Written In the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur

15 December 2020

Written in the Stars
Published on November 10th, 2020 by Avon Books

With nods to Bridget Jones and Pride & Prejudice, this debut is a delightful #ownvoices queer rom-com about a free-spirited social media astrologer who agrees to fake a relationship with an uptight actuary until New Year’s Eve—with results not even the stars could predict!

After a disastrous blind date, Darcy Lowell is desperate to stop her well-meaning brother from playing matchmaker ever again. Love—and the inevitable heartbreak—is the last thing she wants. So she fibs and says her latest set up was a success. Darcy doesn’t expect her lie to bite her in the ass.

Elle Jones, one of the astrologers behind the popular Twitter account Oh My Stars, dreams of finding her soul mate. But she knows it is most assuredly not Darcy... a no-nonsense stick-in-the-mud, who is way too analytical, punctual, and skeptical for someone as free-spirited as Elle. When Darcy’s brother—and Elle's new business partner—expresses how happy he is that they hit it off, Elle is baffled. Was Darcy on the same date? Because... awkward.

Darcy begs Elle to play along and she agrees to pretend they’re dating. But with a few conditions: Darcy must help Elle navigate her own overbearing family during the holidays and their arrangement expires on New Year’s Eve. The last thing they expect is to develop real feelings during a faux relationship. But maybe opposites can attract when true love is written in the stars?

It’s not every day we get to encounter a debut novel that sweeps you off your feet, but Written in the Stars just does exactly that. Especially with the recent release of Happiest Season starring Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis, I feel like Christmas truly is the season of the gays. #winning

Alexandria Bellefleur’s debut novel Written in the Stars is a stunning #ownvoices opposites attract sapphic rom-com that made my heart flutter a bajillion times. Not to mention that it also falls under the fake relationship trope, which is one of my guilty pleasures. It’s definitely high on the list of my favourite books this 2020 and probably forever. 

In the beginning, we meet Elle ‘Elizabeth’ Jones off to a blind date with Darcy Lowell, her new business partner’s older sister. The date turns out disastrous when things take a turn for the worse. Add in the fact that they seem to have nothing in common. Elle is an astrologer who wants to find her soulmate. Meanwhile, Darcy, who works as an actuary, is a bit of a sophisticated old soul who initially comes off a bit jaded about love because she’s already been burned before. But things take a turn when Darcy asks Elle to pretend to be together just so her brother would quit being the meddling matchmaker. 

Bellefleur is a genius for creating Written in the Stars as a sapphic modern-day Pride and Prejudice, with Elle and Darcy bearing a really strong resemblance to Jane Austen’s Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy. These two characters are a joy to read, particularly Elle, the dreamy, hopeless romantic, and quite whimsical with her lifestyle choices. She loves cheap boxed wine, co-owns the popular social media astrology account Oh My Stars and is also in the midst of launching a dating app with Darcy’s brother, Brendon. Darcy, on the other hand, comes off a bit standoffish yet refined — definitely Elle's polar opposite, but deep down, I related to her character more as someone very sentimental and But while these two may seem far ends of the spectrum like the north and south pole, they definitely do have certain compatibilities that come out in the open as both heroines begin to catch feelings as they pretend to be in a relationship. 

The chemistry oozed by Darcy and Elle is just explosive despite nearly being stark opposites. They're both smart characters with incredibly witty dialogue that won't fail to make your smile turn into a cheesy grin. Surprisingly enough, I thought Darcy funnier than Elle, most especially with her dry-wit humour that always left me chuckling. And don’t get me started on the smut, because it. Is. Fire. Darcy and Elle are not just adorable together, but they definitely had my Kindle sizzling with queer sexiness. 

But other than the shits and giggles and the heat required in a rom-com, Bellefleur manages to deliciously weave in a little bit of relatable angst that shapes the story perfectly — with Elle, who struggles with wanting to be accepted by her family of well-accomplished university graduates with PhDs and Darcy taking responsibility as the elder sibling to Brendon after their parents both checked out following an awful divorce. Bellefleur did an absolutely impressive job in actually making me feel lots of emotions for this couple. 

However, while this novel may have been a delightful read, especially the astrology aspect, I felt a bit cheated with the absence of an epilogue that could have at least featured a time-skip. I really wish there were more of these two — I just can't get enough!!! Miss Bellefleur, spare epilogue chapter, please?

Nonetheless, I’m truly in love with the LGBTQ representation and the fun astrology twist in Written in the Stars and I’m hoping this will pave the way for more sapphic and queer romances to come out of their closets and onto the bookshelves (I know there are a lot already out there but they're still quite niche). You definitely wouldn’t want to miss out on this delightful read that’s bound to leave you smitten with every turn of a page! Although this isn't exactly a holiday romance, it's quirky feel-good nature is just perfect for the holiday season!