A Star to Steer Her By
by Beth Anne Miller
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Genre: Contemporary romance
Release Date: March 20th, 2017
Rating: ★★★ (3.75 stars)
I’m scarred. Broken. I’ll never be the same.
But I will take this journey.
Ever since my last dive ended in bloodshed, I’ve been terrified to go back into the water. But the opportunity to spend a semester at sea is too good to pass up. I need to get my life back.
I never expected to love it this much. And I never expected Tristan MacDougall.
Rugged, strong, and with demons of his own, Tristan helps me find the courage I thought I had lost and heals me with every stolen moment we share. But the rules of the ship mean we can't be together.
When a dive excursion goes terribly wrong, our only hope for survival is each other.
I wasn't sure quite what to expect from this book being honest. It sounded engaging, so while the first pages didn't suck me in completely, I soon found myself falling in love with the characters and the whole sailing experience. It felt like catching a glimpse of a world (the sailing one) but didn't overwhelm me with technical details. I enjoyed how the sailing trip was portrayed as this magical experience, but didn't try to sugarcoat the less glamorous aspects of it and stayed true to what the experience is. The diving and ocean scenes were so vivid, and I can't help but want to attempt to go diving myself, to see all the beautiful fish and sea mammals and gorgeous view from a boat.
Ari, the heroine, is easily likable and I admired her courage so much. She's been through a tough traumatic experience in the ocean before, and while she's hurting physically and mentally, she was trying, and I couldn't help but be drawn in by that resilient core. I loved her passion and enthusiasm for sailing, and how she worked really hard, even if she did get distracted at times by the handsome crew member. Tristan is swoony, to say the least, and though his looks and Scottish accent would have charmed me anyway, I loved how caring and respectful he was towards Ari. He has some pain of his own to work out, but he also has that deep passion for sailing which easily connected him with Ari. The no hooking up rule between them is a very palpable thing, and while you know they're going to hook up at some point, I did like that the actual physical aspects were slowly intensified along with the emotional connection they shared. The romance was sweet and slowly built up, something I had been slightly worried would get reduced to instalove, but I felt the chemistry and tension every delicious step of the way. Those kisses were seriously swoony, I can attest that the chemistry definitely delivered.
Kevin and Jenny are two side characters who are both enjoyable in their own way. Kevin is a great guy, and I loved his friendship with Ari, they both joke around with each other but you can see the camaraderie is built on their very real bond. Jenny was a character who was introduced as snobby and not quite in touch with the whole sailing thing, but she did win me over, especially after how she thawed down the longer they were on the ship.
It wasn't a full four stars for me mostly because in general, I try to reserve those for books that reach my heart and soul on a different level, and this one didn't quite reach there, unfortunately. I also felt the synopsis is a bit misleading, since the dive excursion occurs quite late in the book, contrary to what I expected. But overall, it was thoroughly enjoyable and I recommend this to anyone who wants to get lost in romance and passion for at least a few hours.
Thank you to Entangled for the review copy.
About the Author
Beth Anne Miller’s first book, written in elementary school, was bound in pink fabric and was about—what else?—a girl and her horse. She soon began cheating on horses with the sea, becoming an open water scuba diver at age 14. That love of the sea led her to a college semester aboard a schooner. She returned with fond memories of the exhilaration of being on a ship under full sail, less fond memories of hurling over the leeward rail on a daily basis, and a sailing bug she couldn’t quite shake.
In addition to horses and the sea, she has a fascination for all things Scottish (including, but not limited to, men in kilts), which she explored with her first novel, INTO THE SCOTTISH MIST (The Wild Rose Press, 2011), and carried into her new novel, A STAR TO STEER HER BY (Entangled Embrace, March 2017). A native New Yorker, Beth Anne works in the publishing industry and is always looking ahead to her next voyage, whether a short one on a dive boat or whale watch, or, with luck, a longer one on a tall ship.