A Different Blue, by Amy Harmon ★★★★


Blue Echohawk doesn’t know who she is. She doesn’t know her real name or when she was born. Abandoned at two and raised by a drifter, she didn’t attend school until she was ten years old. At nineteen, when most kids her age are attending college or moving on with life, she is just a senior in high school. With no mother, no father, no faith, and no future, Blue Echohawk is a difficult student, to say the least. Tough, hard and overtly sexy, she is the complete opposite of the young British teacher who decides he is up for the challenge, and takes the troublemaker under his wing. 

This is the story of a nobody who becomes somebody. It is the story of an unlikely friendship, where hope fosters healing and redemption becomes love. But falling in love can be hard when you don’t know who you are. Falling in love with someone who knows exactly who they are and exactly why they can’t love you back might be impossible.

As much a story of self discovery as it is a romance novel. In fact, maybe even more so.


‘Once upon a time… there was a little blackbird, pushed from the nest. Unwanted. Discarded.’

A Different Blue is the story of Blue Echohawk. Blue was abandoned when she was two years old and left in the care of an old native American man who, for many years, she believed to be her father.
As a nineteen year old Blue is defensive, snarky and bitchy. She hides behind her abrasive attitude in order to hide, or perhaps pretend, who she really is. She is acutely aware of her innate sexuality and she uses it to her advantage, wearing skin tight jeans, too much make up and very little else.

When she meets her new history professor Mr. Darcy Wilson, Blue can’t deny his good looks, but she is as difficult a student for him as she is for all of her other teachers. Yet Wilson seems determined to break through Blue’s façade.

I’m nobody! Who are you?

For me, sadly, this book didn’t have anywhere near enough romance. Like I said, this is more a story of Blue’s journey of self discovery. And Wilson is just one part of that. I kept waiting for things to happen between them and I felt we were teetering on that ledge and just never really completely fell over it.

Having said that, the relationship between Blue and Wilson was heart-warming and intriguing. It all begins when a series of events force them to explore and unlikely and slightly taboo friendship. There is no forbidden teacher/student romance in this book. Blue and Wilson do not come together, romantically until after Blue has graduated. I enjoyed the way their interaction began and then progressed. They found something in one another that they each needed, that called to them. The mutual attraction is clear, to the reader, from the beginning. And the anticipation is what makes this relationship so fascinating. I loved all of that, I just wish the author had delved a little deeper into a) the tension between the two of them and b) the actual romance once things did unfurl between them. I wanted more of ‘Blue and Wilson’ after having waited so long for them to happen.

“You’ve been through so much. And I am half mad over you. I don’t think you are ready for the way I feel.”

But romance was definitely over shadowed by Blue’s journey, here. Blue is a great protagonist. I always love when our female lead is bitchy and mean initially, and then we gradually see the softer side as the story progresses and the cracks in her armour appear. And that was exactly what happened with Blue. Circumstances force Blue to evaluate her life, her attitude, her choices and her future and the result is really quite emotive and, at times, incredibly moving. 

I was scarred but I was not broken. Beneath my wounds I was still whole. Beneath my insecurities, beneath my pain, beneath my struggle, beneath it all, I was still whole.

Blue has had a tough life, never really knowing where she belonged, who she was, where she came from. And when I say she doesn’t know who she is, I mean it in the most literal sense. Blue Echohawk isn’t her real name. These unknowns have made her closed, hard and self-preserving. But as she begins to look further into her past, into her self, she starts to find peace and acceptance. Her confidence grows, she forges a future for herself and she lets go of a lot of her anger.

“You may call me Wilson. Except when you are late or disrespectful, in which case I would appreciate the Mr,” he finished mildly.
“Well in that case, I guess I’d better stick to Mr. Wilson then. Because I’m usually late, and I’m always disrespectful.” I smiled back sweetly.
Mr. Wilson shrugged. “We’ll see.”

Wilson is a dream. The kooky, sexy, geeky, British professor. He’s young, perceptive, well educated, super intelligent and he’s got Blue’s card marked from early on. 

“And I love you… most ardently.”
“Pride and Prejudice?”
“How did you know?”
“I have a thing for Mr. Darcy.”

