Title: The Stars That Tremble
Author: Kate McMurray
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 200 pages
Rating: B List
Blurb: Giovanni Boca was destined to go down in history as an opera legend until a vocal chord injury abruptly ended his career. Now he teaches voice lessons at a prestigious New York City music school. During auditions for his summer opera workshop, he finds his protégé in fourteen-year-old Emma McPhee. Just as intriguing to Gio is Emma’s father Mike, a blue-collar guy who runs a business renovating the kitchens and bathrooms of New York’s elite to finance his daughter’s dream.
Mike’s partner was killed when Emma was a toddler, and Gio mourns the beautiful voice he will never have again, so coping with loss is something they have in common. Their initial physical attraction quickly grows to something more as each hopes to fill the gap that loss and grief has left in his life. Although Mike wonders if he can truly fit into Gio’s upperclass world, their bond grows stronger. Then, trouble strikes from outside when the machinations of an unscrupulous stage mother threaten to tear Gio and Mike apart—and ruin Emma’s bright future.
Review: I am a big fan of music, opera included so reading a book with opera as the background was a big plus for me. A few of my high school friends went on to study opera in college, but that really didn’t give me any clue into the world of opera singer hopefuls. I knew that like any performance based career opera would be difficult to succeed in, but after reading this book I have a much better understanding of how tough the business is.
Giovanni was once a famous opera singer but after a throat injury his singing career as he knew it was over. With Gio no longer able to perform he takes a position as a teacher at a prestigious opera school where his summer program for students is legendary. One of these young singers is Emma, whose father is not exactly knowledgeable about opera. Mike knows his daughter has talent and is destined for a career in opera, but as the owner of a construction business he is not well equipped to help her career. He does his best for his daughter, who he has raised alone since his husband’s death soon after her adoption.
Upon meeting there is an immediate attraction between Mike and Gio, which they acknowledge should go no further considering the influence Gio could have on Emma’s career. But after spending more time together Mike and Gio decide to take their chance at happiness together, even if it leaves them open to vindictiveness and allegations from others. After all the adversity they have faced they decide it is worth taking a chance on love.
I quite liked many aspects of the book but I didn’t connect to the story as deeply as I had hoped. Part of my problem may have been the fact that I never felt the heat between Giovanni and Mike that I expected. But they obviously have deep affection and it was easy for me to see that they loved each other. Maybe with a little more palpable chemistry I would have felt differently. But overall the story was an enjoyable read.
Reviewed by Jules