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Sparks Fly by Sarah Sanders

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Take every love-at-first-sight movie; add to that every romantic movie of falling head-over-heels in love with someone in a ...

Mouth to Mouth (Lakeside Hospital, #5) by Cara Malone

⭐⭐⭐

Sarah Robinson is a paramedic with a secret crush on Lakeside Hospital’s ER nurse, Veronica. For almost three years they’ve been having a very low-level non-verbal eye-footsie playing out, but Veronica has a long-term girlfriend. Besides which Sarah has decided that Veronica is way too gorgeous and way out of her league. On one of her hospital runs, Sarah blacks out in Veronica’s arms. It just so happens that that particular day is really awful for Veronica since she’d caught her girlfriend in bed with another woman just that morning. So Veronica is not in a patient or loving mood towards the world and gives Sarah a mouthful about what she, Veronica, thinks about her, Sarah. While their first real conversation wasn’t particularly good, later interactions start changing things between the two women.

Sarah is described as a ‘people-pleaser’ bending backwards to do things for friends, family, acquaintances and even strangers. But there is much more to this defining aspect about her. She believes that she has to earn love. Kudos to Malone for creating this character because this (the feeling that one has to earn love) is an under-addressed reality. Sarah’s feeling that she has to earn love is attributed to being a product of the foster-care system but this happens a lot (a lot) even in regular, ‘happy’ families – particularly when there is favouritism. Sarah is kind of lucky that she is still in her twenties when Veronica points this out (rather harshly) to her. Your heart goes out to Sarah that even at the end of Veronica’s verbal lashing, Sarah is gentle and concerned about Veronica. In fact, their whole relationship really begins when Sarah spontaneously reaches out to help and support Veronica without expecting anything in return.

Getting back to the luck factor – despite the harshness, Sarah is lucky to be made aware of herself in her twenties. This is not often the case, and people spend their whole lives trying to earn love and believing deep-down that unless they are doing things for others they are not loveable. It gets worse when resentment sets in after decades and they turn harsh and start a reverse journey of only giving only if another person earns it from them. It can be hugely damaging. 

In this book, Sarah is constantly doing things for her friends who just don’t seem to return her niceness. And she is used to so little and expects so little that she’s okay with what she gets. We’re really glad that Veronica came into her life and hope she learns to value herself more by being valued by Veronica.

We really wish Malone had given Sarah an uninterrupted moment in the spotlight at the end. Messing up her moment (when Veronica is proposing to her) was so not cool.

Our gripes aside, as a romance this is an engaging read. 

⭐⭐⭐

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