Blurb from Goodreads
Jess is falling for Sam.
Sam is falling for Jess.
But it seems life will do whatever it takes to make them fall apart.
When Jess and Sam lock eyes at a party, a spark ignites.
But love at first sight isn’t like the movies, especially when Sam’s ex, Victoria, is determined to make their honeymoon period a living hell.
Is love at first sight enough?
The perfect uplifting romcom for fans of Sophie Kinsella, Beth O’Leary and Lindsey Kelk!
I really do enjoy reading light romantic fiction. It’s my happy place. The place I escape to. But sometimes it feels like I’ve read the same sort of story over and over, and it can get a little dull.
Well “The Spark” certainly was far from dull. It took the boy meets girl love story and completely flipped it in a way that was new for me.
Jess and Sam happen to meet at a casual garden party. It’s hosted by Jess’ aunt who introduces her to Sam who is currently housesitting for their neighbours. And it’s all incredibly innocent. A beautiful afternoon. Lots of great food. Good chat… and then there’s a frisson. A feeling. A moment…
Jess and Sam share *a spark*.
Neither of them were looking for it but they knew there was potentially something life changing between them.
But Sam has a girlfriend. A girlfriend of four years. And he immediately reveals this to Jess and they separate at the party. They know neither can be together.
However, a few days later they run into each other again. And though it’s unspoken both can’t deny what they feel. And so a few weeks later Jess hears that Sam has broken up with his girlfriend and then the two of them tentatively embark on a new relationship.
And it’s great. They just click. They know that they are each other’s soulmate. But Sam’s ex won’t let their relationship go. She paints Jess as “the other woman”. Paints her as a woman who doesn’t respect other women, and begins to make Jess’ life miserable.
And this aspect of the story is great. Because we get to see the emotional struggles of Jess. We get to see how she grapples with the concept of being the other woman, grapples with her ethics, and grapples with her belief that Sam is the one. Into this mix is brought a really great storyline that explores the impact of Jess’ parents’ breakup on her attitudes and how that has affected how she sees herself as her dad left her mum for another woman.
I really enjoyed this book. There were great subplots that really helped to create a full and believably authentic main character in Jess. It was really compelling reading about her emotional struggles, and I was thoroughly gripped by the plot and wanted to see how all the pieces would lay come the end.
The supporting characters were a little less fleshed out but each brought an interesting dynamic to the storyline. I frequently wanted to slap Sam because I felt he could have been stronger when it came to voicing his feelings for Jess to his family in particular. Jess put up with A LOT of drama because of him… boy doesn’t deserve her really!!!
The one character I’m a bit torn about the depiction is Victoria. Victoria is Sam’s ex who was the cause of all the conflict and strife, and it was incredibly easy to hate her which I find a bit troubling. I guess I would have liked her to be a little less “fatal attraction” in her depiction and there to have been some more nuance about her character. She merely existed as a plot device rather than a fully fleshed out character … Admittedly, in the end of the book I did begin to feel that she was written in a more sympathetic light which helped… but maybe if she had been written in a little less stalker-esque style, this novel would have been a five stars as it would have shown that there was no female character in this love triangle that was easy to root for, and would have been a truer depiction of the heartbreak surrounding love and loss.
Overall this was an incredibly well written book and a story that gripped me from beginning to end. I highly recommend it to fans of romantic fiction that want to see a love story that’s a little bit messier than the norm.
*An e-copy was kindly provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley for honest review*
Publishing 11th December 2020, One More Chapter
Content warning: (not an exhaustive list)
The main character works in a women’s refuge and mild references are made to domestic abuse cases