Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5
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.
North Star is a bundle of all three of Posy Robert’s North Star trilogy stories, a total of 876 pages of wonderful contemporary m/m romance and true love. Its one thing to have them as separate stories (blurbs below), but its another to read it as one long saga of a love affair that starts as young teenagers, reunited later as grown men. How would that work?
Pretty smoothly actually. I found the flow was almost seamless. As one story ended, the next picked up almost at the same point, making it to continue your connections to the characters and all the many threads the author is working here. But at the same time, close to 900 pages is a lot to read at one sitting (I know). So if you need to stop at one book, and then continue on later, well, you can do that too and still be able to pick up Hugo and Kevin’s story.
In fact, I think I might recommend you still do that. I loved these stories. And the characters, Hugo especially. Hugo is such a bundle of contradictions, so human. He’s vibrant, vulnerable, and he comes alive on every page. So too does his friends, especially Summer. Kevin and his household too get into your heart, from his soon to be ex wife Erin and his children. But a huge 900 page dose of Kevin almost proved too much for me. I understood the reasons why he behaved as he did, Posy Roberts made that very clear. But I think perhaps it went on too long, at least for me, and in those wonderful words of Cher, I dearly wanted him to “snap out of it” long before Flare started. What kept me and my impatience in check was the timeline and the events that were happening.
There are some very wonderful and moving elements here, including a complication with Kevin’s wife. How this is handled is one of the stars I think of the series. The dynamics between the three of the them, and the children, the growth of Kevin and Hugo’s relationship at this stage as well as having Erin’s point of view in Fusion? It made this my favorite story of the three. It felt real, loving, and got straight to my heart.
Spark – Book 1:North Star: Book One Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
In their small-town high school, Hugo and Kevin became closeted lovers who kept their secret even from parents. Hugo didn’t want to disappoint his terminally ill father, and Kevin’s controlling father would never tolerate a bisexual son. When college took them in different directions, they promised to reunite, but that didn’t happen for seventeen years.
By the time they meet again, Hugo has become an out-and-proud actor and director who occasionally performs in drag—a secret that has cost him in past relationships. Kevin, still closeted, has followed his father’s path and now, in the shadow of divorce, is striving to be a better father to his own children.
When Hugo and Kevin meet by chance at a party, the spark of attraction reignites, as does their genuine friendship. Rekindling a romance may mean Hugo must compromise the openness he values, but Kevin will need a patient partner as he adapts to living outside the closet. With such different lifestyles, the odds seem stacked against them, and Hugo fears that if his secret comes to light, it may drive Kevin away completely.
Fusion – Book 2: Rating 5 stars out of 5
How do you tell your friends and family you’ve fallen in love with a man when they’ve only ever known you as straight? How do you explain to your kids that you loved their mother very much, but your new partner is your best friend from high school?
Kevin Magnus must figure it out while trying to build a relationship with Hugo Thorson, whose bigger than life, out-and-proud drag queen persona is simply too big to be contained in a closet—even for the time it takes Kevin to come up with an explanation for his kids and Erin, his soon-to-be ex-wife.
But Erin faces an even bigger obstacle—one that shakes the entire family to the core. When she unexpectedly turns to Hugo, they form a connection that forces Hugo to grow up and offers Kevin the chance to become the kind of father he wants to be. Despite the coming complications, they’ll all benefit from a fortunate side effect: it becomes clear that Hugo is very much a part of this unconventional family.
Flare – final book in the North Star Trilogy Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5
Hugo Thorson and Kevin Magnus are learning to live again after the death of Kevin’s wife, Erin. They’re doing everything they can to make a stable home for Kevin’s kids, but that stability is threatened when Kevin is served legal documents: Erin’s parents want custody of Brooke and Finn.
Meanwhile, Hugo is offered several acting jobs; to encourage him to take them, Kevin hires a nanny who is very hands-on with the kids. But Hugo feels distanced from his new family, so he makes the decision to leave his eclectic neighborhood and moves in with Kevin. He quickly finds he has a hard time fitting in with the suburbanites, and Kevin’s passive-aggressive “friends” make Hugo feel anything but welcome. Yet he keeps his concerns a secret and tries to take it all in stride.
When Brooke is bullied about having two dads, Hugo realizes his mere presence might be doing more harm than good. The stress will force him to make a choice: does he stay and fight for the family he loves, or does he walk away to let them live in peace?
In the final story, Posy Roberts pulls it all together, the struggles, the relationship and personal growth the men go through in order to become the true partners and family unit they have been dreaming and working towards from the moment they reunited and perhaps even longer, the moment they met. I think this is where Kevin finally clicked for me as a character and as the perfect ying to Hugo’s yang. It also deals with another strong topic, bullying. Again, its addressed in a direct and wonderful way by the author by using Brooke, the daughter we have come to know and care about just as deeply as the main characters.
How do I love these characters? Oh so much. By the time the last sentence rolls around, I was so sorry to see them all go. I think you will be too. Having them all in one bundle makes it so easy to pick up and enjoy them all over again.
Need not one but three stories to perk up your summer reading? Love contemporary romance and lovers reunited? Pick up North Star (North Star #1-3) by Posy Roberts, a 3 in 1 total package of romance and reading enjoyment. I highly recommend it.
Cover art by Anne Cain works for the characters. Its lovely.
ebook, 876 pages
Published August 5th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634775201 (ISBN13: 9781634775205)
SeriesNorth Star #1-3