"Before you, Bella, my life was like a moonless night. Very dark, but there were stars, points of light and reason. ...And then you shot across my sky like a meteor. Suddenly everything was on fire; there was brilliancy, there was beauty. When you were gone, when the meteor had fallen over the horizon, everything went black. Nothing had changed, but my eyes were blinded by the light. I couldn’t see the stars anymore. And there was no more reason, for anything."

~ Edward Cullen

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Review: Fireworks Over Toccoa

Title: Fireworks Over Toccoa
Author: Jeffrey Stepakoff
Pages: 260
Challenges: Mount TBR, What's in a Name
Rating: 5/5

Summary from Goodreads:

Every so often that story comes along that reminds us of what it’s like to experience love for the first time—against the odds, when you least expect it, and with such passion that it completely changes you forever.

An unexpected discovery takes eighty-four-year-old Lily Davis Woodward to 1945, and the five days that forever changed her life. Married for only a week before her husband was sent to fight in WWII, Lily is anxious for his return, and the chance to begin their life together. In honor of the soldiers' homecoming, the small Georgia town of Toccoa plans a big celebration. And Jake Russo, a handsome Italian immigrant, also back from war, is responsible for the elaborate fireworks display the town commissioned. But after a chance encounter in a star-lit field, he steals Lily's heart and soul--and fulfills her in ways her socially-minded, upper-class family cannot. Now, torn by duty to society and her husband--and the poor, passionate man who might be her only true love--Lily must choose between a commitment she's already made and a love she’s never known before.

Fireworks Over Toccoa takes us to a moment in time that will resonate with readers long after the book’s unforgettable conclusion. A devastating and poignant story, this debut novel will resonate with anyone who believes in love.

This is another one that's been sitting on my TBR shelf for a long, long time gathering dust.  I had heard good things about it since its release in hardcover, and at some point and time must have picked up the soft cover edition when Borders was still in business (or so the sticker says on the back of the book).  Why I waited this long to read it is beyond me.

Reminiscent of Nicholas Sparks, Jeffrey Stepakoff has crafted a love story of the greatest proportions.  Fireworks Over Toccoa tells the story of Lily, a young, high society woman in southern Georgia and Jake, an Italian immigrant working as the pyrotechnics man for the 4th of July fireworks show.  Together, the two create a love story that is both moving and touching, heartbreaking and heart lifting, and all together wonderful.  I loved the romance created between these two characters, and my heart lifted and broke with theirs.

After finishing Fireworks Over Toccoa, I had to sit for a few minutes and just let it all sink in.  I had to "absorb" the moment for lack of a better term.  The book left me a little breathless.  I'm happy to see that Stepakoff has another book out called "The Orchard" which I definitely want to check out!

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