Title: Northern Star
Author: Ethan Day
Narrator: Jason Frazier
Run Time: 8 hours and 41 minutes
At a Glance: A story is told, a family is remade, and hearts are mended. That’s a lot for any book to do well, but add the top-notch narration and you have a book you can recommend to friends without a second thought.
Reviewed By: Mike
Blurb: Deacon Miller never had it all – he never really believed he could. Growing up in a broken home with an alcoholic mother and a revolving door of truly pathetic father figures taught him to keep his expectations low. Now at 27, on the night before Christmas Eve, his life is turned upside down yet again; his boyfriend has dumped him, he just fled the holiday family reunion from hell, and now to top it all off, a blizzard has left him stranded in an airport hotel.
Steve Steele has spent the better part of his 44 years living a lie, ignoring his attraction to other men in an attempt to fit into the mold of the man he thought he should be, instead of living life as the man he knew himself to be. Recently divorced after coming home from work one day and coming out to his wife, Steve has floundered over the past year, desperately attempting to wade through the guilt and find the courage to start again. That’s when a chance meeting in a hotel bar brings two lonely men together…and what should’ve been a one night stand turns into something much more than either one ever expected.
Review: Deacon Miller has not had an easy life. His upbringing was rough with an alcoholic mother, her string of lovers, and a sister he wants to protect but has been driven away from by their drunk, angry, and bigoted mother. Dumped on the night before Christmas Eve, at the height of a blizzard, after a knockdown, drag out shouting match with his once again, drunk mother, Deacon is now trapped in an airport hotel bar, wishing just once that life would take a turn towards something good. Then Deacon meets Steve Steel.
Deacon and Steve make a connection that quickly turns into something intense, but Deacon is drunk, depressed, and just looking to hook-up to take some of the pain away. When Deacon gets a call telling him his mother is in the hospital, Steve immediately takes Deacon to her side and then quietly exits, perhaps for good. Circumstances bring Deacon home to care for his teenaged sister while their mother recovers in prison for her fourth DUI.
Jason Frazier once again lends a clear voice to a good book. The story here is far from cliché. Ethan Day gives us a story we want to see come to a happy conclusion for everyone in the book, and Frazier gives those characters so much energy they seem like real people. The acting here is as good as you could hope for, and the tightness of the words is given so much attention and detail that you can see the action in your head. Deacon’s lifelong pain and fear of not being good enough for anyone is painful to hear and beautifully rendered with Frazier’s talents. Steve’s desire to mend the lives he feels responsible for comes across in vivid detail. The desire of Deacon’s sister to be at once a full adult and yet still a teen girl who is just beginning to believe the world can be more than one dark disaster after another is also so very well done here.
Between the voice talent and the story, Northern Star is a great buy. It is a contemporary romance that does not shy away from real life obstacles. There are moments of tension and tenderness as well as comic relief and the sheer joy of falling in love. A story is told, a family is remade, and hearts are mended. That’s a lot for any book to do well, but add the top-notch narration and you have a book you can recommend to friends without a second thought.
You can buy Northern Star here: