Author: Brandon Witt
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Rating: 5.0 of 5 Stars
The death of his wife four years earlier left Travis Bennett a shell of the man he used to be. With his dog by his side, Travis raises his three children, manages his business, and works as a ranch hand. But every day, every minute, is an aching emptiness.
Wesley Ryan has fond memories of the small Ozark town of El Dorado Springs. Seeing it as a safe place to put his failed relationships behind him, Wesley moves into his grandparents’ old home and takes over the local veterinary clinic. An early morning visit from Travis and his dog stirs feelings that Wesley seeks to push away—the last thing he needs is to fall for a man with baggage and three kids as part of the package.
Life, it seems, has other plans.
Two men come face to face with tough life choices in this beautifully written love story by Brandon Witt. Wesley Ryan, the new vet in town, must choose whether or not to put down roots and risk his heart, while widower Travis Bennett tries to decide if it’s time to overcome his grief and start fulfilling promises of living once again.
Then the Stars Fall is a heart-warming and affirming comfort romance and one of the most richly woven I have read in a long time. Set in the rural Midwest and loaded with vivid details of a quaint main street town, its local merchants, and the colorful personalities that make up its populace, this is a true slice of small town America. Is it perfect? No, it isn’t. Bitterness, pettiness, and homophobia reside here, along with many other ugly characteristics, just as they do anywhere else. Everyone knows each other’s business, strangers are at times regarded warily, and some residents hold more tightly to grudges than they do their loved ones. Yet, when push comes to shove, when the realities of life are at their worst, and the need for compassion is at its highest, the majority of this town’s inhabitants know how to band together and fight for what’s right. This vibrant, lovable cast of characters springs to life and takes the reader by the hand, dragging them along to experience the daily happenings in El Dorado, or El Do. Peppered along the way are first kisses and first dates, tender moments of childhood make-believe, comfort food at local diners, walks in the park, trips to the vet, and yes, if the reader watches closely enough, even a falling star or two.
At the center of all of this small town activity are Travis and Wesley, two beautifully imperfect men with big hearts and an even bigger reluctance to start a romance. Details about Travis and Wesley are gradually revealed as they go about their routine business, first meeting at the vet clinic, and then stumbling their way around and toward each other as they try to figure out what their next steps should be. Their internal dialogues ring true as they attempt to break free of pasts that hold them captive so that they may look tentatively towards a future free of ghosts and regrets. Their charm and sweetness are perfectly balanced with just enough flaws and insecurities to make them incredibly human, endearing, and likable.
Ultimately, however, Then the Stars Fall is about family and how the love of those within it and around it helps to hold together its variety of layers. This story takes each of those layers and puts them on display for the reader to see their beauty and imperfections, then carefully pieces them back together into a whole unit, bound securely by acceptance, forgiveness, and hope. Brandon Witt has written a lovely tale that is sure to steal the reader’s heart, leaving whispers of falling stars in its wake long after the final page is turned. I highly recommend it, along with keeping a box of tissues handy.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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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