The Stars that Tremble

Kate McMurray
The Stars that Tremble
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Dreamspinner Press
Release Date
September 2013
Contemporary Romance, LGBTQ

Giovanni Boca was destined to go down in history as an opera legend until a vocal chord injury abruptly ended his career. Now he teaches voice lessons at a prestigious New York City music school. During auditions for his summer opera workshop, he finds his protégé in fourteen-year-old Emma McPhee. Just as intriguing to Gio is Emma's father Mike, a blue-collar guy who runs a business renovating the kitchens and bathrooms of New York's elite to finance his daughter's dream.

Mike's partner was killed when Emma was a toddler, and Gio mourns the beautiful voice he will never have again, so coping with loss is something they have in common. Their initial physical attraction quickly grows to something more as each hopes to fill the gap that loss and grief has left in his life. Although Mike wonders if he can truly fit into Gio's upperclass world, their bond grows stronger. Then, trouble strikes from outside when the machinations of an unscrupulous stage mother threaten to tear Gio and Mike apart—and ruin Emma's bright future.

Book Review by Breann (reviewer)
Oct 31, 2013   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
163 people found the following review helpful
I love reading love stories about people who get a second chance at love and this was just that.

Gio was a teacher for young opera singers. One of his new students, Emma, was a very talented girl and he thinks she's going to be the next big thing in opera. Oh, and her dad, Mike, was super hot, gay and single.

Gio and Mike hit it off instantly. They were wary of each other at first since Mike was the father of a student, but tried to work around that since they felt so strongly for each other. The nervousness and excitement in the beginning of their relationship felt real and was very cute.

Mike hadn't really been serious with anyone since his partner died years ago, so this was all new to him. I liked that he was wary about Gio; it made what they had and the way their relationship progressed believable.

They've both suffered great losses in their lives and were able to relate to each other through that. They were very loving, understanding and were just plain good to one another and I loved that. I also loved the way they were with Mike's daughter, Emma. She played a huge role in the way Mike and Gio met and came to be together. Gio never tried to be a second dad; he was there as a mentor and a friend for Emma, which I thought was what he should have been.

The big conflict--of course there was one since that's what makes a romance novel, right?--was very predictable and I could see it coming from almost the first page. Even so, I thought it was well done and handled nicely by the author. I liked the way Gio and Mike handled themselves and were able to stay together through some serious accusations and tough times.

I wanted to really like this book and I did like it, just not really. It started to feel long after a while; it could have been at least 50 pages shorter, if not more. The scenes started to feel repetitive and boring. Also, I get that there's a theme of music in the story so there were music terms sprinkled throughout. It was okay at first, but it started to feel cheesy by the end.

Overall, it was a good love story from an author that I enjoy and will seek out again.
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