When Sparks Fly
by Ines Bautista-Yao
Twenty-four-year-old photographer’s apprentice Regina has always felt like the plain, dull orange next to the shiny red apple that is her best friend Lana. But then she meets Ben—the first guy to ever break Lana’s heart, and the first guy to ever make Regina feel that he only has eyes for her. As Regina finds herself falling hard for Ben, she also finds herself breaking all the rules of best-friendship. Will she give up the love of her life for Lana, or will she finally realize that she deserves her share of the spotlight, too?
To tell you the truth, I was instantly enthralled with this novel the moment I laid my eyes on the cover. The design is very intricate and exquisite, lovely and mushy at the same time. It calls on me, pulling me in, drawing me further in. I know I shouldn’t be judging a book by its cover, but hey, let’s all be honest. Almost all of us grab the most beautifully decorated/designed cover we see in the library or bookstores. I know I do.
Anyway, moving along.. I have read some of Ines B. Yao’s books and came to love her stories as well as her characters. I’ve met Regina and Ben during their wedding scene in the other book, Only A Kiss and I knew then that I had to know more about them. Lucky me, When Sparks Fly flew right into my hands.
Regina and Lana had been best friends since they were kids. They’re both pretty, but it had always been Lana who got all the boys’ attention. When Regina found someone who might actually liked her back, she was sure that once he saw Lana, he’d fall for her BFF instead. Heck, it’s always Lana who got everybody’s attention and who ended up with the guys, anyway.
Something changed though when Ben came along. The guy who both made the girls swoon over his handsome physique and witty personality. It’s no surprise that most girls would fall hard for Mr. Sportscaster, but this time though, Ben prefered Regina instead of the gorgeous Lana. Could this be the end of their friendship?
Earlier in the book, I was pretty much ready for the crazy catfights between friends and the Status: It’s Complicated kind of relationship, but the appearance of an additional and annoying character made the story even more exciting. I practically stayed all night reading until I made sure that Regina and Ben get their happy ever after. Glad that my black coffee didn’t fail me until the wee hours of the morning.
This may fall under the “BFFs falling for the same guy” trope but this is the kind of story that would make you see that there is no need to choose between the friend and the boy. I love how Ben and Regina complemented each other. I love how photography and cooking and that tie-dyed necktie strengthened their bond. I love how the characters grew and learned from their mistakes. I love how the book was filled with scenes that melted me to the core.
And lastly, I love how Ines Yao managed to write characters that you feel compelled to root for. Don’t be surprised if pretty much everything Ines Yao writes always end up in my Favorite Books list.