RITA Reader Challenge Review

RITA Reader Challenge: Silver Sparks by Starr Ambrose


Title: Silver Sparks
Author: Starr Ambrose
Publication Info: Pocket 2011
ISBN: 978-1451623635
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Silver Sparks - Starr Ambrose This review was written by Ashlea. This story was nominated in the Best Contemporary Single Title Romance category.

The summary:     

The Larkin sisters are used to hearing whispers behind their backs. Being raised by hippie parents in the small resort town of Barringer’s Pass, Colorado, they were always considered oddballs, and for a while, they did everything they could to earn the name.  But now, older and wiser, they're discovering that it's not so great to be the wild child, and are struggling to earn a new place for themselves in town.

When Maggie Larkin resists the come-ons of a sleazy actor in town to shoot a film, she pisses off more than a pretty boy and his manager.  Turns out that Rafe DeLuca isn't just a movie star…he's possibly a killer, and Maggie's landed herself in more trouble than she could imagine.  Enter Cal Drummond, cop extraordinaire, who's been trailing DeLuca himself for weeks, convinced that his recently murdered sister is one of Rafe's victims. 

He's determined not to let another woman be victimized by the dangerous Rafe, and if that means sticking like glue to Maggie, so be it. Maggie and Cal seem like perfect opposites, but as we all know…opposites attract!

And here is Ashlea's review:

Maggie Larkin gives reality star Rafe de Luca a well-deserved slap in the face, and is saved from his bodyguard by Cal Drummond.  Cal has his own reasons to hate Rafe and thinks Rafe is responsible for the disappearance of several young women.   Soon Maggie and Cal are dodging tabloid reporters, dealing with headstrong younger sisters and Rafe’s revenge tactics, trying to prove he’s a murderer, and getting each other naked.

This book would make a pretty good movie, the kind that starred Ashley Judd in the 90s and that you’d watch when it showed up on cable.    Every scene is action packed and, with the bad guy escalating his villainy on every page, it’s paced perfectly for cinema.  In the opening scene set it a loud and trendy club, the different perspectives of the heroine and the hero, who is standing across the room, mean we even get a good variety of camera angles.  Really, the script writes itself.

And I’m apparently much more forgiving of movies than books, because all the problems I have with the book disappear when it becomes the movie I’m directing in my head.  The infodumps in the first few chapters are quick flashbacks.  The fact that the hero tells the heroine on their first meeting that he’s a cop on leave investigating the death of his sister and he thinks the Bad Guy did it—really, just after he introduced himself—I find completely implausible in book form, but in a 90 minute movie, eh, I’ll run with it.  And the parts where the characters ponder their emotions for a few paragraphs (they’re a self aware bunch), well, in the movie, I directed the actors to emote silently.

I also seem to be more forgiving of tropes in cinematic form.  A few weeks ago when Pixar’s Brave came out and I read an article where someone was bemoaning that it perpetuated the fiery redhead stereotype, I thought they were overreacting.  This heroine makes me reconsider.  Maggie is a natural redhead, pissed off, and not quiet about it.  She and Cal spend most of the first half yelling at each other.  She also yells at her sisters over the phone.  And at the bad guy, and the bad guy’s lawyer, and at the bad guy’s bodyguard.  Cal mostly steams silently or just punches men in the face.

With all the yelling and the running around and tracking a serial killer, Maggie and Cal don’t seem to share much other than hard-luck growing up stories and I never figured out what drew Maggie and Cal together.  I think they’d break up once the stress wears off.

I give the book a C+, and the movie version in my head a B+.

This book is available from Goodreads | Amazon | BN | Sony | Kobo | All Romance eBooks.

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Brandy says:

    I couldn’t see where they fit as a couple, either. And I found Maggie to be a bit of a twit. BUT, playing your movie game- it does make for a good movie!

  2. 2
    Phaenarete says:

    LOVE that I’m not the only one filming movies in my head for the books I read…

  3. 3
    Ashlea says:

    I would also like to note as a postscript that the dress on the cover is very unflattering, and I can’t tell what the cover or the title have to do with the story.

  4. 4
    kkw says:

    “they’re discovering that it’s not so great to be the wild child”

    I know the author doesn’t write the back copy, but if I had picked up this book in spite of that ghastly dress, I’d put it back down after reading that.

    Great review.

  5. 5

    I don’t mind the fiery redhead stereotype.  Guilty of flaunting it.

  6. 6
    Jamarleo says:

    Love the review- there’s many a times that I think my ‘movie’ is far better than the actual book.

Comments are closed.

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