Title: The Sparky
Author: Marek Moran
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 200 Pages
Category: Contemporary, Holiday
At a Glance: Although well-written, and I enjoyed Aaron quite a bit, the complicated relationship between the MCs left me at the point where I wouldn’t have minded at all if they hadn’t got their HEA.
Reviewed By: Lindsey
Blurb: Aaron’s been living in what his friend Howie calls a sexual desert. But an oasis appears on the horizon when Paul, a divorced electrician with a five-year-old daughter named Sam, moves in next door. He’s a country boy from northern Australia, and although he’s never been with a guy before, he has an impression that anything goes in the city. They find that the ordinary things in life—books, footie in the park, looking after Sam—lead them into an unlikely relationship.
But as their relationship slowly deepens, with Aaron spending time on Paul’s family’s cattle station, it becomes clear that Paul might have a harder time leaving the country behind. To him, happiness means a conventional life—including a mother for Sam. Being with his old friends convinces him he’s on the wrong path with Aaron, and he starts a relationship with a girl from his hometown. If he cannot find the courage to go after what he truly needs, he and Aaron will become nothing more than awkward neighbours.
Review: The Sparky is written well, for the most part. I actually did enjoy reading about Aaron and his friends. If that had been the main part of the book, I would have probably been much happier with the way it all played out. Seriously, my favorite character was Howie, who was a secondary character, and I would have been super duper happy if he was ultimately the romantic interest. Sadly, he was not. Instead, there was Paul.
Hey, I am all for complicated and angsty. Sometimes—depending on my mood—the angstier the better. I am quite happy when I read a book that has an MC who I really don’t like in the beginning, or does something that is appalling but somehow the author finds a way to make the character more relatable, and even manages to redeem something about them. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen in this book for me. Paul actually started out pretty likable, and I was originally hoping they did get together and, along with Sam, would have a lovely HEA. The build-up of their relationship and slow-burn was sweet and nice, and I was totally team Aaron & Paul. But then Paul’s behavior did a complete one-eighty, and he became someone I really didn’t like. The author did such a fabulous job of making him a jerk that I jumped off that train with a quickness. Sadly, when it came time to bring me back around to liking Paul, I couldn’t do it and I couldn’t get on board with them getting back together. Maybe a bit more insight to Paul, or a more fleshed out reconciliation or something would have helped. I honestly don’t know what it would have taken, because I was pretty disgusted with him and had a hard time letting that go, and for whatever reason, I wasn’t invested in them as a couple and working things out anymore.
Aaron was a good guy, and he was dimensional and written so I wanted him to find someone; at first I wanted that someone to be Paul. Then I sort of hoped he would find someone other than Paul. I enjoyed Aaron’s interactions with Sveta and Howie, and the bridge group. I adored Sam (Paul’s daughter), and the special relationship Aaron develops with her. But since this story was supposed to be one where Paul was the romantic interest, it sort of made for an awkward reading experience there at the end.
I did enjoy many aspects about this book, it was pretty well-written, and I enjoyed Aaron quite a bit. But, I’ll be honest—the complicated relationship between the MCs left me at the point where I wouldn’t have minded at all if they hadn’t got their HEA.
You can buy The Sparky here: