Author: Ethan Day
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Novel (249 pages)
Publisher: Wilde City Press (September 25th, 2013)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4.5 Hearts
Blurb: Deacon Miller never had it all—he never really believed he could. Growing up in a broken home with an alcoholic mother and a revolving door of truly pathetic father figures taught him to keep his expectations low. Now at twenty-seven, on the night before Christmas Eve, his life is turned upside down yet again; his boyfriend has dumped him, he just fled the holiday family reunion from hell, and now to top it all off, a blizzard has left him stranded in an airport hotel.
Steve Steele has spent the better part of his forty-four years living a lie, ignoring his attraction to other men in an attempt to fit into the mold of the man he thought he should be, instead of living life as the man he knew himself to be. Recently divorced after coming home from work one day and coming out to his wife, Steve has floundered over the past year, desperately attempting to wade through the guilt and find the courage to start again.
That’s when a chance meeting in a hotel bar brings two lonely men together… and what should’ve been a one night stand turns into something much more than either one ever expected.
Review: After reading this I truly believe Northern Star is a truly memorable book. Not only is it well written and with strong characters, but it also is quite thought-provoking, making you truly think about the way you view your life and that of others, and in the end making you appreciate what you have. Yes, this book had that effect on me. Now, with all the above, one would think this was a heavy read. Though some parts of it were heavy indeed, overall it was a most enjoyable romance, one that dripped real from start to finish.
The protagonist of this story is quite powerful in the way that he deeply affects you and evokes strong feelings from you. Deacon is the child of a monster-mother. His entire life he’s been verbally abused made to think he was worthless and the cause of everything bad and evil in his home. He has no self-esteem, never felt loved, he doesn’t even believe he deserves to be loved and cared for. That in itself is enough to make you feel closer to this character, but add in there the fact that he is so selfless and sweet, thinking of others and caring for other people even when at the same time he thinks nothing of it, and you have a character you instantly love. He breaks your heart with his sadness that always cloaks him, and he makes you wish you had the power to change his past. Yes, the author did quite a good job breathing life to this character and making you forget you’re only reading a fictional story.
So back to the plot, we have Deacon on Christmas Eve in a hotel bar getting drunk out of his mind. His reunion with his mother and sister for the Holidays went to Hell and back forcing him into an early retreat, his flight was canceled and he’s stuck there, but even if he had the flight he has no place to go as his boyfriend dumped him via email… I think it’s safe to say that there couldn’t be getting any worse than that. But as he’s drinking himself to numbness, a stranger enters the bar, all smiles, and charm and before he knows it, they’re hooking up. What should’ve been a random encounter turns to something more and through the darkness the two men connect in a deeper lever that should be normal.
This is the start of Deacon’s and Steve’s love story. Steve, newly out of the closet even as he’s in his forties has his own demons, but he feels positive that he can overcome them as long as he has Deacon in his life, looking at him like he hung the moon. However, Deacon’s demons lurk deeper and have much more power over him, inevitable rearing their head, and making his life miserable just when he thought he found his safe place.
I loved this, I really did. The plot that had no straight way about it, but was a constant fight for love and life. The characters with their depth and emotions that came right through life. The intimacy and private encounters that had you melting with these two awesome men. The bad guys that were simply too real, making you seethe with anger at the fact that though these were fictional characters, there are people like that out there. I loved it all, more so the range of emotions this book woke from me. The writing itself was pretty commendable as well, as it was written in third person past tense and mostly from Deacon’s point of view, but what made a real effect was the tinny flashbacks, like a day or two or even a couple of weeks back, making you feel as if you were indeed inside the character’s head and experiencing the moment when he went through his memories, reviewing the events that had happened to him till that moment, and then you’d get to witness the rest of the events as they took place. A very nice trick that kept you entranced there in the story, losing yourself in the lines.
Summing this up, I had a terrific time reading this book, I enjoyed all of it, the good, the bad, the hilarious, and the sad. It was as if reading about a person’s life without leaving out any of the details, yet lacking the overbearing drama and angst that these characters (the abused) usually come with. It’s sufficient to say that Northern Star made it at the must-read list of mine. Totally worth it!