Thursday, November 1, 2012

Moonlight and Oranges by Elise Stephens

by Elise Stephens

Genre: Contemporary Fiction | Romance | Young Adult

Review on behalf of AToMR Blog Tours

A timeless tale of young romance.

Lorona Connelly is ready for a change from her carefully planned, bookish life. When sparks fly at a costume party, she embraces a chance for romance with the handsome Kestrin Feather. However, she quickly realizes that even love and destiny may not be enough to overcome the reality of an overprotective mother-in-law and Kestrin’s long, tarnished history of relationships. When Lorona’s curiosity leads her to Kestrin’s journal, doubt plagues them both with insecurities and threatens the relationship. Can true love overcome the odds, or was their whirlwind romance just a frivolous crush?

Author Elise Stephens shares a journey of young love, fate, and wounded trust in the story of Lorona and Kestrin, a couple who must learn to overcome their fears to share a life together.

Lorona and Kestrin almost seem fated to meet the night of a Halloween party. And, before either can let their practical thoughts surface, they elope in a hasty marriage full of unique (citrus!!) desires and hopeful dreams of the future. Yet, not all is as it seems because Kestrin soon begins to secretly test Lorona regarding their "destined" relationship while his mother, Amanda, forcefully attempts to separate the two. Lorona, herself, struggles with trust issues due to Kestrin's wild past and easily believes her friend's comments over her husbands. Thus, can their marriage withstand the rocky ground they created for themselves and can their intense affections for each other win out in the end before it tears them apart? This modern re-telling of the Cupid and Psyche myth will draw you in with its emotional turmoil and family intrigue.


This was Kestrin Feather, the one with an appetite for variety and no interest in commitment.  She’d heard about him, mostly from Yuki, who had alternated between praise for his charisma and tales of broken-hearted girls who Yuki knew personally. 


Both protagonists really had their own uncommon strengths and irritating faults, which made them very believable at heart. And, while the plot line could easily steer into cheesy/over-sentimental portions every now and then, the overall direction truly had the reader guessing the outcome for the couple and the puzzling dream. Expect lots of entertaining side-characters who certainly become the voice for reason for Kestrin and Lorona in their dark times while adding some much need comic relief as well.


Amanda slid the leather-bound journal under a thick stack of Glamour and Vogue magazines on her coffee table.  She approached her wall of photographs and stared at one with a mother and four-year-old son sitting in front of a three-foot tall Christmas tree.  A golden retriever puppy had its head on the boy’s lap. "Mother knows best. Better than that bad dream, doesn't she?"  Amanda kissed the glass directly over the little boy's hat.  "Trust me." 

Personally, I was really torn while reading this book. The character's callow actions really had me putting aside the book in frustration, but when I began reading again - I would easily get caught up in their impassioned struggle to make a relationship work no matter the odds and that was truly charming to me. Moreover, the namesake of the book title "Moonlight and Oranges" was constantly brought up in various ways and really became something the reader could easily associate with both characters throughout. So, if you are a fan of myths, romances and desire something fresh/new - check this out!!

Likes: The Mexican La Llorona folktale/ghost story was interesting!

Dislikes: I am all for unique names, but I really kept stumbling over Kestrin's name and it become more of an annoying factor than endearing one in the end. Also, there was an overabundance of detailed descriptions and character thoughts/feelings throughout the book--too much for my taste since I would have enjoyed less. As a reader, I would have liked to use my own interpretation of the emotional inner-life of the story more often. Thus, the tale came off as over-written to me in many parts and there needed to be a better balance overall.
Chapter One/Paragraph One:  "1) Find a guy. 2) Strike up a witty conversation."

Favorite { Scene, Character or Setting }: Scene

"...searching in vain for a familiar face to save her from drowning, [Lorona] then gritted her teeth and headed for the candy corn.  If she was too nervous to start a conversation with strangers, at least she knew how to eat candy.  The kitchen windows vibrated every few seconds with music as if a nearby explosion was jarring the house foundation. 

She passed Harry Potter and Marilyn Monroe in the midst of an earnest conversation about the upcoming elections.  A woman wearing a flesh-colored suit and a huge stuffed python was dancing the Macarena to music in her head.

Lorona felt as if she were shrinking under the bright costumes and loud noises.  If she could find someone who took an interest in her, she knew she’d warm up.  She could even be witty if it she was talking to someone lively.  Lorona didn’t have a track record of making the first move.  The real definition for her condition was painfully-shy-unless-heartily-encouraged.  Lorona chewed a few kernels of candy corn straight out of her palm.

 “What’s your costume, a geek?” a male voice behind her asked.

Lorona turned to face a slender man in his mid twenties with pale curly hair, blue hell-if-I-care eyes, and a huge set of white wings.  He was staring at her hair.

“I’m a psychologist.” She replied."   
Online Preview: Read an Excerpt


  1. Looks like a great story. The book have awesome covers too. Thanks for sharing such a fantastic and well-written review. ;-)

  2. Lovely blog! Please follow mine, it's new:


It's all about the friendly conversation here at Books To Bury Yourself In :)

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Be sure to check back again because I do make every effort to reply to your comments here.