Then the Stars Fall

Title: Then the Stars Fall
Author: Brandon Witt
Publisher: Wings of Ink Publications, LLC.
Release Date: April 7, 2020
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 441
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Read book blurb here

Then the Stars Falll was originally published by Dreamspinner Press in 2014, and Brandon Witt has been reissuing his novels under his own Wings of Ink Publications, LLC, with some seriously gorgeous looking covers.

Witt is one of my favorite authors because he really writes from the heart - his characters are richly developed and abundantly human. In Then the Stars Fall we meet Travis Bennett: "He was a father. He was mourning his wife. He was a fortysomething [closeted man] who lived in a small town." The small town is El Dorado Springs, Missouri in the heart of the conservative Bible-belt and when new veterinarian Wesley Ryans comes to town with his seriously chic cashmere scarfs and a lemon yellow Miata with a rainbow sticker, it seriously shakes up Travis' life.

The book is fairly long - over 400 pages - but let yourself relax into the leisurely pace as we meet Travis' sister Wendy and her wonderfully cluttered store The Crocheted Bunny and soak in her wise words.  As Wendy says "To really take part in this life, you have to open yourself up to all things. Don't cement yourself to one side or the other." Spend some time with the twins - 6-year-old quiet Mason who feels things so deeply, and Avery who lives her best life as a Disney princess.  Travis' oldest son Caleb is 14 but is old beyond his years as he acts as a second father to the twins.  We get many scenes throughout with various POVs and personally Mason's made my heart ache.

Witt also gives us two wonderful canine character in steadfast Dunkyn - who adores Travis with everything in him - and goofy Dolan. I dare you to not fall in love with these two corgis!

The unseen character is Travis' wife Shannon, dead four years past of cancer. But her strong presence is felt throughout and guides Travis into his relationship with Wesley:
"I will always love Shannon. She will always be a part of me. And, Wesley, without her, I don't think I would have ever had the courage to love you. Because of her, I know that what I feel for you isn't going to leave."
I love the pace of this novel as it slowly develops and deepens. However, the one aspect I really miss - and feel the book really needs - is an insight into the physical relationship between Wesley and Travis.  I'm not talking graphic sex scenes, but more of a sense about how these two men relate to one another in a physical sense and how that flows out of their emotional connection.

Finally,  the "villain" in the final chapters of the book is a bit of a caricature but that is a very small niggle in the larger scheme of things.  A strong 4.5 stars and a Recommend Read for Then the Stars Fall.

I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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