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The Sparkling One [Mass Market Paperback]

Susan Mallery
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug. 26 2003 Marcelli Sisters of Pleasure Road (Book 1)
For the Marcelli sisters of California wine country, the season is ripe for romance!

THE SPARKLING ONE

A party planner extraordinaire, Katie Marcelli loves her big, boisterous family -- even when their chronic matchmaking drives her crazy! In the Marcelli household, fine wine and good food are as celebrated as true love, so when her eighteen-year-old sister announces her engagement, Katie promises her the perfect wedding. There's only one hitch: the father of the groom, Zach Stryker, who is adamantly opposed to his son marrying so young. Now, despite her instant attraction to the handsome, arrogant attorney, Katie must approach with caution: Zach, who hired Katie for a major fundraiser, holds the fate of her business in his hands -- and how can she trust a man who is willing to break her sister's heart? It will take a passionate battle of wills to determine if wedding bells will ring for a Marcelli bride, and to unlock the deepest desires -- for family, love, and home -- inside a strong-willed man's heart.


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Review

"Smart, sexy entertainment." -- Christina Dodd

About the Author

Susan Mallery is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 100 romance novels, including her acclaimed Marcelli series, her Buchanan family series, and most recently, her first foray into women's fiction, Sunset Bay. The winner of the National Readers Choice Award, she has a Masters degree in Writing Popular Fiction. Susan makes her home in Washington with her husband and an assortment of pets. Visit her website at www.SusanMallery.com.

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Katie Marcelli knew that with the right staff, she could organize the world. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Sept. 23 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I think Susan Mallery has really come into her own in with this new series. I enjoyed the story very much and can't wait to read the other 2 books.
I come from a large family but I found the Marcellis a bit off-putting. The grandfather, especially, is pretty unlovable. I hope he gets better in the next books. The older Marcelli women are kind of cute. I liked how they all pulled together to help Katie out in a major crisis.
However, it was the story of Zach and Katie that I enjoyed the most. I like that the story unfolded over months rather than a week or two. (One of my pet peeves is forever after occuring in just a few days). The respect they had for each other from the beginning was wonderful. Even as they disagreed on what to do about the young engaged couple. Her sister, his son. Both 18. Yikes!
Another thing I like was the progression of the relationship of the youngsters. It was presented in a pretty lifelike manner, I feel. I don't want to spoil the story for anyone who hasn't read the book so I won't detail the outcome of their engagement. Let's just say I'm glad things worked out the way they did. It was nice to see the women working together the way they did. Gramps could learn a lesson there. Not a likeable man.
It was good to see that Katie didn't back down in the face of Zach's unsubtle attempt at blackmail. She is my kind of heroine. Smart and determined without falling into the TSTL category. (Another pet peeve) She has her fears and that makes her very human and easy to relate to.
All in all, I do recommend reading this book. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
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4.0 out of 5 stars fun contemporary romance Sept. 18 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In Los Angeles, Kate Marcelli knows that if Organization Central successfully pulls off the event for the client it will make her firm. Her company will handle a large law firm's annual fundraiser for local family charities. When Kate meets one of the partners, Zach Stryker her hormones go into overdrive, but she contains them as sex and business do not mix.
Kate attends an estrogen feast at the family estate. Also expected there are her mother, two grandmothers, her married sister, her widowed sister, and her teenage youngest sibling Mia besides two embattled males. Mia announces that she is engaged and that her fiancé David and his father will soon arrive. Mia's family is ecstatic, but also concerned with the single status of Kate, who says she found her client to be hot and bothersome. David and his father Zach arrive. Zach gave the fund-raiser project to Kate in hopes of an ally to stop these kids from marrying, but his future in-laws embrace the idea. As Kate and Zach work together they fall in love, but will he force his beloved to decide between him and her family?
Though the Marcelli clan can be hormonally overwhelming, readers will enjoy this contemporary romance. The story line is fun as her family matchmake Kate and Zach not fully grasping he feels strongly against David and Mia marrying as both are too young though Marcelli women marry as teens except for Kate. The ensemble cast display individual traits so that the audience receives a warm Italian-American tale that is often humorous especially when the estrogen levels go off the Richter scale.
Harriet Klausner
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2.0 out of 5 stars Boring and Predictable Oct. 9 2003
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I really enjoy novels by Susan Mallery. This was the exception. I thought her portrayal of traditional Italian and Irish families was beyond stereotypical, and quite frankly offensive at times. There was nothing lovable about the Marcelli clan and I kept hoping Katie would tell them all where they could go stick their pushy, nosy, and persistent demands. This is one family I would hate to be a member of.
The chemistry between Zach and Katie was less than scintillating and I had to force myself to read the last few chapters. I doubt I'll be reading the remaining novels in the series.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  32 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining Sept. 23 2003
By Margaret - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I think Susan Mallery has really come into her own in with this new series. I enjoyed the story very much and can't wait to read the other 2 books.
I come from a large family but I found the Marcellis a bit off-putting. The grandfather, especially, is pretty unlovable. I hope he gets better in the next books. The older Marcelli women are kind of cute. I liked how they all pulled together to help Katie out in a major crisis.
However, it was the story of Zach and Katie that I enjoyed the most. I like that the story unfolded over months rather than a week or two. (One of my pet peeves is forever after occuring in just a few days). The respect they had for each other from the beginning was wonderful. Even as they disagreed on what to do about the young engaged couple. Her sister, his son. Both 18. Yikes!
Another thing I like was the progression of the relationship of the youngsters. It was presented in a pretty lifelike manner, I feel. I don't want to spoil the story for anyone who hasn't read the book so I won't detail the outcome of their engagement. Let's just say I'm glad things worked out the way they did. It was nice to see the women working together the way they did. Gramps could learn a lesson there. Not a likeable man.
It was good to see that Katie didn't back down in the face of Zach's unsubtle attempt at blackmail. She is my kind of heroine. Smart and determined without falling into the TSTL category. (Another pet peeve) She has her fears and that makes her very human and easy to relate to.
All in all, I do recommend reading this book. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great storytelling makes for an engaging romance May 2 2005
By Tracy Vest - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Event coordinator, Katie Marcelli has just landed a major coup - to organize a huge charity fund raiser. As an added bonus, the man in charge is a sexy lawyer named Zach Stryker. Nothing can take her off her high; not even her loud boisterous family when she gathers with them for her youngest sister's engagement party. To guard from the numerous pleas to settle down and find herself a man, Katie mentions a possible romance with her new client. Imagine her surprise (or horror) to find that Zach is the father of the groom, and of course her family manages to further humiliate her when they mention that they have heard all about Zach, to his amusement.

