one thing, he needs to be home when he decides that he needs to stop running and face the world head on. While out working on his fitness, Adam sees someone floating in the Ohio River and heads over to offer his help somehow. He soon realizes that the person is at ease in tumultuous water, so very at peace.

The super swimmer turns out to be Leith Marshall (sexy as hell), a member of the same swim team his brother TJ swims on. Adam and Leith have instant chemistry, and Adam finds himself seeking the company of a man others would categorize as odd. To Adam, Leith is perfect even with his strange ways. He fears travelling because he doesn’t want to be away from the river, he has this crazy affinity for water and it does crazy things when he’s in it, plus he sings alone in the bathtub and it is insanely beautiful to hear. Yet, Adam falls hard, and what once was odd becomes whatever because it’s coming from Leith.

With Adam, Leith starts to open up and finds a true friend. He has him taking baby steps away from the father others call crazy. Leith’s past has somehow shaped his future, but Adam starts leading him down a new path. However, this path might lead to losing Leith forever. Sometimes you do crazy things for the people you love, and Adam is definitely in love with Leith.

Gosh, I love this story! It’s so sad, happy, and beautiful and a whole bunch of other feelings combined. Leith and Adam are beautiful together, and I am so happy they have each other. They invited me into their private world filled with rainbow fishes, life, and love. The story is clearly very intimate, and I am glad the author took the time to introduce Adam’s brother. He sheds light on how life was for Leith growing up, his innocence, and brings home how he is just more than the world and no one understands it. TJ also sheds light on his brothers life before which was never a real part of the story. I really wished the part about Adam had been left out; I was thinking new beginnings and had no interest in his past.

The reader is never told exactly what Leith is, but it doesn’t seem to matter and it shouldn’t matter. I loved Adam because of his acceptance, and the way he treated Leith (all kinds of awesome). Love Leith, he is so quirky and interesting and I wanna see him in a Speedo.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this story. The writing was awesome, and the characters and the story were beautiful. There is just enough intrigue to keep the reader guessing and hoping for something, I am not quite sure what I am hoping for but I want it to be good. I would categorize this as HFN, I somehow feel that Leith and Adam’s story is just beginning and it’s cloaked in so much mystery. Seriously though check this one out; it is very enjoyable and sexy.

I believe this quote sums up the awesome:
"Everyone pretended he was just some weirdo, denying his existence so they didn't have to hurt their tiny brains, trying to fit him into the world."

4.5 Pants Off


  1. I have to read this one. I love Katey Hawthorne's writing.

  2. Such a thoughtful review, gah. Thank you so much giving this little book a shot. I'm so glad my odd boys made sense to you.


Go ahead and talk to me!