5 Stars / Contemporary / Review

Audiobook Review: The Spark by Sylvie Stewart 🎧

Mark Beckett is the most annoying, patronizing, arrogant jerk on the face of the earth. So, naturally, I can’t get the damn man out of my head.

Like the old saying goes, I’m a jill of all trades but a master of none. What I lack in skill, however, I make up for in enthusiasm—something certain people (ahem) find irritating. But I have my reasons for living my life the way I do, for diving into one project after another and trying to make a difference. And if Mark Beckett doesn’t like it, he knows where to find the door. I don’t need his approval … or his panty-melting kisses.

I enjoy the simple things in life: a job well done, a cold beer, a hot woman … you get the idea. But there’s nothing simple about the mess I just found myself in. The last thing I need is a pint-sized princess sticking her nose in my business and pushing every damn one of my buttons like it’s her job. But Fiona Pierce may be the only one with the tools to solve my problems—and the power to change everything.

Title:The Spark
Author:Sylvie Stewart
Narrator(s):Amanda Stribling
David Black
Series:Carolina Connections (Book 2)
Pages / Length: 338 / 9 hrs 41 mins
Category / Genre(s):Contemporary
Romantic Comedy
Trope(s):Enemies to Lovers
Point of View:
Narration Type:Dual
Release Date:14th November, 2019
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Funny and sexy – a real delight

This is my first foray into Sylvie Stewart and let me tell you that it won’t be my last. It might, however, be the last of her books that I listen to while out in public, because this book was beyond hilarious. And when you’re randomly and spontaneously laugh-snorting in front of strangers, you tend to get some funny looks!

From the first, Fiona’s personality shines through – and she’s a hoot and a half. She’s got such a quirky and fun personality and she shares that with us, warts and all. The writing style lends itself to Fiona’s character to such an extent that I get the feeling that our author, Ms Stewart, might just be as wacky in real life. I loved the way Fiona talked to herself, remonstrated with herself and generally went about her life. While Fiona is definitely full of life, there are very big and real reasons for her outlook on life which gives her depth and makes her much, much more sympathetic as a character. Fiona is brought to life by Amanda Stribling and I enjoyed her performance. She had the enthusiasm to match Fiona’s and she definitely acted her part rather than just reading it.

Mark was a lovely character, too. Other authors take note – this is how your write a hero who has previously been more, erm, loose with his affections before meeting – and falling for – the heroine. To be completely fair, Fiona is also more of a casual dater and is definitely the more reticent of our couple to get into a relationship. Regardless, Mark’s descent into love is both believable and completely adorable. The way he sets his mind to winning Fiona just made my heart happy. It’s the perfect blend of reluctant hero and determined suitor. Mark is read by David Black and he’s definitely got the perfect voice for the role. Again, he acts rather than just reads – and he’s got definitely got a naughty little smirk in his voice that was pure Mark for me.

“…a delightfully good time and I’m happy to have found a new author to binge.”

The first part of the book is definitely about setting the scene, introducing all our characters, revealing the back stories of our main pair and setting up the shenanigans still to come. While that’s all fun, it’s when Mark and Fiona go on the road trip and start to spend more and more time together that the book really begins to shine. I adore them as a pairing as they really do complement and complete each other. They have a good time together, they bicker and argue and they also are incredibly attracted to each other – so yes, there’s sex within. It’s definitely hot but, again, it’s perfect for Fiona and Mark as a couple with much humour included.

This book is actually the second in Stewart’s Carolina Connections series. Laney and Nate from the first book in the series, The Fix, appear a lot in this story as Fiona is Laney’s best friend. They really add dimension to the story and I now definitely want to go back and read about their own happily ever after. There are several other characters in this book that get their own stories later in the series and I’m excited to read them as I’m already invested in their lives.

This book was a delightfully good time and I’m happy to have found a new author to binge. This was a truly funny romcom with a couple I really liked and rooted for. I enjoyed every minute of listening to this book and would highly recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a romance that’s funny, sexy yet also has depth. Definitely 5 stars from me.

*I received this book in exchange for my honest review*

USA Today bestselling author Sylvie Stewart is addicted to Romantic Comedy and Contemporary Romance, and she’s not looking for a cure. She hails from the great state of North Carolina, so it’s no surprise that most of her books are set in the Tar Heel state. She’s a wife to a hilarious dude and mommy to ten-year-old twin boys who tend to take after their father in every way. Sylvie often wonders if they’re actually hers, but then she remembers being a human incubator for a gazillion months. Ah, good times.

Sylvie began publishing when her kids started elementary school, and she loves sharing her stories with readers and hopefully making them laugh and swoon a bit along the way. If she’s not in her comfy green writing chair, she’s probably camping or kayaking with her family or having a glass of wine while binge-watching Hulu. Or she’s been kidnapped—so what are you doing just sitting there?!!

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