REVIEW: Holiday Sparks by Shannon Stacey
House-sitting for her parents seemed like a good idea, until the microwave blew up and the lights went out.
Now Chloe Burke thinks upgrading the electrical system of her childhood home while they are away would make the perfect Christmas gift. Fortunately, there’s an electrician in town who can get the job done by the holidays.
Scott Quinn has wanted to get his hands on the Burkes’ wiring for almost as long as he’s wanted to get his hands on their daughter. Chloe didn’t notice Scott back in high school, but she’s noticing him now, and soon they’re indulging in a little festive fun: no strings, no expectations. After all, Chloe plans to get out of this goldfish bowl of a town and back to her real life in Boston by New Year’s.
But Chloe and Scott discover they enjoy each other’s company just as much out of bed. Could their holiday fling turn out to be the real thing?
Dear Ms. Stacey,
I’d heard good things over the years about this novella and decided this was the year to give it a go. It’s short and sweet as far as the length but a bit naughty as far as the sexing.
Though I’ve listed it as a “friends to lovers” it’s more a classmate acquaintances to lovers. Back in high school, Scott was a nerd with glasses while Chloe was one of the popular and (according to his and his friend’s memories) hot girls he thought was way beyond his reach. Now she’s back in town from Boston to stay at her parent’s (old) Maine house while they’re on a month-long cruise. Shorting out a fuse on her first evening there, Chloe decides to gift her parents by having their (old) Maine house rewired. And guess who is the master electrician who has had lasik, gotten taller, and worked out over the years they’ve been apart? Why Scott of course.
Deciding to enjoy a holiday fling with a definite end date, Scott and Chloe scorch the sheets in between pulling wires behind walls and redoing service panels. Well, he does most of that, actually, but they both do a lot of lusting. Chloe doesn’t want to move back from Boston (although truly she has little keeping her there beyond crab rangoon at 3am if she wants it) while Scott doesn’t want to leave their small town. What will they do when Christmas arrives and the sexy fling is over?
There is a lot of cute and sexy dialog between Scott and Chloe – and I liked that. There was also just a bit of discussion between Scott and his bestie from high school about Chloe’s hotness then and now. This tip-toed close to and bumped elbows with locker room talk a time or two before Scott thankfully closed it down. I can believe this would happen but I don’t want to read it in a holiday short. Scott and Chloe have great physical chemistry but I wanted to see a bit more relationship building outside of sexy times.
After a fair amount of why she can’t/won’t stay along with why he doesn’t want to leave/had his heart broken by another woman who did leave – of course they dig deep, listen to those telling them to go for it and finally talk about what they want. I approve of the gift Scott gives Chloe as it leaves a HFN scent in the air instead of pushing them to start planning a wedding already. “Holiday Sparks” is cute but maybe, as they didn’t have much of a past relationship to build on, a little too fast. C+