The Stars that Tremble by Kate McMurray ~ Review by Beverley

This book has a lovely cover, which definitely attracted me and I love the title.

: The Stars that Tremble

Author: Kate McMurray

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

My Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

From the Publisher:

Giovanni Boca was destined to go down in history as an opera legend until a vocal chord injury abruptly ended his career. Now he teaches voice lessons at a prestigious New York City music school. During auditions for his summer opera workshop, he finds his protégé in fourteen-year-old Emma McPhee. Just as intriguing to Gio is Emma’s father Mike, a blue-collar guy who runs a business renovating the kitchens and bathrooms of New York’s elite to finance his daughter’s dream.

Mike’s partner was killed when Emma was a toddler, and Gio mourns the beautiful voice he will never have again, so coping with loss is something they have in common. Their initial physical attraction quickly grows to something more as each hopes to fill the gap that loss and grief has left in his life. Although Mike wonders if he can truly fit into Gio’s upperclass world, their bond grows stronger. Then, trouble strikes from outside when the machinations of an unscrupulous stage mother threaten to tear Gio and Mike apart—and ruin Emma’s bright future.

My View

I like the opera, I love the beautiful Arias, which explode with emotion. I love the lush scenery and breathless expectation in the audience before a performance. I am not a fan of the over the top drama in opera and I found too much of it in the language of this piece.  The story concerns an opera singer who loses his voice and a man who loses his Husband and is left as the single father of an operatic prodigy, Emma. The premise of the story is good and I was looking forward to some angst and relationship trials. The story is very romantic although, the prose can be very purple,

Great passion is risky. It can burn you, it can destroy you, it can rip out your heart. But it is also one of the greatest things we will ever experience…

This conversation takes place as Mike, the single father, comes to pick up his daughter from the Opera workshop that Gio, the opera singer is running. Most of their conversations together are  intensely over-romantic, but there are some truly nice moments. I understand that the author is trying to use the intensity of Gio’s operatic emotion, in the budding romance between these two men and there are moments when this works very well. However, the overly dramatic element in opera is the element I like the least and I felt it sometimes it was overdone in this story. I am also not a fan of sex scenes that include references to conductors and ‘Brava’ at climax from the author.

There are, as I said, very romantic scenes in this story plus, angst and drama set around the pushy ‘stage mother’ from hell. The characters of Mike and Gio just did not ring true for me and their reactions and actions felt too female and I don’t mean ‘femme’. Gay men are sexually attracted to men and some do have qualities and idiosyncrasies that could be attributed to gay men however, they are still men and individuals.  I found it difficult to see Gio as a man, despite the excuse that he is a dramatic Italian. The romance was a little too flowery and overblown, although the anatomy ensured the sex scenes felt male /male, their reactions did not.

However, if you are looking for a very romantic read with some beautiful operatic references, I’m sure you will enjoy this. 

Buy Links:

Dreamspinner Press
All Romance eBooks

I would like to thank Dreamspinner Press for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.


Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

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