Rating: 5 Stars
Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance
“Once a man dares to touch the stars, never the earth shall he suffer then.”
Nicholas Sullivan has always had his head in the clouds. From an early age, he’s dreamt of touching the stars. His father, a pilot in World War II, instilled in Nicholas a love for flying. His mother taught him to dream big. Because of his family, Nick knew that no dream was too big to achieve.
Tait Williams is an “old soul,” wise beyond his years at an early age, with dreams and aspirations of changing the world through journalism. He even dreamed of maybe one day winning a Pulitzer Prize. He has his feet firmly planted on the ground and his eyes pointed straight towards his goal.
In 1966, these two men are brought together at a time when America is focused almost solely on the Vietnam War with little interest in NASA sending astronauts to the moon. Nick is an astronaut with no interest in becoming the face of NASA in the media. He only wants to train and eventually make his way into space. Tait was sent to Houston to bring light to a space program he believes is wasting America’s time and money. Although their first few weeks spent together are full of disdain, impatience, and confusion, Nick and Tait find a way to become friends while both fighting an attraction for each other that they know can never be more.
In the span of two decades, from Kennedy’s challenge to land on the moon, to the Cambodia disaster, to the early years of the AIDS epidemic, Nick and Tait are brought together several times only to be torn apart by ambition, social views, manipulation, and duty. Both men have spent their lifetimes focused on dreams that may or may not be achievable, only to realize that dreams change as their lives change.
Jeremy Pack’s To Touch the Stars is quite possibly the best book I’ve read all year. This is a story of love and of dreams that sometimes collide. It’s a story of love and loss, of hope and regret, of dreams won and dreams lost, and of courage and fear. It’s a story that shows how one decision can change the destiny of a relationship. It’s a story of full of what-if and what-might-have-been. It’s also a story that shows the beginning of the long, difficult journey of acceptance and love that the gay community has struggled through, the friendships won and lost. It’s a lesson in facing fears or running from them.
Nick and Tait are as different as two people could be. Nick is a dreamer. He never met a challenge he couldn’t face head-on, until he met Tait. Tait has dreams of his own but he is grounded in reality. He’s focused on the here and now. He has a tendency to make decisions that he thinks are selfless in the way that he’s only looking out for other people but, truly, he’s scared and running from his past. I’ve always been told that meeting the right person at the wrong time would make that person the wrong person. Nick and Tait met at a time when having a relationship may have ruined their lives. They were forced to weigh the risk against the reward and sudden decisions were made that changed the course of their relationship. Each of the choices these two men made reshaped their lives and, in turn, reshaped some of their dreams.
Jeremy Pack has a way of endearing these characters to you, even supporting characters, who throughout most of the book, I wanted to hate. I fell in love with Nick and Tait immediately. When they laughed, I laughed. When they cried, I cried. When they hurt, I hurt. With all of the ups and downs, I never lost hope in Nick and Tait. I was drawn in and was unable to put the book down. In a very character-driven story, the author found a way to make these characters real. The decisions they made, the choices they faced, the friends and family they encountered along the twenty-year journey, all of these factors made Nick and Tait imperfect, realistic, strong, and completely lovable.
This is an epic love story that spans twenty years, and not once did I find myself lost or confused or bored. I will admit I am not a history buff in any sense of the word. In fact, period pieces are not my first choice among sub-genres. But the author took me on a journey throughout a period of time that I didn’t know much about and kept me entranced. Whether it was space flight or guerrilla warfare, I was completely drawn in. It is a time period that many of us haven’t faced. A time of complete intolerance and fear when it came to same-sex relationships. Even though the GLBT community still fights today, this is a story that shows how far it has come and how far there is yet to climb, to reach goals, to claim dreams, to touch the stars.
I feel like I should let readers know that this is purely a love story. Sex is not introduced into the relationship within this story. And I feel that sex may have even taken away focus from the story if it had been added.
If I could have rated this book above five stars, I would have. This book is for dreamers and lovers alike. I fell in love with this book and these characters almost immediately. I highly recommend To Touch the Stars by Jeremy Pack.
Cover Art: This is a beautiful cover by the very talented Catt Ford. I love it for the simplicity and dreamy quality. I feel that it’s perfect for this book.