New Release ARC Review: Starlight Nights by Stacey Kade
Starlight Nights by Stacey Kade releases today and it is technically a sequel to 738 Days, which I absolutely loved, but it can be read as a standalone. Thank you to Stacey and Forge Books for sending me an ARC for review, which in no way influences my honest thoughts below.
Category: New Adult, Mature, Contemporary Romance
Publication: January 9th, 2018; Forge Books
At twenty-three, Calista Beckett is trying to overcome her early fame and fortune. The former savior of the world on Starlight is now a freshman at college–miles away from L.A. and her former existence. She sees it as her start to a new life, a normal life, one where she won’t make the same mistakes she made before–a brush with heroin addiction and losing her freedom to her controlling mother, thanks to a court order.
Eric Stone played her older brother, Byron, on Starlight. But she’s been in love with him pretty much since they kissed–her first kiss–while auditioning. When Eric shows up on campus out of the blue asking her to return to California for a role, Calista’s struck immediately by two things: first, in spite of everything that’s happened, she still feels something dangerous for him, and second, she’s absolutely determined not to let him ruin her life again.
Only Eric’s not giving up so easily.
We’re always clawing our way out of someone else’s definition of us.
Starlight Nights is full of flawed characters, second chances, and smoking hot romance. Do you even need more reasons than the above?! Starlight Nights is a new adult, romance, and is the sequel to 738 Days, but it follows different characters, and can be read as a standalone. However, 738 Days was a rollercoaster ride of emotion and I highly recommend it, and those characters are revisited in the sequel!
These angsty, brooding, and broken characters are exactly what I love in my second chance romances. Both of these tropes are my absolute favorite. Calista was a 16 year old, teenage actor on the super popular Starlight TV show, and fell in love with her coworker, Eric. Eric was an older established actor, who’s father is a huge TV producer in Hollywood. Their chemistry was so persuasive that not only is there still a massive fandom surviving on fanfiction written about them, but the TV show even explored and alternate universe plot to get them on screen romantically.
Of course I mentioned that these characters were broken. So much pain, and lack of love and support for these characters. They all screwed up big time. Including Calista. She decides to try and go to college and avoid her former life, but even in this small town, they all still treat her as different. Eric wants to prove himself as a producer without his father’s help and buys the rights to one of Calista’s favorite books. He hopes to make a web series and help Calista come back to Hollywood.
Of course these two have been stifling their feelings for each other and they are so captivating, everyone can sense their magnetism. But they both are dealing with serious family and personal baggage, especially with each other, and Chase their 3rd former co-star. They all need each other and they need to help work through their pasts and move towards the future.
Now I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how delicious and sizzling the romance is between Calista & Eric. I mean whoa. But they both are dealing with extremely serious issues including mental abuse, drug and alcohol abuse, and overall the tabloid issues we as non-Hollywood types hear about in the papers. They have a lot going on, and most of the time they aren’t talking to each other either. Hell I had serious issues even liking Eric’s character, but I understood him and they all deserved their redemption.
Without giving anything away, I had one small issue with one of the romantic relationships in the story. I understood the conflict it brought into the story, but I feel like, I would have been fine without it. I know super vague, but it is a spoiler and I don’t want to influence anyone’s reading experience.
So let me sum this up, this is a perfect example of exactly what I want in my new adult romance. Broken, flawed characters, full of self-exploration and development. Sweet and smoking hot romance, and the hope and strength that love can overcome even the worst of ourselves. Starlight Nights has it all.