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Of Sunlight and Stardust

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  3,189 ratings  ·  553 reviews
**2019 Lambda Literary Award finalist in Gay Romance

After the death of his wife, Tanner Rowe takes a step toward making her dying wish come true and buys the house with the dilapidated barn she’d been inexplicably drawn to in the picturesque Upper Peninsula. But after a year, he still can’t get past his grief long enough to make the repairs he’d promised.

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Kindle Edition, 269 pages
Published September 18th 2018 by Christina Lee and Riley Hart
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~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~

Despite being a fan of both authors, I wasn't sure I'd like this book; the dead spouse trope can be a serious turn-off. Grief is not conducive to romance, especially when one of the MCs is completely hung up on what was versus what can be.

Emma, Tanner's deceased wife, was quite present in the story. Her name was mentioned more than a hundred times. Incredibly, this wasn't an issue for me. Indeed, I'd argue that Emma was essential to the plot; she was the catalyst that propelled Tanner towa
Wendy,5 black rating stars

When I read the blurb for this book, I was extremely intrigued...When I saw the names of the authors, I knew I HAD to read it !! I am familiair with, and a fan of, both of their work. I knew a book written by both of them, might very well kill me though... and guess what ?? It nearly did ;)

I loved this story, it was beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. I don't want to spoiler it though, so I am gonna keep my review as vague as possible...Sorry about that (not really) I just think this i
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
EDIT: This doesn't contain spoilers directly but may influence your direction of reading so I shall hide it behind a tag.

(view spoiler)

The beauty of this book, from these two amaz
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Christina Lee’s and Riley Hart’s collaborations are magical. Of Sunlight and Stardust is no exception. This is a beautiful, heart clenching story about Tanner, a bereft widower unable to move past his wife’s death, and Cole, a felon looking to find a place in the world to live as an honest, hard working man. Together they breathe life into each other and Tanner’s property to create a home. The book starts off at a languid pace as their friendship slowly develops into love. The writing is so good ...more
Starr (AKA Bam Bam) Rivers
Glad I came across this book - and all bc of what my GR friends are putting on their feeds! LOVE GR!!

4.5 stars rounded to 5.

The 0.5 off is for the cover - not a huge fan - and maybe, I dunno, just something slightly missing in the novel to make it a complete home run.

Still rounded to a 5 tho. It was very good. Poignant, real, emotional, sexy. Maybe I was hoping for more intense, emotional sexy times... Maybe the 2 men were just a little bit not enough alpha for me, at least 1 of them should be m
Ula'ndi Hart
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Overall book rating: 4.8
Audio Book: N/A
Book Cover: 3.5

Let me give this something more than an emotional ranting 5 minutes after finishing the book.
I think this was right up my alley in the exact same time the mood struck me.

And therefore can I tell you that I found this book “Magical” in its own special way.

To Tom and Charlie...

Tanner and Cole. The relationship building was done really well. I loved having this experience with them. Not only finding their own little place in a world that has
Linda ~ they got the mustard out! ~
DNF @ 30-something %

A grieving husband. A convicted felon who for some odd reason got out of prison without having to do parole, leaving him free to wander about the country. A hidden notebook written by a tortured closet case in the 1940s. Oh, the violin of it all. The drama! The heart-felt pain!

Good grief, y'all. I tried, I really did, but I got bored. Maybe I'm just cold-hearted, but this was not working for me at all.

Bad enough that it was GFY and didn't once attempt to deviate from the tro
*•.¸✽ Damjana ✽¸.•*
Mar 02, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf, lgbtq
DNF at 20%

Obviously I am in minority here, it seems everyone loved this book, but I just can't continue reading it. I loved Tanner and Cole, I see they could be amazing together. Also their story seemed very promising and I was looking forward to get acquainted with them.

But the way how the story is told..... this got on my nerve and I just can't stand it.
I never read book where writing style would be so contradictory to story. Tanner was mourning the death of a spouse, so I should felt his gri
✮5 Stars✮ 💗
A story that emotionally breaks your heart and...Absolutely very beautiful!
I recommend this book to EVERYONE!
girl reading gif - Google Search
Denise H.
***** Seventy years prior, Tom and Charlie's journal entries explain the 1948 attitudes and prejudice. Their deep stolen moments are told, as are the hateful treatment by the people from that period. Tanner bought this farm to honor his wife who died from cancer.

