by Megan Hart
read by Abby Craden
Harlequin MIRA (April 29, 2014)
Paperback: 384 pages, E-Book, Tantor Audio 10.5 hours (REVIEW FORMAT)
E-Galley and Audio provided by publishers. No remuneration was exchanged. All opinions presented are my own except as noted.
Ever Hear of Wanderlust?
Every other weekend, Stella buys a ticket on the next flight out of town and leaves her life behind. Home is a place with too many memories, and departure is the sweetest possible distraction.
As soon as she arrives at her destination, Stella visits the airport bar. She orders a drink and waits for the right guy to come along. A bored businessman, a backpacker, a baggage handler just off shift. If he’s into a hot, no-strings hookup, he’s perfect. Each time is a thrilling escape from reality that gives the term layover a whole new meaning.
When Stella meets the enigmatic Matthew in Chicago one weekend, she hits some serious turbulence. Something about him tells her she’s not the only one running from the past. The connection between them is explosive, and for the first time, one taste is not enough for Stella. But returning to find a gorgeous man waiting for her is the easy part—facing the reason she’s there is a whole other matter…. MeganHart.com
Megan’s stories always leave me in intense admiration of her abilities as a writer and story teller. They are always gritty and push boundaries, and they always have lots of sex. She is incisive, surgical, unflinching as she exposes the heart and souls of her characters in all their beauty and ugliness, often through their sexuality.
It’s hard to like Stella; she’s closed off from herself, from everyone. The only time she feels anything is having sex with a stranger. But, who is she helping or hurting in the scenario? It’s equally hard to like her son, her ex, her friend Craig, or Matthew as we only really see them through her eyes which really don’t see anything with pleasure.
Something awful has happened to Stella, but it takes a long time for Stella to tell us what it is, and even then she cannot believe she has. Until then she did not even tell her best friend. We get very brief glimpses; clues, really once in a while, but it is not for some time that we learn her secret.
When Stella “flies” and “meets” men, she often wears another persona. But, when she goes home her life is still the same with this tragedy closing her off from the world, from herself.
Megan’s books take you past the body parts and the sex acts to the heart of the matter. The sex, when humans are most naked and vulnerable, is the foil against which she operates. The book is not about the sex.
It really is rather amazing. It’s not always pleasant. And, it sure as all hell is not a “romance novel.” Her books are rarely “romance” and I don’t know that I would say they are erotic. The sex scenes are tools for the dissection, the sex is her scalpel.
The writing is excellent, the imagery superb and the dialogue is spot on, genuine, true. The book touches on grief, sex, belonging, admission, pain, loss, love. If Stella never loves again, she will never have to fully face her terrible secret. She can leave this part of herself at home every other weekend, right? Can we ever leave our emotions somewhere, though? Can we fly away from ourselves?
While the ending is uncertain, I certainly wasn’t expecting it and it felt more hopeful than the rest of the book.
I had a hard time understanding what time line the story is in when Stella meets up with her old friend Craig. I think she was reminiscing, but then I am not sure. It was confusing and may have more to do with having listened to the book rather than reading it. At times I liked Abby’s narration and other times I found it grating. Of course, I would find Stella grating at times too. Sometimes she is normal and other times she is shrill, and hard. The language can be rough. If you are completely opposed to hearing the “C” word then you should be prepared. It is used 14 times in the 10.5 hour long narration. Once I got used to it it was okay. Occasionally Abby feels a little too breathy. Other than that she does a good job.
If you have read Megan Hart, you know that in operating on her characters’ hearts she is also entering yours and flaying any part of you with a similar broken quality, and failing that (you have no broken bits) you will feel for the characters. Beyond erotica, her books are just damn good! HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!
I am giving away the audiobook in the single Mp-3 CD Tantor sent me. It is the one I used to listen to the book so it is used.
You just need to comment below and fill out the Rafflecopter form.
You can say anything in your comment as long as it is civil. But here are a couple of ideas if you wish. Answer one or both or say something completely different.
- Do you think you can fly away and avoid facing your problems?
- Have you ever just flown somewhere last minute without getting a ticket ahead of time?
- What’s your favorite weekend destination?
I will be sending the package via media mail. The giveaway is open to US Shipping and you must be at least 18 to enter. Entry constitutes verification of age.
Further terms and conditions on form.