I love Vi Keeland’s writing and Donovan Decker is a perfectly imperfect protagonist. A powerhouse attorney in his custom tailored suits and Ferragamo shoes, he’s a poster boy for success and you’d never suspect his rags-to-riches background. But Donovan has never forgotten and even with his wealth, he isn’t ashamed to acknowledge his early years on the streets of the old neighborhood. However, his female counterpart Autumn Wilde is not as easy to like, mostly because of her ambivalent, wishy-washy attitude. Their accidental first meeting seemed providential until after three blissful days together, Autumn does a disappearing act and then proceeds to ghost him.
After nearly a year unsuccessfully trying to track her down providence again steps in when Donovan takes a pro bono juvenile case with Autumn as the caseworker. The juvie is a thirteen year old version of Decker at the same age. He goes by the name Storm and he’s smart (straight A’s) and smart-mouthed, with a mile wide attitude and he’s on his third strike. Next stop: A training ground for the hard-core types. Both Autumn and Donovan want to keep him from winding up as fodder in the juvenile justice system. As they work together to keep Storm on the right path they form a strong bond but Autumn is dating a senior partner in Donovan’s firm. His boss. And Donovan has been piling up the billable hours in hopes of making partner, which won’t happen if the senior partner finds out Donovan’s sniffing around Autumn. An impossible situation. Is there a workable solution?
“The Spark” is full of Vi Keeland’s trademark witty dialogue and steamy love scenes and a plausible romantic plot. However the pacing is inconsistent and I found myself voluntarily stopping now and then to tend to mundane household tasks. That’s practically unheard of in the middle of a Keeland romance. Is that because of the uneven characters? I dunno’ but I do know that this book just didn’t hold my undivided attention as is usually the case in VK’s stories. I enjoyed it but it wasn’t riveting. Words I never expected to type when reviewing a Vi Keeland book. Four stars.