Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
You have to be forewarned when you enter a Vi Keeland tome. To be honest, there is a bit of a bait and switch involved with most of her books. As you begin her stories, you enter them, in my opinion, with some lightness. Whether it’s a hero and heroine who detest each other and their meet-cute involves fireworks, or there is some situation that pulls them together, their beginning is generally couched in ease. You find out about midway through her books that there is something deeper, graver afoot. And it’s that moment when the switch happens when you fall head over heels in love with her stories. At least that’s the case with this reader.
The Spark, Vi Keeland’s newest story, begins with a seemingly innocuous meet-cute. The heroine, Autumn, accidentally takes the luggage of one Donovan Decker. On calling his number, found on his luggage tag, they make plans to meet at a coffee shop to exchange luggage (he notes a lonely piece of luggage and takes it, thinking it might belong to the person who took his). On meeting, there is an instant attraction, and they spend a weekend together, which ends with Autumn sneaking away and out of Donovan’s life. Until she comes back in.
Again, at first glance, The Spark seems harmless, nothing to wrench your heart in two. Except that Keeland’s genius is her ability to connect her easy story to darker human issues. This book handles the struggles of the foster system, the horror of dating abuse, and the psychology of trauma as it upends a person’s life. At Autumn and Donovan’s meet-cute, these deeper issues are nowhere to be found, but without them, this book would miss. Under Keeland’s deft hand, The Spark becomes a story about love healing the hurts of the past, about the need to move on. It’s a story beautifully wrought, engaging, and heartrending. It’s a reminder of the best parts of romances that take something ugly and turn that ugly into a scarred, but complete beauty. All of that is here in Vi Keeland’s The Spark. Unlike some of her stories, her hero, Donovan, is lost to Autumn. The holdout in this story is its heroine. Yet, Donovan shows his mettle, and he is impervious to failure. He loves her without restraint, and as a reader, you can’t help but fall for him.
From its start to its finish, Vi Keeland’s The Spark is a tapestry of the highs and lows of love. As she has done in the past, Keeland has crafted a story that grabs at you, pulling you through to her end. Once you begin reading this one, you will not be able to put it down. And Donovan and Autumn will steal your heart.
In love and romance,