Book Review: When We Were Sea and Stars by Elen Chase

Reviewed: May 18th, 2022
Released: August 7th, 2020
Genre: MM Contemporary Romance

Under the summer sun, in a small seaside town in South Italy, nineteen-year-old James meets the man of his dreams. Roberto is gorgeous, fun, sweet… and very taken. James has no delusions about their friendship; he knows love couldn’t possibly happen to him.

Roberto is full of doubts about his relationship. He knows something is missing in his life and he’s not expecting to find that something in James, his new American neighbor.

But if something were to happen, only the sea, the sand and the stars can know.

Helen’s thoughts: 5/5

I came across this book as recommended on Instagram, and I am so glad I picked it up.

Chase has introduced us to some amazingly beautiful characters, in what at first appears to be a summer romance, but ends up being so much more. James, tormented by self doubt and suffering with crushing low esteem, is struggling to accept himself as one worth loving. Roberto is drifting through life trying to meet everyone else’s expectations instead of living his own life.

When they meet, it is heartstoppingly beautiful, and they seem perfect for each other. Except Roberto has a boyfriend, and he would never deliberately cheat no matter how tempted he is. Some excrutiatingly painful scenes ensue, so well written that the characters anguish make you cringe.

On the flip side, Chase tempts us with a blissful romance if they could just get out of their own way. Both James and Roberto are such sympathetic characters with Francesco not far behind. All are achingly vulnerable at moments and yet so lovable as well.

Beautifully written story with some wonderful characters you just want to hug. Jenn was one of my favourite characters. Clear sighted and yet misunderstood, she is the type of friend eveyone really wants. Someone who really gets you.

Very enjoyable read, you should pick it up. You won’t regret it.

About the author:

Elen Chase is an author of New Adult books, based in Florence, Italy.

She loves romance with an edge and complex characters with a tormented past. You can follow Elen on and on social media:

Instagram: @elenchase

Facebook: @chaseelen


Purchase via Amazon

Link to book on Amazon UK: eBook | Paperback

Link to book on Amazon US: eBook | Paperback

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