A Spin-off of The Stars that Tremble
Sandy Sullivan has gotten so good at covering up his emotions, he’s waiting for someone to hand him an Oscar. On the outside, he’s a cheerful, funny guy, but his good humor is the only thing keeping awful memories from his army tours in Afghanistan at bay. Worse, Sandy is now adrift after breaking up with the only man who ever understood him, but who also wanted to fix him the way Sandy’s been fixing up his new house in Brooklyn.
Everett Blake seems to have everything: good looks, money, and talent to spare. He parlayed a successful career as a violinist into a teaching job at Manhattan’s elite Olcott School and until four months ago, he even had the perfect boyfriend. Now he’s on his own, trying to give his new apartment some personality, even if it is unkempt compared to the perfect home he shared with his ex. When hiring a contractor to renovate his kitchen sends Sandy barreling into his life, Everett is only too happy to accept the chaos… until he realizes he’s in over his head.
To start – I did not read The Stars That Tremble, but I’m told that’s okay.
Sandy is suffering from PTSD, now working with a buddy as a decorator, mostly outgoing and loving life, but having a hard time dealing with the demons he saw in the war.
Everett is coming off a broken heart, his famous ex has moved on and he’s now focusing on his new career and a new residence.
The two are immediately attracted and begin an affair, but it isn’t an easy road.
Sandy doesn’t want to deal with the PTSD he denies and doesn’t want to burden anyone else with his nightmares, so he avoids sleepovers and commitment.
Everett is still a bit gun-shy, what with being a recent ex of a long relationship and he’s dubious about his own abilities to handle Sandy’s PTSD.
In the end Sandy agrees to get some help and Everett and he get a solid HEA.
There were parts of this book that I really liked. I loved the MCs and their POTENTIAL. The PTSD, the socialite and the working class man, the musician and the carpenter… all good mixes and rife with potential.
What I didn’t like was the lack of emotion. Even the sex seemed kind of mechanical and blah. Though they said words to the effect of “you are so hot” “I want you so much” I didn’t FEEL it.
Kate McMurray has an easy and flowing writing style, lots of attention to detail and well developed characters.
I liked this book and I would read more by this author, but I wasn’t wowed by this particular story.
3.5 of 5 hearts
I love the cover!
I mostly liked the narration by Michael Ferraluolo. He has a very nice voice that is easy to listen to. However, I thought that Everett should have the lighter voice and Sandy the deeper – so that kept throwing me out of the story. But I don’t really think that there is a basis for my interpretation other than Sandy was the Army guy… stereotypes and all that. It didn’t really diminish the overall enjoyment for me – just gave me pause now and then. He differentiated the voices nicely and dealt with the emotion that was in the story well.
4 of 5 hearts for the audiobook