Wednesday, June 17, 2015

review || SPARK

Spark by Erin Noelle

Publisher: Self-Published (4/19/2015)
Series: Fire on the Mountain, book 1
Genre: New Adult Romance
Source: InkSlinger PR
Purchase links || amazon || add to goodreads


I'm failing.

My younger brother is getting worse, and my job - my duty - is to help him at all costs. We've tried everything modern medicine has to offer and nothing works.


Deciding to turn to unconventional treatments, we end up at Fire-on-the-Mountain, a holistic resort deep in the Rockies.

In our search for medical marijuana, I find beautiful, free-spirited Hudson Shavell - a girl who may not only hold the key to heal my brother, but to fix me as well. Even though I can't afford distractions right now, she's all I can think about. All that I want.

It's funny how everything can change with one little SPARK.

Though Spark is the first book in the Fire on the Mountain Series, it is a stand alone novel.

Intended for mature audiences only.

about Erin || Erin Noelle is a Texas native, where she lives with her husband and two young daughters. While earning her degree in History at the University of Houston, she rediscovered her love for reading that was first instilled by her grandmother when she was a young child.

A lover of happily-ever-afters, both historical and current, Erin is an avid reader of all romance novels. Her titles published include the Book Boyfriend Series, the Dusk ‘Til Dawn Series, Translucent, Conspire — co-authored with SE Hall, Surviving Us, MILF: Wrong Kind of Love and Spark.

Her books have been a part of the USA Today Bestselling list and the Amazon and Barnes & Noble overall Top 100.

{ review } .
This story...

Talk about taking a taboo subject and running with it. Regardless of your stance on marijuana, medicinal or otherwise (I personally don't have a stance one way or another; I'm all for it if it helps, but against the abuse of it), the heart and soul of this story is extraordinary.

Right from the moment the story begins, you can't help but fall in love with these characters. Immediately, you're thrown into Crew's world -- first, his playboy ways (he keeps his girlfriend around because she's good in bed), and second, you get to see what a damn good brother he is.
"Hey, bro," I say quietly, pushing back the wet strands of hair that are plastered to his forehead. "Good to have you back."
Middle of the hallway, classmates all over... and not a care for a single one of them. His focus is completely on his little brother. Dang, I'm tearing up just thinking about it again.

After exhausting everything available to Caleb in Texas, yet his epilepsy getting worse and worse, the family (mom, Caleb, and Crew) pick up and go to check out Colorado, staying at the resort run by the Shavell family. They're there (Colorado) for research purposes, but an off-handed comment made by the boys to one of the Shavell girls, Hudson, brings what once just looked good on paper to fruition.

When Crew first sees Hudson, he's immediately drawn to her -- but shortly after he learns she's going on a date. Like any hormonal teenager, he then goes about the silent treatment for the next day, until he learns that Hudson's date didn't go so great.

I loved every moment of this story. The only time I put it down (just once) was when I could no longer keep my eyes open, as I had been awake since 3 am in the morning. So after a six hour nap (or day sleep, for us night shift folk), I picked it right back up and finished.

Hudson lives in a hippie style family. Her parents request that the kids (all named for the spot of conception)--Hudson's five sisters and one brother--call them by their given names of Melissa and Doug --
...who are often asked if they're the famous duo that makes kids' toys, but they're not. They just make kids...lots of them. --Hudson
Her grandmother is like a Betty White in personality, they pass joints like it's the mashed potato bowl at dinner, and there is not a taboo subject in their family -- such as Hudson's lack of 'giving it up' and she's already nineteen (date scheduled, check; parents bought the condoms, double check).

The family is extremely loving and open, but this is further embodied in middle child Hudson. Hudson has a fix-all and help-all mentality, as well as brains, and with that she is the child that has been helping Doug Shavell with the planting and such of their cannabis plants. Hudson takes it further and finds ways to cultivate her plants, crossbreeding them to pull out different aspects of the drug -- as well as taking on a much larger project after meeting Caleb.

While Hudson is smart and very much the lamb of her sisters, she has spunk. Some of her thoughts were just downright funny -- but I suppose they'd have to be when surrounded with equally gorgeous sisters.
I suppose licking his face real quick to mark him as mine for when I get back wouldn't be appropriate. --Hudson on Crew
What Erin does extremely well in SPARK is keeping you invested in secondary characters. I, for one, typically hate side stories. Give me the lead couple and run with the story; I won't pay too much mind to the secondary players -- I may even skim over their parts.

But you can't in SPARK. Not so much can't as won't. The Shavell sisters? Gosh, I loved them all (Brighton's story is many moons down the road, but I'm curious how she deals with everything that happens in SPARK). Rory? I really liked him. I liked how much of a good, quick friend he was for Crew -- but equally, this drama-free guy could emit negative feelings in a relatively calm speech, putting anyone (...err, Crew) in his place. And then there was Caleb. My goodness gracious, you couldn't help but fall in love with that boy, with his smiles, his laughter, and his love for life.

SPARK will put you through the emotional gamut. I laughed, I smiled, I cheered, I cried. Heck, most of Part III of the book I had at least a tear in my eye.

I'm very glad that Erin chose to write Hudson and Crew's story first. Yes, Mel and Doug met extremely young (younger than Hudson and Crew) and managed to really make love work, so I believe that Hudson and Crew have what it takes... but they're still young. I want to watch their relationship continue to flourish throughout the series.

This is definitely one of my favorite new adults of the year, and may be one of my favorite new adult series (but 'eh, I'm getting ahead of myself... it is only book one).

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