Review of ‘Under a falling star’ by Jae
Audiobook Narrated by Shawn Marie Bryan
This is a beautiful lesbian workplace romance book between Austen, a secretary in a toy company, and Dee, the second in command. It all starts when the company’s Christmas tree’s star falls and injures Dee transforming her ill-tempered character and her life priorities…
This is an enjoyable workplace romance. Dee is very well portrayed as an ice queen who is solely dedicated to her job, has a reputation of a ruthless businesswoman and has a family that doesn’t value her hard-working dedication. Austen, an administrative assistant with a tendency to speak her mind and get into trouble, somehow manages to see Dee in a more positive light. As Dee and Austen get to know each other, their attraction grows until it’s hard to hide their mutual attraction. But company policy and family pressure get in the way and Dee will have to decide whether Austen is worth risking her professional career in search of her own happiness.
Jae builds the attraction between the mains and their chemistry skilfully with each passing interaction. At a point, the tension is so thick that keeps the reader turning pages and hoping for a happy resolution. However, ‘Under a falling star’ goes beyond the strict romance to a critique of the role of women in business and in their own families. In both aspects, gender expectations are different and the moral compass by which women and men are judged is unfairly unequal. Jae doesn’t overwhelm the reader with heavy judgments about this situation but she just unfolds the story and lets the reader reach their own conclusions. Thanks to the funny dialogues and humorous situations the novel counteracts this seriousness with a lighter tone in a balance that, in my opinion, is just right.
I’ve read the book a few years ago, enjoyed it a lot and it’s in my list of my Christmas-themed favourites. When I saw that the audiobook version was available in Audible Escape, I decided to give it a go. I have to say that I have mixed feelings about the narration. Even though the mains’ voices and interpretations were convincing, I found that some parts of the narration sounded a bit exaggerated. It’s true that the general tone of the novel is lighthearted but sometimes the narration felt overacted and grated on my nerves. Once I’ve got used to the narrator’s expression and started to ignore it, I enjoyed much better.
Overall, a very entertaining lesbian workplace romance book with lovable characters. The narration, however, had its ups and downs that mostly didn’t deter me from enjoying the story. 4.5 stars for the book, 3.5 stars for the narration, 4 stars overall.