When I read the blurb for When Sparks Fly, I knew that I needed to read it, one reason is that I love reading contemporary romances, and the other reason is that I have heard nothing but good things about Helena Hunting. I am glad that I read this book. It was what I needed to read.
I like the friends-to-lovers trope but feel that it is overused in romance novels. So I did go into reading the book thinking that When Sparks Fly would be typical in that regard. It isn’t. Declan and Avery’s slide into romance was one of the more natural romances that I have read in a while.
The plotline for When Sparks Fly was medium-paced. There was no lag in the book, and it was very well written.
I liked Avery. She had me laughing with her observations on life and Declan. I liked that she wasn’t portrayed as a shrinking violet. She wasn’t afraid to call Declan out on his stuff (like his extracurriculars). She did have her flaws, and they were on display in the book. But they were nothing compared to Declan’s.
Let’s talk about Declan. He was a freaking mess for 90% of the book. His childhood was less than ideal, and in turn, it turned him into a commitment-phobe adult who ran from his problems. But that didn’t excuse how he treated Avery during the last half of the book, though. He was a real douche canoe. But I did like him. The author didn’t make him perfect and chose to highlight his mental health issues.
The romance angle of When Sparks Fly was sweet. I loved seeing both realize that they were in love with the other person. It was a considerable whammy for Declan since he was using Avery’s relationship with his ex-best friend as a reason why he shouldn’t get with her. I loved seeing him realize that Avery was his person.
The sex scenes were hot in When Sparks Fly. I did giggle when Declan caught Avery masturbating. And I wasn’t surprised with how it ended up. I was a little “eh” when Avery told her sisters about it, though. I wouldn’t say I like kissing and telling (or, in this case: getting help with masturbating and telling).
I did like how mental health was portrayed in When Sparks Fly. Declan had some serious issues from his childhood that needed to be resolved before moving forward with any relationship. While I didn’t see his breakdown coming, I wasn’t surprised by it. But, I liked how his friends (and Avery) supported him. Having him going to therapy was a huge plus. I also like that his issues didn’t magically go away at the end of the book. Getting help was huge but Avery supporting him (and participating in the therapy) was even more significant.
The end of When Sparks Fly was sweet. And at the very end, it was perfect!! I did a lot of “Awww, so sweet” to myself as I was reading.
I would recommend When Sparks Fly to anyone over the age of 21. There is graphic sex, language, and mild violence.