My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
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.
So what did I think?
Northern Star was a wonderful way to spend a couple hours and it was a pleasure to get to know Steve and Deacon.
Their first meeting at a hotel bar sets the tone for the whole book as they enjoy a nice easy and teasing banter. It was so much fun to follow the conversation back and forth….
Deacon faced Steve, propping up his elbow on the bar for support. “Say, you can’t be too much of a dick, you at least asked how I’m doing, right?”
“Well, you did mention doing me before. I became infinitely more invested at that point.”
followed shortly by….
“No, I apparently suffer from low self-esteem and have an unfortunate attraction to loose-moraled men with little to no character.”
“Sweet, so my chances of getting lucky just skyrocketed.”
But what makes this book special is how special Deacon and Steve really are for each other. Even from their first meeting Deacon recognises that Steve has shown him more kindness than his own mother and the boyfriend who had left him. Patty, Deacon’s mother, is just awful and such a contrast to the sweet and caring Steve who is an all-round good guy in all he says and does.
Steve has faced his own challenges, coming out and leaving his wife after initially denying his own sexuality. The author did a fabulous of job of conveying the impact of Steve’s decision to leave his wife and step-daughter (which he did well before meeting Deacon). It wasn’t easy and things aren’t perfect but he has maintained a friendship of sorts with his ex-wife. Her inclusion in the book allows us to see another side of Steve.
The secondary characters complement the story so well. Jimmy is totally amusing as Steve’s best friend and Deacon’s sister Ashley is nice and cute and a crack up…totally loved her response when Deacon states that he will not be helping her with BJ advice. “Well, that’s just stupid. What’s the point of having a gay older brother then?”
This book blended the emotional journey with regular smatterings of amusing moments right the way through to the warm and happy ending.
A very enjoyable 4.5 stars.
Thank you to the publisher of this book who provided a copy in return for an honest review.
To find out more about Ethan Day and his books visit his website.
- REVIEW: “Northern Star” by Ethan Day (boysinourbooks.com)