Spare Me the Drama: A City Lights Romance Book 1, by Karen Tomsovic, is a heart-warming story about second chances.
Martin Leon has a lot on his plate. His wife died from a tragic accident and now he’s supporting eight kids. He’s the head writer of a daytime soap opera. His responsibilities at home and at work are equally demanding. He realizes he nearly forgot to invite Roxanne to a birthday party for one of the kids.
Roxanne Hunter, a former actress on the soap opera, is now a successful business woman. However, she’s been unfortunate in love and has determined she’ll always be alone.
When she accepts the last minute birthday party invitation, it sets Martin and Roxanne down a path, but is it the right one?
Martin is obviously struggling with day to day life. Any working father of eight would. But add the fact that he’s a widow and it makes him an automatic sympathetic character, especially given that he’s a good man through and through. Martin’s story is the glue that holds the plot together.
Roxanne is intriguing. While she failed as an actress, she succeeded in the business world. This is a nice twist—having a powerful and successful woman with her own company as one half of the couple. While her life hasn’t fallen to pieces like Martin’s, she’s not doing well, either. On the outside everything looks wonderful. But inside, she’s lonely and falling to pieces.
It’s easy for the reader to want to cheer for both of them. And mostly this formula works. However, their attraction doesn’t always come through. This is due partly to the difficulty of having so many characters in one novel. Not all of Martin’s children get equal attention, but all of them are named and it’s hard for readers to keep track of who’s who. Eight kids is a lot so it’s understandable, but still it causes issues.
The confusion over remembering all of the characters, or trying to, knocks the reader out of the story occasionally. In the beginning, Martin feels horrible about forgetting to invite Roxanne to Raquel’s birthday party. Later in the novel, the party is referred to as Lana’s party. Was there a different party or is the author confusing the kids as well? At Raquel’s party, Lana is the one who throws up on Roxanne so maybe that is why the author referred to it as Lana’s party. It’s a simple slip but it illustrates the dangers of trying to include so many.
Of course with so many characters, there are a few subplots which add spice and drama to the City Light’s Romance series. Most of the storylines are resolved by the end, but there’s still plenty left to explore in future installments. It’ll be interesting to see where the author takes it and who will be the key players.
All in all, Spare Me the Drama is an ambitious start to what promises to be a sweet romance series. With a bit more character development and focus it really could take off.