More often than not, I don't like books described as "timeless love stories" in the blurb. Usually they're too romantically driven, either ignoring the plot or without a plot to start with. These Broken Stars (Goodreads | Amazon) isn't like that. Yes, it's a timeless love story but it's also a good story.
The book starts with a chance meeting between Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen, a rich heiress and a poor war-hero soldier, on a luxury spaceship traveling through hyperspace. The chemistry in the first scene between these two is off the charts, but once Lilac regains her senses she pretty much shuts down any potential relationship. It's not because she thinks she's better than Tarver, but because her father is a very rich and controlling man who would not approve. But when the spaceship crashes, leaving Lilac and Tarver as the only survivors the pair are thrust together to fight for survival.
What I like most about this book is the characters. The authors don't simplify them to stereotypes. For example, Lilac is a beautiful, rich heiress, but she's not a snobby airhead. She's smart, strategic and stubborn. It's her knowledge of the escape pods, after all her father's company built them, that saves them in the first place. But it also shows that she's out of her element, wearing a party dress and heels, once they crash land on the planet. She's stubborn and determined to keep up with Tarver, even if it's not within her abilities. There is a realistic balance between strengths and weakness that make her an interesting character.
"But I'm tired of being weak. I'm tired of being led. I'm tired of having this soldier decide my every step. I'm Lilac LaRaux."Tarver is well-developed as well. Yes he's a soldier, but he's more than a uniform barking commands. He's a person, who aspiration beyond the army, a family back home and a heart-wrenching backstory. Throw two well-fleshed out, equally-developed characters onto a planet and odds are you're going to have a good story to tell.
The story itself kept me guessing. They're stranded on a strange terraformed planet where nothing makes sense. There's a mystery, a secret there and in order to get rescued they're going to have to discover why this planet was forgotten in the first place. It's original, unique and wholly readable.
I received an advanced reading e-book in exchange for an honest review.