Thursday, September 20, 2018

Of Sunlight and Stardust by Christina Lee & Riley Hart

Heart warming and heart breaking all together. With every sweet moment we have of Tanner and Cole we have a heart breaking moment between Tom and Charlie entwined together. Though they never met these two couples share so much together. I loved this book SO MUCH. I read most of it in one sitting with a constant clench in my stomach. I thought I knew how Tom and Charlie's story ended but in a way I totally didn't. Thank you Christina and Riley for this beautiful book 💝

If I got you all confused let's start with the present before we delve into the past..

Tanner Rowe's life was shattered a year ago when he lost his beloved wife Emma. Reluctantly he does at least a part of what she asked him and buys this house with a burned down barn. She never stepped foot in the house (or the barn) but while on vocation when they kept seeing it all she wanted to do was claim it as their own. Now that she is gone and he is a shadow of the man he was by her side he finally does her bidding and buys it. But renovating it isn't something he is up to. He mostly stays at the house by his own. Not interacting with anyone around him. When he meets Cole he sees a kindred spirit though he doesn't even know how and why. He finds himself offering him a place to stay in turn of fixing the barn.

Cole Lachlan is down on his luck and it's too bad because he really does want to make something of himself now that he is out of prison. He served his time, but knowing literally no one and having no place to stay he finds himself in the picturesque town of Red Bluff sleeping by the lake and hoping he can find a decent job before the money his grandfather left him is all gone. He is good with his hands, if only someone would give him the chance to prove it..

It takes a few months to build the barn and fix a little bit more around the house but as Tanner and Cole spend more and more time together they somehow become friends and even lovers. Tanner never thought he was even bi, let along be able to put his dead wife truly to rest but what he finds in Cole, the caring nonjudgmental companionship, slowly but surly brings him back to life. For Cole being in love is new, having someone who cares about him (besides his dead grandfather) is simply a wonder. He didn't expect so much goodness could be in his life and being with Tanner shows him how everything could be different.

Yet there's an uneasiness around them, strange feelings and dreams which are all connected to a journal Cole finds hidden away in the barn. 70 years ago this place belonged to Tom Crawford's family. He used to work there with his best friend Charlie Meyers when one day he realized something that changed everything. His feelings for Charlie weren't ones for JUST a best friend, they were feelings for a lover. Charlie welcomed Tom into his arms and heart but they knew staying together must remain a secret. It takes most of the book for Tanner and Cole to find out WHAT happened on that night the barn burn down. I won't say anything about it. I had my thoughts and mostly I was right. All I can say is Tom and Charlie's story was heart breaking but it was also beautiful beyond words maybe because they had so much to lose and yet they never given up on one another. Christina and Riley gave us the prefect closure for their story.

When I read the synopsis it reminded me of another novel I've read "The Tin Box" by Kim Fielding. They share a similar concept I guess but they are so very different in everything else. That book left ME with nightmares yet I still enjoyed it (even if the word "enjoy" feels a bit off).

This book was an emotional roller coaster for me. From the easy going and sweet relationship Cole and Tanner build together, to the heart breaking story of Tom and Charlie which was revealed to us little by little as Tanner and Cole read the journal together, only a little bit every time. Sharing memories together, from the past, and making ones which honor Tom and Charlie's memory in the present. Leaving behind prejudice, rumors and concepts Tanner and Cole form a family of two together. If nothing else they always have each other. It was raw in a way, how much Cole and Tanner needed one another. They were both in their lowest wanting to hope for the best yet finding it hard to, but with a new found love they find everything they could have asked for in one another.

I already know Christina and Riley together are a formidable couple ;) This book shows us again how well they work together bringing us such a wonderful love story which spans months but feels like decades. 

As I finished this book with a happy sigh I opened Facebook and THIS video popped unto my feed. Seems so fitting. Did you know swans mate for life? I can hear them calling to one another. Can you?
Read this book and you'll hear them for sure.

I kindly received this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.

This book is ~LIVE~. Purchase links bellow!


Riley Hart is the girl who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s a hopeless romantic, a lover of sexy stories, passionate men, and writing about all the trouble they can get into together.
She loves reading, flawed characters, and hanging out with her husband and children, who she adores. She and her family live in Southern California, soaking up the sunshine while also missing seasons. Not a day goes by that she isn’t thankful she gets to wake up and do what she loves.
Life is good. Riley also writes young adult and new adult under the name Nyrae Dawn.

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Once upon a time, I lived in New York City and was a wardrobe stylist. I spent my days shopping for photo shoots, getting into cabs, eating amazing food, and drinking coffee at my favorite hangouts.

Now I live in the Midwest with my husband and son—my two favorite guys. I've been a clinical social worker and a special education teacher. But it wasn't until I wrote a weekly column for the local newspaper that I realized I could turn the fairytales inside my head into the reality of writing fiction.

I write Adult, New Adult, and M/M Contemporary Romance. I'm addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything. I believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job.

Read on:
16-19 September 2018

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