My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.
Megan Hart was one of the very first writers I found when I started looking for quality contemporary erotic romance books in the past few years, and she’s still one of the best. To be fair, what she writes is more erotic women’s fiction than romance specifically, since there is absolutely no guarantee that any of her books will have a true Happy Ever After for her main characters, but enough of her books have qualified that she’s one of my favorites in the genre. However, and I’ll acknowledge this is on me more than her, her last few books haven’t been as enjoyable for me as her earlier works, and I was becoming concerned that I might have to stop reviewing her books, as we just didn’t seem to mesh well anymore.
So it was with some trepidation that I started reading FLYING, although the blurb made it sound like something I would absolutely love. I’m so happy to say FLYING is Megan Hart back to where I love her – ripping my heart out for a heroine who could just have easily been me, in a situation that only she could make me understand and want to see end in a better place than where it began.
Stella is hanging on to her sanity by her fingertips, and it’s only by spending weekends away from home with strangers she picks up on airplanes and airports that she can temporarily forget all the loss in her life. Matthew starts out as yet another sexual escape for Stella, but ends up being someone who could make her break all her rules, including the one about never letting another man into her heart.
I had a tremendous amount of sympathy for Stella and refused to judge her for how she had chosen to cope with what had happened to her family. So when she found herself falling for Matthew, I was more worried about how she could possibly survive another loss than about any repercussions in her real life. But as damaged as Stella might be, Matthew is even more, and although I loved them together, I was so proud of how she finally called him out for not valuing her as much as she had him, and how she forced him to take the next step toward a genuine relationship with her if that’s what he really wanted. So when she went on to finally deal with all the dangling ends in her real life after the events which had blown it apart, I was cheering and happy even before the surprise happy ending, because I knew that she was going to be okay with or without Matthew.
The only problem I had with FLYING was what kept me from giving it a full 5 star review, and that’s the deliberate use of the third person present voice for all the scenes where Stella is living through one of her “flying” sequences. I realize that was done to help set those off from her “real” life, and it definitely works in that respect. But that type of writing is extremely difficult for me to read, and when the entire first chapter of the book was in that style, it took me several days to finish, resisting my impulse to DNF the whole book at that point. Once the second chapter began in third person past voice, I was able to read and enjoy the rest of the book without issue. It’s likely most other readers won’t have this problem reading third person present, but if you do, just hang in there and finish that first chapter, because FLYING is definitely worth every effort.