Debbie Macomber was one of the first romance writers that I discovered when I started reading romance in my teens. My sister and I spent many an afternoon at second-hand bookstores from Ashfield to Bankstown, scouring the shelves for old Harlequins and Silhouettes. Many of the ones we came across were Debbie Macomber.
While my reading tastes have largely changed over the years (my teens are a LONG way behind me), I still love coming back to my old favourites for my comfort reads. Debbie Macomber is one of them.
The next title I am reviewing as part of my Clearing the Backlog Challenge is one of her latest titles, Starry Night.
What’s Starry Night all about?
Carrie Slayton, a big-city society-page columnist, longs to write more serious news stories. So her editor hands her a challenge: She can cover any topic she wants, but only if she first scores the paper an interview with Finn Dalton, the notoriously reclusive author.
Living in the remote Alaskan wilderness, Finn has written a megabestselling memoir about surviving in the wild. But he stubbornly declines to speak to anyone in the press, and no one even knows exactly where he lives.
Digging deep into Finn’s past, Carrie develops a theory on his whereabouts. It is the holidays, but her career is at stake, so she forsakes her family celebrations and flies out to snowy Alaska. When she finally finds Finn, she discovers a man both more charismatic and more stubborn than she even expected. And soon she is torn between pursuing the story of a lifetime and following her heart.
Filled with all the comforts and joys of Christmastime, Starry Night is a delightful novel of finding happiness in the most surprising places.
Here’s what I thought of Starry Night:
I realise that I am a little late after Christmas reviewing this one. It is however getting towards our cold time of the year in Melbourne, so it somehow feels appropriate.
Reading Starry Night felt to me like cozying up in an armchair with a warm mug of hot chocolate and a comfy doona. There are no wild car chases, or bad guys pursuing – it is a sweet, simple love story with a positive message about love and the changes that come with it.
The relationship between Carrie and Finn is completely unexpected – she just wants to further her career as a journalist, and he just wants to be left alone. Even though it is clear to both early in the piece that there is more at play than just a grudging respect for one another, I loved that there were no instant, flowery declarations of love. The romance that develops happens, at least I think so, somewhat naturally. There are, of course, moments of doubt and misunderstandings that threaten to prevent their happy ending – but even those are not contrived or seemingly false.
Tender, gentle romance is the name of the game in Starry Night. If you are looking for high-octane loving, I suggest you look elsewhere. There are moments in time that you just need a little step back from the spice, and Starry Night is an excellent candidate for reading days like that.
This was a thoroughly enjoyable read – it didn’t blow me out of the water, but that’s not what I wanted from it in the first place. Debbie Macomber was one of my gateways into romance reading, and it’s stories such as Starry Night that bring back memories of many a teenage afternoon spent reading.
My rating: 3.5 out of 5
Release Date: 8 October 2013
Note: I was provided with an advanced reader copy of this book by Ballantine, an imprint of Random House Publishing Group via NetGalley in return for an honest review.