Bennett Cole had lived next door to Mitchell “Mac” Campbell, III for eighteen years of his life, in the small town of White Acre. They’d never gotten along, never seen eye to eye, and never understood one another…not that they’d ever cared to try.
But when Bennett’s so-called buddies ditched him at a party in the woods where he was assaulted and left for dead, Bennett pulled through. The emotional scars rendered him too terrified to go back to school and face his “friends” or his attackers. With little choice, his family packed up and left town.
Ten years later—at the request of his mother—Bennett returned to the place he’d grown up and the home he’d once felt safe, to oversee the repairs before his childhood house was sold. The contractor? None other than Mac, the once annoying boy next door, who still lives there in the home his parents gifted him.
Being in such close proximity—working together every day, to repair the Coles’ family home—Bennett and Mac’s contentious relationship goes from bad to worse as their personalities continue to clash. But their heated exchanges may not be as antagonistic as they seem. And when new information is revealed, can the men begin to see each other in a different light?
Bennett Cole thought his friends were true and would have his back despite what the boy next door, Mac Campbell said. He was wrong and Mac was right. After a horrendous and bigotted attack, Bennet and his family leave their home in White Acre but ten years later he returns to fix up the family home so it can be sold. He wasn't counting on the boy next door still living there and being the contractor his parents arranged to do the work he can't. Will they still have the same contentious comradre they had as kids or will adulthood mature them into a new relationship?
I always love giving new authors a read, whether they're new to me or to the publishing world as Morningstar Ashley is, the adrenaline rush I get from wondering "will they be worth my time?" always spurs me on. Well, I can safely say that Morningstar Ashley is definitely worth my time. Authors are always learning and growing, frankly an author that doesn't think they have anything to learn is not an author I want to read, so when my first experience with one is as wonderful as Morningstar's A Different Light is I am on a natural high just waiting to see what future stories lurk in her imagination. This is the author's second book and I have not read her first, Letting Go, but I will most certainly be going back and giving it a read in the weeks to come as I wait for her next one.
A Different Light is an emotional ride that will leave you breathless. I really loved how Bennett is a Sheldon Cooper-like character that is slightly better at the social aspect of relationships/connections. Having compared him to Sheldon, don't think that this is a straight up romantic comedy. There is definitely some humorous moments, the camping trip from hell comes to mind. A Different Light is a story about romance obviously but its also about friendship, overcoming past trauma and misunderstandings, going home, and second chances. Mostly though it is about life. I certainly wanted to whack the two men upside the heads at times but I also wanted to bundle them up in bubblewrap that I had left over from Christmas deliveries. Morningstar Ashley writes her characters in a way that will confound you and leave you screaming "UGH!!!!" at their stubbornness but also leaving you sighing "AWWWWW" with all the heart she's put into their journey.
A brilliant must read that I know will be on my re-read list for years to come.
Morningstar Ashley is a transplant from the Yankee-controlled territory of New York, and now finds herself in the heartland of cowboys and longhorns—Texas. Armed with her imagination, wit, and trusty sidekicks in the form of her two crazy kids, devoted dorky husband, big lap dog, and rambunctious cats, Morningstar spends her time reading the books she loves, crafting her own characters, and arguing the merits of hot chocolate over the bitter brew known as coffee (Hot chocolate wins, FYI.).
Morningstar loves graphic design, so much so she returned to school for a degree and regularly tromps her exams and maintains a stellar GPA that occasionally leaves her confounded and pleased. She can while away the hours on new designs, and perfection isn’t too much to hope for when it comes to her art.
Her ideal career would be full-time artist and author, and so far, she hasn’t come up against anything to stop her on her journey. A fierce and devoted friend, Morningstar tries her best to always be kind, always be learning, and always improving. Giving up isn’t an option, and her greatest talent may be in her ability to convince others not to give up, either. After a lifetime of trying to get people to realize her first name wasn’t Ashley, Morningstar decided the best way to settle the debate was to put her name on a book cover. An avid reader and fiction reviewer for the blog and site Diverse Reader, Morningstar harbored a dream to one day join the ranks of her heroes, and she sweeps into the contemporary gay romance genre with her debut novel, LETTING GO. With plans to conquer gay, lesbian and LGBTQA+ romance, Morningstar has her gaze set on the horizon, her determination her own guiding star.