Feud vs Fate: Rewriting The Stars by Claire Kingsley Review

by Theja Pk
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paperback of rewriting the stars by Claire kingsley laying in the middle of heart shaped potpourri

Last updated on February 15th, 2024

In this review, we’ll take a look into the final installment in the Bailey Brothers Series by Claire Kingsley – Rewriting The Stars.

This novel wraps up the stories of the characters we have spent five books getting to know and solves the mystery surrounding the town’s infamous hidden treasure.

In a Romeo-and-Juliet-themed romance, Levi Bailey and Annika Haven are willing to put their love on the line to defy the town’s century-old feud.

Rewriting The Stars – Claire Kingsley

3.5 out of 5
illustrated book cover of rewriting the stars by Claire Kingsley showing a small town enveloped in snow

GENRE: Contemporary Romance
PUB DATE: March 10, 2022
TROPE: forbidden love (feuding families)

In a Romeo-and-Juliet-themed romance, Levi Bailey and Annika Haven are willing to put their love on the line to defy the town’s century-old feud.

Characters
3 out of 5
Plot
4 out of 5
Writing
3 out of 5
Overall Enjoyment
4 out of 5

Pros

family dynamics of the brothers

humor

dual POVs

ties up all loose ends of the series

swoony bonus epilogue

Cons

poor character development

rushed, underdeveloped romance

repetitive inner monologues

issues with writing style

Table of contents

Synopsis

Firefighter Levi Bailey is used to being alone. Not that he’s lonely. How could he be, with a band of unruly brothers and their wives and growing families? Maybe he’s the odd man out. The one brother who isn’t destined to be with his soul mate. Besides, he has her.

She’s his Juliet, the only woman in the world he can’t ever have. To an outsider, it probably seems crazy. But the Tilikum town feud is no joke—especially now—and Annika Haven is strictly forbidden.

Annika Haven never expected to be back in her hometown, let alone as a single mom with two jobs. Add in a pack of overprotective brothers, a brewing family crisis, and a gossipy, feuding town on the brink of chaos, and life gets complicated. But at least she has him.

He’s her Romeo, a son of the enemy. He makes her smile on her worst days. Yet despite his brooding sex appeal, the one thing she cannot do is fall for Levi Bailey. They’re just friends, and that’s the way it has to stay.

But after months of secret texts and stolen glances, one soul-stealing kiss changes everything. And Levi Bailey is about to do the impossible—defy the feud.

Characters

Levi is the silent and brooding Bailey twin, the total opposite of Logan, who is outgoing and charming.

Annika is the single mom and only girl among the Haven siblings. Through secret texts that started back in high school, both main characters begin to realize there might be something more going on between them.

Despite the angst and tension between them as they shared stolen kisses in the dark, I found it difficult to understand who they were outside of their relationship with each other.

What is their backstory? Who are they as individuals? As a result, there wasn’t any character development to look forward to, making this primarily a plot-driven story.

Side Characters

One of my favorite aspects of this series, which is present in each book but particularly in this one, is the loyalty and camaraderie among the BAILEY BROTHERS AND THEIR WIVES.

The underlying family theme that ties the series together is delightful to read about, and as you get to know each brother, it feels like you’re watching them grow up and start families of their own.

GRAM continues to provide quiet wisdom in the background, offering advice only when necessary. Her psychic ability to nickname the characters based on their animal spirits and who they’re destined to be with is uncanny and hilarious.

Plot

The Bailey/Haven feud and the mystery of the town’s infamous Montgomery treasure overshadow the romance in Rewriting The Stars.

As these subplots needed to be concluded in the final book, the romance felt rushed, with a lot of emphasis on physical chemistry and not enough time spent building an emotional bond to make Levi and Annika’s love more believable. Once they confessed their love for each other, everything felt a bit cliché and “hallmark-ish.”

And with Annika being a single mom, there was no time spent on the bond between Levi and Annika’s son. For a kid who’s wary of strangers, he was too easily won over by Levi.

Bailey/Haven Feud

The tension between the two families intensifies in this book, with previously comedic pranks escalating into possible murder and assault. This timing was well-executed, making it harder for Levi and Annika to be together.

I enjoyed learning about the feud’s origin and how it was settled in the end. We also learn much more about the Haven brothers as the author sets us up for their upcoming series. 

Montgomery Treasure

For centuries, the townsfolk have been searching for this hidden treasure but have been misled by clues.

Although some of the sleuthing was far-fetched, I liked the unique way in which this treasure was discovered and found it to be a satisfactory conclusion. 

My favorite part of Rewriting the Stars is the bonus epilogue at the end. We jump back into Asher Bailey’s perspective and see how the Bailey brothers are doing a few years later.

Seeing everyone’s families, with all the babies, created such a heartwarming and touching ending. It’s definitely one of the sweetest, tear-jerking epilogues I’ve read.

Writing

I enjoyed the dual POV aspect, but I had some issues with the writing:

  • Overexplanatory and repetitive inner monologues of both MCs
  • “I love you” was said way too many times that it had lost its meaning. 
  • Annika’s son repeatedly calling a “big truck” (i.e., fire truck) a “big cock” was funny the first few times, but after a while, it lost its humor.

Conclusion

Rewriting the Stars is a heartwarming and worthwhile conclusion to the Bailey Brothers series.

With lovable characters and intriguing mystery subplots, this book is an entertaining and easy read. If you enjoy forbidden love, quirky townsfolk, and feuding families searching for hidden treasures, this will be a great choice for you.

However, due to the lack of character development and the rushed pacing of the romance, it wasn’t my favorite book in the series.

Cover Change

The series recently received an update with beautifully illustrated covers, which I must say are absolutely vibrant and capture the charming atmosphere of the small town.

But, I have to admit that I am a bit biased towards the originals because I think the men chosen to portray the brothers were a perfect match for their respective characters.

ORIGINAL COVER
UPDATED COVER

Enjoyed this Chasing Her Fire review? Let me know in the comments below which Bailey Brother is your favorite from the series.

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