Sunday, September 7, 2014

Review: Flying by Megan Hart

FlyingSeries: Standalone
Genre: Erotic Romance

Series: Standalone
Genre: Erotic Romance
Publisher: Harlequin MIRAPublication Date: 4/29/14
Format: eARC
Pages: 384
Source: Publisher
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.
My Review

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...controversial? scandalous? actions as negatives, I only became more intrigued. Most adult fiction I read is third-person (which I enjoy) and I wanted to know why Stella goes flying.

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.

Favorite Quotes
  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.

Megan HartMegan Hart has written in almost every genre of romantic fiction, including historical, contemporary, romantic suspense, romantic comedy, futuristic, fantasy and perhaps most notably, erotic. She also writes non-erotic fantasy and science fiction, as well as continuing to occasionally dabble in horror.

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  1. Well, you just convinced me to look this one up. I have never read a book by this author, but now I'm intrigued. This sounds really good! Wonderful review!

  2. I love when there's a romance but the story is about more than that. RMM does that well too. This one sounds complicated (in a good way) and interesting.

  3. I'm so glad you enjoyed this.

  4. "others blamed Stella's...hmmm...controversial? scandalous? actions as negatives" I'm skipping reviews then, because they'll probably just piss me off. Thankfully yours is the first and probably only one I'll read. Because HELL YES I'm going to read this.

  5. I know I have this, I intended to read this a long time ago but then I hit an erotica wall and put it on the side. Now from your feedback, I like the sound of this. It's not the sex I detest but I want a lot of juice and meat (pun intended) to go with the story. Sex is sex, I think I've read enough, it's the how and why of it all that I'm interested in.

  6. Sounds interesting and very intriguing but probably not for me. Great review though

  7. Huh. This sounds pretty darned intriguing! Yeah, it's not a romance but I like that it contains romance -- sounds like the MC needs it.

  8. I was with you till you said the words women's fiction. I don't know why but I cringe when I hear those words I have tried so many books that are considered chick lit or women's fiction and I can never get into them. I do better when it is in the category of romance although this one does sound like a real life romance which I do like. UGH I'm so torn!
    I'm really glad you loved it though!
    Thanks for the great review!

  9. Oh yay! Slow burn as we all know is the bestessst! It actually sounds like it's emotional and sexy like The Opportunist was for me. I love the sound of this one! "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." THIS x 10000! I love stories that offer more than just a hot romance so this sounds right up my alley. I hope you enjoy Hart's next novel seeing as you can already read it :)

  10. Wow, Andrea. Flying sounds incredible. I love a book that really makes me think - when I want to figure out why a character is doing the things they're doing. It's fascinating to me. I'm really going to have to pick up a MHart book - you seem to have really enjoyed her. :)

  11. Fabulous review. This one sounds really hot.


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