By Pamela Sparkman
Series: Stolen Breaths, Book 1
My Rating: 2 Stars
Stolen Breaths is Pamela Sparkman’s first novel so I don’t want to be cruel here. But the book sadly only received two stars from me. It’s an honest and perfectly good attempt at a first novel. My lower rating is only because it’s a very short “novel” and I felt that about half the story was missing. Stolen Breaths is only 199 pages and I strongly feel that another 50-75 pages added to expand and fill in some major gaps could have made this book much better and much more fulfilling for the reader. Writing is tough and when you sit with your own work and read and reread it’s hard to see the gaps that need to be filled. That’s what editors are for and I feel like this book could have used some honest reviewing and editing prior to publishing. That said it is actually a good story and the characters are interesting and there are plot twists that will keep the reader engaged.
Lily returns to the town she grew up in when her father is suddenly and tragically killed in a car accident. Left to handle her father’s estate, Lily has never felt so alone in the world. Upon returning she meets Cooper, a local celebrity because of his connections to the local bar scene. Cooper brings parts of Lily out that she never thought possible. Some of those are things Lily doesn’t realize can be brought out or needs to be brought out. There is attraction but there is something else that can’t be explained. As their feelings and attraction for one another develops and grows, Lily and Cooper must face their pasts that have haunted them for years. Together they will work through their past to a future that is full of love, forgiveness and peace.
With Stolen Breaths you have two broken souls, who find each other and help lead the other out of the darkness and into the light. A haunted past and terrible memories plague both the main characters. They find each other and grow in love and dream of a future not full of pain. Sounds like a good story right? A great plot for a modern romance right? Yes, I totally agree. Unfortunately, there are gapping holes in this story. The supporting characters aren’t developed which I felt distracted from the story. In addition, I had issues with the relationship between Lily and Cooper. It was almost too convenient. Everything seemed to fit nicely in a bright, pretty package with a bow on top. I realize where Sparkman was trying to go with this book, but somehow it never got there or I never got there with the book. I just wanted more. More development, more connection, more description, more character development overall. The plot was well developed but since other pertinent and extremely important areas weren’t there were holes that couldn’t be ignored. I wanted to like this book much more than I did because the concept was solid. Overall, I think it was a great first attempt at a book for Pamela Sparkman. I’m interested in seeing how she progresses as an author. I’m certain with time her work will improve in all the areas where I felt this book fell short. Expand, expand, expand. That’s my biggest advice for this author in the future.