Nia Forrester's Reviews > Falling Stars

Falling Stars by Xio Axelrod
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it was amazing
bookshelves: angsty-romance, new-indie-discoveries, series, women-s-fiction

This is a new writer for me. And like every new writer you "discover", there's a mix of emotions--a sense of elation that you found them, and a sense of betrayal that they've been hiding from you. Xio Axelrod's book 'Falling Stars' was a risk for me, because when I picked it up, I knew it was the beginning of a series, and I'm generally not a fan of those where each book ends inconclusively. First of all, this isn't one of those. 'Falling Stars' can stand on its own, whether or not another book about this couple is ever written, and second, the writing itself was so good that I didn't care if it ended in the steepest of cliffhangers (it didn't).

So ... about the book. Val Saunders is an actress on the rise and Sam Newman is an actor standing still. She's young and vivacious and he's just past the Hollywood prime, and stuck in a marriage of convenience. Convenient for his wife anyway, but for him, simply painful, lonely and stagnant. When Val and Sam are cast in a new hit series that bears a striking resemblance to the real life hit 'Scandal', the chemistry between them is immediate and difficult to ignore. But Sam is not one to betray his marriage vows no matter how imperfect the marriage, and Val is definitely not the kind of Hollywood starlet who casually hooks up with her co-stars, married or otherwise.

Given that, you wonder, how are we going to get a sense of that hot-as-hell chemistry? Not to fear. Xio Axelrod makes the genius choice of having Sam and Val live out their passion in the scenes they play for the television series. Their kisses, embraces and (most) of their physical encounters happen in the context of their characters, torturing them both as they fight against the urge to embark upon a relationship they both believe would be wrong. But the need to abstain in the real world forces Sam and Val to get to know each other on a much deeper level, and they forge a bond that is unmistakable and just leaps off the page.

I love this kind of writing about relationships, where the writer is able to show the growth of an emotional connection without resorting to sex just to convince us that connection is there. The doubt, longing, and delicious wait for intimacy were incredibly well done in this book. As were the occasional pretty impressive turns of phrase. This wasn't just a "good love story", it was a well-written and layered book. While I certainly look forward to the next installment, this one felt complete.
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Reading Progress

December 11, 2015 – Started Reading
December 11, 2015 – Shelved
December 19, 2015 – Shelved as: angsty-romance
December 19, 2015 – Shelved as: new-indie-discoveries
December 19, 2015 – Shelved as: series
December 19, 2015 – Shelved as: women-s-fiction
December 19, 2015 – Finished Reading

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