Kerstin Ostheim, a journalist, and P. J. Banner, a freelance photographer, have been together six months after meeting on a dating website. They are getting married in two weeks and as the wedding fast approaches, they question their compatibility while investigating mysterious horse killings that are taking place in Ogweyo's Cove, the Pacific tourist haven where they live.
In the meantime, Schuld Ostheim, Kerstin's transgender daughter from her first marriage, is preparing for an art exhibit after being hospitalized for a physical assault while her boyfriend, Woloff, an Olympic medalist in the 1500m, comes to terms with a career ending knee injury. As Kerstin and P.J. get closer to the truth about the dead horses, they also begin to more clearly see each other. Simultaneously, Schuld and Woloff encounter obstacles caused by how their relationships with the past effects their sense of a possible future.
Ultimately, Smells Like Stars draws attention to what is hidden in plain sight, that life can be cruel, ambiguous and without meaning.