Title: Striking Sparks
Author: Ari McKay
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press/Dreamspun Desires
Length: 214 Pages
At a Glance: Striking Sparks is a well executed enemies-to-lovers tale.
Reviewed By: Angel
Blurb: The stakes are high and the heat is on.
Beau Walker, owner of the Barbecue Shack, needs the help of Jake Parnell, his one-time rival and secret crush, in a televised barbecue competition. Beau is a proud man, but the stakes are high, and smart, sexy Jake is his only hope, even if being around Jake reawakens the attraction he’s fought for years.
Jake left his hometown, determined to build a life somewhere his sexuality wouldn’t hurt his family’s restaurant business—and far away from hunky, obstinate Beau Walker. Then his twin, Josh, is killed, and Jake returns to support his brother’s wife and children. Despite his reservations, he agrees to go head-to-head against Beau on national television. Between stress and grief, as well as pride and determination, only one thing is certain—the heat between Beau and Jake extends well beyond the kitchen.
Review: Striking Sparks is the 24th installment of Dreamspinner’s Dreamspun Desires line, and lives up to the previous entries. This tale, by the writing team of Arionrhod and McKay is a sweet, slow burn and an emotional ride.
I normally don’t care for the enemies-to-lovers trope, but this was handled well by the authors. I felt for Josh and his situation, and for Beau, too. The confusion and misunderstanding between the two men didn’t feel contrived, either, in spite of the long animosity and then insta-love. I liked that the sex scenes were fade-to-black, so the romance of the story was ever-present and not overshadowed by a ton of sex.
I will definitely be looking into more by these authors and enjoyed my first go-round with them.
You can buy Striking Sparks here: