#TopTenTuesday: Holiday Romances I Want to Read

So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: Freebie.

I was a little undecided about what to do for this freebie so I went the easy route and decided to share the holiday romances that I want to read this month! I’m not a big seasonal reader but in the last two years my list has (unsurprisingly) grown considerably 😂 I still don’t manage to read many of them each year but I try(!) and this year, these are the themed romances I’m hoping to read.

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ARC Review: When Sparks Fly by Helena Hunting

Special thanks to Sara at St. Martin’s Press for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads: When Sparks Fly
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publish Date: 21 September 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

(2.5 pandas)

Running the Spark House, a hotel/event space that has been in her family for years, has been Avery Spark’s lifelong dream. After years of working hard and making personal sacrifices, Avery and her two younger sisters have turned the Spark House into the premier destination in Colorado Springs. Avery is living her best life—she works with her sisters and loves every minute of it, she has a great group of friends, and she lives in a fantastic condo with her best friend Declan. She might not have any love in her life, but she’s happy.

But everything comes to a screeching halt when Avery is in a car accident, leaving her immobile for weeks. After nearly losing Avery, Declan insists that he will be the one to take care of her while she recovers. However, as Declan becomes Avery’s caretaker, lines begin to blur.

Avery and Declan have been best friends since college and always had an attraction to one another, but when she ended up dating his best friend, Sam, they successfully stamped down any feelings they may have ever had for one another. Now, as Declan and Avery spend more time together, they each begin to wonder what would’ve happened if she’d dated him instead of Sam. What starts as a friend helping out another friend turns into foreplay and, before they realize it, they recognize how deeply they care for one another. But when things get serious their past threatens to destroy everything they have built.

TL;DR: Sadly, sparks didn’t exactly fly for me with this book. There were definitely some cute fluffy moments between Avery and Declan and I enjoyed reading about the Avery and her sisters running Spark House, plus I appreciated that Hunt emphasised the importance of seeking mental health support by seeing a therapist. Ultimately though, the writing felt stilted and repetitive, and I was unable to really connect with the characters or feel invested in their romance. I’m in the minority though but it was still a quick and easy read and would be a good palate cleanser between genres.

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Friday Favourites: Romances

Welcome back to another Friday Favourites, dear friends! Last year this weekly meme was hosted by the wonderful Kibby @ Something of the Book! However, this year Kibby has passed the torch on to Lorraine @ Geeky Galaxy. This week’s topic is: favourite romances.

Well it certainly is the week for romance, isn’t it? I’m actually having a hard time choosing my favourite romances because if you haven’t noticed, I’m a sucker for the stuff and go through my fair share every year (of romance books, not actual romances lol). So how am I meant to pick out my favourites and keep it to a Top 5 list?! It’s a tough one… But after some thought here are five romances that I will always recommend:

Pride and Prejudice will forever and always be my favourite and I cannot recommend it enough. After reading it I’d also recommend immediately watching one of the two adaptations, both of which are amazing but I’m partial to the 2005 version because Matthew Macfadyen (don’t @ me)!

Give me any book set in Alaska and I’m guaranteed to fall in love with it. Hah, kidding. Maybe. Don’t ask me why but I have a low-key thing for Alaska so that was already a bonus for The Simple Wild. However, throw in some great characters, real growth and a simultaneously heartwarming and heartbreaking storyline and well, I’m sold. I became so invested in Calla and Jonah’s relationship. Jonah had me swooning big time!

I love the diversity that Hoang brings to romance–not only in having Asian MCs but also in writing about characters on the spectrum. It’s refreshing to read romances with characters who look like you and who come from cultural backgrounds similar to yours. The Bride Test has a mix of unique characters, an interesting plot and a good dose of steam, too.

I loved Josh and Lucy, but Josh was the shining star for me in The Hating Game. I loved his character so much. It might not be for readers who don’t like angst because well, this one was seriously full of it, but oh it was so, so much fun!

If you want a romcom with wonderfully fun characters who’re sure to give you a good laugh, then look no further than Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating! I love CLo and would recommend them to anyone but Josh and Hazel have a special place in my heart. I have a huge girl crush on Hazel — she’s such a fun-loving character and so full of life! Their chemistry is perfection and I love their love 😍

That’s it for my favourite romances! What are some of your favourites that you think I should read ASAP? I’m always on the lookout for recs!