Cole, a felon has been homeless until Tanner asks him to restore the burnt barn. Tanner and Cole find a peace with each other as Cole begins the restoration.

They grow as friends, and share the pages of the old journal Cole found. Tann
Natasha is a Book Junkie
“I read somewhere that we’re all made of sunlight and stardust. So maybe, whenever you look at the sky, from morning till nightfall, you’re connecting with them in some small way.”

There are some books that fill your heart to bursting point and every time you think of them, your heart flutters a little. They are those books that you cannot help but recommend to every one of your friends, and over time, they become some of your favourite re-reads. Riley Hart and Christina Lee’s latest
Going on the blurb this should have been a winner - hurt/comfort, friends to lovers, GFY, ex con trying to start over all mixed in with a twist? Yes please! But it fell short and the good parts that I was waiting for kinda got side swiped with all the mundane day to day happenings. I wanted all the feels and angst and drama, the more the merrier. Instead, this was rather low on the drama with even less angst. 😞

Definitely wasn't wowed.

3.5 stars
BWT (Belen)
Tanner Rowe has bought a house with a burned-out barn because it was his wife, and best friend, Emma's dream inexplicably for them to own the property. But Tanner is in over his head both with the repairs and his grief after losing Emma less than a year before.

Cole Lachlan has recently gotten out of prison, and with no parole to worry about and the only person in his life, his grandfather, that he cared for and cared about him, gone, he drifts along hoping for a break. He winds up in picturesqu

I'm kinda confused about this. While this was Tanner's and Cole's story, I cared more about Tom's and Charlie's story on the background.

Incredibly slow burn for Tanner and Cole. I had a hard time keeping focused with this. It was okay but I was not really a fan of these guys. Like I said I loved Tom & Charlie more..


Those of you who enjoyed the authors' writing style in the past, pick this one up. It's one of their best work. And you get to root for not one but two couples.

I'm always reluctant to pick up a book that takes the reader back to the past, though I don't really have a reason as to why. I enjoyed books in the past that contained a story within a story, though not as much as this one.

I was worried that Tom and Charlie's story might overshadow Tanner and Cole's relationship development. If anything
4.5 Stars!!💕 L❤️VED IT!! This was a tear-jerker 😭 but sweet and sentimental too😍..; and it is hard for me to review this book without giving away any spoilers so I will keep it brief.
Both Cole and Tanner have had a difficult life but they find comfort and friendship in each other when their paths cross in a small town in Michigan. They also find a new purpose in their lives when they start rebuilding the barn (attached to the house Tanner has recently bought) which was burnt down decades ago, f
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 stars.

The review is very vague and it's mainly because it's one of those books you go in blind to enjoy fully. I loved the concept of the story and the character. I loved how well everything flowed considering it was 2 of my favorite authors writing this.

The only reason it's not 5 stars is because it took me a few days to read it and because at times I just couldn't connect to the story.

An arc was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Jun 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4,5 stars for this beautiful book.

So much cries in the end.

Two couples:

Charlie and Tom

Cole and Tanner

I love them.
But Charlie and Tom was so beautiful in their young forbidden love.

Tanner is a young teacher man who just lost his wife to a disease. He bought the house of her dreams in her memory. Then he met Cole, an ex-inmate who just spend 4 years in jail because of some stupids mistakes he made. He hires him to help with repairs in the house. Between these two a friendship slowly took plac
This was a lovely second chance at life story, with a hint of reincarnation/spirituality sprinkled throughout, but not clobbered over the reader's head. Nice. Very nice. Heartwarming and sad at once.

When Tanner Rowe and Cole Lachlan meet they're each at a crossroad in their respective lives: Tanner isn't quite moving on after his wife's death and Cole, without family or friends as a safety net, is finding it almost impossible to reenter society after a stint in prison. After kind-or -sort-of me
Ezinwanyi Chinyere
Living in Truth/Second Chances

I love stories when people find love and second chances after tragedies. It gives hope and reminds us that we just have to put one foot in front of the other and keep going.
Tanner and Cole both are picking themselves up after one of life’s curveballs. They are both kind man and they are trying to find out what kind of men they are in their current state.

