Tuesday, October 8, 2013

ARC Review: The Stars that Tremble, by Kate McMurray

From the blurb:

Giovanni Boca was destined to go down in history as an opera legend until a vocal chord injury abruptly ended his career. Now he teaches voice lessons at a prestigious New York City music school. During auditions for his summer opera workshop, he finds his protégé in fourteen-year-old Emma McPhee. Just as intriguing to Gio is Emma's father Mike, a blue-collar guy who runs a business renovating the kitchens and bathrooms of New York's elite to finance his daughter's dream. Mike’s partner was killed when Emma was a toddler, and Gio mourns the beautiful voice he will never have again, so coping with loss is something they have in common. Their initial physical attraction quickly grows to something more as each hopes to fill the gap that loss and grief has left in his life. Although Mike wonders if he can truly fit into Gio's upperclass world, their bond grows stronger. Then, trouble strikes from outside when the machinations of an unscrupulous stage mother threaten to tear Gio and Mike apart—and ruin Emma's bright future.

AnnaLund's rating:

First there is the switching of POVs.
I am not a fan.

Then there is a lot of telling and not a lot of showing. Which, when it comes to the love scenes, kinda makes them fall flat. I want to feel how hot it is, not have a grating narrator's voice telling me "everything was hot and electric." Show me instead.

Then there is "entrance," which must, by now, be my favorite word in the m/m universe. Combined with "plundering" of mouths and bunny fucking "at the speed of a violin bow across the strings of the instrument at the last movement of a piece," it is simply mind-blowing. /sarcasm

Bunny fucking, I thought that would be prohibited by now. I know it should be.

Then when one of them moans (I can't remember which one, these boys are quite card-boardy both) apparently the sound he makes is like "the prima donna's high point in an aria." God, that sexes me up no end. /sarcasm, again

The sexing ends with: "With one last flourish from the conductor, it was over. Bravo!"

I must admit I actually groaned. And not in a good way.

Add to all this a good measure of feminine worrying about how will he look at me now that I had sex with him? and other silliness, this book truly missed the mark on so many levels for me.

It could have used one more editing run-through, and as usual there is the mistaking of the verb lay for the verb lie. ("We can lay low until then." - who is "low" and how do you lay him?)

No. This story was filled with purple prose and completely lacked what it takes to engage me. But, your mileage may vary, and what is terrible for me, might be exactly what you are looking for.

I did appreciate all the opera parts, however; that was actually the only brilliant part of the whole thing. Of course, I know absolutely NOTHING about opera, so there's that.


I received a free ARC from the publisher, Dreamspinner Press. A positive review was not promised in return.

Buy this book: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Thank you for reading, hope you liked this review.

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