Blurb from Goodreads
Lex Harrington is living a stranger’s life. After high school, she and her boyfriend, superstar quarterback Brad Wakefield, headed off to college, secure in the knowledge of their brilliant future. Then an injury ended Brad’s football career, and he convinced Lex to drop out of school and return home with him, where everything fell apart.
Because the glossy surface of their relationship concealed a dark truth: years of emotional abuse culminating in Brad’s walking out on Lex and their infant son. At twenty-three, she’s a single mother with no future prospects, struggling to make ends meet while dealing with the aftermath of her destructive marriage.
When Jaron Richards left for college, he vowed he’d never look back. Brad laid waste to his friendship with Lex, leaving nothing to bind Jaron to his hometown. But his unrequited love for Lex has never faded, even as his star has begun to rise, making him Hollywood’s hottest new actor.
Now Jaron is back in town to film his latest movie, and his presence stirs up everything Lex would rather forget. Can they find a way to pick up the pieces and build a future together?
I think this is a nice first encounter with Nicole Ciacchela book. With the trend of an insta-love these days, Lex and Jaron love is like a fresh air for me. I liked the way they build their relationship. It happens slowly based on trust and honesty. It’s more believable. Hence, I buy it when they finally admit that they are in love with each other. I also liked Jaron relationship with Lex’s son, Owen. Despite his saying that he never thought about having a child, his love for Owen is so obvious and so sweet. And again, just like his relationship with Lex, it grows slowly yet more convincing than if he suddenly loves him from the first time they meet. I also think the author did a good job describing an abusive relationship. I can see it in Lex clearly.
However, I have also things that I didn’t quite like. It wasn’t about the story and the characters, though. It’s about the way it is written. It actually isn’t that big deal, but it’s quite distracting me when I read this book. The story is told from third person with two POV, Jaron and Lex. I always love two POV it gives me more clarity from the opposite characters. The thing that is distracting me here is both POV tend to describe things, a lot of things in long descriptive narrative. I personally don’t mind about it, but in some parts it feels too much. To be honest, it makes the story feels so so slow and I can’t help not to skip some narrative because I feel it’s quite boring, moreover when it’s told over and over from both POV. Both Lex and Jaron seem to like to lose in their thoughts. In between their thoughts they often think something else. Sometimes about things they are talking about, other times about different thing but still relate to the story, but it often makes me lose track of what they are talking about before their lost in thoughts moments. I have to go back to the beginning of their conversation or their very first thought to understand what their thinking about actually.
And I didn’t quite get why this book called Starstruck as I didn’t see much about Jaron the movie star. He indeed tells me about his job but it’s just a little bit, just a glimpse compare to what I thought he would be. I also didn’t feel that he is an A-list hot Hollywood actor. I guess I assumed A-list Hollywood actor always tails by paparazzi or common people who keep staring at him and stuff, but here, I didn’t see it at all. I think I failed to see that Lex is starstruck with Jaron the Hollywood actor.
Despite those things I didn’t quite like, I think this is an okay story about abusive relationship and second chance in your life.