ARC Review--Flying by Megan Hart

Ever hear of wanderlust? Every other weekend, Stella buys a ticket on the next flight out of town and leaves her life behind. Home is a place with too many memories, and departure is the sweetest possible distraction. As soon as she arrives at her destination, Stella visits the airport bar. She orders a drink and waits for the right guy to come along. A bored businessman, a backpacker, a baggage handler just off shift. If he's into a hot, no-strings hookup, he's perfect. Each time is a thrilling escape from reality that gives the term layover a whole new meaning. When Stella meets the enigmatic Matthew in Chicago one weekend, she hits some serious turbulence. Something about him tells her she's not the only one running from the past. The connection between them is explosive, and for the first time, one taste is not enough for Stella. But returning to find a gorgeous man waiting for her is the easy part & facing the reason she's there is a whole other matter.
~~From Goodreads

As we've mentioned, any time we have an opportunity to read a Megan Hart book, especially before release day, some of us jump at the chance. So when I discovered that Flying, which releases on April 29, was available through NetGalley, I requested it right away, and was richly rewarded when it showed up on my e-reader shortly thereafter.

Click through to find out if I loved it as much as the other Hart books I've read. 

This review will be spoiler-free.

I've often mixed romance in my TBR along with UF/PNR, horror, comedy, and drama, but it's only in the last year or so that books purposely labeled Erotica have been making their way onto my list. So, I don't know if the depth that Megan Hart brings to her books is typical of the genre, but it surprises and moves me every time. The sex is detailed and racy, of course, but that's not enough to keep me coming back to the same author again and again. What sets these books apart are the rich, flawed characters, who are all dealing with pain and tragedy in the midst of falling in love, and Flying is no different.

We meet our protagonist, Stella, as she is going through the security checkpoint on one of her many flights. We quickly learn that she puts on a persona while she is "flying", leaving behind her real life for a little while. When we see her back home, dealing with her real life, it's obvious that flying is a way of escaping, of coping with the pain and adversity she's dealing with in her everyday life. It's a fascinating premise, to be able to fly to another city, assume a new identity for a little while and forget everything that weighs a person down in her everyday life. 

We see a few of Stella's "flights" and get an understanding of how she usually operates, giving a fake name, not giving her phone number, slipping back to her own room, her own life as quickly as possible. Stella is very controlled and careful, working hard to keep her real life separate from her secret one. Until she meets someone who changes everything for her, slowly but irrevocably. It's fascinating, yet sad, seeing Stella lose her control, and it's through that loss of control that we learn about Stella's tragedy.

Something that Megan Hart does brilliantly is to hold back sharing with the reader exactly what event broke her protagonist, exactly what catastrophe happened to make her seek solace and comfort outside of her regular life. We experience Stella's everyday life and her extracurricular activities, we know that something is amiss, but it takes a significant portion of the book to discover what's she's running from, then a bit longer to see the complete picture. I love that within this book there are so many layers, so many things to discover within what could be just a simple erotic romance. It's brilliantly executed in Flying, and one of a million reasons that Megan Hart's novels are in a class all by themselves.

Wench Rating:
Pick Flying up on April 29. You'll be glad you did.


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