However, I really did feel that he played the role of more of a father figure than a lover, throughout most of the book, which I found kind of uncomfortable. He is dependable, protective, reliable and sweet. He isn’t going to beat up other guys for looking at Blue. He isn’t going to try to control her or follow her around like a stalker. Wilson is classy and unassuming. But I did want him to have more balls about him. I wanted to tell him to man up and take what he wanted… which was Blue. When he eventually went after Blue I was cheering and whooping, ‘Go on Wilson!’ And don’t you just think every man who loves a woman should introduce themselves like this…

“Hullo. I’m Darcy Wilson, but everyone calls me Wilson. I’m in love with Blue.”

As a fellow Brit, I loved the Briticisms. Some are a little far fetched; I don’t think I’ve ever referred to as being ‘brassed off‘ before, lol, and there certainly is as much of a language barrier between the Brits and the Americans as Wilson would have you believe. But nevertheless, his little rant about the language in ‘Blighty’ did make me laugh.

“It’s a cello, you ninny.”
“Don’t say ninny. You sound bloody ridiculous.”
“All right then. Don’t say bloody. Americans sound foolish when they say bloody. The accent is all wrong.”

Blue was raised by a Native American named Jimmy Echohawk. I loved this relationship. I loved how much Blue doted on Jimmy. Jimmy was clearly a man of very few words, choosing to grunt and opt for silence whilst a young Blue babbled on regardless. Yet he obviously taught Blue some very valuable lessons and she hung every one of the few words of wisdom he did choose to impart. I once heard a saying that there is no love as pure as the love between a daughter and her father, and that really comes across in the love between Jimmy and Blue, despite the fact that he is not her biological father. He is her Daddy in every sense of the word. In every way that matters.

“Some people are destined to be alone. Jimmy seemed to be one of those people. Maybe I am too, whether I like it or not.”

A Different Blue will keep you guessing until the very end. There are no action/drama type scenes of car chases of kidnappings in this book, but there are subtle and thought provoking plot twists that will surprise you and keep you on your toes.

This story isn’t idealised and romanticised, for want of a better word. Things aren’t all wrapped up with a cute little romance-novel bow, like we are often spoilt with. There are things that are left unsaid, some questions with answers left open to interpretation and there are resolutions that are far from perfect. But I really liked that about the book. There were situations which you could feel, as you were reading, had no real perfect answer. But the characters navigated and coped with these circumstances as best they could and gained all the more respect from me, as the reader, for doing so.

“Why don’t you focus on where you’re going and less on where you came from?”

As with Making Faces, there is no sex in this book. Blue isn’t the innocent young girl that Fern from MF is, and she is sexually active, but we don’t witness any of her encounters. The most we get is a couple of make out sessions between Wilson and Blue. To be honest, in Making Faces I really felt like it didn’t lose anything at all by not including any sexual content, in fact, I felt that the depth of feeling within that book and the air of innocence surrounding Fern leant itself to the purity of a story with no sex scenes. But with A Different Blue, I didn’t feel the same. Blue is a promiscuous, sexual young woman, exploring her sexuality, using sex to fulfil a part of herself that is missing, to reap affection from men, to feel wanted, to forget her troubles, etc. and I felt like the author could have explored this with Blue. I also think that exploring a sexual relationship between Wilson and Blue could have been incredibly emotional and profound, especially after it took them such a long time to arrive at a place where they felt they could pursue one another romantically.

“You’re wrong about one thing, though. Girls like me notice guys like you. We just don’t think we deserve them.”

I absolutely love Amy’s writing. I’ve had this book on my Kindle for ages now and after reading Making Faces I knew I had to read A Different Blue as soon as possible. And whilst I was as enamoured with the plot as I was with Making Faces, Amy Harmon’s style of writing was still gorgeous! She definitely has a gift for drawing you in and submerging you totally in the lives of her characters. You can really feel everything about her books.

I can’t wait to read more of her work. My only wish would be that I just hope that she offers a little more romance next time.

Have you read it? Tell us what you thought?

‘A Different Blue’ Statistics
• Steam Rating (out of 5): ♥
• Ending: HEA
• Length: 454 pages
• Setting: Boulder City, Nevada 
• Narrative: Blue’s POV. First person. Past tense.
• Series: ✗ 
• Can this be read as a standalone? Yes
• Themes:
Self discovery
• Writing: Great

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This entry was posted in Amy Harmon, Emotional Reads, Four Stars, Friends to Lovers, NA, Squeaky Clean, Stand Alones. Bookmark the permalink.

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