I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
“I’d never intended to release my identity. I didn’t want to go on a book tour, read passages at bookstores and libraries, or attend author signing events. I just wanted to write, spilling my innermost desires and fears so I didn’t have to make them a reality or live a lesser quality of life”.
“While looking through the glass, the mirrors reflected the brilliant colors he allowed me to see: his beauty, charming personality and sexual prowess. But in darkness, the kaleidoscope was just shards of glass reflected by angled mirrors”.
Griffin Belanger is a Hollywood heartthrob about to secure a role in a movie based on a romantic novel by author Claire Lark. Little does he know that the author of the book is his old college lover. The woman he loved yet could never tell her that.
Elyce Claire Fielding’s life used to be ordinary, her lover Griffin who pushed her to her limits being the most intense thing to ever happen to her. Upon realising his toxicity, Elyce lets him go and focuses all her energy on writing a romance novel about Ilieana Gardner and Tucker Frost. The story does have a happy ending, but not the way most traditional romantic stories do. No, the story of Ilieana is a story of growth, development and moving on. Which has been Elyce’s goal all along. Now that her book’s a bestseller and is being optioned for a movie, and Elyce is in a happy relationship with her agent Ritter, she believes that she can finally leave Griffin Belanger where he belongs – in the past. However, nothing stays in the past in Hollywood. Griffin is determined to win Elyce back. Elyce is focused on her new book and all her efforts to avoid Griffin seem to be in vain. Can the two ever reconcile? Or are the wounds of the past still too raw?
I’ve gone out with several guys who could only be called arseholes, but I am very fortunate to have avoided someone like Griffin Belanger. The male love interest in the book is a scumbag the likes of which can be compared to Christian Grey. The fact that “Stained Glass Shards” features chapters from his perspective, as well as Elyce’s, does very little to make him appeal to the reader. I can understand how Elyce can be compared to Anastasia Steele, but she is much less of a doormat. She had had to do quite a bit of growing up after Griffin ditched her, and also throughout the course of the novel – she did annoy me some by not standing up to Griffin, but by the end of the book, she’s found her footing. Not to say that I’m happy with how the book ended. In my opinion, neither Griffin nor Ritter deserved to be in the life of a girl like Elyce, who’s come a long way.
I’m not sure what annoyed me about Griffin the most – his sense of entitlement, the way he uses people, or his “manpains”. However, I could tell that unlike “Fifty Shades of Grey”, we are not meant to like the love interest. The author of “Stained Glass Shards” clearly intended for the reader to hate Griffin, even though, as I pointed out earlier, I didn’t really root for the other guy either. I rooted for Elyce and, apart from several second-hand moments of embarrassment (when Griffin was too good at manipulating her), she was worth rooting for. Not least because she is a writer who relied on her craft to get her through tough times, like I myself have done on many occasions.
“Stained Glass Shards” is a book-within-a-book – Elyce’s novel is being optioned for a movie and the book we’re reading features quite a few extras from that novel. Elyce based the plot on her own love affair with Griffin, and I appreciated how Rosemary Rey’s “Stained Glass Shards”‘ writing style and “Elyce’s” writing style were quite distinctive, which is a testament to the author’s writing talent. This is a romance novel, but it is definitely character-centric. My rating is 6.5/10.
You might like “Stained Glass Shards” if you liked:
“The Year We Fell Down” by Sarina Bowen
“The Key” by Victoria Darkins
“The Pentagon Group series” by Rosemary Rey
Have you read “Stained Glass Shards”? What are your favourite NA novels? Leave a comment and tell me! 🙂