The Stars We Steal by Alexa Donne
Published February 4th 2020 by Titan Books
“My lips tingled from phantom kisses, burned with memories and regrets. I needed to stop thinking about it. Thinking about him.”
Engagement season is in the air. Eighteen-year-old Princess Leonie “Leo” Kolburg, heir to a faded European spaceship, only has one thing on her mind: which lucky bachelor can save her family from financial ruin?
But when Leo’s childhood friend and first love Elliot returns as the captain of a successful whiskey ship, everything changes. Elliot was the one that got away, the boy Leo’s family deemed to be unsuitable for marriage. Now, he’s the biggest catch of the season and he seems determined to make Leo’s life miserable. But old habits die hard, and as Leo navigates the glittering balls of the Valg Season, she finds herself falling for her first love in a game of love, lies, and past regrets.
So I would have been sold on the premise of the dating competition vibes anyway, especially with ball gowns and tension and the whispers of a Jane Austen Persuasion retelling but you know how to really pull me in? PUT IT ON A SPACESHIP. This was a brilliant blend of genres and gave it what felt like a pretty unique angle that I would absolutely be interested in reading more of. As far as I’m alone this is a standalone novel but I would definitely read more stories in the world created by Alexa.
Usually, I’m put off by books that have heavy romance orientated plots and I did wonder just how much of The Stars We Steal would be perhaps a little sappy for my tastes but I was very happy to be surprised that I adored the entire storyline, romance and all. There is a beautiful amount of pinning, will they/won’t they and that glorious Austen streak of “I hate you but I would also tear everything apart to kiss you. If you like.” The way the whole thing unfolded and the inclusion of some brilliant LGBT characters from across the spectrum.
The plot is a little twisty in places with some betrayals and reveals although not in the direction I had been expecting. I think I predicted that the political side of things would play more of a role than they did but I still enjoyed the pace, which was slower at times but suited the story. Everything else felt pretty much done in the perfect amount, the “sappiness,” the pinning, the intrigue, the bachelor show like setting of the Valg Ball and more. I enjoyed this book immensely and although it did feel a little light I actually really enjoyed that about it. Also, have you SEEN this gorgeous cover?
The Stars We Steal is out TODAY so if Jane Austen meets the Bachelor with a dash of conspiracy and space sounds like your kind of thing, you need to get on this immediately.
Thank you so much to my favourite evil temptress Sarah Mather and Titan Books for sending me an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.