Reviewed by Mandi
Sometimes Megan Hart writes books that make me have all the feels – for example here and here. And sometimes she writes books that don’t work for me. Flying gave me feels, but annoyed me a little bit too. But overall I’m glad I read it. I crave this author’s voice and it satisfied me this time.
Stella’s ex-husband is the CEO of an airline, and as part of the divorce settlement, she gets free flights whenever she wants them – and she craves them a lot. I don’t want to spoil too much, but I will say Stella gets divorced because of a tragic event in her life. Her marriage cannot survive this, and now years later, Stella still tries to have control over everything. She thinks if she can control every detail in her life, nothing else bad will happen. She has a sixteen year old son name Tristan who splits his time between her and her ex. He is your typical moody, sloppy, hungry teenager, and she loves him to death. Because of this tragedy and grief that followed, Stella finds a way to act out. Every few weekends, she dresses up, dons a blonde wig and flies to whatever city fits her fancy that day. She lands, goes to the airport bar and picks out the man she wants to sleep with that night. The flirting and seduction dance follows and then sex tops off the evening. She goes by different names and different personas to lose herself. We see this for a good part of the first half of this book. She sleeps with a priest and a married man among others – so beware of that if you think you would take offense.
One weekend she actually has to travel for business, and gets stuck in the Chicago airport and meets a man named Matthew. Because it’s a business trip she isn’t in disguise, and surprises herself by giving Matthew her real name. One thing leads to another, and she finds herself at his apartment. But Stella is not her usual confident, sexual self. She feels too revealed as “Stella” and is nervous and hesitant to go forward..but she also really likes Matthew so they do sleep together. From here, the story unfolds as she comes to know Matthew and to face her past and try to move forward with her life.
This book is messy and complicated and I love that about Hart’s voice. Stella has issues–so many issues– but it felt real. Her grief comes through so strong. Her frustration over trying to raise a moody, head-strong teenager fighting with how much she loves him comes across so strong. I think the author does a nice job with letting us really feel Stella.
But Stella also annoyed me.
Matthew is recently divorced and Stella is the first person he has dated/slept with since his separation. He has two young daughters with his ex-wife and she still drops in all the time and there are not a lot of boundaries. Matthew is hesitant to tell his ex about Stella, which leads to her walking in when Stella is at his apartment – there is awkwardness and such. Stella spends the latter part of the book freaking out about this. She hates playing second string to his ex. She hates that he answers the phone immediately when she calls. She hates that he doesn’t return her calls when he has his daughters for the weekend. I get that Matthew is being pulled around by his balls by his ex-wife. I wanted to shake him at times too. But he is newly divorced and I don’t think Stella gave him time to adjust. She became very needy and a little whiny and I didn’t like that about her. I wanted her to have someone to comfort her when she had to deal with her past and her grief, but she also needed to act more mature at times.
And as always, the ending may make some of you groan. It’s a little messy. There is a HEA, but it’s not super solid. It ends abruptly and leaves you with that – are they happy enough to stay together forever? Will it work?
I’m glad I read this one though.