The story was low angst, evenly paced and very tender. Tanner always paid homage to his dead wife and that spoke
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5-4 stars!


So this book was a little hard for me to rate, mostly because of the fact that it contains two storylines. The “present” storyline is more detailed, but I was actually more invested in the “past” storyline.

In the “present” we meet Cole, an ex-convict, and Tanner, a recently widowed man. They both meet when Tanner hires Cole to fix the barn in the old house he bought. The old house was actually his late wife’s idea, but he made a promise to her before she died that he’ll move there.
You know it’s a sign of an incredible book when you wake up still thinking about it and start crying all over again. And you’re crying in the shower as you’re getting ready for work. And you’re crying on the drive into work and cursing the lack of sunlight that would allow you to put your sunglasses on so you could hide your tear filled eyes from all the other commuters. And you’re sitting at work trying to hold it together so you can write a review that even kind of makes sense. If you haven’t ...more
Jul 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mm, audible, audio
My poor salt-encrusted, shriveled black heart can't take it. What have you done to me?

Riley Hart and Christina Lee are usually my dream team authors when it comes to steamy m/m books.

I was expecting a story about an ex-con and a grieving widower plus a sexual discovery... yeah!
What I got was a story about an ex-con trying to make it on the outside and a grieving widower trying to honor his late wife while struggling to continue on... plus a sexual discovery AND a tragic story of men in the pas
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: amazing-books
What a beautiful and moving story this was.... At the end I was left speechless with the dedication ceremony for Charlie and Tom. ❤️
While I was more invested in the story playing out in the journal, this was an enjoyable slow-burn, hurt-comfort romance. I was initially worried as I don't always enjoy the trope where a surviving partner takes on something their deceased partner wanted, but they don't really want to do, all while being guided by their voice. Luckily this didn't overwhelm the story and Emma's voice tied into the plot well.

The budding romance between Tanner and Cole was quiet and sweet, with no real angst or ov
Pam Nelson
Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was sad but encouraging at the same time. Tanner and Cole’s connection is fated. I loved that we got to see almost 2 love stories. How they became a couple but also the struggles they faced. I can’t even imagine and I am glad I don’t have to but to have understanding and compassion for someone else situation is key in evolving. Or at least that is how I feel.

Cole has so much to work through and Tanner is so understanding because of his own past that even if he didn’t know it he was he
The FEELS!!!!! I can't even.....

I can't even find the words!
Tears are running down my face.
I ridiculously happy. And devastated.
Overwhelmed because of the LOVE in this story.
Because of the LOVE that transcends the physical and becomes magical.

Is this book about reincarnation? You can choose to believe so and cry your heart out while you sing for joy.

You can also simply believe that this is a book with two parallel stories set 70 years apart. One with a devastating end. One with an HEA.

I li
4.25 Stars

Oh man, I saw that coming but was really hoping for a HEA for Tom & Charlie...but, in a way, I guess they did get one!

And I really liked the build up, the relationship development with Tanner & Cole; LOVED the social commentary on how hard it is for ex-cons to re-establish themselves once released,too. #EndFelonyDisenfranshisement.

Oh, and the audio was amazing. Kale Williams and Tristan James did a great job. (I think the only duo I would love to hear more would be Greg and JF.)
This was low angst, low drama with lots and lots of heart.

The parts about Tom and Charlie broke my heart but at the same time filled me with joy for the simple reason of how pure their love was.

I went through the book in both audio and ebook formats and I must say that I enjoyed both experiences.

This book was very enjoyable with great writing and I must day I totally get why it got nominated for the Lambda Award. Well deserved!
Jane super booklover📚
Beautiful story. Sad with hope and a lot of love. I liked it.
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Riley Hart is the girl who wears her heart on her sleeve. She's a hopeless romantic. A lover of sexy stories, passionate men, and writing about all the trouble they can get into together. If she's not writing, you'll probably find her reading.

Riley lives in California with her awesome family, who she is thankful for everyday.

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