KIRKUS REVIEW of Light, Bright & Sparkling by Elizabeth Famous:
A medical emergency leads to an unexpected chance at romance for an outgoing Hollywood starlet and a reserved doctor in this novel.
Singer and dancer Annabelle Montclare lives for the spotlight. She gained fame for her provocative music and videos and her outspoken persona. Her career means everything to her, and she puts her drive to succeed ahead of her health. Everything changes when she is hospitalized with a ruptured ovarian cyst. Her operation is a success thanks to her surgeon, Warren Fitzgerald. Despite the circumstances, Annabelle finds Warren handsome but “a hard nut to crack.” During her follow-up appointments, she engages in teasing repartee with him, but when she asks him to dinner, he ends their professional relationship and refers her to another physician. Months later, Annabelle and Warren reconnect and realize that they share a mutual attraction. But he is concerned about Annabelle’s youth and the fact that they are at “disparate stages of life.” As their relationship deepens, Annabelle lands a role in a major film and Warren discovers the public scrutiny that comes with dating a controversial entertainer. Warren is captivated by the effervescent Annabelle and she sees a future with the dashing doctor, but a series of personal and professional pressures causes the couple to wonder whether their relationship can withstand the glare of the Hollywood spotlight. Famous’ (Love & Candy, 2013, etc.) novel is a spirited contemporary romance that features dynamic characters, witty dialogue, and a lively plot brimming with twists and turns. Annabelle and Warren are well-developed protagonists whose relationship develops gradually as their droll banter evolves into a passionate and life-changing connection. One of the tale’s strongest elements is the way the author adeptly balances the playful and erotic aspects of their relationship through snappy exchanges that reflect their chemistry (He: “Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether you’re being sincere or not.” She: “Just assume I’m never for real.” He: “But then there’s the whole metalevel where you joke about whether or not you’re joking”). The story moves at a brisk pace, enhanced by subplots involving Annabelle’s burgeoning acting career and Warren’s adjustment to dating a celebrity.