Holiday Sparks by Taryn Elliott

SPARNKS

Holiday Sparks by Taryn Elliott
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Full Length (157 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Iris

Darcy Tucker hates Christmas. Being lead supervisor at a department store shows her the very worst of humanity. When her holiday display is demolished, she turns for help to the least likely person she knows—her hot, tattooed tenant who seems to get off on the very idea of Christmas. Maybe she can get him to decorate the store and stop decorating her house.

Tattoo artist Ben Hartley may not look the part, but Christmas is his favorite holiday. When Darcy gets in a jam and reveals her vulnerable side, he finally gets to learn more about the sexy woman behind the cool façade.

Thrown in close quarters to fix her store, Ben and Darcy realize the only chilly thing between them is the temperature outside. One supremely hot kiss leads to a night full of passionate surprises. Now Ben has to show her that there’s more to life than work, and that the season of hope is full of sexy possibilities with or without a Christmas tree.

What do I like most in a good read? Story first, smokin’ hot romance second. By George, I think Ms. Elliott has got it correct!

It does seem almost trite, when, at the beginning, the “work is everything” Darcy goes off on her tenant, Ben, for decorating the entire house for the holidays. The “situation at work” provides her a convenient reason to have to interact with him. Personally, I don’t know any managers of a large retail establishment who wouldn’t have a crew ready to go, but, honestly, if this were written true-to-life, we wouldn’t have the forced interaction at work (that lead to a little work “pre-nookie”).

There are a LOT of love scenes in this story. Between the foreplay and the actual sex, each is nicely detailed and not lacking in the sense of urgency or desire between Darcy and Ben.

It’s kind of hard to swallow (no pun intended!) how quickly Darcy succumbs to Ben and his way of thinking, whether it be Christmas decorations, tattoos or sex with each other. However, this is a work of fiction, and if you can put that aside, you are golden to enjoy the fabulous romp that is Darcy and Ben.

The addition of Ben’s niece was a nice touch. At the risk of spoilers, it was a necessary addition, but handled in a unique and fun way. I especially enjoyed the shopping scene and feel that Ben’s wallet could have been significantly lighter if Darcy had really tried!

Family appears to be important to both of our main characters. In addition to shaping their reactions to one another, the actual family and interactions with them help to propel the story forward.

This may be a Christmas story. But it’s also a “retail” story. And a “romance”. And definitely a “sizzler”. Don’t let the time of year this story is set keep you from picking it up in January, or May, or even September. It’s a good read no matter WHAT time of year!

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