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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 ...

Media Darling By Fiona Riley


Celebrity-Commoner is a favourite fantasy. But it is a fairly difficult theme to make believable, simply because the celebrity of the star eclipses everything else.  Author Fiona Riley takes this difficult coupling and creates a lovely romance out of it.

Emerson Sterling is a gorgeous film star. Hayley Carpenter, an entertainment magazine reporter with a secret, passive ambition of writing a screenplay. On a punishment-assignment, Hayley and Emerson first come into each other’s orbits. Hayley creates a terrible first impression on Emerson and a fantastic second impression.

Grappling with ex-girlfriend and fellow actress, Rachel’s vindictiveness, at that moment in Emerson’s life, the shit has pretty much hit the fan. Because of the great second impression, Emerson chooses Hayley to be her medium for damage control.

The girls spend more and more time together…and well, it is a romance, so they fall in love.

The thing about books is that synopses never give a real clue about the book. The magic is always in the way the story is narrated, and Riley narrates this one with spirit. She focusses on the characters, their personalities and gives believable dimensions to make them ‘people’ instead of ‘characters’. That is a big win for the writer.

The celebrity being attractive is easy enough to convey. The difficult part in such stories is justifying just why the celebrity would fall for this commoner and that the celebrity is indeed into this commoner. So the first half of the book is about the gorgeousness of Emerson and the second half is about how into Hayley Emerson is. A little much, and a little belaboured, that. But okay…necessary.

As a writer, Riley shows a growing maturity in this book. She has focussed more on the layers of the girls than on hot sex. (There is some sex, but if you’re looking for a ton of explicit scenes, you may be disappointed). There are some really well-written thoughts and dialogues…particularly in the first half when Emerson is baring herself to Hayley and expressing her thoughts and emotions using metaphors.

The epilogue gives us a HNF…but the die-hard romantic in us, wants a HFA. Well, that’s just us…but this one is a lovely, lovely romance with enough mush to give a shot of happy high.


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