The Silence of the Stars
Title : The Silence of the Stars
Author : Kate McMurray
Publisher : Dreamspinner Press (BUY HERE)
Genre : M/M, Contemporary
Length : 200 pages (e-book)
Published : September 30, 2014
Rating : ★★★★
A Spin-off of The Stars that Tremble
Sandy Sullivan has gotten so good at covering up his emotions, he’s waiting for someone to hand him an Oscar. On the outside, he’s a cheerful, funny guy, but his good humor is the only thing keeping awful memories from his army tours in Afghanistan at bay. Worse, Sandy is now adrift after breaking up with the only man who ever understood him, but who also wanted to fix him the way Sandy’s been fixing up his new house in Brooklyn.
Everett Blake seems to have everything: good looks, money, and talent to spare. He parlayed a successful career as a violinist into a teaching job at Manhattan’s elite Olcott School and until four months ago, he even had the perfect boyfriend. Now he’s on his own, trying to give his new apartment some personality, even if it is unkempt compared to the perfect home he shared with his ex. When hiring a contractor to renovate his kitchen sends Sandy barreling into his life, Everett is only too happy to accept the chaos… until he realizes he’s in over his head.
Sandy Sullivan was just supposed to remodel Everett Blake’s kitchen. Both men were incredibly attracted to the other but failed to act. Surprisingly, Everett, the shy violinist stepped up and asked Sandy out for a drink. After going to a gay bar both men realized that yes, they were both gay and both interested. Unfortunately, neither man has realized the other is actually looking for a long term relationship. Everett is not a casual dater and never has been. Sandy can have short term casual relationships, but he’s been wanting to start a life with a husband and settle down to have kids for years. He spent so much time in the closet in the military he fears he’s missed his opportunity to get the family he really wants. Sandy also doesn’t want to tell Everett about his problems with PTSD. Unfortunately for Sandy, he was only able to hide his PTSD until he accidentally fell asleep at Everett’s apartment. Sandy has to admit to the nightmares he suffers. Sandy decides to go see a therapist to deal with his problems. Everett is left wondering just how severe Sandy’s problems really are and if he’s going to be able to handle them in the long term. Both men are telling themselves they’ll stay in the relationship casually, and they’ll have fun with no strings attached.
Things work well for Everett and Sandy for a long time. They’re happy despite the fact Sandy still hasn’t shown Everett his house and admitted he wants a husband and children, and Everett still hasn’t dealt with his parents who will undoubtedly want Everett to be with someone more educated, more polished, and from a better family background. Everett really doesn’t care what his family thinks. He has no problems whatsoever being a violinist in love with a builder and his family’s opinion doesn’t affect his. He just has to get Sandy to realize that and accept Everett is really in the relationship for the long haul, despite the PTSD, and including kids.
I love Kate McMurray’s use of New York as a backdrop for her story. It is at turns descriptive of everything including the scent of trash, and also reliant upon our knowledge of the city’s neighborhoods to help describe the characters’ social background. I also love that I never feel talked down to to when reading a book of hers.
Sandy and Everett were both flawed and in their own way not self aware. That they had just come from relationships with controlling men was a nice twist. In some ways Sandy and Everett were the guys next door. Neither of them had larger than life personalities which was rather comforting. Unfortunately, it can be rather too comforting. I felt the book was perfectly crafted, but in some ways I was not blown away by Sandy and Everett and their story. That’s not to say I disliked them, as I absolutely did like them. I like that we have a story of PTSD that I can actually relate to. I will meet someone like Sandy at some point in my life, or likely already have. The guy next door needs a story just as much as the man in the mansion on the hill, or the urchin crawling his way out of the gutter.
Rated 4 stars by Faye