BOOK CLUB: The Shooting Star

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The Shooting Star by Frances Dall’Alba is a suspenseful, romantic story set in Falerna, Southern Italy.

This is Book 1 of Sway of The Stars series.

In 1944, six months after Mussolini had surrendered to the Allied Forces, it was still a dangerous time. No one knew who to trust. Benito and Nicolo, twins, found their home ransacked and their parents murdered. The brothers fled into the mountains. Realising those responsible were looking for their mother’s jewels, they returned to check if they were still hidden.

On finding the jewels they moved them to another safer hiding place away from their home. The brothers made a pact to come back one day when it was safe and dig them up together.

In Malanda Australia, ten years after her adoptive Uncle Ben has passed, Liz Emerson finds a letter addressed to her, with a sum of money included. The letter tells Uncle Ben’s story and gives directions to the buried jewels.

Liz is unsure what to do. The money would come in handy for practical things. After all, it’s been 75 years since the jewels have been buried. Maybe his twin has already found them. Liz decides to go to Falerna and carry out Uncle Ben’s wishes. She’ll give it three weeks!

In Toronto Canada, Connor Levorico ‘s Grandfather is dying. He shares his story, and leaves a written letter for Connor who promises to return to Falerna and find his grandfather’s twin or family and unearth the jewels.

Not everything goes to plan for Liz. Arriving in Rome she is mugged at the airport. A handsome Canadian chases the thief and returns her money. The important letter with the directions to find the jewels is missing.

Fate brings Liz and Connor to the small town at the same time, both on the pretext of researching their family heritage, where they bump into each other again.

Liz feels an attraction between them, but she is here on a mission and not for a holiday romance! Neither  Liz nor Connor are entirely truthful or trust each other with their true motives. That can be a big problem for friendship, or romance.

The search for the jewels has put them both in danger.

The story is filled with the unexpected dramas of family life. Plans are constantly changing. There are misunderstandings and a lack of trust. Plus, you’ll wonder if Liz will solve the mystery of Connor’s past, and whether the jewels are still there.

Once again, Frances Dall’Alba has written an enjoyable and engaging story that keeps you in suspense until the very end.

I related to this story as I have a friend whose family buried their jewels and returned after the war to search.

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club members are reading The Shooting Star by Frances Dall’Alba. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.

7 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: The Shooting Star

  1. Frances Dall’Alba’s writing has gone from strength to strength. This would have to be the most enjoyable of her books I have read so far.
    Liz and Coonor are the 2 main characters, who are both trying to solve a family mystery, dating back to the war and 1944. This sees them both in a small town in Italy.
    At first, unknown to them, they are linked in so many ways, and the magic of this romantic old town, soon sees love blossoming between them.
    An unexpected attack on Liz, and a family crisis for Connor, see them separated, and there is so much left unsaid between them.
    Months go by, and Liz tries to move on with her life, but Connor is in a downward spiral due to a tradgedy of his own.
    Will those closest to them both, see them able to bridge the gap, and reunite.?
    A heartwarming story, with mystery and intrigue from the very first page.
    The final chapter and Prologue see the conclusion to this story, so beautifully written. You are left feeling happy for all involved, and all that they endured.
    I am so looking forward to the next books in Frances Dall’Alba ‘Sway of the Stars’ series, this being book one.
    Thanks you Beauty & Lace for the opportunity to read this fabulous book. It has been a priviledge to be follow along on the journey with Frances and her writing.

  2. I love how Frances Dall’Alba connects her characters in a way to keep the story moving and the reader interested. Immersed in reading this story and finding myself liking the characters in an emotional way as the story evolves. This story will not disappoint readers of mystery, intrigue, history and love. Congratulations Frances on another winning and enjoyable story.

  3. The Shooting Star was an enjoyable romance. It also has right the amount of mystery and suspense with the two key characters on a mission to hunt for long-lost jewels. I like the journey of Liz and Connor coming together, the changing setting as they travel, and the unexpected plot twists. The will they, won’t they question about whether they will find the jewels and build a relationship makes for a great page-turner.

    I understand there is more books to come in this series – I’ll be definitely keeping an eye out for them.

  4. This is another great story from Frances Dall’Alba. I really enjoyed this book and thank you for allowing me to read it.
    Liz and Connor are both in Italy looking for jewels their grandfathers had hidden many years ago. They have some extraordinary adventures along the way and also some tragedies occur.
    Looking forward to the next instalment.

  5. This book is packed full of adventure and intrigue from start to finish. With a romance to help tie the story line together ‘The Shooting Star “is certainly a fascinating book which I really enjoyed reading, I look forward to the new book to come .

  6. The Shooting Star by Frances Dallalba is one of my favourite writers and this is the 4th book I’ve read of hers. Every time I am guaranteed to be captured straight away and can’t resist turning the pages as she leaves me wanting to find out what is next. There were things I didn’t want to happen and people I badly wanted to see reunited before passing but this is part of what makes me love her writing as its not all fairytales, it verges on the side of reality where it’s not all perfect. This is a bittersweet story of 2 twin brothers who faced the death of their parents, how to survive, make a plan, do right by their parents, and do it quickly! all at nearly 11yrs of age. What eventuates from this is separation, hidden jewels, family ties, romance, suspicion, coincidence, pain and heartache all connected together. Boy, does Frances know how to make you imagine the characters, well especially Conner! Liz and Conner feature mainly in this book along with Roberta, who meets Liz on her travels and they hit it off as friends who work out a deal to help each other. Conner is on a different side of the world and how they meet is not your usual romantic story and you’ll be in for a unpredictable ride as just when you think you know the direction this story is going, it takes a completely different one. Great bunch of characters except Conner’s dad and the thief of course! Sally, Conner’s mum, and others that also were in their lives really made it a great read. Was very comforting with an epilogue and the chance to finally read what was in Uncle Ben’s letter. Many thanks to Beauty and Lace, for the chance to read and Frances Dallalba for your amazing talent as never read a book I didn’t love from you so, thank you so much!

  7. After finding a letter from her “adopted” uncle Ben, Liz is stuck with a decision. As sole carer for her ailing grandma does she stay there in Qld Australia. Or does she do as requested by her uncle, a trip to a small town in italy in search of the family jewels. Their find would ease the financial burdens but should she leave her grandma.
    Connor depended on his grandfather for raising him as his parents were problematic. His grandfather left him a history and a task, search for his brother and retrieve their family’s jewels. Can he leave the family business in Canada with his challging parents and go to small country town Italy?
    Both take a chance and fate takes control. Follow the story where secrets are plenty, romance is in the air and caution is required from unknown dangers.
    I enjoyed this read, it plays on things we can only dream of having happen and ties a story to boot. Thank you Frances Dall’alba for another captivating read and Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read.

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