Genre: Erotic Romance
Genre: Erotic Romance
Publisher: Harlequin MIRAPublication Date: 4/29/14
Rating: 5 stars
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 and facing the reason she's there is a whole other matter.
Flying was so... Intriguing! The synopsis gives a good depiction of the plot, but honestly, it's so much more. More sexy, more complex, more heartbreaking. It was a real slow burn. I could not bear to put it aside once I got going. I have to say, I loved it. This book is one that is really hard to review, because there is so much to cover. Stella seems like a complex woman, but at the heart of it, she's simply heartbroken. Her story was one of loneliness and longing. It was bittersweet and crushing. It was shocking at times, and so sexy. There was growth and a sort of emotional redemption. It was just, very big.
Now, when I took Flying into consideration, I looked at some reviews. While several cited the third-person narrative as a negative, and others blamed Stella's...hmmm...
Here's the deal: Stella goes "flying" to have one night stands. Some call that slutty (which I hate), but I don't care. I wanted to know why. Why the escape, the anonymity, the lack of emotional connection? The author nailed her characterization and I understood Stella. I don't have to relate to a character's every decision as long as it feels authentic. I don't need to approve of the character's actions to like a story, I just need to get it. But to be honest, I didn't necessarily disapprove of Stella, because I got her. I got why she needed emotional distance, the longing looks from men, the control.
Flying is not a love story, though it does contain a love story. Does that make sense? Stella meets Matthew on one of her flying weekends, in an airport bar. The two hit it off, and before Stella can stop herself, she's falling for him. Matthew's divorced, with two young daughters and an ex who doesn't seem to realize there are boundaries between them now. His pull to be a good dad, and guilt
towards his ex has Matthew torn between Stella and his family. Stella doesn't pull him back, but she needs to know that she isn't an afterthought. This dynamic was really interesting. As was their developing relationship. At times, I thought Matthew was wonderful. And he was. At other times, I felt he was inconsiderate. And he was. Like Stella, Matthew has an interesting past, one I found surprising and very well done. I truly liked the two together and hoped they could make it work, through the responsibilities and distance between them.
I think I would categorize Flying as women's fiction with strong romantic and erotic elements. Lately I've found I can't get enough women's fiction, and I can never turn away from the sexy. I finished Flying with a huge sense of satisfaction, and despite the angst, I felt content. The story was intriguing, the writing was excellent and now I'm wondering: where has Megan Hart been my whole life. I have an advance copy of her next release and guys, I'm so, so excited.
He moved to her, spooning. His body fit hers as naturally as though it had been made to fit her. His mint-scented breath warmed the back of her neck, and his fingers curved to her belly.
It was what her body had been waiting for. That embrace, as unexpected as the one at the sink, but as needed. Stella relaxed into him. Her breathing slowed. Her eyes closed. She began to drift.
"I kept waiting for you to come back," she heard him say, and his words ought to have startled her into wakefulness, but instead they eased Stella into dreams.
There's a difference between treading water and swimming. In one you're keeping youself from drowning. In the other, you're making it to shore.
Sorrow is as insidious as water; if left to its own methods it will fill in every crack and crevice. Water can break apart rocks and sorrow can break a person. Stella's sorrow had worked its way into every part of her and had tried to drown her, but it had not yet completely broken her.