November 8, 2013
Book Review: Leave the Lights On by Karen Stivali
Author: Karen Stivali
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Samhain Publishing Store
"When love throws you a curve, swing for the fences. "
Parker Wood's dreams of becoming a professional baseball player are shattered when he's injured in a devastating car crash. After two years in hospitals and physical rehab facilities, he's ready to move back to his childhood home and take over the family landscaping company. The house and business are his, now that his father has passed.
Sophie Vaughn has suffered through a hellishly public divorce from a husband who couldn't manage to stay faithful for two months of marriage. Determined not to let her personal drama impact her successful wedding and party planning business, she buys her parents' old house, hoping the comfort of familiar surroundings will help her heal.
When Parker and Sophie discover they're neighbors once again, it's as if time has stood still. Their friendship is quickly rekindled, along with the decade-long crush neither of them ever admitted having. Then the heat between them exposes a long-held secret that threatens to tear them apart...unless they can detach from their painful pasts and move forward-together.
Warning: Contains sultry summer nights, steamy pool-side encounters, and you'll never look at a jar of peanut butter the same way again.
Leave the Lights On by Karen Stivali
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book was a quick enjoyable read. It was sweet and simple. But I enjoy a little bit of saltiness and spice with my romance, and for me this was just a little lacking.
The story is pretty straightforward. Childhood best friends Sophia and Parker find themselves neighbors again after several years. Both have been through personal trauma and are trying to start their lives over from scratch. Both always carried a torch for the other back when they were kids, but they were always too scared to do anything about it, preferring to remain best friends instead. Now that they are all grown up, and living next door to each other again, they can't fight the desire and attraction that is between them anymore.
Like I said, this is a very sweet and romantic story. I loved both characters of Parker and Sophia and loved how they were together. But in order for a story to really grab me and make an impression, there has to be some sort of conflict, some sort of angst or hurt or catastrophe that leaves the two main characters reeling and having to fight their way back to each other. This story just seemed too....easy. There were a handful of very small speed bumps that Parker and Sophia had to deal with, but that's all they were. Small and simple. They had forgiven each other or talked it out and were back to being the perfect couple in a heartbeat. When there's no push and pull the story kind of loses my interest a little bit.
I think that this story could have been great if it had been a little bit more complicated or developed. I'm not sure if those are the right words, but I'm trying to convey that for me it was just missing that little extra something that would have made it special - that WOW factor.
Overall, I enjoyed it and recommend it to anyone looking for a carefree, straightforward love story.
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