When Sparks Fly
Author: Helena Hunting
Publication Date: September 21, 2021
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Running the Spark House, a hotel/event space that has been in her family for years, has been Avery Spark’s lifelong dream. After years of working hard and making personal sacrifices, Avery and her two younger sisters have turned the Spark House into the premier destination in Colorado Springs. Avery is living her best life—she works with her sisters and loves every minute of it, she has a great group of friends, and she lives in a fantastic condo with her best friend Declan. She might not have any love in her life, but she’s happy.
But everything comes to a screeching halt when Avery is in a car accident, leaving her immobile for weeks. After nearly losing Avery, Declan insists that he will be the one to take care of her while she recovers. However, as Declan becomes Avery’s caretaker, lines begin to blur.
Avery and Declan have been best friends since college and always had an attraction to one another, but when she ended up dating his best friend, Sam, they successfully stamped down any feelings they may have ever had for one another. Now, as Declan and Avery spend more time together, they each begin to wonder what would’ve happened if she’d dated him instead of Sam. What starts as a friend helping out another friend turns into foreplay and, before they realize it, they recognize how deeply they care for one another. But when things get serious their past threatens to destroy everything they have built.
A best friends and roomies to more by Helena Hunting? My answer will always be “Yes, please.” to this. I truly enjoyed When Sparks Fly. It was a sweet and somewhat steamy romance. Avery and Declan are besties who live together. After Avery is injured in an accident, Declan naturally takes care of his roommate. Their close friendship morphs into something more with each passing day. I loved how close Avery and Declan were emotionally. Their friendship and connection was so strong. It made their chemistry pop when they finally decided to become more. I loved them as single friends, but I adored them in a relationship.
Usually when I get to the conflict in a romance I’m all for hurrying up to resolve it and get to the happy ending. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel that way about this one. I appreciated the way Hunting wrote the way the conflict was handled. There was a lot the characters needed to think about and deal with to be whole as a couple and I loved how the ground work was laid. It made the romance all the sweeter. So while the romance between Avery and Declan was my favorite thing about this book, the resolution of the conflict was close up there.
Another great thing about this book was the supporting characters. Avery’s sisters were a close knit group and fun to get to know. Avery and Declan’s friends were also tight and entertaining. I would adore for the two sisters and two best friends to end up together in future books to make this a series. Or even books for each of the four of them. The characters are too good to go to the character graveyard.
One last thing… I feel like I need to talk about a couple of things that weren’t a problem for me, but are sure to be for other readers. This first thing is kind of SPOILERISH, but happens in the first few chapters so I don’t think it’s a true spoiler. As the blurb details, Avery and Declan are best friends and roommates. They know pretty much everything about each other. This is their love story, but at the beginning they aren’t together at all. Declan brings a woman home. There are no details of this, only the morning after seen through Avery’s eyes. While some readers will put this in the OW in a book category, I don’t. If it was, it would bug me. Done with SPOILERISH. The second thing is the heat level. I would not call this high heat, but those who favor closed door romances might be surprised by the steam factor. This isn’t the steamiest I’ve read of Hunting’s books, but it’s also not the least. I would say it’s closer to her NA romances than her adult romances in heat level. It’s more mature, but not quite there. I won’t go into my dislike of cutesy illustrated covers as what it makes people think they’re going to be reading, but this one might do some damage in that area.
So, yeah. When Sparks Fly hit the spot for me. It reminded me what I enjoy about Helena Hunting’s writing and made me hope the next release is sooner rather than later.