Monday, August 17, 2009

All the Stars in Heaven - Michele Paige Holmes

Reviewed by Chris

Summary: Ever since the woman he once adored told Jay Kendrich he was a chivalrous hero, he has tried to live up to the praise. But when things don't work out with Jane, moving on and dating other girls proves to be a chore. That is until he meets fellow Harvard student Sarah Morgan. Although Sarah is a freshman studying music and Jay is in his third year of law school, he discovers they have much in common. He has also discovered that getting to know the shy pianist is painful. The last thing Jay expected from his friendly advances was to be assaulted by a brawny stranger. It is abundantly clear that someone wants him to stay away from Sarah. If only he could. As long as she can remember, Sarah has lived under a watchful eye. While her father insists it's for her own protection, Sarah feels imprisoned. As she begins to believe that those she has trusted most don't have her best interest at heart, she is driven further from her respected father and closer to Jay. But their love will come at a high price as the pair edges closer toward to a truth that is darker than either of them could have imagined. (Summary and image from

My review: All the Stars in Heaven was written as a companion, but not necessarily a sequel, to Counting the Stars. Jay Kendrich has had a very rough life—part of which included a drug addict mother who died of an overdose. He turns his life around and enters law school at Harvard. While at Harvard he meets Sarah Morgan, a 24/25 year old freshman music major whose life is totally controlled by her overbearing police chief father who, I might add, is controlled by J.D. Rossi, a mob boss. Sarah has never had her hair cut, never ridden a bike, never gone out on a date, never used a blower dryer for her hair or worn makeup. Jay opens us a whole new world to Sarah who in turn gives meaning to his life.

The mob connection in this book provided an element of suspense that kept me engaged and wanting more, until the end of the book. There were many twists and turns in the plot leaving me wondering who the “bad guys” were and who the “good guys” were—who I could trust. Once or twice I had to stop reading just to give myself time to de-stress from what I was reading about.

There was also just enough romance to keep the romance junkie in me happy. I particularly liked how Jay treated Sarah—like she was a beautiful flower just starting to bloom. He helped to nourish and promote the blooming.

The book was a typical LDS fiction, nothing objectionable in the content, but only 2 or 3 references to the LDS (Mormon) Church. I’ve read plenty of Christian fiction and some of it tends to get a little to preachy for my tastes. This was not the case with All the Stars in Heaven. Any religious references were subtle—Mormons and food storage. Anyone could read it and enjoy it.

My rating: 4 stars

Sum it up: Although I didn’t absolutely adore this book, I did find it a very enjoyable read. It left me with a good feeling.


tyleragent said...

Thanks for sharing, for Christmas that's coming up I've been looking for some good lds books that I can give my mother-in-law. And since I'm not Mormon I'm having trouble looking. But I came across and they seem to have some pretty good books there.

Marsh Mayhem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marsh Mayhem said...

Tyler, thank you! Have you checked out some of our other LDS author reviews? Kari did a marvelous one on "I Hope You Know How Much I Love You" by John Bytheway that she thinks is a perfect book for gift-giving!


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