Ezra Greene has made a pretty decent life for himself. He has a nice apartment and spends his days doing the one thing he’s always loved—creating art. Despite being somewhat of a grumpy recluse, he’s even made a few loyal friends. When he takes a side job painting a mural at a local holistic center, he can’t help being curious about a certain friendly and self-assured yoga instructor, even if he doesn’t buy into any of that Zen crap. His holier-than-thou family already tried fitting him inside a box, and he swore he’d never be molded into anybody’s belief system again.
For Daevonte Randall, adulthood has worked out pretty well. He’s close to his parents and lives with an awesome roommate. He’s content with weekend hookups, teaching yoga, and taking college courses. What he doesn’t expect is to be so intrigued by the brooding and reserved painter he’s been tasked to stay after hours with at the center. Something fascinates him about Ezra, even after Daevonte’s attempts at flirting gets him friend-zoned on the spot.
As weeks pass, Ezra and Dae get to know each other, and soon their friendship catches fire. But Ezra’s been burned pretty badly before so trust and intimacy has to be earned. Daevonte feels up to the task, but it proves difficult as Ezra continues to keep his emotions in check. Dae’s only willing to wait so long, and when they’re dealt a surprising blow, Ezra needs to decide if love is worth the risk, that is…if it’s not too late.
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About Christina Lee:
Mother, wife, reader, dreamer. Christina lives in the Midwest with her husband and son--her two favorite guys.
She's addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything. She believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job.
NA Contemporary Romance ALL OF YOU, out now (Penguin/InterMix). BEFORE YOU BREAK in February and WHISPER TO ME in May, 2014. Repped by Sara Megibow.
Also the creator of Tags-n-Stones (dot com) jewelry.
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I am a compulsive reader and writer who loves YA fiction.
I love nothing more than writing about young adults. There is something so fresh and fun about it. You can pretty much always find me with a book in my hand or open document in front of me.
I live in Southern California with my husband and two children.
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Review by Michelle:I just love me some tortured souls so it would be safe to say that from the moment we met Ezra as Gabriel's brooding roommate in Touch the Sky I have been waiting expectantly for his story. In Paint the Stars Christina Lee and Nyrae Dawn bring us a another touching and heartfelt story of a man battling his inner demons, coming to terms with who he is and what he needs, and finding his ideal match, whether he wants to admit to it or not.
I love grumpy Ezra, but I love even more that the Grinch finally lets someone in and can be more than the surly hermit that we have always known him as. As for Daevonte, he is amazingly sweet, sincere, and understanding and sometimes deserves a medal for his patience and compassion. As good as it is to get inside Ezra's head, to get to know the real Ezra, and finally learn more about him, it is a thing of beauty to finally see him happy. While I loved the little glimpses of an unexpected playful side to Ezra that we got to experience in Chase the Sun with Conner, Dae inspires a whole new level of light and fun, sweet and even passion in Ezra and the way Dae and Ezra complement each other is simply perfect.
What I really loved about this story is the evolution of Dae and Ezra's relationship. An evolution that was slow going at first, taking a whole lot of persistence on Dae's part, but one that was at the exact right pace for not only Ezra and the obstacles he would inevitably face when contemplating the possibility of a new relationship, but also for Dae in order for him to become serious about Ezra, to be all in, and decide that this is what he wants even if it takes a bit of work.
Christina Lee and Nyrae Dawn always seem to tackle some new or heavy subject with their books and I always walk away feeling more enlightened and open-minded with each new book. Whether it is understanding a disease or disorder, identifying with a character and their struggle, or learning and understanding a little known demographic, these two are truly incredible eye-openers, educators, and advocates, and should be applauded for their continued efforts in creating awareness and lending a voice to those that may not always have one.
While I don't usually mention a book's cover in my review of the story, I feel compelled to say a little something this time around because it is just too perfect! When I first saw this cover I was struck by the colors and thought it was absolutely gorgeous, but after reading the story, it just may be one of my all-time favorites as the ideal representation of such a beautiful story. I just could not love it any more.
My favorite book in the series, thus far, Paint the Stars is a beautifully layered, moving, and enthralling story. A must read for Christina Lee and Nyrae Dawn fans, for m/m fans, or lovers of a good old perfectly paced, sweet, friends-to-lovers story.
*complimentary copy provided by author for an honest review
Rating: 5 Stars