Review: Hazardous Things (Star Shadow #3) by Beth Bolden

Rating: 4🌈

Hazardous Things is the third story in the Star Shadow series and the review I’m having the most problems writing.

One one hand I genuinely love the characters of Felix Humphries and Max McCloud, Star Shadow’s drummer. Felix has been a snarky bundle of intelligent judgment and wry humor from the beginning with the unusual perspective that he’s both known everyone since the band formed as teenagers, he’s the younger brother of one, but also as a non musician has remained on the edge of it all. A sort of edgy, brilliant Greek chorus of one.

Max who’s always been the quiet one of the band, writing but without drama. He’s the been the one who, after Caleb disappeared, Felix became the closest to, as they both watched Leo shatter.

Over the two preceding books, the Max and Felix we started to get to know were great people, and it was hinted at the long time crush Felix has had on the “straight” Max.

Hazardous Things takes Max on a sexual awakening as he becomes aware of his attraction to Felix during an enforced period of physical closeness due to surgery.

It’s a realistic one in which Max doesn’t assign a name to his new sexuality but more realizes that what he’s calling “new” feelings are emotions that have deep roots that he’s never identified before.

The thought processes, the fear, the insecurity… everything that Max goes through feels exceptionally believable.

As does Felix’s reaction and inability to trust Max’s judgement and new sexuality. Especially when trust or the ability to trust is such a huge issue with Felix to begin with.

All that? Yep awesome. Because that’s got obstacles and misunderstandings stamped all over it and I get that. Well done.

What’s less credible in the storyline is Max’s (and others) inability to trust Felix’s judgement. Granted he’s younger than all of them but throughout all the novels, Felix is the one who pulls everything and everyone together. From the tours, band’s accounts, payrolls… everything. It’s Felix. Again and again, they tell each other how brilliant he is etc. They trust him with every aspect of their lives, professionally speaking and even personally.

However, here Max brings up that he doesn’t trust Felix to know what’s best for his own future?

That’s so illogical from the standpoint of a man who was as close as he’s been to Felix. Especially given their past and present history. It seems only like a ploy narratively speaking.

It and some of the other plot “barriers“ feel forced and unnecessary, because there’s enough real issues to work through between them before a satisfying relationship can occur.

While there’s a age gap between them it’s not a issue here. No, a matter of Max’s previous sexuality or perceived sexual identity. And Felix overcoming his fears.

That the heart and center here. And I wish some of the “extra drama” had been trimmed away to focus on that.

Still Felix and Max are a terrific couple, they have enormous chemistry, and I enjoyed their story.

And I’m recommending it. Read all the stories in the order they were written. Now onto book 4.

Star Shadow series:

Terrible Things (Star Shadow #1)

Impossible Things #2

Hazardous Things #3

Extraordinary Things #4

Synopsis:

Felix Humphries can’t even remember the first time he crushed on Star Shadow’s drummer, Max McCloud.

It’s been an embarrassingly long time, but he’s still never acted on his feelings. One, because Max is his older brother’s best friend. Two, because Max is also his friend. Three, Max is technically his boss. And four, worst of all, Max is straight.

But when Max unexpectedly needs a caretaker for a few weeks, Felix can’t leave his friend in the lurch. He’s all ready to suffer through being so close but not close enough, when the unexpected happens.

Max isn’t straight after all, and what Max wants is Felix—but only in his bed, not in his heart.

Hazardous Things is the third book in the Star Shadow series and should not be read as a standalone.

Hazardous Things

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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