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review 2019-04-10 18:50
Review: Flight of a Starling
Flight of a Starling - Lisa Heathfield

 

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

I have no idea if I liked this one or not to be perfectly honest. I didn’t dislike it, but I don’t know if I actually liked it. I snagged this one on a bit of cover lust more than anything reading. And I have a weakness for anything with a circus based theme.

 

It follows the story of twin sisters Rita and Lo who are the trapeze act in their family’s travelling circus. They move from town to town performing. Rita is the more responsible sister, while Lo is the more rebellious ones. They’ve known the other circus kids their whole lives and are a pretty close knit group.

 

I did find it totally fascinating how daily life within the circus group was portrayed, who was responsible for what, how the act was performed, the story behind it, was all really interesting. There was a deep sense of togetherness and family community.

 

However, when in one town, Lo makes friends with an outsider boy, things start changing. The girls are not supposed to have relationships with outsiders. The group moves all the time and the girls are essential to the act. Their father flat out forbids it. So Lo starts lying and sneaking about to be with this new boy she meets, Dean. Who’s nice enough and doesn’t judge her background. He presents a “normal” view of everyday life that she’s never experienced. And Dean’s life is not an easy one.

 

As they get to know each other more, the relationship changes and becomes something more romantic. Lo’s views start changing, her behaviour starts to change. Rita’s worried about her, and has her own drama when she starts falling for one of the much older men in the circus group, a very close family friend. Lo can’t understand it as Rita can’t get why Lo’s change in attitude. Then Lo discovers a shocking secret about the man Rita is convinced she’s now in love with.

 

Which adds a whole new element of secrets and family drama. There were some beautifully written passages as their girls struggle with their situation, thought provoking and emotional.

 

Then the novel takes an unexpected and quite devastating twist. It’s hinted at right at the beginning that something terrible happens and as I read a long I had sinking feelings I knew what was going to happen, but turned out it wasn’t anything like I thought it would be. And that made it all the more heart-breaking and surprising. A bitter sweet ending rounded the story off.

 

I wasn’t blown away by the novel, and as I said at the beginning I honestly don’t know if I liked it or not. It was…interesting to say the least.

 

Thank you to Netgalley and Egmont Publishing for approving my request to view the title.

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quote 2018-07-30 06:15
"Because the idea of the rest of his life without Jake in it? Yeah, no. That simply didn't work for him."
Ready For Love - Stella Starling

~~ Ready For Love by Stella Starling

(Book #1 in the Semper Fi, The Forever Faithful series)

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review 2018-05-12 01:11
Starling (Love in Los Angeles #1) by Erin McRae and Racheline Maltese 3.5 Star Review!
Starling - Racheline Maltese,Erin McRae

Hollywood's newest star, 21-year-old J. Alex Cook never wanted to be famous, he just wanted to get out of Indiana. When he hooks up with Paul, a writer on a hit TV show, Alex is thrown into a web of relationships involving friends, lovers, and everything in between. 

Forced to figure out what it means to live -- and love -- in the public eye, Alex's quest to find his own happily ever after will make you believe love is possible... even in Los Angeles.

Please be aware, this is a high-heat, high-angst romance and includes characters with a past history of self-harm.

 

Review

 

We get a hard earned Happily for Now in this romance about two heroes who have a great deal of emotionial unrepressing to do. 

It is a compelling read as the heroes struggle with fame and ambitions and creativity and inexperience in many aspects of their lives.

The age gap is handled with depth. There is a separation which off putting while reading a romance as the heroes get together with other people, it reads true to character and the story.

The writing... in some ways it is great but in others the tone is too removed for me. I feel like I am looking through a peephole at times because of the shut down emotions or swallowed ones anyway and lack of self awareness or rich conversations of the heroes. Not my favorite.

I will check out other books in the series as these writers explore some complex ideas about friendship and love.
 
 

 

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review 2018-02-13 21:24
Peep Show - Isabella Starling Peep Show - Isabella Starling

This book was unlike anything I have ever read before. Yes, it was sexy hot, but the hero and heroine were both so messed up emotionally. There were parts in this story that were such an emotional read and at times I wasn't sure if could put myself through their heartbreak, but I am so glad I continued reading until the end.

Bebe Hall comes from a family of money and was always the good, little girl. When she went to college, she quickly became friends with Posy and Arden, cool girls who finally liked her. Together they got into all kinds of trouble until Posy's life unexpectedly ended. Bebe is now living in a shell of her former life, trying to forget what happened to Posy and spends most of her time drinking, partying, doing drugs and sleeping with any guy she can find.

After one night of partying, Bebe comes home to her apartment and notices a guy across the street having sex up against his window. This scene seems to draw Bebe in. The man, Miles Reilly, quickly notices Bebe watching and interacts with her daring her to go next. This starts the little game between Bebe and Miles.

Both Bebe and Miles live for this type of attention, playing off of each other. Both of these characters have such messed up minds it's crazy. As things progress, so does their friendship and relationship. On paper, these two should never be together, but in reality, these two are just what each of them needs. Their relationship was such an up and down roller coaster. It was like a train wreck, you just couldn't help but want to look.

Overall, I really loved this story. It was raw and emotional as well as sexy and hot.

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review 2018-02-10 16:37
Ready For Love (Semper Fi, The Forever Faithful, #1) by Stella Starling Review
Ready For Love (Semper Fi, The Forever Faithful Series) (Volume 1) - Stella Starling

Jake Hansen has been crushing on Gabe Byrne for half his life, but since Gabe is a straight, self-proclaimed commitment-phobe who moved away years ago to join the Marines, that crush is strictly a fantasy-best-enjoyed-in-private. And even when Gabe starts to flirt with him like crazy, Jake still knows better than to think it means anything.

Because falling in love with your straight bestie? Not just a cliche, but a guaranteed recipe for disaster.

…right?

Growing up, Gabe never saw “Little Jakey” as anything more than the kid who always liked to tag along after him and his brothers, but somehow, being friends with Jake has become the best part of his day. And after a seven-month deployment? Seeing Jake is the one thing he’s looking forward to the most.

He just didn’t expect that hanging out in person again would be so confusing… or keep blurring the lines about how straight he is… or keep making him want things that he never thought he would.

Things that seem a lot like forever.

 

Review

I liked this book despite myself. 

I adored Jake. I loved his self awareness and fun. 

Gabe is a commitment phobe and a reactor so not my favorite character type. He also is in the I have never felt desire for any other man but you type and not a demisexual so also not my favorite. He does a lot of not self aware stuff. 

And yet it is a sweet romance and I liked Jake enough and he liked Gabe enough that I enjoyed myself. 

A nice circle of friends and family. I have already started the next book in the series which is way sweeter and I like it much more.

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