Rating: 2.5 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novella

Cast out from the only home he has ever known, Teo is lost and alone. Luck or fate brings him to the home of Lyndon Smithdale. In a cozy cabin and under Lyndon’s watchful eye, Teo recovers first his health and then his sense of self. Once a pampered prince, Teo learns to find joy in hard work and a job well done. But his true joy is in Lyndon, whom he comes to love as none before. Lyndon, who has a past nearly as complicated as Teo’s and who understands that Teo misses his family, no matter how they treated him.

When Lyndon takes it upon himself to reunite Teo with his estranged father and brother, he sets in motion a series of events that will turn their comfortable life upside down. And it might mean Lyndon will lose Teo forever.

I wanted to enjoy Star and Fire a lot more than I did. But the reality is that almost from the start, I felt Star and Fire stumbled. It’s a relatively angst free and fairly sweet story between two likable main characters and, if that’s all you’re looking for, then you might end up finding quite a lot to like here. It just didn’t work for me personally.

I found everything about Star and Fire to be overly simple and it often feels incomplete. The relationship between Lyndon and Teo seems childish, as do the characters themselves. They aren’t fully formed and their emotions, actions, etc. seem almost superficial. It felt like two kids playacting at adulthood and this stems from the writing, rather than character age, etc. While the writing is technically adequate, it lacks depth and a unique voice. It’s hard to explain in a review, but the writing style felt mechanical rather than natural. I hate saying that because I know how hard authors work to produce their works and I don’t want to undermine the effort that takes. But Star and Fire lacks passion and purpose and tends to read as bland because of that. What little conflict exists is wrapped up with no real consequence and I never felt that either of the characters were actually in peril, physically or mentally.

Teo and Lyndon are perfectly acceptable main characters and there isn’t anything intrinsically wrong with either of them. But like the plot and the overall writing, they lack substance. They read like simplistic caricatures and ones that don’t ever evolve much. Everything about their romance feels rote and telegraphed, but lacking in real emotions. I wanted to cheer for this couple, given their struggles, but I didn’t overly care about of them and as a reader that was frustrating.

I couldn’t get on board with Star and Fire. The writing and plot were too simple and failed to establish a bond between this reader and the text. I had the same problem with Teo and Lyndon, who read as uninspired and boring to me. There isn’t anything wrong with Star and Fire, at least not at its base level, but it never achieves anything greater and everything suffered as a result. I’d have to recommend giving this one a pass.

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