Editorial Review: Painting Stars by Bea Teal
Robin is a security expert who saved herself from a life of crime by choosing honor over family. However, after years of being estranged, the tragic death of her sister brings Robin back to her hometown. Here she finds Levi, the six-year-old nephew she never knew she had, and Noah, her childhood neighbor, and first love, waiting for her.
Painting Stars is the story of Robin, a woman who had a rough start in life thanks to her criminal parents. However, when they tried to force her to steal from their rich employee, Sebastian, Robin couldn’t bring herself to betray the man that she had grown to admire most. The incident caused Robin to become estranged from her parents and sister but set her on the path to becoming a security expert under the employment of Sebastian, who became a father figure for her. While her job keeps her too busy for much of personal life, Robin has never forgotten Noah, her childhood neighbor and first love who charmed her with his raven hair and Bambi eyes. Unfortunately, Noah ended up marrying someone else, and her shaky relationship with her sister meant that Robin never had much reason to return to the small Michigan town where she grew up.
Robin’s life takes a drastic turn when she is informed that her sister tragically passed away and left her as her six-year-old son, Levi’s legal guardian. Robin is hurt that the existence of her nephew was kept a secret from her, but she rushes back to her hometown to meet him. Once she arrives there, she discovers that Noah has also formed a firm bond with Levi, and he is every bit as handsome and charming as she remembers him. In addition, Noah has experienced some tragedy and heartache of his own, leaving the path to his heart open for Robin. Unfortunately, her line of work and new home isn’t ideal for raising a small child, but an unusual proposal from Noah brings all three of them together.
Painting Stars is a heartwarming story filled with tragedy, loss, love, and hope. Robin is a fantastic protagonist with relatable insecurities and a sense of humor that makes her very relatable. She managed to rise above her troubled upbringing and carve out a niche for herself in a demanding profession, thanks to the help of Sebastian. Noah, who serves as her love interest in the story, also manages to steal every scene he is in. Robin reminisces a lot about the kindness and compassion that Noah has shown her during her childhood and how his family cared for her. All of this, coupled with his good looks and kind-heartedness, makes it easy to see why Robin is still head over heels in love with him despite all the intervening years. Levi is also an adorable child, and Robin has her hands full, trying to navigate the unfamiliar waters of being a parent to a small boy. Fortunately for her, Noah is eager to assist with this task, and the three make for an unusual but very loveable family.
Overall, despite dealing with heavy subjects such as death and guilt, Painting Stars is a book filled with love and hope. The book also features plenty of humor, and reading about Robin trying to be a good guardian to Levi while being lovestruck by Noah makes for many laugh-out-loud scenes. Of course, the relationship between Robin, Noah, and Levi has its ups and downs, and they all make mistakes, making them more human. Bea Teal has a real knack for writing characters who effortlessly draw readers into their lives, and Painting Stars is an excellent debut for the author. Readers who love romance, drama, and humor featuring a down-to-earth cast of characters will really enjoy this novel.