Title: When Sparks Fly
Author: Helena Hunting
Read by: Jason Spark and Stella Bloom
What's it about?
Avery works hard with her sisters running a family owned event planning business (which she loves) while living with her best friend Declan. Avery's circle is pretty small, pretty just made up of Declan and the guys (Mark and Jerome) and her two sisters, when she ends up with a date with someone she meets on an online dating app, she agrees to go, with he sister's insistence, even knowing that she'll be embarking on a road trip vital to the business the net morning. Thankfully, Declan will be driving in his SUV with appropriate tires and a lack of driving in poor weather. But then, Declan bails, leaving Avery to take the trip on her own, a choice that he will regret for some time, after Avery ends up in a fatal car accident that leaves her in casts, sore and in need of being nursing back together. In an act of friendship, love and even guilt, Declan insists on being her nurse, leaving them with months of time spent together unlike any time they've ever had as Avery struggles with recovery.
Of course, their relationship gets complicated which may be the end of their very friendship which the both value unless they can find away to overcome their obstacles and manage to forgive one another.
Favorite Character: I think I'm going to go with Avery, though I really liked Declan, too. I loved Avery's humor, her strength and her awareness. I adored how she managed to love her work while not being a total workaholic. And I loved her maturity which I think came out in a way I don't often see in stories like this.
Least Favorite Character: There were a couple characters that we don't really get to see much of (if any) or get to know, but the seconds in which they are in the story are the reasons I'm going to say that Declan's mom and the other driver are the two characters I disliked the most. I think the reasons will be pretty obvious when you read it.
Favorite Part: Toward the end. Mostly, after the fight. There were so many things I loved about this part including the fact that some of the events brought back memories of my husband and I over the years. I also liked the way situations were handled (more about that later).
Least Favorite Part: The car accident. As someone who has my own anxiety about being in a car, so much so that I don't drive and drive my husband crazy while in the car with him, I totally get Avery's anxiety. I physically felt it the moments leading up to the actual incident and all through it, I was welling up. It hit me both with anxiety and emotions. It was the hardest part for me to read. However, to be fair, it was also the part that grabbed me, unwilling to let me go until I finished the book (and even then it didn't quit let me go).
Probably one of the first "big" thoughts I had was the choice for readers. I liked the voice for Avery. I felt like Stella Bloom's voice was a good match. There was nothing overly memorable about her reading but it was also the right fit for rom-coms and contemporary romantic stories and she did well with the delivery of humor. Jason Sparks, on the other hand, I did not enjoy as much. Now, let me be very clear, he did nothing wrong. He read the part well and he really did his job well. It's his voice. Again, there's nothing wrong with that voice, and this might just be a me thing, but I didn't feel like his voice felt like Declan. For some reason, I just couldn't make it match the image and the mental version of Declan I had in my head. And that was kind of disappointing to me.
However, and, yes, I will be vague here due to spoilers, I LOVED the conflict resolution here! I loved that neither Declan or Avery were expected to give up pieces of themselves and that everyone involved was content and on board with everyone getting not just what they needed, but what they wanted. We get to see things play out that we usually don't get to see and I loved it so much more then I ever thought I would. I thought that the most romance the book had to offer was in the last 100 or so pages. It's the parts that really made me cross over from "I like this book," to "I loved that book. I need to check out the rest of this series. I need to get a physical copy, too and have I mentioned that I loved it?" and I'm okay with that. It's a great example of the romance coming from the connection between people rather then their time in the bed (but yes, there is some of that, too).
I give this book a
10 Hobby Horses
But that's just what I thought. What did you think? Did you dislike the conflict resolution? Did you think Declan or Avery was in the wrong? Let us know in the comments!