November 8, 2013

Book Review: Leave the Lights On by Karen Stivali

Title: Leave the Light On
Author: Karen Stivali
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Purchase Links:
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 OnLeave 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.

View all my reviews

Author Bio:

Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies and fictional British men. When she's not writing, she can be found cooking extravagant meals and serving them to family and friends, who never seem to mind the excessive quantities she tends to prepare. She attributes her ability to multitask to the fact that she rarely sleeps, which gives her more hours every day.

Karen has always been fascinated by the way people relate to one another so she favors books and movies that feature richly detailed characters and their relationships. In her own writing she likes to explore the dynamics between characters and has a tendency to craft romantic tales filled with sarcasm and sexy details. Although she writes in three genres (erotic romance, contemporary romance and women's fiction) all of her stories are love stories with happily ever after endings.

Karen has published several erotic romance novels with Ellora's Cave including two award winning stories: Always You (published September 2011, First Place Winner of the RWA Passionate Plume Award - 2012)and Marry Me (published June 2012, First Place Winner in the NEC-RWA Bean Pot Reader's Choice Award - 2013).

To learn more about Karen you can visit her website where she blogs original recipes, sassy commentary on The Bachelor, and tidbits about her journey in the writing world. Karen can also be found attempting witty banter on Twitter

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