Review: Sparkling Stilettos by Jess Wright

Wednesday, 22 July 2015
Title: Sparkling Stilettos
Author: Jess Wright
Publisher: Totally Bound
Publication Date: 23rd July 2015
Pages: 219
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
Chasing dreams can be tough, even when you run as fast as your bespoke stilettos will take you…

As Megan Winter’s wedding day approaches, her heart flutters with excitement. Dylan Dunkin-Buckshaw is a great catch. Handsome in a sharp, confident kind of way, he's everything she’s ever wanted in a man and a husband. A match made in heaven—right?

With a fledgling shoe design business that’s set to take off, Megan decides to take control of her life and strut her stuff. With the help of loyal friends and a handsome stranger she begins to turn heads and get noticed. She’s hitched her wagon to the stars and she’s planning on enjoying the ride, wearing her best stilettos whilst she does it!

But will she reach those glittering stars? Is there something lurking in the shadows to hold her back? Under all the excitement and sparkle of her new found adventures there seems to be an ominous presence trying to take the shine from her happiness.

Jessica Wright has always been one of my favourite TOWIE cast members and I've been excited to read her debut fiction novel ever since it was announced!

Sparkling Stilettos opens and introduces us to shoe designer Megan Winter on the day of her wedding to the controlling Dylan Dunkin-Buckshaw. (I've sat here for ages trying to work out if that surname is an acronym for something bad!) She is experiencing some last minute doubts, and it's incredibly easy to see why as we learn more about their relationship. Part of me wondered why Megan had stuck with Dylan for so long (fiction imitating real life here!) and the other part couldn't wait for her to ditch him and get on with her life. It's all a little bit independent woman in the beginning, with Megan realising a lot about herself and what she wants from life, her feelings only exacerbated when she sees the headstone of an old woman with the line 'devoted wife', Megan wondering whether that was all the woman's life amounted to. Megan has dreams and ambitions and she is determined to achieve them.

Megan is a shoe designer, which added a little bit of a unique twist to the story as it's certainly not a profession I have read about in this genre before. Plus, I love how the shoes were kind of like a metaphor for the whole story. Women love shoes and I think they will end up wanting the ones from this book! Megan says that she wants women who wear them to realise their dreams, to feel special when they are wearing them and to ultimately feel like they can achieve anything. Just like she herself wants to. She has even added her own Louboutin-esque touch to them. Megan is an instantly likeable character, and I think female readers might perhaps be able to relate to her relationship with Dylan and all readers will definitely be able to sympathise with her for having to put up with such a pig for so long!

Sparkling Stilettos moves at a relatively sedate pace in the beginning, but I really enjoyed meeting Megan and her two fabulous friends, Brendon and Georgie (Porgy Pudding and Pie as Brendon calls her!) Brendon is the typically flamboyant and stereotypical gay character you often find within this genre but as always, those characters are a lot of fun to read about. The friendship between these three characters felt natural and believable, both characters bringing a lot to the story and helping Megan to discover a lot about herself, and to make some difficult decisions! Given where book two might end up going I hope we still get to see a lot of Brendon and Georgie.

For a few weeks a guy at the local bar has caught Megan's attention. The aptly-nicknamed Hot Guy. Hot Guy approaches Megan in Frank's Bar one night and things that night become a little bit heated. Following that we see chapters from Hot Guy (real name: James)'s point of view which I loved. Hearing from the man in books like this used to be relatively unheard of, which usually resulted in some pretty one-dimensional characters. James is a great character who I think most readers are going to end up falling for too, and a few will perhaps find themselves shouting at Megan a couple of times. There's a connection between them that is palpable, and they are a pairing that you can really believe in. Megan's life soon becomes a little bit of a whirlwind (and by soon I mean almost instantly as the book takes place over a really short time period) not only with James but also at work where there are some exciting developments. I won't say much more than that except that it sets everything up nicely for book two.

I read Sparkling Stilettos over the course of one afternoon. There's plenty of drama throughout the story with a couple of little unseen twists. The story was over far too soon for my liking, and I could easily have spent many more hours in this world. In terms of books ending on a cliffhanger, Jess has ended this one one of the best (and most frustrating!) that I have read this year and so readers are going to be left desperately wanting the sequel to see how things are going to pan out for our characters. All the way through the book I had an idea of how things were going to end and I ended up being completely wrong. Sparkling Stilettos is a really fun read, and one that I have no hesitation in recommending.

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