Paint the Stars is a stunning slow-burn, friends-to-lovers story between Ezra and Dae which made my heart soar.
Paint the Stars is the third book in the Free Fall series written by Christina Lee and Nyrae Dawn. I haven’t read the first two in the series, but you won’t be lost and your reading experience won’t be dampened as they’re all standalone novels.
Daevonte is a huge flirt. He’s never had a real relationship which involved more than the basic feelings of attraction. When he meets a very handsome man Ezra, who is working on a mural where he works, he decides he wants to get into his pants. However, when Dae continuously hits on Ezra, Ezra has to shut him down because he’s demi-sexual. This means he doesn’t feel attraction or sexual urges unless he has a close bond with them.
There’s something about the way Ezra looks at you. It is as though he can see something in you no one else can. Like he looks deeper because it’s easier to look inside of someone else than to look inside himself. It makes me feel like he’s seeing things I didn’t know where there.
This leads Dae and Ezra into a beautiful friendship which naturally leads into a romantic relationship.
They’re both very different, but they mesh together so well!! Ezra is an introvert who has only a few close friendships. His family are exceedingly religious and don’t really understand Ezra and his sexuality. In contrast, Dae is open and loves to be around people and has no problem hooking up with people casually. His parents are extremely accepting and open with Dae. They fully support him and his dreams.
Dae realizes that he needs to take it slow and get to know Ezra if he wants his affection.
Fascinated with the other, they slowly get to know each other and it was so lovely to see Ezra let someone in. Ezra communicates his feelings through his actions and his art work and Dae helps him open his mind through yoga. Dae helped Ezra come to terms with some issues he’d been struggling with, helping him open himself up to others and become more comfortable with himself.
I feel my heart trembling again because I realize how desperately I want contact with him but I’m too scared to set anything in motion.
However, an old flame has hurt Ezra in the past and this causes it to be difficult for him to let Dae all the way in.
He found difficulty with intimacy and letting himself love someone again. Both Ezra and Dae are taking a chance and trusting each other not to hurt either person. The slow-burn and intimacy was beautifully written. It felt so genuine and organic. They both struggled with their feelings, but they cared about each other so much and that made it feel so heartening.
“My heart’s beating fast,” I tell him honestly, even though it feels like a stupid thing to say.
I recommend Paint the Stars to everyone!