Book Review: When Sparks Fly by Helena Hunting
I’ve seen books by this author raved about a lot, but never read anything of hers, so when an opportunity to read this one as an ARC came up, I thought why not, let’s see what all the fuss is about.
And… I regret to say, I’m distinctly underwhelmed. I liked Avery, the heroine, well enough, even if she is very Not Like Other Girls. I don’t mind the friends to friends-with-benefits to lovers arc. I do, however, have serious problems with a hero as selfish and thoughtless as Declan. And honestly, this book is really a story about Declan’s personal growth, from a selfish thoughtless jerk sleeping with a different girl every week and letting down people who rely on him, to a guy who realizes he’s in love with his best friend and needs serious therapy if he’s ever going to be able to hold down a relationship with her.
I liked that we saw Declan actually getting that therapy. That’s something that’s all too often glossed over in fiction in general, never mind romance. There’s also some difficult times for Avery as she spends most of the book recuperating from serious injuries, none of which is shied away from. It’s realistic and at times confronting. But by the end of the book, Avery is still pretty much exactly the same person she was at the beginning, and it’s Declan who’s had the growth arc… which is not at all what usually happens in a M/F romance. It felt like wish-fulfillment. That a jerky playboy type really can turn himself around if he falls in love with the right woman. And honestly, that type of story isn’t my jam at all - I don’t like reformed rakes in the historical romances I read, either. So I’m afraid I can’t give this any more than three stars, and I’m not interested enough in Avery’s sisters to bother looking for their books when they come out.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.