- File Size: 1747 KB
- Print Length: 250 pages
- Publisher: Christina Lee and Nyrae Dawn (February 20, 2017)
- Publication Date: February 20, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B06WRQ4LVH
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,145 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$12.99|
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Paint the Stars (Free Fall Book 3) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
As always, there's something new I learn in Christina and Nyrae's books. And this time it came in the form of a type of sexual orientation that I knew nothing about before reading this book. I appreciated the way they described it to the reader who may not have known what it all entailed, and then fleshed it out in the characterization of it.
I'm hoping for a fourth book in the series and hope these two lovely authors continue their co-writing pursuits.
I loved reading Ezra's story, the brooding, closed off artist someone I wanted to know more about, and the authors didn't disappoint in bringing him to light. And Dae - gah what a sexy, no-nonsense guy who was there for Ezra - supporting him and being his friend and helping him realise that yes, after being hurt, life can go on. Loved the chemistry between these two, and the moments they shared, as well as the wonderful moments when Ezra created his art.
Gorgeous story! :)
Ezra Greene grew up in a conservative and religious home in the Midwest where he felt like an imposter playing along with beliefs that didn’t fit with his own feelings. After escaping to West Hollywood, he has developed a good life for himself though his painting. Other than having a few close friends, he largely keeps to himself and comes across a bit of a grump. For a man who doesn’t care about hooking up and doesn’t fall in love easily, though, that’s safer than putting his heart out there to be squashed again the way his first love did. When he accepts a commission to paint another mural at a local holistic center, one of the part-time yoga instructors, Daevonte Randall, stays late while Ezra paints after hours. The arrangement works well for Daevonte because it gives him time to do homework for his college classes, and it also gives him a chance to flirt with the reserved painter he finds so fascinating.
The plot of Paint the Stars is almost entirely focused on the friendship and then relationship that forms between Ezra and Dae. It’s a well-developed and satisfying slow-burn romance caused largely by the double whammy of Ezra being demisexual—for those who aren’t familiar with the term, it refers to a person who does not experience sexual attraction to a person without first having developed a strong emotional connection—and his one and only serious relationship ending in heartbreak in one of the worst ways possible. Being uninterested in relationships, Daevonte starts off pursuing Ezra as an attempt to hook up with him, but Ezra shuts him down and eventually explains why. The authors handle this scenario perfectly and in a way that serves a dual purpose too: Ezra is not one to share much about himself, so this scene not only explains his character to Dae, it sets the stage for growth of feelings over the course of the story as Ezra slowly lets him in.
The characters really are what make this novel a worthwhile read. While some readers may find the pacing to be slow simply because they’re used to sexual tension causing intimacy to occur rather quickly in a romance, it’s the slow burn here that makes Ezra true to his character’s nature. Dae, too, is a great character and together they create an interesting pairing. Unlike Ezra, Dae is outgoing and flirty, but he’s also grounded. Whereas Ezra’s relationship with his parents are strained at best, Dae has nearly as good a relationship with his parents and extended family that a early twenty-something could hope for. And though Dae had never been interested in a serious relationship before, his parents were ideal role models in teaching him about love can be.
In addition to commending the authors for their portrayal of Ezra as a demisexual character, they also deserve praise for a positive rendering of Dae as a minority and mixed-race character, along with the fact that they in no way made race into an issue with anyone in the story. Dae’s parents’ story is far from ideal, but they worked hard to make sure Dae had not only their full love and support but also the means to provide him an adequate childhood. So often when racial differences are a part of a romance, they often play to stereotypes as a means to provide the character with an internal conflict. It was refreshing that this wasn’t the case here, and I wish more stories that used this trope would follow this example.
As great as I thought the characters and pacing of the story were, I have to admit I was disappointed with how quickly the resolution to the story’s primary conflict happened. I’m not going to go into detail because I don’t want to spoil it, but at the 80% point, Ezra is forced to confront something big from his past, and it puts the relationship between Ezra and Dae in jeopardy. The problem isn’t in how the situation is handled by each of the characters but in what the authors choose to present the reader to show how the resolution is done. Instead of giving the reader the scene showing Ezra directly working his way through the problem and the emotions surrounding it, the authors skip over it and only give a brief mention of Ezra having done so. The story ends at 91%, so as big of a challenge as it is to Ezra and Dae’s relationship, it’s over very quickly and with very little on-page angst over it. Unfortunately, this left me with the impression that it was too easy, and it really needed to be something strong to make the end result completely believable. Instead, I felt more of an “oh, okay” reaction. This fact is the sole reason why my rating is not significantly higher than it is.
With respect to the Free Fall series as a whole, Paint the Stars fits in wonderfully with the beautiful storytelling and engaging characters Christina Lee and Nyrae Dawn established in the first two books. As such, it makes a good finale for the set. In spite of the ending of this book being somewhat of a letdown for me, I heartily recommend the whole series to those who like romances that focus primarily on creating strong and believable attachments between the characters, for these authors are both masters at doing just that. Everything else they do beyond that is just gravy.