Reviewed by May
As I picked this book up I couldn’t recall why I requested it in the first place. We begin by meeting Carrie as she is feeling down that she has to be a society reporter and can’t report real news that matters. She doesn’t want the glitter and fake smiles of society – she wants to be a real reporter who writes stories that count! She marches in to see her boss and quits her job after he lets her know that sorry, no, she’s just going to have to stay where she is. He counters with an offer: if she can get an interview with the reclusive author Finn Dalton, she can pick her job.
When Carrie accepts this proposal without a moment’s hesitation she doesn’t quite realize what she’s gotten into. Finn is an intense recluse. He is a survivalist living “someplace outside Anchorage Alaska” who does not want to be found, someone whom no reporter has ever tracked down. He hates reporters. Loathes all women. He definitely isn’t happy when his best friend drops Carrie on his front doorstep and flies off leaving her stranded there.
Survivialist grumpy loner of a man who has a beard, big dog, and is big and strong? Oh yes, I’m in now!
I was anxious to read on and see how Carrie would change his mind about reporters and women, and how Finn might show her a few things about Alaska, survival, maybe some useful skills or something.
Starry Night is an incredibly fast read, and there are some twists and many aspects that I really liked and I felt helped the story progress as well as add depth to the relationship here. For example they are separated for several weeks and have a phone and text only relationship. I loved this, as it really made them talk and get to know each other from a distance.
“I’m not jealous,” he insisted. “Just concerned. No guy likes the idea of his girl spending time with some other guy.”
Oh boy, he walked right into that. “Am I your girl, Finn?”
“Would a guy send you a toaster if you weren’t?” he asked.
They really had a great chemistry, as well as some wonderful moments and conversations.
On the flip side, there were some things that bothered me. For starters, the transformation from grump to man totally smitten was almost instant. Less than two days. This caused problems for me because it showed that he was easily swayed and only just acting like he’s an angry loner. It also revealed that his hermit tendencies came from a place of mistrust and immaturity in his emotional development. He stays away from all females because they just can’t be trusted. Basically? He has mommy issues that he really needs to get over.
Our hero has all the growth to do – we have a perfect heroine here. She’s motivated, she’s got a great job and is a wonderful writer, she’s beautiful, she knows just how to “handle” the hero, and she is beloved even by notoriously mean dogs.
I don’t like an imbalanced relationship, and I don’t like a set-up where one character has to do all the reaching and growth. More than once the heroine references how she has to do something because the hero is expecting the opposite and she needs to show him trust or some such. It made me feel like she was more maternal then lover ( they do not consummate on page or off in this book, just FYI) which was off putting. The story was really well told, the writing beautifully smooth and a delight to read. I just had problems with the romantic relationship.
The bulk of their ‘big problem’ once Carrie has Finn interested in her is location. With her being a writer (who can write anywhere) and her wish to be near her family in Seattle (aka close as a major US city in lower 48 could be) – it was really not a problem or conflict, and I wish instead we had been given more resistance on the hero’s part, perhaps something our heroine had to grow past herself.
If you’re looking for a “just kissing, no nudity” romantic story and want a confused bearded man who has trust issues with women – and the one woman who can save him – then you might like this book a lot. Personally I wished it had more emotional depth and that we’d seen more of beautiful Alaska. As it is, there are a lot of great moments and while it wasn’t for me, in its own way it was quite a charming book.