Author: Carla Caruso
Genre: Contemporary Romance
~ Synopsis ~
Is love really written in the stars?
Fledgling romance author Simona Gemella is hoping the rugged wilderness of South Australia’s Kangaroo Island will help reignite her creative spark after her husband walked out on her (calling her a workaholic and filing for divorce).
She’s joined her best friend, Nessie, on a health and wellness retreat at a mysterious old manor on the island, run by an astrology guru.
Though Simona’s sworn off men, she can’t help being distracted by a darkly dangerous man with a scorpion tattoo – Denham Cobalt – who’s also staying at the manor. Then strange things start to happen, including uncanny accidents and even a possible murder.
It all culminates at a masquerade party on the night of a total lunar eclipse. Will Simona survive – with her heart intact?
~ Book Review~
Despite the title, Starcrossed, and a reference to astrology in the description, I hadn’t expected the novel to be obsessed with anything and everything to do with astrological signs. I’m not a believer in astrology and I certainly don’t think a person’s personality is effected by the time of which in which they are born. Unfortunately, this non-belief had me rolling my eyes on several occasions and wondering when the references were going to stop.
I couldn’t find a character in the novel to like. Simona was self-absorbed and obsessive. She wasn’t filled with journalistic curiosity – she was just plain nosey all the time. The other female characters were so busy trying to pretend they were someone else that no one was actually enjoying the retreat. And the men – what a bunch of jerks. The main male, Denham, was so hot and cold I literally wanted to punch him.
I found the first 75% of the story quite boring. I liked the different points of view and the writing style, but until I was on the last quarter of the book I had a hard time caring about the characters or their story. The end of the story had a bit of suspense and some interesting storylines. I can’t help thinking that the book would have been more fun and interesting to read if these storylines were developed more and earlier.
Based on the writing alone, I would definitely try another book by Caruso – assuming astrology wasn’t the main theme.
I received a complimentary copy of the novel from the author in return for an honest review.
~ About the Author ~
Carla Caruso was born in Adelaide, grew up amid a boisterous extended Italian family – yet somehow managed to become a bookworm… Carla always wanted to be a novelist, annoying the kindergarten teachers by dictating long, detailed stories to them. It just took her a while to realise her childhood dream – journalism seemed a more practical course. Her media career has included stints as a newspaper and magazine journalist, government PR and fashion stylist. These days, she works as a freelance journalist and copywriter. She began seriously writing fiction three years ago when she went freelance full-time. The romance genre appeals as she is a sucker for rom-coms (especially if Channing Tatum is in the mix) and likes to think her Italian ancestry means she lives with passion. Hobbies include watching trashy TV shows, fashion (her mum named her after Carla Zampatti!), astrology and running.