Beyond Believing

The Beyond Series

Fiction - Chick Lit
202 Pages
Reviewed on 07/17/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

d.d. marx is a #1 international best-selling author, blogger and inspired writer for the chick-lit genre. She is a Second City graduate, hopeless romantic, amazingly proud Aunt, a forever friend and life lover.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Dr. Oliva Dsouza for Readers' Favorite

Beyond Believing by D.D. Marx is the romance all of us dream about. Olivia has lost her best friend to a horrible accident and just cannot come to terms with the fact that she will never see Dan again. She is so traumatized by her loss that she becomes totally closed off to love and life, fearing that she might never be able to bear the hurt if she loses someone again. Trying to move on, she seeks comfort in various signs that make her feel as if Dan is watching over her. Somehow she feels connected to Dan, even years after his passing. On the other hand, Finn has lost the love of his love to cancer and is inconsolable. But, he too feels guided by his deceased wife. Does this have something to do with their past or destiny? Can two people get over their hurt and build a new life together? Is love easy to come by or the hardest thing to find?

This story really got my attention and I simply could not put the book down till I finished it. I could completely relate to the feelings of love, loss, and sadness that Olivia and Finn feel. The plot unravels in layers and each layer is interesting and delightful. The author, D.D.Marx, has put in enough moments of lightness and hilarity to ensure that the reader gets some comic relief after all the heavy emotional stuff. It is always a pleasure to read about the way love can transform people and the difference it can make to people's lives.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

Beyond Believing by D.D. Marx is part of the Beyond Series. Olivia is devastated to hear about the death of her best friend, Dan, in a car accident and, drowning in grief, she stumbles along, trying to get on with life. When it all becomes too much for her, she finally turns to the friendship they had and allows Dan to take her through life. When she uncovers a scandal at work and loses her job, she heads to her cousin, Garrett, in Palm Springs for a little R and R. However, his new store is about to open and he can’t give her the attention she wants. Then she meets someone. Finn is Scottish and is a self-professed foodie with a love for cooking rather than eating. Tragedy strikes his life and he too must learn to cope. Then he meets someone. Can Olivia and Finn finally find happiness after so much sadness in their lives?

Beyond Believing (The Beyond Series) by D.D. Marx is a romantic and touching story, with a few laughs along the way. This is an easy read, a nice story that you can easily lose yourself in for a few hours, especially when you want to escape from everyday life! This is one of those stories that grabs you from the first line and then holds fast, through twists and turns, through ups and downs, and through a masterfully crafted story of life, love, disaster and living again. The characters are really well developed, leaving nothing to the imagination, but the details come out in the right places in the story, not all at once. I defy anyone not to enjoy this story, not to shed a few tears, to laugh and to walk beside these colorful characters as they learn to live and love again.

Jamie Michele

D.D. Marx’s debut novel, Beyond Believing, introduces readers to Olivia Henry and Finn McDaniels in a strong start to the upcoming Beyond Series. A move from New Jersey to Chicago brings a world of change that stretches further than just distance for the protagonist, Olivia, younger sister to Jane. Forced to leave everything behind, fifth-grader Olivia is uprooted to a new school mid-year. The story develops with Olivia through ups and downs as she grows, her life shattered when her friend, Dan, dies unexpectedly and she seeks refuge in the confidence of her cousin, Garret. Meanwhile, Finn McDaniels, formerly of Fife, Scotland, comes into the scene with heavy baggage of his own, a teen following a tragic accident with his best friend.

Beyond Believing by D.D. Marx packs a huge punch and sets a colourful stage for The Beyond Series. Marx’s characters are well developed and authentic, delivering a convincing and original tale of friendship, loss, growth, rebuilding, and love. The material is neither light nor comfortable and, left in the hands of a less-skilled writer, Beyond Believing could have been just that—beyond believing. Instead, Marx crafts a narrative that is accessible and satisfying, despite its weighty subject matter, drawing readers into varied settings that flourish in their depictions, and characters that are layered and diverse enough so that they jump to life from the page. I would recommend D.D. Marx’s Beyond Believing to anyone looking for a tightly woven story of resilience, and look forward to the rest of the series.

Caitlin Lyle Farley

Olivia is devastated when her closest friend, Dan, dies in a car accident. She can’t imagine living without him and a series of uncanny coincidences make her realise that Dan is watching over her from the other side. She takes comfort from these signs and uses them as a guide through her life, letting Dan’s spirit lead her to writing workshops and job opportunities. An ocean away, Finn is preparing to leave Scotland to study in France. He jumps at the opportunity to train under a chef at a Parisian restaurant, where he meets Christine. The couple eventually gets married, but when Christine loses their first child in early pregnancy, they discover that she has cancer. Christine’s death breaks Finn’s heart, but he slowly starts to rebuild his life in the U.S.A. Neither Olivia nor Finn is aware of how close their lives are to intersecting, or how that moment will change everything.

Beyond Believing has a dramatic start and it certainly hit me hard. Before the first chapter had finished, I felt compelled to remind my own ‘platonic soul mate’ how much I love him. D.D. Marx knows how to keep her readers guessing. There’s an underlying element of suspense that grows stronger as the near-misses and coincidences in the plot rack up. Olivia is a charismatic and entertaining character to follow and I enjoyed the concept of her departed friend helping her through life. Beyond Believing is a sweet and touching novel with a touch of steaminess that’s perfect for a light read.

Jane Finch

Beyond Believing (The Beyond Series) by DD Marx tells the intertwined stories of Olivia, who is mourning the tragic death of Dan, her closest friend and confidante, and Finn, in another part of the country and mourning the death of Christine, his beloved wife. At first the stories are individual, but gradually the reader can see how they will become linked, until finally the two meet, as if their departed loved ones are inexplicably drawing them together. Both Olivia and Finn are striving to make a life for themselves alone, but believe they are being guided by their lost loves. Olivia is a successful businesswoman, but her work life unravels unexpectedly and she finds herself out of work and alone. Finn throws himself into his work as a top chef and eventually fulfills his dream of opening his own restaurant. Despite his success, he, too, is alone. Until they meet, and everything changes.

This is a gently flowing, quite emotional read, where the author, DD Marx, has crafted a story that tugs at the heartstrings as the two protagonists struggle through their loss and despair, and the reader is brought to a feeling of relief when they finally meet. Two kindred souls. The writing develops the characters well and they are likeable and believable, causing the reader for foresee the fact that they are ideal for one another and rooting for them to meet. This is not just a story about romance, it’s about dealing with tragedy, loss, and finding the determination to overcome everything life might throw at you. An inspiring and satisfying read.