A Sky Full of Stars by Samantha Chase
Series: The Shaughnessy Brothers, #5
Released: June 6, 2017
Reviewed by Sheena
Brilliant astrophysicist Dr. Owen Shaughnessy feels more connected to the cosmos than to people. He’s great with calculations, but when he leads a team of scientists to study a famous meteor shower, he doesn’t factor in his free-spirited artist assistant Brooke Matthews.
Polar opposites in personality, the friction between Owen and Brooke threatens to derail the project. But the beauty and mystery of the night sky draw them together—and she’s going to surprise him in ways the stars never could.
Favorite Quote: “I know the things I did, and I have to live with them every day for the rest of my life. I don’t need you sitting here waiting for me to do it to you.”
Novels with closed-door sex should come with a disclaimer. Especially when all signs point to promises of raunchy rolls in the hay. So, I’ll not have you be surprised- the door is firmly closed on the sex in this novel. Firmly. The door is so closed it’s welded, bricked over and don’t even think about the peep hole that’s been obliterated. If you can deal with that, then you are in store for a sweetly romantic story that is utterly charming. Owen is an astrophysicist and certified genius. His IQ is off the charts and he is living life from pillar to post as a traveling guest speaker/professor. He can expound on any number of complexities, however, he is no master of social interactions and human connections. He is insecure and introverted having never been in love and limited experience with relationships, when he meets his polar opposite, he is floored and it is adorable.
“Okay,” she finally said, taking a step back. “Tell me what I can get you from Starbucks, and I’ll meet you in your office in an hour.”
It was quite possible that Owen would pass out before he made it back to his office. Doing his best to recite the names of all the planets and constellations as he walked, he almost sagged with relief when his doorway came into view. He quickly made his way inside, pulled his phone out of his satchel, and immediately called Riley’s number…
Brooke is a refreshingly relatable heroine with a great voice. She is a little unsettled in life but knows she wants to follow her passions and be a professional artist. A reformed “mean girl” she was once the kind of girl who gave guys like Owen a hard time and bruised heart. Personal tragedy opened her eyes and changed her fundamentally and now she is a kind and mature woman whose personal growth is commendable. Brooke is gorgeous, blonde and all things arm candy but she aspires to be her own woman and care out her own life, outside of the limitations set by her old queen persona. I love how she is patient and kind with Owen. I love how they fumble and stumble out of their comfort zones and grow in love.
Her tongue traced his bottom lip, and then she whispered his name again. For a second his grip on her hair tightened. “You’re sure?” he murmured, his voice a near growl against her lips. She nodded. And then they were done talking. Brooke wasn’t sure who moved first, who initiated the kiss. They were of one mind as the kiss went from zero to sixty in less than a second. It was all hot and wet and deep and said everything she couldn’t find the words for. Owen’s hand roamed down and cupped her bottom and squeezed—the move keeping her completely anchored to him—and oh my, did he feel good. Better than good. Amazing. And hard. Everywhere.
Easy there tiger- fade to black on the between the sheets action, remember? *sigh* Along side the amazing romance budding between Owen and Brooke, A Sky Full of Stars has a strong sense of family at its core. We meet Owen’s fourteen member vibrant and dynamic family in contrast with Brooke’s small distant family unit. Her parents are overbearing and are written with a feeling of distance. Her uncle Howard, and integral character and the source of many a tear jerky moments with both Owen and Brooke, counteracts her parent’s coolness with bone deep love, acceptance and affection. Howard is a mentor of sorts to Owen and has a remarkable relationship with Brooke, shielding her from her parents more…unreasonable demands. Howard had a place in my heart from the beginning and it was genius and clever writing- the way in which Chase intertwined him with the main characters and allowed his wisdom to influence the plot. Good. Really, really good.
The highlight of A Sky Full of Stars is the pure, sweet romance that filled each and every page. It was cute to see the stable, loving relationships that surrounded Owen and rooted for him to have a unique love of his own. The book was full of charm and guile! Owen and Brooke share remarkable mutual respect and consideration and it was refreshing to have a hero of his caliber. He wasn’t an alpha arse nor did he feel the need to control Brooke or manage her. Don’t mistake. I love a good Alpha douchey-arse (giggles, imperceptible swoon) but Owen was such a nice guy, he stole my heart right from the start. A handsomely shy, vulnerable, brainiac can moisten the panties just as swifty as a tattooed biker or buff billionaire with a kink for spanking? Go fawking figure. *swoon*
“I look at you, and I see an amazing woman—you’re smart and witty. You make everyone around you feel at ease. You have an amazing laugh, and when you smile, it makes me want to smile.” His thumb stroked her cheek as he spoke. “You move with the grace of a dancer, and no matter where we are or what we’re doing, you embrace the moment. You’re passionate and kind and giving.” Then he moved closer. Close enough that she could feel his breath on her cheek. “And you’re someone I feel very honored to know. And someone I want to know better.” He swallowed hard.
“And I want you very much.” Brooke let out a shaky breath. “I want you too. So much it scares me.”
“I told you…you never have to be scared of me, Brooke. Ever.” “I can’t help it,” she whispered. “You’re…you’re so much more than I expected.”
He rested his forehead against hers and brushed her lips with his. “And you’re everything.”
Owen’s family members were excellent in each of their small supporting roles. I loved the different personalities and how they loved one another even when they drove one another crazy. The real life familial struggles uncovered allowed me to access the story in a way that made it even more enjoyable. Blended adult families aren’t any easier than blended families that begin with small children that is for sure and observing the adult children handle ‘you aren’t my mother!” woes was interesting to say the least. Owen has five brothers and no family of rambunctious boys is complete without one little loud mouth sister, and Owen’s little sister, Darcy, was a firecracker for sure! She not only provided significant comic relief, she acted as an important bridge between Brooke and the rest of the Shaughnessy bunch. I couldn’t help but revel at how perfect Brooke fit in with Owen and how they fit just right into such a chaotic family.
A Sky Full of Stars is pure delight. If I have to point out a fault (and I’m having to dig here folks) it would be the reasoning for Brooke to work for Owen at all. It was frankly a little thin- I could think of any number of ways she could have achieved her goal without having to go with Owen’s class to observe the meteor-shower. Aside from that, I believe the pace was perfect and the plot was perfectly balanced- no extraneous foolishness to distract from the meat of the story- no holes or plot lines to nowhere or weird, unnecessary confrontations. From beginning to end I felt invested and the HEA was sweet. There is even a short epilogue and I love a good epi!
I am still supremely stunned at the lack of heat- but by the time I realized there would be no cocks flying at my face after-all (bummer) I was already sold on the romance and more than happy to see it through.