Book Review: Starfish and Coffee by Kele Moon

Posted: June 13, 2013 by sidlove in 4 Star Reviews, Book Reviews, Shelley's Reviews
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Reviewed by Shelley

TITLE: Starfish and Coffee
AUTHOR: Kele Moon
PUBLISHER: Loose Id Publication
BLURB: On the island where they first met, two lovers from opposite sides of the tracks are reunited. Now jaded and broken, Alex and Matt still can’t deny their sizzling connection or the memories of one perfect, uninhibited year together.

At twenty-two, Matt Tarrington is rich, good-looking and destined to be powerful, but behind that confident exterior lurks a man who resents the life his family thrust upon him. Desperate for an escape, Matt heads to Mirabella Island off the coast of Florida for a year of relaxation and some wild nights with vacationing party-girls.

Matt never expected to find real passion in the arms of Alex Hunter, a handsome, laid-back local.

Alex is gay, but closeted. Matt should be completely off limits, but Alex finds the deeply in denial rich boy too tempting to ignore. Especially when a bet has them working together, fighting the heat in the rundown, beachside cafe where Alex sweats for every dollar.

Their love felt inevitable until youth left them vulnerable to hatred and greed. Now after six years of hating the lies they live, Alex and Matt will have to risk it all for the second chance they both desperately need.


I expected this story was going to be one of those done-to-death romances of young love lost & found with a gay-for-you, coming-out trope. I knew how it was going to go before I even started – the synopsis is quite telling. I was in the mood for a nice enjoyable story but what I never would have guessed, is how much I would ADORE it.

Matthew (Matt) Tarrington: privileged, beautiful, straight  republican, and a fearless frat boy who is the heir to a Fortune 500 company and a heart attack waiting to happen meets (officially) Alex Hunter: orphaned, beach bum, gorgeous, gay, closeted, zero college education and he works as a line cook! And on the scruffy side of Mirabella Island no less. Alex is so far removed from Matthew’s social standing he should be on another planet.

These guys should have nothing in common, apart from being young and horny. A fast friendship develops despite their differences and initial opinions of each other.  But the attraction and chemistry between them is POWERFUL and dominant. None of the dangers of being discovered can deny the desire and consequent secret love affair that ensues. I believed in every word of their dialogue, and action; I was completely side-swiped by their soul-deep romance, the build-up and execution totally flawed me.

The sex – and there is a lot of sex – is an erotic toe-curling exploration as tender as it is wild and made more life-like by moments of uncertainty which briefly dilutes the passion, but fuels and compounds the sweet realism of the moment.  Each and every time was a moment the reader gets to cherish and revel in – so beautiful, so erotic, so powerful and made to last {insert dreamy sigh here} a million years.

My response to their love exposes my jaded and cynical heart to aching emotions, which proves to me that love stories like this still have the ability to move me deeply. I LOVED it. I loved them; together and as individuals, they both shine. I wanted to stay with these guys on Mirabella Island forever. If I could just be the one to towel dry them after skinny dips and fishing trips and then pass the condoms, I’d be a happy woman.

This should have been perfect! And most of it was perfect, the setting, the romance, the characters, even the break up was perfect. Then toward the end it all just slips away down the slippery slope to fall in line with all the other mediocre rekindled love tropes; and mediocrity does no befit Alex and Matt’s story. Oh how I stomped my foot and wailed for it not to be so, shaking my fist in the face of ordinary didn’t work but I sucked it up and wouldn’t let it steal my glow.

I was willing to overlook the seriously weird, too close relationship that Alex shares with Holly (which creeped me out) and the villainess who wouldn’t have been out of place in a pantomime where I could boo and hiss every time she made an entrance. Yes, I was going to ignore all that, but the last 20% is too rushed and lacks any anticipation of the big reunion, which is hasty and most uninspiring. Ordinary. The six years of separation are too briefly glossed over with minimum build up to the present. I got my HEA (not a spoiler) but I feel cheated because the book just got shoved into the realm of chick flick – urghhhh!

Despite that, I DO recommend this book, it’s going on my favourites shelf just for being the perfect romance (till 80%) which had my tummy doing flip flops and my heart sighing. Its days later and I miss Matt and Alex already, I feel like I’m in mourning for those beautiful boys.

So move away from your pick and mix that is your to-read pile and pick this one. I promise you that it’s lovely and memorable and in a way I just don’t care about being cheated with that ending anymore. I loved it, it was almost amazing.

Shelley’s Rating: four-stars_0

BUY LINK: Loose Id Store  ||  Book Store

Shelley is one of the official reviewers on The Blog of Sid Love

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  1. Dani says:

    What a great review
    I so want to read this book!!
    x Dani

  2. shelleylovesbooks says:

    Thanks Danni, this one really did surprise me.

  3. elizabetta says:

    You sold me! Lovely review Shelley, thanks!

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