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Mary Jane Hathaway’s A Star to Steer By

Roxie Sunshine Hardy is perfectly happy living in Philadelphia, far away from her hometown. Growing up as a chubby nerd obsessed with classic literature, Roxie finally feels like she’s found her place in the world. She’s kept her full name a secret and has never, ever, ever told a single soul how she spent her high school years. People might think growing up in a family bakery is delightful, but Roxie knows the reality. Spending countless sweaty afternoons inside Sunshine Bakery’s big, pink foam cupcake costume is the stuff of her nightmares.
Those terrible days are behind her now, but when her family needs her, Roxie decides to return to Natchitoches. She assures herself that it’s only for a few weeks, and there isn’t a snowball’s chance in Dante’s Inferno that she’ll have to get into that cupcake suit.
Moving from New York City to Natchitoches shouldn’t be a problem for Andy McBride. The slower pace, Creole culture, and friendly locals make up for the lack of any good Thai take-out. But Andy hasn’t counted on how much he’d miss his brother, Mark. He can’t uproot Mark from his group home for the mentally disabled back in New York, so Andy tries to go on as usual. To everyone else, including his fascinating neighbor from Philly, he’s living the carefree life of a wealthy bachelor, but Andy is haunted by the knowledge that Mark might not be around for much longer.
When an unlikely friendship blossoms with Sunshine Bakery’s anonymous dancing cupcake, Andy decides to stop pretending to be someone he’s not. He learns seizing the day isn’t just for poets, and life is too short to be without the people you love. A story of family, loyalty, and a true love that can’t be disguised, A Star to Steer By will warm your heart.

Review

So I’ve been in kind of a reading slump lately (hence the light reviews) and I started this book not expecting much (not due to the write, due to my writing slump) and found myself pulled in and completely invested. My thoughts:

What I liked:

This is the fourth book in the series, and though each novel can function as a standalone, it was was still nice to be in this town with these familiar characters.

Andy. He was a fully developed realized hero. He had flaws, and yet there was something really wonderful about Andy. Sometimes you read romance novels and the guys are so perfect, you know you’ll never meet someone like that. But with Andy, he’s definitely the guy next door and that made him all the more attractive.

Roxie. She was a lot of fun. Sometimes she’s a bit of a grump, but she also has a great sense of humor and quick wit. It’s not too often I like heroines, but Hathaway writes some great ones.

The romance. It just worked. Andy and Roxie became good friends before they started dating and this romance was classic showing instead of telling. You could see them falling for each other.

Spiritually, the book is kind of light. It’s assumed they are all believers. They pray, but no real spiritual moment.

What I didn’t like:

To a degree, both Andy and Roxie spend a lot of time on their fears and sometimes it felt a bit forced. Their fears were legit, but…

Romantic scale: 8

Overall, a solid conclusion and fun read and the perfect thing to pull me out of my reading slump!

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