Jenre's Reviews > Sparks Fly

Sparks Fly by Clare London
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Aug 12, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: m-m

This is one fabulous book. It is so fabulous I'm finding it very difficult to think of anything negative to say about it. I think I'll start with the positives.

This book is what you might term 'character driven'. If you like plot-heavy, fast, frantic suspense stories, well this book is not for you. Fortunately, I love stories which focus on the emotional journey of the characters, especially if they are realistic and well drawn as is the case with this book. I loved both the heroes, even though they were completely different.

Our first hero is Nic, a young, dynamic, charming entrepreneur. He has worked hard to make his dating agency business a success and, as a result, has become a celebrity and media darling. He's attractive, confident and promiscuous.

Our second hero is Aidan, a shy, introverted computer programmer. He has worked hard to set up the dating agency computer programme which is used to match up the potential couples. He has a fear of rejection, so pushes people away (often using anger as a defense mechanism), preferring the company of his computers and a few select 'online friends'. He hasn't had sex in a long time.

The plot of the book involves a mysterious hacker who is trying to hack into the dating agency programming. This is essentially used as a means to get our two heroes together and provides an excuse for them to keep in touch. Because of this, the plot is resolved quite easily once the characters have become emotionally involved with one another. The story then focuses on resolving the emotional barriers raised by the characters, before coming a very satisfying conclusion.

The 'sparks' refers to not only the name of the dating agency, but also the relationship between the characters. They spend quite a lot of time arguing with each other. Nic wants to get to know Aidan better; Aidan pushes Nic away. Aidan disapproves of Nic promiscuity; Nic doesn't see why he should turn down what is freely offered. Nic likes socialising with others; Aidan hides in corners at parties. Most of the conflict is caused because the two men don't understand each other and, like real men, find it difficult to talk about their inner feelings, or share past hurts. It's when they swallow their pride and start to open up with one other that the bridges are built and they begin to be able to see past the labels they have applied to each other.

It was all very marvellous. I was taken on an emotional journey every step of the way. I experienced Nic's frustration and dawning self-awareness; Aidan's anger and crippling insecurity; and the gradual growth of love between the men in Clare London's deft hand. She made me care very much about these men.

So what were the negative points? There was only one minor fault really and that was that the characters were very self absorbed at times. There were occasional lengthy passages devoted to introspection and I became impatient for the story to continue. However, I do appreciate that some of this introspection was necessary for the characters to develop. They needed to think through some of their actions and realise the need for change.

I hope I have put across how much I really liked this book. I'm giving a grade of 'Excellent' because I'm definitely going to be reading Sparks Fly again and again
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