Title: North Star Bundle Books 1 – 3
Author: Posy Roberts
Genre: Contemporary, Coming of Age, First love – second chance
Length: 3 Novels (876 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (5th August 2016)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts
Blurb: Hugo and Kevin were best friends and secret lovers in high school, but a chance meeting years later proves that the spark that drew them together before is still there. In Spark, Hugo and Kevin must try to put together a relationship while overcoming the obstacles of coming out, divorce and children. In Fusion, an unexpected illness may tear apart all they’ve been building. And in Flare, though they’ve finally settled together happily, outside forces are working hard to upset their family.
Spark Review: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts
At first I was daunted by the length of this book, thinking it could have been culled a bit. The further I got, the more glued to the pages I was, however! There were many layers to this story and the quality of the authors writing is great. Often times I felt myself caught in a dreamlike mentality that was perfect for the main characters’ remembrances.
This story is about coming of age and self-discovery, yes, but it also made me examine my own relationships more closely and see things I have never considered before. There are many different types of intimacy exhibited, intimacy among best friends, lovers, family, some that are sexual, some that blur lines and I think that’s all part of the strength of this novel. Another strong theme throughout this story is the conscious part of the main characters to understand their relationships with others, both failed and successful and to understand how problematic cycles repeat, and how to break them. Kevin finally finds his way to breaking a cycle of a cruel and domineering father, so he can do better himself, and he educates himself how to be a better one for his own family. Hugo and Summer both openly discuss their own cycles of repeating bad relationships and how to avoid the same problems in the future.
Hugo, most importantly, gets over his fears and acknowledges how he doesn’t want to sabotage his renewed relationship with Kevin by hiding parts of himself. Realizing he needs to begin this second chance, with eyes wide open on both sides.
Roberts does a wonderful job setting a scene, defining that atmosphere in which an encounter or important moment takes place. She’s excellent at building up tension, and at hinting towards a major shift about to happen. I also took comfort in a familiarity with the Midwest setting, the whole lake cottage phenomenon and the language and culture of the Midwest. As a Michigan girl, I grinned at familiar phrases and past times. I read this book later into the early hours of the morning because I couldn’t put it down. As I normally read something of this length in segments that’s saying a lot! Bravo Posy, I look forward to the next installment in the series!
If you’re looking for something deeper, something special and something truly passionate…grab this book!
Fusion Review: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts
I read this story from the perspective of someone who lost her mother to cancer, discovered at stage four, that took her life fast and ugly. I cared for her at home until the moment she died in my arms. I know what the decision is like to take care of a loved one with a terminal illness and a short prognosis. It’s not really a decision. You do it, because the alternative would be even more painful, even more damaging to one’s emotions. So I totally understood Kevin’s decision to take care of Erin.
The title, Fusion, seems to be to be descriptive of how they become a family, how Kevin and Hugo become a stronger couple, forced together, permanently bound through the heat and pressure of this life changing experience. This is a tough and self-sacrificing choice that both Kevin and separately Hugo have made. Something like this takes guts and dedication for Hugo. He could have walked away. He could have simplified his life, focused on himself and his career, and saved a ton of awkwardness, heartache, and strain. But he quickly becomes my favorite character because he does not, he befriends Erin, he gives her the greatest gift anyone ever could. He allows her to die with the assurances that her children will be loved, safe, and cared for in her absence. I’ve got tears on the edge of my eyelashes as I type that comment, but it is so true.
The moments of respite written in for Kevin and Hugo is also supremely important to anyone caring for an ill loved one. Because we are no good to each other if, we’re weary beyond functioning in a healthy way. I’m glad they got their breaks, their isolation, their alone time to focus on their relationship. The only thing that threw me for a loop, though it seemed to work, was the night swimming scene between Erin, Kevin and Hugo, erotic yes, uncomfortable yes, a bit odd…glad she left the water when she did!
Anyhow, there is so much packed into this story, I could go on and on, but I’m glad it was told. It’s difficult material to write about but Posy did a great job! It’s honest and I have the feeling, written from an experienced perspective. A surprising, yet bolstering turn of events from book one. I’m eager for the next book!
Flare Review: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts
This book contains some very realistic scenarios of homophobia and discrimination when Hugo and the kids are bullied in many forms in this story. My heart broke for Hugo, torn between his needs, the family he loves, the man he loves, and the community he misses. People can be so narrow-minded and mean sometimes and I think the author captured that, examined it, and showed us all how to rise above it.
There are a lot of tangents in this installment, but I think it is needed to tie up loose ends for the series, but the primary focus seems to be on how this new family unit can become stronger, and how they can clear the hurdles of life more easily together than each can individually. There is also a delicate dance between the many facets of Hugo’s personality, including a close examination of what mindset he is really in with Miss Cherrie Pop!
I enjoy that the author tried to spotlight common misconceptions of why someone enjoys drag, or takes on a drag persona and what it really means for Hugo specifically. Hugo and Kevin’s love life also needed some balance, and they both found a way to get the one-on-one time they needed with a few fun kinks thrown in!
I’m in love with this series, these characters, and will miss all their adventures together. This whole series is a very worthwhile read, and a welcome addition to my permanent collection shelf!