Last year I read Helena Hunting’s first book in the Spark House series, When Sparks Fly. It was ok (came in at 3 stars for me) and while I didn’t LOVE it in the way that I had hoped, I was invested enough in the story and characters that I felt excited to try another book by Hunting. I liked the sound of this one as it sounded like a cross between a missed connection and workplace romance. Overall I thought it sounded cute and just a nice breezy read going into the spring.
So I said yes (obviously!) to reviewing this one and I was glad I did. While this book is part of a series, I would not have been lost in the story if I skipped over the first one. This book has new characters and storylines, the connecting part centers around Spark House and that’s about it—save for the occasional character cross over etc. So if you are worried about reading this one out of order, I would not worry you will be absolutely fine jumping in this series with this one instead of the first book.
If you love more contempo romances, Hunting has quite a few romances under her belt and this book will leave your romance reader heart feeling full! I am glad I decided to give another book by Hunting a go, I did find that I liked this one better than the first book I read by her. I love when that happens!
Charming, hilarious, and emotional, Starry-Eyed Love is Helena Hunting at her very best!
Having just broken up with her boyfriend, London Spark is not in the mood to be hit on. Especially not when she’s out celebrating her single status with her sisters. So when a very attractive man pays for their drinks and then slips her his number, she passes it right back to him with a ‘thanks, but no thanks’. As the business administrator for their family’s event hotel, the Spark House, London has more important things to worry about, like bringing in new clientele.
As luck would have it, a multi-million-dollar company calls a few months later asking for a meeting to discuss a potential partnership, and London is eager to prove to her sisters, and herself, that she can land this deal. Just when she thinks she has nailed her presentation, the company’s CEO, Jackson Holt, walks in and inserts himself into the meeting. Not only that, but he also happens to be the same guy she turned down at the bar a few months ago.
As they begin to spend more time together, their working relationship blossoms into something more. It isn’t until their professional entanglements are finally over, that London and Jackson are finally ready to take the next step in their relationship. But between Jackson’s secretive past and London’s struggle with her sisters, London must question where she really stands – not just with Jackson, but with the Spark House, too. (summary from Goodreads)
This book satisfied my romance craving in many ways. It had some steam, a lot of romance, and of course left me day dreaming about a rich billionaire. I really liked how Jackson and London had this kind of chance encounter meeting and she turned him down. Immediately that showed me that she was strong and independent and knew that it just wan’t the right time for her and I loved that about her character and their romance. I thought it set the ton for their romance that would develop and evolve later on in the book. They did have an instant connection that carried throughout the book which I thought worked really well. I felt invested in their romance and it felt realistic. Jackson was swoon worthy for me and like London found myself attracted to him which, isn’t that the point of romances?!
The only thing that I felt really weighted this book down for me was the business aspects and language. There was a lot about businesses and a lot of business lingo that just felt a little much for me and made the book read a little more slowly than I anticipated. This did have a lot of cute dialogue and it was relatively fast paced—or was intended to be—but the business part just didn’t flow well for me. This is mostly a minor thing and others might not feel the same but for me it was a little frustrating when I wanted to get going with the story.
I did like this book better than the first one and I am glad that I read it and didn’t just go off of my feelings for the first book. This one felt more developed and was written better than the first one in my opinion. I loved the characters and I thought Jackson and London worked well together as a couple. Lots of well developed chemistry and a feeling of ‘fatefulness’ when it comes to their romance. I just wish some of the business parts were removed or condensed to allow for better flow of the story. If you love romances then I think you will find a lot to love in this one, a charming destiny plot, some steam, and two well matched characters. Get this one on your TBR for summer!
Book Info and Rating
Format: Paperback 352 pages
Published: May 10 2022 by St Martin Griffin
Free review copy provided by publisher, St Martins Griffin, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 3.5 stars
Genre: Romance, contempo romance