Dana reviews Flare (North Star Book 3) by Posy Roberts (Published by Dreamspinner Press, January 12, 2014, 330 pages)
Why I read this book: I have been wanting to finish the read and review of this series for a long time and with the blurb I thought it would be good for last week’s angst theme. I didn’t get it done fast enough, but I still wanted to share my thoughts on this series ending book.
To read my review of the YA prequel novel Private Display of Affection click here.
To read my review of Spark (North Star Book 1) click here.
To read my review of Fusion click here.
Sequel to Fusion
North Star: Book Three
Hugo Thorson and Kevin Magnus are learning to live again after the death of Kevin’s wife, Erin. They’re doing everything they can to make a stable home for Kevin’s kids, but that stability is threatened when Kevin is served legal documents: Erin’s parents want custody of Brooke and Finn.
Meanwhile, Hugo is offered several acting jobs; to encourage him to take them, Kevin hires a nanny who is very hands-on with the kids. But Hugo feels distanced from his new family, so he makes the decision to leave his eclectic neighborhood and moves in with Kevin. He quickly finds he has a hard time fitting in with the suburbanites, and Kevin’s passive-aggressive “friends” make Hugo feel anything but welcome. Yet he keeps his concerns a secret and tries to take it all in stride.
When Brooke is bullied about having two dads, Hugo realizes his mere presence might be doing more harm than good. The stress will force him to make a choice: does he stay and fight for the family he loves, or does he walk away to let them live in peace?
*********Warning!!*********** There may be spoilers in this review if you haven’t read the previous books in this series. I did my best to not include anything not already given away in the blurb but it is important to let you know this series really should be read in order. Each book continues from the story before, with a series HEA and no cliffhangers.
After years and years apart, Hugo and Kevin found a second chance at romance with each other. In the first book, it was about them trying to fit together after living such different lives and especially for Hugo to decide if he wants a relationship with a man who has children from a wife he’s on the brink of divorcing. The second book, might arguably be the angstier story, when they discover that Kevin’s soon to be ex is dying. Kevin can’t throw her out of his life and off his insurance in a time like this, not to mention that the kids need both of their parents at that time. Hugo had to find a way to fit in and I thought the second book handled the situation wonderfully for all those involved. It was sad to read because I came to care about Erin even if it seemed like she was in the way of the two men getting together.
In Flare, I was expecting there to be a bit of adjustment as the grieving family (including Hugo) prepared to move past the loss and try to fit into their semi-conservative neighborhood with the new changes. Because of the love that Hugo, Kevin, and the kids shared, I did expect it to be less complicated than it was. From the blurb, I could see there was a high chance of angst in this book. Between school bullies, and Erin’s parents trying to take away the kids, the relationship would not be easy. To be honest, it ended up being less emotional than I thought.Yes, Kevin and Hugo were very nervous, and at times, Hugo wondered if he should leave so that Kevin wouldn’t have to fight this fight. Though the courtroom drama ended quickly, it wasn’t quite the end of the fight with Kevin’s in-laws.
Later when angry letters came in the mail and kids, bullied Kevin’s daughter Brooke, and friendly neighbors belittled Hugo and his relationship with Kevin, I began to feel more frightened. Kevin wasn’t the type to walk away from Hugo and I love him for that because if it wasn’t for the strength of his love for Hugo, there might not have been a happy ending. Communication issues on Hugo’s part and the hostility he faced made it look like he would run for the hills. Kevin was able to show him his love and his willingness to make Hugo happy. With discussion and some changes, they were able to get through this as a couple and a family.
There were so many bright spots in this story between the love of Hugo and Kevin, and Brooke’s learning to be confident in herself and not let the bullying affect her. Hugo’s best friend Summer is very present in this story and besides seeing their great friendship help Hugo weather some of the problems, her own romance with Erin’s brother created an even tighter and more blended family dynamic when they asked Hugo and Kevin to help them with something very important.
I was happy with the different emotions the author was able to bring out in me – anger at Kevin’s in-laws, worry and sorrow at the things Hugo and Brooke had to go through, and most of all.happiness that Hugo, Kevin, Brooke, Finn, even Summer and Russell were all happy and well adjusted. At the end of this book, I was feeling satisfied with the individual novel and the whole series. It was happiness but more contentment. Would I like to see more of these characters? Yes! I would love to see how they face more things in the future, like Brooke’s first boyfriend, or the kids learning about Hugo’s drag career. I want to know, but I don’t need to know. The author did such a wonderful job telling this story of coming together and persevering through hard times, that I know whatever happens later for this family that they will be just fine. I definitely recommend the whole series.
10/10 Pots of Gold (100% Recommended) – Compares to 5/5 Stars
Real. Genuine. Love.
Posy Roberts writes about the realistic struggles of men looking for love. Whether her characters are family men, drag queens, or lonely men searching for connections, they all find a home in her stories.
Posy is a Jill of all trades and master of the drill and paintbrush. She’s married to a partner who makes sure she doesn’t forget to eat or sleep during her writing frenzies. Her daughter, a budding author and cinematographer, helps her come up with character names. For fun, Posy enjoys crafting, hiking, and singing spontaneously about the mundane, just to make regular life more interesting