51xiAX+yN5LReviewed by A.D. Cole

Starry Night is a sweet, holiday romance from bestselling author Debbie Macomber. Carrie Slayton is the society columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times. But she doesn’t want to be. Like most romance heroines in the print media industry, Carrie dreams of being a real journalist. She receives what she considers to be a legitimate chance at this when her boss offers to give her any position she wants if she can obtain an interview with the bestselling survivalist author, Finn Dalton.

It turns out she doesn’t actually have much of a chance at this, considering nobody even knows where he lives or if Finn Dalton is his real name. Carrie takes on the challenge, however, and manages to find him. She ends up stranded in a remote, Alaskan cabin with him for two days. When the two of them fall in love, Finn asks Carrie to choose between him and her career by requesting that she not write the article. Carrie does the only thing she can do. She goes back to the society column and tells everyone at work that she wasn’t able to get the interview.

What proceeds thereafter is the further development of the long-distance relationship between Finn and Carrie with a mish-mash of trust and communication issues thrown in. And the requisite happy ending. Don’t get me wrong, I like happy endings. I’m not averse to cliché plot lines. After all, how many different ways can you do boy-meets-girl? But I was disappointed in the lack of character development.

It felt more like I was told what to believe about Carrie: she’s a determined journalist who’ll stop at nothing to get the job of her dreams. And yet I didn’t really see any evidence of this. I’m told to believe of Finn that he’s deeply distrusting of women due to his parent’s divorce. And yet, he falls for and pursues Carrie, even stepping way outside of his comfort zone, with seemingly little internal conflict. Ultimately, I just didn’t find the characters convincing or really even very interesting.

I’m far from losing my faith in Ms. Macomber as a storyteller, but she has definitely written better books. For an extremely light, sweet read, this may still be the book for you. Just don’t expect too much depth from the story or characters.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

A.D. Cole is a homeschooling mother and aspiring romance novelist. She lives in the Ozark foothills and spends her free time reading, writing, baking and pondering life’s little mysteries.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Ballantine Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.