On the eve of the best night of his life, winning an Academy Award, Jonathan Bello thinks back to his one great love, David Star.
Flipping back the pages of time, Jonathan recalls his handsome, muscular, and charismatic college roommate. Since Jonathan was a freshman and David a senior in the Theatre Department, David took Jonathan under his wing and molded him, not only as an actor but as a lover. With every wonderful new adventure, David left his joyful mark on anyone with whom they came in contact, but Jonathan soon uncovered David’s dark past, leading to a shocking event. Undaunted, Jonathan celebrates the captivating man who will always hold a special place in his heart.
A Dreamspinner Press Bittersweet Dreams title: It's an unfortunate truth: love doesn't always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.
So, let's set the scene. I don't have many talents, reading pretty quickly is one of them (although the amount of books I read is more likely to be attributed my willingness to forgo the housework in my never ending search for book related happiness, than any actual speed reading skills) but I digress, my one other talent is catching the bouquet at weddings.
No, seriously, it is. I mean, being an old married bird meself these days, I don't actually get to show off this talent any more (determination is essential to this talent)*, but I do possess it. It's quite a thing really, seeing as about the only other thing I can catch is a cold... until it came to claiming the book reviews in the clubhouse.
Now, I try and be polite and wait (I'm British, it's in my DNA) before claiming books I want to review, but every now and then that old bridal-bouquet catching skill comes to the fore and I claim the heck out of a review before the other Unis get a look in. When a request from Joe Cosentino came in, polite Lori took a hike and I jumped in feet first, metaphorically pushing the other Unis out of the way until that
bouquet review book was in my hands. Bingo Stingo!
Then I read the blurb.
I know, I know. I should read the blurb first. I remember to occasionally, but too often an author or a cover will often catch my eye, and I forget about finding out what the book is about and just go I want, I want, I want. No probs here though, Bob, because the blurb sounded good...
...all the way up to the phrase;
A Dreamspinner Press Bittersweet Dreams title: It's an unfortunate truth: love doesn't always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.No traditional HEA. Eeeeeeeeeeek. Did I need to buy Superdrug out of tissues? Ensure my mascara was waterproof? I mean, I do read angsty, sad books - and I usually love them - but most of the time I don't know going in that they are angsty because of my failure to read blurbs. So, knowing this was bittersweet from the start may have set off a mini panic.
Ha! Foolish me. I really should not have worried, because this author tickled my funny bone again.
Jonathan, on receiving his academy award, thinks back to the days when he was at college. He remembers his roommate - his first great love - and we take the journey with him through those heady days of young, infatuate love. And what a journey it is.
Joe Cosentino writes in a remarkably observant manner. Characters, who may seem OTT or excessive at first glance, are actually astutely observed incarnations. The spirit of characters undiluted but that always represent a person you know. (Another writer who has this skill is Victoria Wood, a British comedienne, whose observational comedy Dinner Ladies is one of my all time favourites). It doesn't matter who the character is, however over the top they are, there is always that inkling of knowing them. Of knowing someone just like them - who does that thing, just like them, or shares that trait. Jonathan, David and Barry are just like that. I know all of them - I can't quite put my finger on exactly how, but I do.
Jonathan sometimes seems a little (*cough*a lot*cough*) gullible. He is enraptured by David, by everything the other man does. David is the light in the room, the shining star, the hero. Not just to Jonathan, but to (almost) everyone. Jonathan longs to be him, to be with him, to be the creation David wants. He is blinkered in his adoration. Sometimes, he frustrated the hell outta me. I wanted to yell at him to wake up and smell the coffee; nobody is that good.
Except, sometimes David was. Sometimes I believed in him just like Jonathan did. Other times I wanted to strangle the egocentric chap, but never for long. He was a character that caused extreme emotions, and truly I didn't really understand him fully until the end. I knew him/didn't know him all in the same breath. I did';t see the way in which the story was leading. Maybe that is just me. Maybe I embraced my inner Jonathan and went glibly along where the words on the page took me. Will you?
I need to mention Barry. Though not an MC, from the first time we meet him I fell in love! He is the character that just is. Sensible, sweet, funny. A friend - a good friend. Dependable. I just...loved him. I loved him because of, and despite of, the way he is with Jonathan and David. He really is wonderful.
A Shooting Star is a story I would recommend, mainly because Joe Cosentino is an author I would recommend. For those readers looking for something a little bit different - dare I say unique? For those readers who like to laugh. For those readers who appreciate the nuances of people and the way each character is different. For those readers who want to read a damn good story - check out this author. I'm glad I did.
*How to catch the bouquet:
1) Stand behind the bride, not to the side. Brides tend to throw two handed so the chances are the bouquet will go straight back.
2) Stand to the front of the crowd trying to catch the flowers. Not exactly at the front, but try and ensure no one taller is in front of you. (I'm only 5'4, so you don't have to be of modelesque height).
3) Reach for the bouquet as it comes over, grab one handed but with a firm grip. DO NOT BE POLITE.
4) Most important. Do not let go. Let everyone else give up first. Keep your grip. Those flowers are yours. D'ya hear me? They are yours. Let nearly every flower get pulled from the bouquet, if you are the last one standing without giving up hold you have claimed the prize. It's yours, to be chucked away on your own bin at home for sure, but you will forever and always be known as the one who caught the bouquet. Savour that honour.
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A copy of this story was given in exchange for an honest review.