Nineteen-year-old Star Collins never intended to return to her hometown, Avenue. That part of her life ended when she was nine years old, and child services took her away from her hoarder mother. Her mother chose her stuff over her daughter. That part of her life was supposed to be in the past.
But her mother has just passed away and Star finds herself giving up her summer to quietly clean out her old home. She just wants to sell it and move on with her life. However, things aren't going the way she planned. With her dyed-black hair and tattoos, she's attracting almost as much attention from the small town residents as Ash Winthrope, the guy who was just released from prison.
All Ash wants is a chance to start over. He screwed up and he knows it, he's going to have to live with the guilt for the rest of his life. But he's stuck in Avenue until his parole ends, and no one, not even his own parents, wants anything to do with him. Nearly out of money and completely out of options, Ash takes the only job he can, helping Star haul stuff out of her mother's house.
Neither of them expects anything to happen between them, or for their lives to change. But sometimes meeting the right person is all it takes.
3 Out Of 5 Stars
Genre: New Adult--
Star gets a phone call out of the blue that her mother died and she needs to go back to her hometown to deal with the aftermath. Star’s mom was a hoarder, which only got worse after Star was placed in foster care, and now Star has to clean the mess her mom left behind. Ash was just released from prison after serving his term for manslaughter. He has no place to live, nobody will hire him due to his past and he is treated like a pariah. Star needs help desperately and feels pity for Ash, so she gives him a job to help her clean out her mom’s place so she can sell it and go back to her regular life far far away.
This was a very quick read for me; I easily blew through it in a day or so. Even though the subject matter/pasts of the two characters were pretty dark, the book was a light easy read that I could pick up and read without complications. I will be perfectly honest, it was really nice to read a book and get what I expected from it. Maybe most of you like a surprise when you read, but I have personally experienced too many surprises recently in my books, and not the good kind. I liked that I went into this with a certain expectation and that is what I received. Sure this may not have been an award winning story, and yes I did have a few things I questioned logistically that I will mention in a bit, but I really liked that I could count on a this to be a New Adult novel that was for the most part straight forward.
Let’s start with my issues with the book for just a minute. First and foremost, Star and Ash? Really? Their names drove me crazy! Are these stage names? I understand that people today like to have funky names, but I like real names on my characters (And yes I know his name was Ashley, which at one point in its long history use to be a man name, but is now predominantly female). I would have been fine with him being Ash if Star could have had a real name and maybe Star her nickname or something. But these two together just irked me in the realism department, and yes I am being picky and whiney, but that is how I feel. Another issue was their age differences. Ash is 28 and Star is 19, yet she is so much more mature than he is or seemed. Sure he was in prison for 5 years, but what kind of life (besides partying) did he have from 18 to 23? At one point it said he did not graduate from high school and I was confused as to what he did for money or where he lived, yet it is glossed over as if it is inconsequential, but it was not to me. It just seemed like his past was left blank, and I kinda wish he had the prison incident when he was younger, like 18 or 19 instead, so it would make more sense why he did not have any other kind of life. And lastly, the dog incident was not the most realistic of situations. I don’t want to be too spoilery so I won’t go into detail, but I am not buying what you are selling about the how and why of it. Too coincidental for me.
The ending left a little to be desired in my nit-picky opinion. It was really abrupt, with nothing set in stone except the character's love for each other and acceptance in society, which is great and all, but I need solutions to the big picture questions about how they will make the relationship work. Back to the story though, I thought it was a sweet, slow building romance between people who have had traumatic pasts and help each other to move forward. I was impressed at how light hearted the book was regardless of the tough subjects, which I appreciated. If you are looking for some erotica, turn back now, because that is not this book. I found the writing style to be engaging and I would most certainly read more from the author.
I received this title from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.