Reviewed by Kimberley
TITLE: Striking Sparks
SERIES: Dreamspun Desires
AUTHOR: Ari McKay
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 214 pages
RELEASE DATE: December 15, 2016
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.
I really like this book. Anything dealing with food in general, barbecue specifically, I’m so there. So this is the story about two men his passions are centered around food and cooking. Going to be honest, that alone almost caused me to give the book high rating before even reading it. But alas, I decided to critique it fairly.
Beau needs Jake’s help to win a cooking competition he’s entered. He needs Jake, he know he does but his pride in addition to his fear of the attraction that he has for Jake is the sole reason behind his reluctance to ask Jake for help. But despite his fear, Beau decides to bite the bullet and seek his help.
Jake left his hometown to live his life free from fear that his sexuality would ruin his family’s restaurant. He also left town to get away from his feelings for Beau.
Jake returns to take care of his brother’s family when tragedy strikes. Of course he comes face to with Beau and the old feelings that he thought were buried resurface.
This story was executed nicely. The characters, storyline and dialogue were vibrant. It didn’t come off as
overly sappy or anything of the sort.
Beau bullied Jake years ago when they were teens but unbeknownst to Jake at the time, the source of Beau’s bullying was him being unable to come to terms with his sexuality as a youth. There were a great deal of misunderstandings between the two men and the whey realized that they would need to work together in order to win the barbecue competition. Speaking of which, I absolutely loved the descriptions of the preparation and cooking of the food. The greedy girl in me really appreciated it.
I don’t care for the enemies to lovers trope but this one was pretty well written.
This is the 24th book in the series and I truly loved these characters and their storylines. I must say that this is another one of my favorites.