With her signature charm and sense of humor, bestselling author Helena Hunting creates a novel about love, family, and second chances in Make a Wish.
Ever have a defining life moment you wish you could do over? Harley Spark has one. The time she almost kissed the widowed father of the toddler she nannied for. It was so bad they moved across the state and she never saw them again.
Fast forward seven years and she’s totally over it. At least she thinks she is. Until Gavin Rhodes and his adorable now nine-year-old daughter, Peyton, reappear at a princess-themed birthday party hosted by Spark House, Harley’s family’s event hotel. Despite trying to avoid the awkwardness of the situation, she can’t help but notice how unbearably sexy he looks in a tutu. Add to that a spontaneous hives breakout, and it’s clear she’s not even remotely over the mortification of her egregious error all those years ago.
Except Gavin seems oblivious to her inner turmoil. So much so that he suggests they get together for lunch. For Peyton’s sake, of course. It’s the perfect opportunity to heal old wounds. Or it could just reopen them. This is one of those times Harley wishes she could see the future…
Helena Hunting is the author of The USA Today and NYT bestselling PUCKED Series. She lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She writes everything from romantic sports comedy to new adult angst.
Book 3 in the Spark House series ~ fine as a standalone, but the whole series is great, so you might as well read em all in order.
Featuring ~ dual 1st person POV, widower, single dad, friends to lovers, age gap (9 years), second chance at love, a little steamage
Harley & Gavin UGH! I usually am not a fan of single parent books, but this is the second dad now that is maybe changing my mind. What a swoony father Gavin is. He's so attentive to Peyton, he's not afraid to put on a tutu and the fact that she is his world just screams from the pages.
Harley was so sweet and an all around lovely person. You can always count on her to be there when you need her. She was great with Peyton and their bond was adorable.
It was nice seeing how Avery & Declan and London & Jackson are getting on with their lives. Most characters were likable, except MIL the PILL. She put a damper on things that I didn't care for. Some of it was understandable after a little communication, but it went on a tad too long for my liking.
Overall, a delightful wrap up for all the Spark sisters. EEK with the epilogue ~ perfection!
I was fortunate enough to receive a kindle copy and the audiobook to review. Either format was perfectly fine.
Narrated by Jason Clarke and Stella Bloom (same for the whole series) for 9 hours and 54 minutes. They did a lovely job as usual.
*Thanks to Helena Hunting, St Martin's Press ~ Griffin, Macmillan Audio and NetGalley for my ARC and audio copy. I am voluntarily leaving my honest review*
The following ratings are out of 5: Romance: 💙🤎🖤❤️💜 Steam: 🔥🔥🔥 Story/Plot: 📕📗📙📘 World building: 🌏🌍🌏🌎 Character development: 😍😚😉🙂🥰 Narrator(s): 🎙🎙🎙🎙🎙 Narration Type: Dual Narration
The heroine:Harley Spark - She works for her family’s hotel and event facility with her two sisters. When Harley was twenty, she used to be a nanny for Peyton Rhodes when Peyton was a baby, she fell for Gavin who was Peyton’s widowed father. Harley lost her parents when she was twelve and had been through so much, she felt older than a lot of her peers and was happy to help Gavin and practically raise Peyton but Gavin was filled with pain and guilt and when she tried to kiss him one night, he pushes her away and soon moves away.
The Hero:Gavin Rhodes - After leaving town, he moved closer to his in-laws so they could get to know Peyton. While he worked, his mother-in-law babysat and he would pick Peyton up after work. Now that she is a bit older, he moved back to town to take over for his father who is getting ready to retire. He has never forgotten Harley and thought she was easy to be around.
The Story: Harley has been working for Spark House for years. She does the social media for the hotel and has taken over the running of children’s birthday parties. She dresses as a fairy and helps the children with the activities and crafts. She is surprised to see Peyton is one of the guests and breaks out in hives when she sees Gavin again.
