on October 13th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Music
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Music . . . the heart’s greatest librarian.
The average song is three and a half minutes long; those three and a half minutes could lead to a slow blink, a glimpse of the past, or catapult the soul into heart-shattering nostalgia.
At the height of my career, I had the life I wanted, the life I’d always envisioned. I’d found my tempo, my rhythm. Then I received a phone call that left me off key.
You see, my favorite songs had a way of playing simultaneously. I was in love with one man’s beats and another’s lyrics. But when it came to the soundtrack of a life, how could anyone choose a favorite song? So, to erase any doubt, I ditched my first-class ticket and decided to take a drive, fixed on the rearview.
And the long road home to the man who was waiting for me.
✮✮✮ ALL OF THE STARS ✮✮✮
Love doesn’t die, even when you stop feeding it. There is no expiration date on the ache of missing someone you shared your heart, life, and body with.
Kate Stewart’s star is rising. She is one of the most versatile writers I’ve had the pleasure to read so far and she always, ALWAYS delivers.
I have read a couple of love triangles in the past and I’m extremely picky about them because I usually don’t like them – one of the parties always has their heart broken. But since this is Kate Stewart, how can I refuse? And lordy, thank gaaaaahd I didn’t. So let’s have a look at the book, shall we?
We all have these songs, the ones that catapult us back into the past and let us re-live it. We remember the people we were with when we listened to them, the places we connect with them, the feelings that were prominent at that time. We remember details like smells and tastes. Some of them are so bittersweet that we feel regret – regret that it’s in the past, regret how we handled a situation, regret that things happened as they did or that we did let them happen.
After a phone call that throws her off her game and makes her missing her flight Stella decides to rent a car and hit the road the soundtrack of her life playing on the drive, consciously letting herself slip back into the life she has moved on from. That road was stony, full of obstacles and pain but also love, so much true, unfettered love and passion.
Torn. In love with two worthy kings, and I was queen of the damned. – Stella
Stella is a firecracker with so much spunk I gave her mental high-fives all the time. Her personality is scintillating, sparkly, beautiful yet flawed. She wants to do right by the people she loves but more often than not her emotions rule her and that leads to decisions that, although not necessarily wrong, hurt people and mostly herself.
I loved that looking back at the men in her life she didn’t feel regret, she isn’t bitter from the sweet. She realizes that they had their time and place in her life and shaped her into the strong woman she is today. Her capacity to feel deeply is never toned down but re-directed. The passion she feels as a young woman is still there when you close the book but so much more mature and refined.
“Because I want to talk to you every day. I want to look at you every day. Because I can’t fucking wait to see what completely inappropriate T-shirt you wear to work next.”
“You like me a lot.” I grinned.
“Enough to risk a nut,” he mused as he poured cheap shampoo into his hand. – Reid
Both men in Stella’s life are beautiful in their own way. Reid is the broken guy, the quiet one and loner who suffers alone and is immensely private. Yet in his love for Stella he is so transparent, it is so obvious that his love for her knows no bounds. I loved Reid. LOVED.
…and that last second . . . that last second when his lips devoured mine was the second I lost a piece of myself I could never get back. – Stella
Nate is the guy who lights up a room when he enters. He’s as gorgeous outside as he is inside. His love for Stella feels different but is just as strong. It’s lighter, brighter, not as desperate and this is the way her love for him feels too. He gives her the freedom to explore, never pushes. I loved Nate. LOVED.
“Because I’ll be goddamned if I let you forget that I’m waiting. I want you to get used to these hands, these arms, this lap. We’ll be around a while. If it happens, it will happen naturally, and we’ll make our own story. If it doesn’t, I’ve got you with me now, and I’m good with that.” – Nate
Yet there comes a point when Stella has to decide which road she takes because sometimes love just isn’t enough. For me it would have been impossible to make a choice – Nate and Reid were perfect. Ultimately she chooses herself though and it’s everything you can hope for.
I love music, like Stella my taste covers a lot of variety and having links to the songs for every chapter and being able to listen to them right away is awesome and unique. It makes the reading experience interactive and will pull you right into Stella’s head and heart.
The story is told solely from Stella’s point of view – in many cases that’s a problem for me. I need the hero’s thoughts, his feelings. Leave it to Kate Stewart to make Nate’s and Reid’s love shine through Stella. I had no issues at all to believe the depth of their feelings and connection with her.
This story gutted me, wrecked me. My heart is bruised and I hope Kate covers my therapy sessions, it’s her fault after all. I have the worst book hangover – how am I supposed to just move on from this epic love story? Seriously, how evil is Kate Stewart to give us two perfect men while she watches our hearts getting punched and battered? I cried. I ugly-cried and I don’t do that very often nowadays. I thought I’d given away the book of the year award 2017 prematurely but Drive tied A Charm Of Finches. Guess I’ll have to give away two books with my end-of-year giveaway.
I know many of us are ambivalent about love triangles. Ultimately this is a story about growth and deciding who you want to be, that love comes in all shapes and forms. That you can give a piece of your heart to more than one man but they will never own the same piece. Give this story a chance – you will drown in the emotions and it will make you hurt for the characters but at the end of the day the road is more important than the destination and the road not taken will always leave you wondering. This story will stay with me for a long time and I’ll definitely re-read. Thinking about these extraordinary characters still takes my breath away.
Note to the author: We need Lexi and Ben, Kate, and we need a third story and you know which one I mean – I need to know that he is happy.