"Fireworks over Toccoa" Review & Sweepstakes at St. Martin's Press

"Fireworks over Toccoa"
by Jeffrey Stepakoff

Source: received ARC for review from St. Martin's Press

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My Review:

"Fireworks over Toccoa" is a well-paced love story destined to be on the big screen. The author definitely makes use of his script-writing and producing credits because this book clips right along at the fast pace found in movies and television.

In her 80's, Lily isn't sure her granddaughter Colleen is as happy in her relationship as she wants everyone to think. When the two ladies find a long lost formula for a firework called Lily's Star, Lily decides it's time to share her own story. In 1945, 20 year old Lily had been married to Paul, the type of man she'd always been expected to marry. Paul was returning home from WWII in a few days and Lily was starting to feel uncertain about the future she'd always felt was decided for her. Then she saw the fireworks that would change the course of her life forever. Once she meets the man behind the fireworks, Jake, her world and her heart flip upside down.

The tone is bittersweet and it makes the reader search his or her own soul and ask what they would do in the same situation. I don't think I would have made the same decisions as Lily, but I did reflect on what I would have done in her place. I don't think I was as able to fully invest myself in the romance because my heart was breaking for her husband, Paul. Perhaps I wouldn't have felt that way if Paul had been a bad person, but the infidelity aspect did make me sad. I probably would have given this book more stars if Paul had been a poor husband or possibly if they hadn't been married yet when he was overseas.

Lily's character is very complex and I felt like I could really relate to what she was going through. She didn't want to be a bored society wife and she especially didn't want her life decided for her. She wanted to get out and see the world on her own terms.

I liked the timeline of the story a lot. The story is told by the older Lily to her granddaughter, Colleen. I feel like it added interest to the story. I enjoyed being able to see see the outcome of the romance 60 years later, although I did keep thinking of the older Rose in "Titanic" telling her own story.

The rumors about this book compare it to a Nicholas Sparks novel, and the story is slightly reminiscent of Sparks. But I felt like this was only in the romantic theme and quick pace. Don't expect a Sparks clone here, this novel isn't as 'goody two-shoes' as his novels are seen to be.

Main Characters: 4/5
Supporting Characters: 4/5

Setting: 5/5

Romance: 4/5
Uniqueness: 5/5 (awesome pacing)
Cover: 5/5 (gorgeous!!)

Writing: 4/5

Bottom Line:
Lily and Jake's love story is beautifully told and really pulls at the heartstrings.. The novel is a quick read and the fast paced twists and turns will keep you turning the pages.

Sweepstakes Info from St. Martin's Press!!

Visit FireworksOverToccoa.com between today and March 30th- the official release date for the book. They are having a HUGE sweepstakes where you can enter to win one of
copies of the book!! Also, the grand prize is an awesome romantic picnic basket just like something Lily and Jake would have had :)
While you're there, check out a huge excerpt from the book, an audio excerpt, and a note from author, Jeffrey Stepakoff! Enjoy!!


  1. Oh, this looks beautiful! I'm a new follower... I like your blog! Thnaks for this review!

  2. I think I would have the same reservations you did. I'm still on the fence about this one. I tend to avoid cheating tales. Thank you for the fantastic honest review.
    (not an entry)

  3. Fabulous review! Your review convinced me to put this book towards the top of my TBR pile! Thanks for the heads up about the sweepstakes at St. Martin's!

  4. Great review!, I like the sound of this one :) and BTW this book does have a lovely cover.:) Thanks

  5. Interesting story! I definitely will read this soon. Thanks for great review carrie. I think i need to read some romance after this. It's lighten up my day. *LOL*

  6. I really liked this book. I felt even with her decisions it made for a great book. Wonderful review

  7. Oh, great review! I love the sound of this, and while I love Sparks...I might just have found a new book for my romantic fix! :)

  8. You're right about the cover, it is very eye catching. The story sounds interesting. Happy reading!

  9. Beautiful blolg..just became a new follower. Thank you for stopping by my site.

  10. Great book review, sounds delightful, Have a sweet day!

  11. Awesome review! I hope you have a fabulous weekend! :D

  12. your titanic mention caught me. i want to give this one a try.

  13. I have this one and look forward to reading it. Loved your thoughts on it!


Thanks so much for your lovely comments!