Title: Then the Stars Fall
Author: Brandon Witt
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: m/m, contemporary
Published: September 29th 2014
Rating: Five Stars
The death of his wife four years earlier left Travis Bennett a shell of the man he used to be. With his dog by his side, Travis raises his three children, manages his business, and works as a ranch hand. But every day, every minute, is an aching emptiness.
Wesley Ryan has fond memories of the small Ozark town of El Dorado. Seeing it as a safe place to put his failed relationships behind him, Wesley moves into his grandparents’ old home and takes over the local veterinary clinic. An early morning visit from Travis and his dog stirs feelings that Wesley seeks to push away—the last thing he needs is to fall for a man with baggage and three kids as part of the package.
Life, it seems, has other plans.
I had never heard of Brandon Witt. I knew nothing about him or his writing. Then I went to GRL 2014. One of my favorite events is the author readings. During my first GRL, last year, I found some wonderful authors through this event, and this is how I found Brandon Witt this year. I listened to him read from Then the Stars Fall. I cried. Then I bought the book.
I was not disappointed.
The story is set in El Dorado, Missouri, a small town which the author describes with such detail and richness that it is like being there with the characters. His characters feel real. Whether they were ones that I liked or not (and there are some that were very unlikeable), they were well developed and I felt invested in their stories.
The main character, Travis Bennett – widower, father of three, still grieving four years after losing his wife and best friend, Shannon – is a character that I did not immediately connect with. He is conflicted, angry, confused and at times abrasive. He is trying to navigate a life that he had never planned for, and he is not sure how to keep the promises he made to Shannon before she died.
When his dog, Dunkyn, needs medical attention, he meets Wesley Ryan, the new veterinarian in town. It is definitely not the best way for these men to meet. Wesley stirs feelings that Travis has been pushing aside for years, which just adds to his surliness. Wesley, knowing nothing about Travis or his past, is confused by his attitude and yet sees there is more there, an underlying story, a pain beyond his fear for his dog.
When Wesley becomes friends with Wendy Bennett, Travis’s sister, it brings the men together again for dinner at the Bennett’s house. Travis cannot deny his attraction to Wesley and while he feels guilt over his attraction to Wesley, he also has promises to keep to Shannon.
(From Then the Stars Fall, by Brandon Witt.)
Photo courtesy of Bonnie Herbert, GRL 2014.
I enjoyed the way the author gradually develops the relationship between Wesley and Travis. It is slow and realistic, with misunderstandings as well as humorous moments. I loved the way we meet the family and people in the town as they interact with both men. The details and events give the story such depth; I felt the pain, the anger, the frustration, the grief, the sense of betrayal, the laughter, the love and the hope as the story unfolds.
The book is divided into seasonal sections beginning with autumn and ending with spring and an epilogue. The chapters are written from particular characters POV, not always Travis and Wesley. I thought it was a great way to get to know the characters better and how they perceived what was happening in the story.
This book can be read as a stand-alone book although I understand that the book The Shattered Door is actually the first book written in this world and contains back-story and more detail about some of the characters in this book.
Then the Stars Fall is beautifully written and one I happily recommend.
Another treat this morning! Great historical series.
Originally posted on Joanna Chambers, author:
You can access my latest newsletter here. It includes details of my upcoming releases on 30 November (Comfort and Joy) and 2 December (The Dream Alchemist) as well as my new freebie Enlightenment 1.5 story, Seasons Pass, which you can read now!
The lovely cover is courtesy of Susan Lee (fank you, Suzy-Su).
If you are looking to add a fur baby to your family, think about rescuing one. Kaylee is one of many that are looking for that forever home and someone to love them. She is in St. Louis Missouri. The contact information is in the blog. She’s a cutie!
Also look locally if reaching out to Missouri is too far for you. Our Buster was a rescue from Blue Dog Rescue in Austin Texas. He was would also have been euthanized if they had not they rescued him. It was a shelter that put ANY pit mix to death. His family was dropping him off. He was lucky Blue Dog was there that day and rescued him. He has now been a part of our family for almost eleven years.
Please share this blog post and help Kaylee and other rescue dogs find a forever home.
Originally posted on Rhys Ford:
Wasn’t the evening boy pretty? You know what else is pretty? A 2 year old black something mix someone tried to make into a tough dog but really her bright sunshine spirit is too strong to be broken by the likes of bad people.
