Author: Claire Boston
All That Sparkles is the second of The Texan Quartet books published through Momentum, it follows on from What Goes On Tour and is set in Houston.
I loved the characters from What Goes On Tour and was hoping to see them again in All That Sparkles and I was not disappointed. At the same time, if you haven’t read What Goes On Tour it won’t affect your enjoyment of this one because we focus on completely different characters.
One thing I will say before I get started on our main characters is that Boston illustrates beautifully the difference between Adrian/Kent on tour and at home. In All That Sparkles we see a bit of our original heroes and Kent is nowhere in sight, it’s all Adrian and we get a close look at how different he is to his alter ego.
Imogen Fontaine takes centre stage in All That Sparkles. She is the heiress to an inconic fashion label that is haute couture and not designed, or priced, for the masses. She is her father’s right hand woman and always at the company’s beck and call.
Imogen may know the business inside out but she is suffering at the hands of workplace nastiness and having her creativity stifled because she wants to design things for regular people. Remy Fontaine does not design for regular people, he designs for the extremely wealthy.
It seems everything in Remy’s live is about the extremely wealthy. He has always been very protective of Imogen and dressed it up in a way that it was all about her protection. The further we get into the story we discover it is about ensuring she is protected from the ordinary world and surrounded only by the wealthy. He screens her friendships, emotionally blackmailed her into moving into the guest house rather than moving out and keeps her close at Tour De Force so she can take over from him when he retires.
Imogen could easily be a spoilt princess but she remains very down to earth with a generous nature, a heart of gold and a passion for design that is being wasted at Tour De Force. Her upbringing was very solitary, she is an only child with no extended family so for much of her life it was just her and her father.
All That Sparkles is another tale of first love reunited. In the opening pages Imogen comes face to face with someone she didn’t think she would ever see again; someone she shared a beautiful teenage summer with before he disappeared. Her reunion with Christian Barker is not the way either of them would have envisioned it but it is soon clear that the years have not taken the spark from their connection.
Christian’s return to her life brings a brand new perspective and sees her examine her life from a different angle. Christian is confronted with a woman far from what he expected. This is no spoilt princess reliant on Papa’s money and unable to do things for herself, though she is wealthier than he could have imagined.
All That Sparkles takes us inside the fashion industry and into a major haute couture label where everything is about being cutting edge and representing the vision of the brand. I can only imagine how difficult that would be for someone whose vision is so fundamentally different to that of the brand, but when your father is the man behind the brand it’s a little difficult to walk away.
I loved All That Sparkles and read the bulk of it in one sitting. There was so much to love about the story but I think one of my favourite things was watching Imogen’s enthusiasm for all of life’s ordinary pleasures. Her first trip to the boardwalk in her own hometown that she has never been to; her first rollercoaster ride and fairy floss and all the other wonderful things an amusement park has to offer that were never upper class enough for her father to allow her to experience.
Yet again Boston has shown the ordinary side of someone only ever seen through the eyes of the society pages and made us love them for just how similar they are to the rest of us.
I am really looking forward to the next instalment, Under The Covers, that will give us George’s story and I am sure reacquaint us with all of the characters we have already grown to love.
All That Sparkles is book #19 for the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge.
All That Sparkles is available now from Momentum and all good ebook retailers.
We are so thrilled to be part of the All That Sparkles Blog Tour so please be sure to check out the other stops, you can find a complete rundown at Momentum.