by Susan Mallery

ISBN: 0-7434-4394-2
Reviewer Graphic Button Pocket Books
Mass Market Paperback

Katie Marcelli has worked hard to make her business a success and since she had just landed the biggest account of her life, planning the next fundraiser party for an upscale law firm she couldnít be happier. She was on her way home to celebrate with her family.

Returning to California wine country always brought Katie joy as did being reunited with her sisters, Francesca and Brenna the twins and her baby sister Mia not to mention her parents and grandparents. The Marcelli family was well known for their winemaking and had built a successful business over the years.

The only thing Katie doesnít like is her familyís constant pressure to get married. Upon returning home she invents a boyfriend and uses Zach Stryker the lawyer she met from her business meeting as her inspiration. This will keep her mom and grandmothers off her case for the weekend and later she can tell them things just didnít work out.

Mia has a big announcement. She is getting married and her fiancťe David and his father are coming for dinner. Everyone is thrilled for her. Mia takes Katie aside and asks her to help keep Davidís father entertained so he wonít be overwhelmed by the big Italian family. Katie agrees, anything for her baby sister.

David and his father soon arrive and it turns out Davidís father is none other than Zach Stryker, Katieís made up boyfriend. Boy is she in a mess.

Zach is dead set against his eighteen year old son getting married at such a young age and he will do anything to keep the boy from making a mistake. Could it be that Zach didnít just happen to hire Katieís company out of the blue? How far will this divorce lawyer go to protect his son?

The Sparkling One, the first of Susan Malleryís new trilogy about the Marcelli sisters is a delightful read. Zach and Katie have a powerful chemistry from their first meeting. Despite the fact that Zach has ulterior motives for wanting to meet Katie he soon finds himself drawn to her in a way he never expected. The secondary characters in this book enrich the story and make the reader eager to read more about this fascinating family. Two more installments are forthcoming The Sassy One in October and The Seductive One in November so readers wonít have to wait long for more adventures of the Marcelli family.

Ms. Mallery's gift of story telling sparkles in this first installment of the Marcelli sisters. In addition to a great love story between Zach and Katie Ms. Mallery gives the reader a glimpse into a family that are truly there for one another no matter what. I look forward to a return visit to the wine country of California and another glimpse into this remarkable family.

Reviewed in September 2003 by Barbara.

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