She was scheduled to die Yesterday. Flat out. No bones about it. Scheduled to die because she’s a life someone threw away. Because someone didn’t give a damn about her. The plunger was pulled and her breaths were down to their last few. Half an hour till death.
But you see, sometimes a soul can shine so brightly it shouldn’t be extinguished. Circumstances shifted…quickly with phone calls and manueverings and forming ulcers. She was sprung but now… she needs a home.
Her temperament is probably one of the sweetest I’ve seen. These are only two of the pictures I’ve gotten of her. She’s in St…
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I enjoyed the first anthology – Stitch – very much. Looking forward to this one. :-)
Originally posted on B G Thomas - writer:
I am eagerly awaiting the release of this new book, an anthology of sorts, but with only four authors. That means novellas my friends. And that means stories you can sink your teeth into! I am excited by the theme as well. Please know that if you love romance, you’ll get it in these four stories. But if once in awhile you love to read about something that goes bump in the night, you are in for an amazing book.
I cannot tell you what an honor it is to be in a book with Kim Fielding, Eli Easton and Jamie Fessenden. These are amazing authors, top notch writers and story tellers. Just look and what you’ll be reading….
Vodou. Obeah. Santeria. These religions seem mysterious and dark to the uninitiated, but the truth is often very different. Still, while they hold the potential for great power, they can be…
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I have started working on my holiday reading list for 2014. I am making a list of all of the tried and true holiday/ winter themed books that I compiled last year, plus all of the new ones we found – into one list. Thanks to everyone that helped with that!
I am now searching for new books for the Holidays. If you know of any that you want added to this years list please post it here.
We live just outside the city limits of a small community. Since we have yet to fence in our property all the way around, we often are graced with visitors. No, the neighbors do not just drop in, but their live stock does. I wish I would have had a camera when the neighbors billy-goat dropped by. He was huge and apparently did not like our dog. When our not so small dog, think tall enough to put his head on a dining table and weighs about 115 pounds, ran to meet him, the billy-goat reared up then came down for a head butt that sent our poor old dog tumbling. Needless to say we did not go out to greet that particular neighbor and our dog has since kept his distance.
This week we had much friendlier visitors. Two donkeys came to pay their respects and explore a while. They appeared hungry as they tried to get in the chicken feed. They did do a nice job of trimming the grass around the house and took a couple of carrots we offered. After about three hours they decided it was time to go home and made their way back the way they came, not before leaving us with several piles of fertilizer. They were thoughtful like that.
They were pleasant guests and I would gladly have them back anytime. :-)
Great review. One more must read book. :-)
Originally posted on It's About The Book:
Author: Renae Kaye
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 5 stars
Type: Standalone Novel
Received from Publisher
Blurb: At twenty-five, Hank owns a small parcel of land in Australia’s rural southwest where he supplements his income from the property with seasonal shearing. Hank is a “shearing gun”—an ace shearer able to shear large numbers of sheep in a single day. His own father kicked him out when his sexuality was revealed, and since no one would ever hire a gay shearer, Hank has remained firmly closeted ever since.
Elliot is the newbie doctor in town—city-born and somewhat shell-shocked from his transplant to the country. When a football injury brings Hank to Elliot’s attention, an inappropriate sexual glance and the stuttered apology afterward kickstarts their friendship. Romance and love soon blossom, but it’s hard for either of them to hope for anything…
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If you haven’t been keeping up with the Pre GRl festivities, this is the final GRL Virtual Gift Basket Giveaway at the Novel Approach, They will be having one more – final Grand Prize giveaway coming up tomorrow. So get over there and enter. There is still time to enter some of the previous days giveaways too. :-)
Originally posted on The Novel Approach:
Cheers, everyone! We’ve made it to the end, this is our final GRL Virtual Gift Basket Giveaway, but that doesn’t mean the giving is quite done yet. We have a final Grand Prize giveaway coming up tomorrow for one lucky GayRomLit attending reader, so be sure to stay tuned. And in case you missed them, there’s still time to enter in the Baskets Four (exp. at Midnight PT tonight), Five, and Six giveaways.
In the meantime, here’s what’s up for grabs in Basket Seven:
• : A $25 Amazon Gift Card
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