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.
|Series:||Spark House (Book 2)|
|Trope(s):||Friends to Lovers|
|Point of View:||First Person, Present Tense, Dual Viewpoint (H & h)|
|Location:||Colorado Springs, Colorado, US|
|Release Date:||12th May, 2022|
All the feels and happy sighs
Starry-Eyed Love is the second in Helena Hunting’s Spark House series about three sisters who own and run a boutique hotel together. Each book is about a different sister and stands alone although obviously the sisters feature heavily in all stories. Having said that, I’m glad that I read Avery’s story first in When Sparks Fly, as as much as I liked her in her own story, I didn’t really care for her in this one. But that’s okay, as this is middle sister London’s story.
This book is a bit of insta-spark followed by some slow burn goodness. It’s also got a bit of the friends to lovers trope going on as London and Jackson stay annoyingly in the friend zone for the first wee while. The sexual tension was just exquisite – I just wanted to smoosh their faces together and get them to admit that they liked each other.
Although we do get the story from both London and Jackson’s perspectives, the majority if the time we hear from London. This works to make us just as frustrated as she is when it comes to Jackson. Does he like her as much as she likes him? Why is he playing hot then cold towards her? It’s delightfully annoying and a testament to the always wonderful writing of Helena Hunting.
I adored London as our heroine. She’s dealing with a lot of anxiety and really doesn’t know her place with Spark House or believe in herself as much as she should. She was so relatable and I really wanted her to get her happily ever after. She so deserved it.
Jackson was absolute perfection as the slightly cocky, in charge billionaire. I adored that he was instantly smitten with London and so caring and understanding of her. He was honest with his feelings but also often clueless as to how things were playing out around him. When he realised, and things came crashing down around him, the fact that he was so broken about London – it made my day. It seems like I do enjoy it when an author makes her heroes absolutely miserable without the heroine.
As I said, the slow burn really amps up the sexual tension so much that a simple kiss on the back of the neck had me melting into a puddle of lust. When things finally come to fruition, it felt right and inevitable and oh so satisfying. And once it starts, well, all bets are off!
There were a few difficult issues in the back stories of our characters but while upsetting, the story never wanders into traumatic territory, thankfully. And while this isn’t a romantic comedy, it’s definitely got that light, uplifting quality about it. It’s funny, too. The part where Jackson ‘officially’ asks London out was a hoot. I even told people about it to share the laughs – although most just thought I was a bit strange!
I really loved this story. London was such a great character and I loved that she found her perfect match with Jackson. It was adorable, funny and romantic – another clear winner from Ms Hunting and a book I would very highly recommend. All the feels and happy sighs. Can’t wait for Harley’s story.
*I received this book in exchange for my honest review.*
NYT and USA Today Bestselling author, Helena Hunting lives outside of Toronto with her amazing family and her two awesome cats, who think the best place to sleep is her keyboard. Helena writes everything from contemporary romance with all the feels to romantic comedies that will have you laughing until you cry.
The other man turns his attention to me, and Jackson and Linc exchange back pats and hellos. “Griffin. I’m Lincoln’s cousin. It’s great to meet you, London. I’m sorry you’re stuck with just us guys tonight, but you’ll get a chance to meet our better halves in a couple of months at Jackson’s charity event here in New York, I’m sure.” He motions between himself and Lincoln.
“Oh, I don’t—”
“How are Wren and Cosy?” Jackson interrupts.
Trent and I both look at Jackson, who is very much focused on Linc and Griffin.
Linc drags his attention away from me, although he too has questions in his eyes.
“Great. They would have loved to have been here, but Wren volunteers at the hospital once a week when we’re not traveling, and Cosy went with her,” Griffin says, eyes doing the same volley between me and Jackson.
“She’s been doing that for a long time, hasn’t she?” Jackson says.
“She has. It’s been a passion project, and she misses it when we’re traveling.”
Lincoln pulls out a chair for me, and Jackson takes the one beside mine. The cousins take the two chairs on either side of me and Jackson, putting Trent between them. Griffin takes the one closer to me and Linc the one next to Jackson. As I settle into my chair, the server appears and offers us sparkling or still water before they ask if we’d like something to drink, and then addresses Griffin and Linc as Mr. Mills and Mr. Moorehead.
Which is when it finally clicks who I’m sitting at the table with.
The oldest of the Mills brothers. Of Mills Hotels. And Lincoln Moorehead, the CEO of Moorehead Media. A hotel mogul and a media mogul. I want to say something to Jackson, like a little warning would have been nice. I’m sitting in a room with some of the most powerful businessmen in the continental US. It’s a bit intimidating and awe-inspiring.
There is literally nothing I can do about it apart from tamp down my nerves and try not to drink an entire liter of sparkling water because my mouth is dry from the sudden anxiety of it all.
© Helena Hunting