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The Sparkling One Mass Market Paperback – Aug 26 2003

3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Star (Aug. 26 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743443942
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743443944
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.3 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #280,229 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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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Top Customer Reviews

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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By A Customer on 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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By A Customer on Oct. 9 2003
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: HASH(0xa4a9860c) out of 5 stars 59 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa48cba68) out of 5 stars Entertaining Sept. 23 2003
By Margaret G. - 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.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4c90f54) 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
HASH(0xa478e174) 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.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4a7f7f8) 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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa48e9bf4) out of 5 stars Luke-warm romance, but an interesting family saga... Nov. 25 2010
By Alpha Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is Susan Mallery's first book in her `Marcelli Sisters of Pleasure Road' series.
The series is centered on four sisters; Francesca, Brenna, Mia and Katie and their Hacienda family home in California. The Marcelli estate is also a prosperous vineyard, and all four sisters feel pressure from their Grandfather Lorenzo to produce sons and a future heir for the wine company.

`The Sparkling One' is the first book in the series, and concerns middle sister, Katie. At the beginning of the book Katie, an events planner, is hired to host a swanky A-list party for a law firm. Her point-man on the project is divorce attorney, Zach Stryker. There's an instant attraction between Zach and Katie... but things turn puzzling when Zach turns up at her family estate, with his 18-year-old son in tow who is engaged to youngest Marcelli sister, Mia.

As it turns out Zach is firmly against the wedding and hired Katie in order to convince her to break up the happy (and young) couple. What Zach didn't plan on was falling for Katie in the process...

I'm pretty torn about this book. I liked it, but I also had a pretty big problem with it. I didn't buy the romance. For one thing, Katie is pretty boring. Maybe it was middle sister syndrome, but I didn't believe it when Zach kept waxing poetic about how different, wonderful, smart, funny and sexy she was. I didn't see much evidence of this - in fact I found Katie paled in comparison to her sisters. Youngest sister, Mia, is full of life and charisma. Brenna is funny in the face of adversity, and her twin Francesca is a quirky enigma. Katie was just so `blah'.

I didn't feel a whole lot about Zach either. Mallery talks a lot about what a hard-ass lawyer Zach is, and in his role as divorce attorney he maintains that he's cynical about love. He really should have been more stoic and hard-assed than Mallery made him. I didn't see much of a transformation from cynic to romantic, and by my reckoning he was pretty open-minded about finding love from the get-go. Together Katie and Zach were a pretty mediocre couple. There isn't a whole lot of sparkage, just a few `kinda sweet' moments.

What saved this book, and ensured I will keep reading the series was the family saga. Mallery beautifully sets up books for the other sisters by peppering `The Sparkling One' with juicy tidbits about their lives and tragically stagnate love lives.
In `The Sparkling One', Brenna is hit with divorce papers from her husband of several years. She never saw the split coming, and is doubly wounded by her husband's revealing he's been having an affair and intends to marry the `bimbo' the moment their divorce is settled.
Francesca was widowed at the tender age of 21 - and maintains that she'd prefer to be single than live through heartache ever again.
Mia is engaged in this book - but quickly learns that getting married at 18 comes with a string of problems, not least of which is dealing with the immaturity of your betrothed.

While I may not have been invested in the main romance of Katie and Zach, Mallery had me very interested in the bigger family saga. I will definitely be reading the other books in this series, if only to find out what happens to the other (more interesting) sisters.

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