Review: Moonlight & Stained Glass by Ava Penn

Two men's worlds are shattered by the death of one woman.

Dare is dealing with the loss of his fiancé while trying to care for their newborn son when a stranger shows up claiming to be his fiancé's brother.

Cole received a letter from his sister informing him that he would soon have a nephew and a brother-in-law, but he arrives to a tragedy that completely unsettles him.

I’m always anxious to read work by a new to me author and I grabbed dibs on this one when it was offered to us. I dove in initially and made it to about 30% before I set it aside. I just wasn’t connecting to anything or anyone and I felt like I was reading and reading but not really getting anywhere. Sometimes it’s just me and the book and I are not a fit for whatever reason at the time.

I picked it back up and read to about 60% and my feelings didn’t change unfortunately and I set the book aside for good. My complaint doesn’t really fall with the writing. It flowed well and was easy to follow. My problem fell in that nothing really happened. There were a lot of descriptions of the daily life the two men fell into, but not much about their interactions that showed me much about them. Their actions told me what they did, but not much about who they were. If asked, I couldn’t describe their personalities to you. I could tell you what they wore, what they drove, what they ate, how they packed a diaper bag and the layout of the house, but nothing about who they are, which kept me from getting invested in either of them.

The premise had some promise to it, but I couldn’t really buy into how they came to be living (and sleeping) together. There is no way a man grieving over the loss of his fiancé, Gillian, and being a new parent is going to invite a stranger into his home, much less into his bed in that short a period of time. When I say they slept together, I mean just that, they slept, there was no funny business going on. Cole was Dare’s future brother in law. Gillian’s brother that Dare had no idea existed until the day he came knocking at the door after Gillian had died. It was nice to see Cole connect with his nephew, but that was the only connection I felt and at 50% I feel I should have a really good handle on the characters and their motivations. They were living like a nice nuclear family, but there was way too much unsaid to make me feel like the MC’s were heading in any kind of direction together.

Now, a big thing to keep in mind is that I didn’t finish the book. I’ll invest myself to 50% if I’m on the fence before I’ll DNF a book. And again, the writing flows well and it definitely wasn’t difficult to read. I think what it needs is a seasoned editor to reign in the extraneous details and keep the focus of the MC’s so they could go somewhere, because I really wanted them to. I wouldn’t even say, skip it, because if you like a quiet story this could hit the spot for you, it just didn't for me.

A copy of this story was provided by the author for an honest review.

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