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.
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication Date: September 21, 2021
ISBN 9781250624703, 1250624703
Friends/Best friends-to-lovers is one of my favourite tropes, but I do appreciate it isn’t easy to do it well. You have to show the emotional connection and the development of the relationship. Helena Hunting does a great job of doing this as well as creating likeable characters and an entertaining storyline.
Avery Spark lost her parents in a car accident when she and her sisters London and Harley were teenagers. Now all three of them run Spark House (a hotel/an events centre) together. They have a very close relationship and complement each other. Avery enjoys organising events and dealing with customer relations and tries to expand the business by bringing in new contracts. She is on her way to a business meeting at her former university when she gets into a bad car accident. Her best friend/roommate Declan was supposed to be with her driving his SUV to the meeting (Avery’s car wasn’t suitable for the weather conditions), but he really messed up. Feeling guilty for what happened and eager to earn Avery’s forgiveness, he promises to take care of Avery and all her needs.
There is a good reason why these two are best friends-they really understand each other and care. There are also very good reasons why neither of them has had a serious romantic relationship for a long time. Avery had her heart broken by Declan’s friend and is happier spending her time at work or doing sports rather than dating, and Declan… Declan has a lot of emotional baggage. If you like the trope of close proximity, you can guess that sparks will fly (and bring in lots of heat- this is a Helena Hunting book, expect lots of steam), but will Avery and Declan find it easy to navigate the new dynamics of their relationship? The book is told from two alternating perspectives -Avery’s and Declan’s, so we get a pretty good insight into their feelings. This kind of narrative also helps with the pace of the story esp. since the romance itself is slow-burn.
I really liked Avery and her sisters. It was interesting to read about the way they ran the business together dividing roles according to their strengths and how they all had to pull their weight to make sure the company stayed successful. They had very different personalities, but it was obvious that they cared for each other. Avery also has a very supportive group of friends. There is clearly a potential for a series-hooray! I love a good catch-up to see what happens after the HEA.
Overall, I enjoyed the story and the characters. If you are a fan of Helena Hunting’s writing style, you know her books are very easy to read and have an addictive quality. Looking forward to reading London’s and Harley’s stories!
Thank you to NetGalley and St.Martin’s Press for the review copy, provided in exchange for an honest opinion.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author HELENA HUNTING lives outside of Toronto with her amazing family and her two awesome cats, who think the best place to sleep is her keyboard. She writes all things romance — contemporary, romantic comedy, sports and angsty new adult. Helena loves to bake cupcakes, has been known to listen to a song on repeat 1512 times while writing a book, and if she has to be away from her family, prefers to be in warm weather with her friends.