A Stella Review: A Pocketful of Stardust (Aster #1) by J.P. Barnaby and Rowan Speedwell

RATING 3,25 out of 5 stars

Noah Hitchens loves the New York City life he worked hard to build. But when his father dies and leaves him a bankrupt bookstore in their sleepy Georgia hometown, Noah knows he has to save it. Unfortunately, he doesn’t know anything about business. He finds unlikely help in Henry, the man who owned Stardust Books before his 1966 murder, and Kyle St. James, a shy but kind-hearted out-of-towner with a past almost as mysterious as Henry’s.

Kyle came to Aster, Georgia, looking for redemption. On the run and out of hope, he’s just trying to get on with his life. Then he meets Noah, a ghost, and a big sloppy lab named Jake who redefine his idea of living. But his past is closing in, and when it finds him, they could lose everything.

I had a great time with this new novel, I found the plot so in tune with what I usually like to read, I finished it quickly. I loved Noah deeply, he sacrificed his life and job in New York to take care of his father dream, even if later he discovered it was his own dream too. I knew his pain and his devotion, I ached for him when things weren’t going well. I was glad he had first Henry and then Kyle to help, and the whole Aster people.

The book is beautifully written, it wasn’t a surprise knowing some of the authors’ previous releases. That said there were a couple of things that didn’t work for me: first in all in this story I think Kyle’s POV was necessary. His background, his fears, the reason why he was in Aster and he acted like he was from another planet, knowing all of these from his mouth would have made the narration more fluid and complete. I missed his thoughts, his POV, it wasn’t enough having only Noah’s. Plus the romance part fell a little short to me, I wasn’t able to feel a connection between the MCs.  I can understand the authors wanted to probably focus the book on Noah and his loss and more, but a romance is made of two parts, it seems to me like on of them was not ignored, cause we knew a lot about Kyle, but almost like not developed or less important. And because of this, I wasn’t able to fully appreciate and understand Kyle feelings for Noah.

I will surely read the next installment in the series, I was conquered by Aster population and can’t wait to discover more about it.

The cover art by Tiferet Design is lovely, I like it a lot

Sales Links:   | Amazon


ebook, 234 pages

Published July 30th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN13 9781644054666

Edition Language English

Series Aster#1

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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