4 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Joe Cosentino, Reviewed by Lisa

Review: A Shooting Star by Joe Cosentino

Title: A Shooting Star (An In My Heart Novella )

Author: Joe Cosentino

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 98 Pages

At a Glance: This novella deliberately mines a deeper, darker, more emotional vein than book one in the “In My Heart” series.

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: On the eve of the best night of his life, winning an Academy Award, Jonathan Bello thinks back to his one great love, David Star.

Flipping back the pages of time, Jonathan recalls his handsome, muscular, and charismatic college roommate. Since Jonathan was a freshman and David a senior in the Theatre Department, David took Jonathan under his wing and molded him, not only as an actor but as a lover. With every wonderful new adventure, David left his joyful mark on anyone with whom they came in contact, but Jonathan soon uncovered David’s dark past, leading to a shocking event. Undaunted, Jonathan celebrates the captivating man who will always hold a special place in his heart.

A Bittersweet Dreams title: It’s an unfortunate truth: love doesn’t always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.

Dividers

Review: As in his novella An Infatuation, book one in the “In My Heart” series, author Joe Cosentino once again takes a brief and bittersweet look at love in A Shooting Star, the story of a love unrequited—or, rather, a love resisted by a young man who thought himself undeserving of the gift.

Once again taking place in the world of theater, a profession of which the author writes with no small amount of authority and personal experience, A Shooting Star contains all of the emotional drama but perhaps a bit less of the levity of its predecessor in this series. This novella deliberately mines a deeper, darker, more emotional vein as we watch college senior and theater major David Star take freshman Johnny Falabella under his wing, transform him into Jonathan Bello, and then proceed to keep Jonathan at an emotional arm’s length while also gathering the young and virginal Johnny into the irresistible orbit that is David Star.

David himself is a contrast, seeming at once a one-dimensional stereotype, when in reality, David is a student of life who possesses a deft hand at not only reading people but relating to them on a personal level. Every encounter David wades into, luring Johnny along with him—whether it’s hitchhiking with strangers, chatting up a teenage throwaway in a nightclub, or charming the girl at the movie theater box office—David uses these moments as a means of counselling and showing the reader a more layered look into his character. But, he also uses those moments as a teaching tool to help Johnny tap into a deeper well of method acting. In the end, we also learn that David’s life isn’t at all as shiny and golden as it might seem on the surface, notching our empathy level up along with those revelations.

There is a recurring theme in this series, it being that first love isn’t always a lasting love, and that even a tragic end doesn’t necessarily mean the end of happiness; it simply means these characters–in this case, Johnny–followed a bit of a different path to find a love that was right there in front of him all along. A love that was built upon friendship. This theme is delivered with charm and an undeniable truth that resonates with anyone who has loved and lost, and then, has gone on to love again.

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