Review: Spark to the Heart (Hearts of Parkerburg #4) by Havan Fellows and Lee Brazil

As a misguided youth, Rosy loved being that kid in Parkerburg—you know the one that everybody swears will end up in jail or comatose—until one summer day on the back roads of town when two lives came to a screeching halt.

Thirteen years later, Rosy owns the local pub on Maple Street and makes a good show of how he's recovered from tragedy. He even convinces himself…until he meets the new man in town and realizes just how okay he isn't. With the demons of his fatal past still stalking him, Rosy has no idea how to switch from simply existing to actually living.

Angus “Jet” Manheim—famous for his smooth, sexy voice and notorious for his hard partying ways—sped through most of his adult life on stage and in the recording studio. Sober and retired to the quaint New England town of Parkerburg, Jet’s ready to slow his soundtrack…until his compelling neighbor—a grumbling, muscular mountain of a man with an odd name—ups the tempo.

Frequently absentminded, Jet finds Rosy an easy object of focus, a solid center around which Jet hopes to build a future. But retirement isn’t easy. The entertainment industry doesn’t stop knocking just because you hang a do not disturb sign.

When Rosy’s and Jet’s pasts try to harmonize with their present, they might have to decide whether the chorus is worth repeating.

I enjoy coming back to visit Parkerburg whenever a new book is released in this small town series. I was looking forward to Rosy’s story because I’m a sucker for a grumpy bear with a heart of gold and I was all set for the opposites-attract thing I knew was coming in Spark to the Heart.

The story started out great, I loved where things were going with Rosy and Jet. It was sweet as the two danced around the flirtation, did a little dating and gave into their hornier base instincts. I knew there would be some angst coming, so the set up for some hurt/comfort was working for me. And it was working for me up until Rosy went from being “new boyfriend” Rosy, to “really bitter and angry” Rosy. And I understood it, I did, to a point, but his anger and reactions made me uncomfortable and turned me off to him pretty hard.

Rosy's a fixture in Parkerburg, he gives people second chances, I’m told repeatedly what a good guy he is and I totally believed it in the beginning, but when the guilt and anger come along I just couldn’t with him. He treated Jet like crap, he got violent with people who didn’t deserve it more than once and while I get he’s hurting, as a guy in position of some authority over employees and who holds respect with the townsfolk, putting your hands on someone or shoving innocent bystanders (even accidentally) while you’re in a huff is a no-go for me. When he did go to speak with Jet, from Jet’s (and my) perspective it turned into just an outlet for angry boning and I wanted more for Jet. Jet wanted more for Jet and props to him for putting the brakes on Rosy’s nonsense.

I think my problem was that it was too early in the relationship for this much trouble. I didn’t have a firm foundation in my head for these two yet. If I were Jet’s pal I would have told him to tell Rosy to hit the bricks and not waste his time and I shouldn’t be thinking that, I want to root for my MC’s even if I do want to throttle them now and again.

But Jet though, Jet was awesome. I love his hippy-dippy attitude that is surprisingly centered considering the life he’s led. I wanted to hang with him and Brian in Jet’s shop. I wanted him to be happy and be taken care of and it frustrated me that I couldn’t get behind Rosy more with an HEA for him and Jet for a while.

It’s Parkerburg though, and HEA’s are a given thankfully, so Rosy did manage to pull his head out of his ass eventually and realize he was in true danger of losing his happy if he didn’t make things right with Jet. I was happy for them, I was mostly happy for Jet though, because it was what he wanted. I wanted more groveling though. I needed more balance between dumbass-Rosy and good-boyfriend-Rosy.

I’ll be ready for more Parkerburg when it comes and what I really hope to read is some epilogue-y like love for Rosy and Jet. I really like Jet’s character and I want to spend more time with him. I want to like Rosy and see him evolve into the guy he’s supposed to be. I want to read some Parkerburg love for the next couple with more balance between the issues and the HEA.

**a copy of this story was provided for an honest review**

Categories: MM romance, contemporary, series

44,000 words
Publisher: Appleton Publishing Avenue
Cover Artist: Author Services

Exclusive excerpt:
Jet chuckled. “Yes, well… Sunday?”
“Oh, we’re still on for Sunday. I just stopped by for…” For what? What did Rosy expect to happen by impulsively dive-bombing his new neighbor? “A taste.” Oh! Good answer. He grabbed Jet and spun them behind the narrow width counter, using it as a pseudo-shield from the storefront windows. “Do you mind? Can I have a taste?”
Without waiting for an answer, Rosy pressed their lips together. The hell with it; if Jet didn’t want a tongue in his mouth, he could push Rosy the fuck away.
Didn’t happen. Jet wrapped his arms around Rosy’s neck and encouraged a deeper exploration.
But Rosy wanted more than this limited sampling of mouths. Breaking their kiss, he repeated his question, “Can I have a taste?”
“Yes…taste me.”

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Lee Brazil
Somewhere in a small town in up-state New York are a librarian and a second grade teacher to whom I owe my life. That might be a touch dramatic, but it’s nevertheless one hundred percent true.
Because they taught me the joy of reading, of escaping into worlds crafted of words.
Have you ever been nine years old and sure of nothing so much as that you don’t belong? Looked at the world from behind glasses, and wondered why you don’t fit?
Someone hands you a book, and then you turn the page and see… There you are, running from Injun Joe in a dark graveyard; there you are fencing with Athos; there you are…beneath the deep blue sea- marveling at exotic creatures with Captain Nemo.
I found myself between the pages of books, and that is why I write now. It’s why I taught English and literature for so many years, and it’s why my house contains more pounds of books than furniture.
If I’d had my way, I’d have been a fencer…or a starship captain, or a lawyer, or a detective solving crimes. But instead, I am a writer, and I’ve come to realize that’s the best thing in the world to be, because as a writer, I can be all those things and more.
If I hadn’t learned to value the stories between the pages, who knows what would have happened? Certainly not college…teaching…or writing.

Havan Fellows
I annoy, love, respect, scare, seduce, hurt, anger, infatuate, frustrate, flatter, envy, amuse and tolerate everyone. I just do it better in writing thanks to a little thing called…edits.
Okay no, seriously…I'm a simpleminded person who enjoys the escape from real life through a book. I write with the group Story Orgy and hope to continue doing so for a long time. I also am privileged to be with the Pulp Friction writers, creating intermingling books in a world all our own.
Just like every other red-blooded human—I get a little bouncy when I get mail (any kind too…email, comments, private messages…you wanna do it, do it with me *winks*). So feel free to drop me a line—whether it's on my blog, twitter, PInterest, or you track me down on FaceBook or Google +…it's easy to catch someone who wants to be caught.

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