I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.When Sparks Fly by Helena Hunting
Series: Spark House #1
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on 2021-09-21
Length: 317 pages
Reviewing eARC from Netgalley
Reading Challenges: #NGEW2022
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.
This book hooked me from the first words. When Sparks Fly by Helena Hunting is the first in a new series of standalone romances. This one features two friends who through unexpected circumstances find themselves moving their relationship from platonic to lovers. I personally loved this one. It is filled with heart-felt emotions and touches on mental health and childhood traumas. Declan and Avery are easy to root for, and their relationship progresses in a natural and believable way. I sat down with the intention of reading just a few chapters of this one, and before I knew it, I was closing in on the end. It is that good.
Avery is the eldest sister of the Spark family. Working with her two younger sisters, she is turning their childhood home into a hotel/event space that is renowned in their state and has become the destination for corporate and personal events. But her life comes to a crashing halt when she is in a car accident that leaves her dependent on her sisters and best friend for everything. Driven and hard-working, Avery rarely takes a break. This forced sabbatical isn’t what she had in mind, but it is exactly what her heart and soul needed to reset. And thankfully her best friend is there to help her pick up the pieces.
Declan is an interesting character, to the say the least. I was not expecting the depth that the author gave him. He has been Avery’s best friend since college and roommates for years. He firmly put himself in the friend category when Avery dated and was briefly engaged to his best friend Sam. But when that ended in disaster, Declan chose Avery’s friendship over Sam and never looked back. When he nearly loses her in the car accident, he has to face the feelings he’s been hiding head on or face losing her forever.
The car accident that is the catalyst for the story is alluded to in the blurb so as a reader you know it is coming, and I SO wanted to stop it. My heart was breaking before it even happened for both Avery and Declan. Declan made some bad decisions that resulted in Avery driving herself that day, so he blames himself every time he sees her grimace in pain or upset that she cannot do for herself as she is used to doing. I loved seeing their relationship evolve on the pages. It quickly goes from sweet to steamy, but does so in a natural and believable way.
Overall, I really enjoyed When Sparks Fly and look forward to Avery’s sisters’ stories. This is truly a friends to lovers story, even how they handle the (inevitable, 75% point in the book) conflict is representative of the years of their friendship. If you enjoy sweet romances, I highly recommend this one.