Zach also has a secret up his sleeve - he hired Katie in hopes she'd be indebted to him enough to help him break up the engagement of his 18 year old son (who was born when Zach was 17). Katie doesn't bow to his threats, and they suddenly find themselves attracted to each other. While she doesn't agree with Mia's choice to get married so young, she doesn't want Zach interfering.

The first Marcelli saga is a really engaging and sizzling story that probes into the relationships between Katie and Zach; Zach and David; David and Mia; as well as the entire extended Marcelli family headed by the staunch patriarch "Gramps", who wants nothing more than a male heir to whom he can pass on the family vineyard.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fails to deliver Aug. 15 2004
By Lacey Savage - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Katie Marcelli has just launched her own party-planning business, and she knows that landing a big contract would put Organization Central on the map. When that contract practically lands in her lap, Katie's stunned and excited. Then she meets Zach Stryker, one of the partners of the large firm footing the bill for her organizational efforts, and she realizes the real reason she was chosen for the job: Zach hopes to persuade her (by any means necessary) that Katie's sister's upcoming marriage to Zach's son is a very bad idea.

Zach's the only one who believes that two 18-year olds shouldn't wed. The Marcelli clan embraces the idea, as does Katie herself, not to mention the recently engaged couple. Can Zach persuade Katie that these two young people shouldn't be allowed to make a mistake that will ruin their lives forever? And can he keep his hands off Katie in the process?

THE SPARKLING ONE has a solid plot which stems from enough internal and external conflict to keep it moving at a rapid pace. Unfortunately, the Marcelli family is so overwhelming and annoying, it's hard to really feel for any of the characters. With the exception of Zach, who is arrogant and cynical, but also charming, sexy, and kind, the rest of the characters have few redeeming qualities.

Ms. Mallery's intent must have been the thorough depiction of an Italian-American family, but the characterization falls short of eliciting a humorous reaction. Instead, the boisterous grandmothers, domineering grandfather, and off-kilter sisters come off as stereotypical and infinitely unlovable. I kept expecting Katie to come to her senses and finally run off for good. I also couldn't understand the reason for Zach's sudden acceptance of the family.

Overall, a sharply plotted tale that fails to deliver due to shoddy characterization.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring and Predictable Oct. 9 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I really enjoy novels by Susan Mallery. This was the exception. I thought her portrayal of traditional Italian and Irish families was beyond stereotypical, and quite frankly offensive at times. There was nothing lovable about the Marcelli clan and I kept hoping Katie would tell them all where they could go stick their pushy, nosy, and persistent demands. This is one family I would hate to be a member of.
The chemistry between Zach and Katie was less than scintillating and I had to force myself to read the last few chapters. I doubt I'll be reading the remaining novels in the series.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1st book in the Marcelli Sisters of Pleasure Road Series Aug. 26 2006
By cb - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Sparkling One by Susan Mallery is a great introduction to a great series. I have read them out of order and it gives a little away but not enough. This is series tells the story of four sisters who are from a Italian/Irish wine making family. This story tells the story of Katie the oldest sister who falls for Mia's fiance father. Great dialogue -- I love the family.
Check out the whole series; The Sparkling One (1),The Sassy One (2),The Seductive One (3), The Marcelli Bride (4),The Marcelli Princess (5 coming out 2007).
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