When Stars Burn Out by Carrie Aarons
Stars die in one of two ways.
So slowly that each layer burning out feels like agony … or suddenly, exploding into a million pieces before the universe even has a grasp of what is happening.
When Paxton Shaw left Demi Rosen without so much as a goodbye, he stole her shine in both manners.
Now, eight years later, he’s trying to pull her back into his orbit. The nation’s most beloved football player, a tight end with a seriously tight end, has finally realized Demi is the one who got away.
But she’s a different woman than the weak girl who used to come running whenever he called in the middle of the night. Strong, successful, her life’s mission being to grant the wishes of children whose flames have all but been extinguished.
And untouchable, as dark and cold as a midnight sky with no moon in sight.
When one special child forces their star-crossed paths to collide, it’s impossible to keep the feelings of their past buried. Paxton had been her Halley’s Comet; the once in a lifetime love that scorched Demi’s heart in the most spectacular of fashions.
She promised herself she would never make that mistake again. But, how can she forget the dreams of love she once had, when Paxton wants to make them come true?
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Paxton is a professional football player, on the back end of his career. Deni is a CEO of a company that grants wishes for seriously sick or dying children. They are brought together by the wish of one of those children. What no one knows is this isn’t the first meeting for Paxton and Deni. They went to college together. Paxton was everything to Deni then, but he didn’t feel the same. His priorities were on his game, and she didn’t fit in with his vision of the future. He broke her, and left her behind. Now he sees where he went wrong, and knows what he wants. The question is, can she get past the way he treated her then, and accept the future that he wants now.
This isn’t the first book I’ve read by this author, but I think, so far, it’s my favorite. It’s a stand alone, second chance sports romance (lots of my favorites, all in one!) It’s also a very emotional read, and I had total mixed feelings about this book. I really, really didn’t want to like Paxton. He was absolutely horrible to Deni in college, while she was completely committed to him. I don’t think I could have been as graceful in my responses, had I been in her shoes. I guess that’s why It’s called a second chance, and really shows that growing up, learning from our mistakes and life lessons really can change who we are. As much as I disliked college Paxton, he truly did become a better man. As angry as his treatment of Deni in college made me, his treatment of her as an adult was exactly what she deserved. This was a beautiful story of redemption and forgiveness that I’d recommend to anyone that is looking for a serious, emotional read.