Rider is mostly content with his life and after an abusive childhood, that is saying a lot. He has a job he likes and he hooks up whenever he feels like it. The adrenaline rush quiets the noise in his head, but it then ends quickly as Rider doesn’t date. That’s because he really only wants to date one person—his best friend Cameron. But Cameron has no idea Rider feels this way and Cam has never given Rider any indication he’s interested in men, or specifically interested in Rider.
Cam wants to find the one, but his choice of girlfriends hasn’t worked out for him. His relationship with Rider is sacred and he’s protective of Rider, but he’s never thought about anything more with him. Until things start to change between them and one night out leads to a confession that cannot be unheard. Cam has no idea how to process that Rider has always been in love with him, but he does know that he won’t lose Rider.
When an accident brings the men even closer, Cam and Rider have to take a chance to be everything to each other. And maybe, what Cam really needed was right in front of him the entire time.
All the Stars starts a new series by author Duckie Mack, who also writes under the YA pen name, Debbie McGowen. This book is New Adult, and while the men do read as younger with lots of sweet between them, there is also plenty of heat. The cover caught my eye for Judge a Book by Its Cover Week, as the colorful picture invoked a mood, and that vibe can be seen in the story and the characters as well.
This is a smooth, easy to read, friends to lovers story. We get caught up on Rider’s and Cam’s friendship and even though they have been friends for years, I never felt I was missing anything as their bond is strong throughout every page. Rider is hopelessly, desperately, in love with Cam and while the guys think they know everything about each other, there is plenty that they have had to hold back.
Once the guys acknowledge their interest in each other, things flow easily for them. Cam initially has to adjust his thinking to Rider’s place in his life, but then effortlessly moves from friends to more. The writing is softer and a little charming as Cameron and Rider go all in with each other.
Rider had an abusive and difficult childhood, which we know early on, but then there is more information and a reveal added in at the end that lacked detail and depth for as impactful as it was supposed to be, especially that late in the book, making their story a little too easy overall for my tastes. The second book in the series will be for the intriguing secondary character of rocker Ian/Crow and I will look forward to that book.
All the Stars offers a sweet story of the best of friends finding their home with each other and while the cover may catch your eye, their story will warm your heart.
This review is part of our 2021 Reading Challenge Month for Judge a Book By Its Cover Week! Leave a relevant comment below and you will be entered to win one of five $20 JMS store gift cards from JMS Books (you can see the details on the bundle in our Prize Preview post)! Commenters will also be entered to win our amazing Grand Prize sponsored by NineStar Press: a Kindle Paperwhite loaded with 50 NineStar Press books! And don’t forget if you read along with your own challenge book this week, you can earn ten contest entries for writing a mini-review on our wrap up post on Friday! You can get more information on our Challenge Month here (including all the contest rules) and more details on Judge a Book By Its Cover Week here.