by Gerri Hill
Self-described city girl Lexie Walton is a million miles from nowhere and completely out of her element.
Park ranger Kyler Clemons had loved the vibe and the beach of Mustang Island. Getting caught with her boss’s wife, however, got her transferred to the wild and remote Davis Mountains State Park—literally in the middle of nowhere. Now after four years, she’s forgotten about the beach and has embraced the mountain life, feeling like a local. She hangs out at the Cottonwood Creek Bar and Grill. She watches football with Mark Walton. She’s taken up birdwatching and stargazing as hobbies. She is perfectly content. No stress. No drama. And no desire to date.
Then Lexie Walton waltzes into her life.
After losing her cushy job in Austin―and unable to find another one―Lexie accepts her parents’ offer to join them and her brother in running a rustic lodge and restaurant in the remote Davis Mountains of West Texas. Hesitant to commit to such a drastic move, she agrees to a trial run―two months. Two months would get her through Christmas and the New Year. Her friends thought she was foolish to make such a move. There was no nightlife, no parties, no spin class, and no green smoothies. And no chance of dating. That was a plus, however. After her breakup with Crazy Cathy, she wanted no part of the dating game. This remote area would do nicely.
But then she meets this cute, tree-hugging park ranger who turns her world completely upside down.
FROM THE AUTHOR
"Isn’t it funny how a short conversation with a stranger can lead to a book? Last October, we were camping in the Davis Mountains. It’s a remote area of Texas, a little sliver of “rocky mountains” in the high desert. There was a young couple next to us who had rented a small RV. He had always wanted to go there and to explore the Big Bend area. She had wanted to go to Padre Island to the beach. Quite a contrast! When I asked if she was enjoying it, she first glanced to make sure he couldn’t hear, then said she absolutely hated it and couldn’t wait to get out of there. I told her since she was stuck there, she should try to find something she liked.
Five days later, as we were packing up our site, she came over. She was smiling and looked relaxed, unlike the first encounter I had with her. “Have you seen the stars?” I nodded. “They’re incredible, aren’t they?” She was nearly giddy with enthusiasm. “I bought a star book at the ranger station. We’ve been going up to Skyline Drive at night, finding constellations. We were out until three in the morning. I think I’ve found a new passion.” She laughed then. “I’ve been hiking every day too. My friends would never believe it! It’s like I’m a new person up here.”
It wasn’t until we got back home that I replayed my conversation with her. As is often the case, story ideas come from the strangest places. Before long, The Stars at Night took shape and Lexie and Kyler were soon hiking those same trails. I hope you enjoy it!"
R. Swier - The characters were very likable and dealt with realistic problems such as the sudden loss of a job or a loved one. I liked how Kyler and Lexie had meaningful conversations about many diverse topics. I especially loved how the author allowed her characters to get to know each other and develop a strong friendship while they explored the beautiful mountain setting whether biking, hiking, or driving. I also liked how the author pulled the reader into these scenes with her very vivid descriptive writing. The secondary characters, especially Lexie’s brother, added to the emotional depth of this story. The support he received from his family, and especially Kyler, was heartwarming.
Overall, this was a beautifully written feel-good story. The very descriptive setting, which I loved, will leave you with peaceful thoughts, a sense of tranquility, and a yearning to experience that type of setting in person.
Michele R. - I enjoyed the simplicity of this book and the activities, I felt engaged with all of the characters, and the flirting was playful and spoke the words that neither Lexie or Kyler could at the time.
Jude S. - Besides chemistry, which she writes very convincingly, Gerri Hill always excels at describing nature and everything that there is to love in nature...and it’s once again one of the strongest points of this book.
The Stars at Night is a light and quick read, full of joy and feelings and not a lot of angst. It’s sexy and mellow, romantic and flirty. Exactly what I want to read on a rainy day.
Betty H. - If you are looking for a great book to read as you curl up in front of a fire on a cold wintry night, then look no further than The Stars at Night by Gerri Hill. This is a lovely slow-burn romance about two unlikely people, city girl Lexi Walton and park ranger Kyler Clemons, set in the beautiful Davis Mountains of West Texas.
The characters we meet in the story are all realistic people that we would love to meet and be friends with. Both Lexi and Kyler are easy to connect to. Their chemistry is very strong even though they both fight it to begin with because they don’t believe they are compatible. The romance builds slowly as they both are drawn to each other in spite of that belief.
The setting is what really makes this tale special. Ms. Hill has done an excellent job describing where this story takes place. We can feel the cold wind, hear the rustle of the birds in the bushes by the hiking path, smell the ponderosa pine, and see the brilliance of thousands of stars in the sky. Add two lovely women falling in love in this spectacular setting, and you have an awesome story well worth reading.