This book is told in dual points of view via dual narration, though there are more chapters in Harley’s point of view than in Gavins. The book was narrated by Stella Bloom and Jason Clarke who are both fantastic narrators. Stella has a very intelligent sounding feminine voice and also does a good job at male voices which sounds completely different than her regular voice. Jason Clarke has a terrific deep and gravelly voice which sounds just as good talking about business as it does doing dirty talk.
I love Helena Hunting’s writing style and how her books focus more on relationships than on side storylines, though there are side storylines about work, family and other things they are more about the people and the supporting characters in her books are always terrific. This one has Harley’s sisters, Gavin’s friends and parents as well as his in-laws and Harley even has a boyfriend in the beginning of the book.
I was a bit surprised that there wasn’t as much humor in this one as in some of Helena’s sports romance books, like the Pucked series. Though it was still good and I plan to read anything she puts out there. I have read a ton of her books and really liked every one of them.
I voluntarily read & reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts & opinions are my own.
Make a Wish by Helena Hunting Spark House #3. Contemporary romance. Can be read as a stand-alone, however events happen after the prior two books and the characters play a role in this book. Trilogy conclusion. Harley recognizes Gavin when he brings his daughter Peyton to a party held at Spark House. She used to be a nanny for Peyton before they moved away. Harley is happy to lend a hand in child care again and finds herself growing attached. To Gavin and Peyton.
The final sister’s story. It’s adorable. Gavin will do anything for his daughter including dress up in a tutu without embarrassment. Harley’s first love is child care and it’s clear she is conflicted with the growth and her responsibilities at Spark House. It’s also clear that she still loves Peyton and still has feelings for Gavin. But of course, there are issues that must be dealt with including Harley’s current boyfriend and Gavin’s mother-in-law that never liked Harley. Charming and heartwarming.
🎧 I listened to an audiobook that was narrated by Stella Bloom and Jason Clarke (who do the full series) in a dual POV. Each takes on both voices from the male or female perspectives. The crossover is well done and convincing in the romance and tension of the situations. Because they are the same narrators for the full series, I would recommend that you don’t listen to them directly in a row or you may start confusing the characters. Overall I enjoyed both the print and the audio versions equally. I listened to this story at a speed of 1.3 (my usual) which I found the most comfortable.
I received a copy of this from NetGalley and Macmillan Audio. 4.5
Make A Wish is the third book in Helena Hunting’s ‘Spark House’ series and it was my favorite of the three. Honestly, I thought this would be a 4-5 star read for me, but the hero frustrated me more and more as the book went on. I was understanding of why Gavin was the way he was, but it got old quick. Still, by the end he won me over. I adored his daughter Peyton and seeing Harley with her. They were both fantastic. The romance was good, but it really took me a while to feel that spark between them. I listened to the audiobook and Stella Bloom and Jason Clarke did an amazing job narrating!
Audio book source: Netgalley Story Rating: 3.5 stars Narrators: Jason Clarke & Stella Bloom Narration Rating: 5 stars Genre: Contemporary Romance Length: 9h 56m
It was beautiful watching the story unfold for all 3 sisters. Also, being a single parent I love hearing stories that include single parents. Some bits I wish weren't so delayed or prolonged but majority of this book was perfect for me. I loved seeing how it all turned out in the end! Such a cute read. The narrator was great, she helped reel you in and differentiate between the characters.
I received this ARC from NetGalley and the publishers to read and review. All of the statements above are my true opinions after fully listening to this audiobook.
This is the third and final book in a trilogy that follows the Spark sisters and I’ve read and really enjoyed them all. You don’t have to read them in order as each sister gets her own book but you should because they’re all really fun and then you get to see their stories grow over all three books.
It’s finally Harley’s turn and I’ve been wanting to get to know her better since the first book. This one has a blend of some tropes, you get second chance, age gap, friends to lovers and a single dad. I love all of those and the author merges them all so well. Helena always brings a certain type of charm and humor to her books and this was no exception. The narration by Stella and Jason was excellent as usual and overall this was a delightful end to the series with an epilogue that brought it all together perfectly.
Last year I read Bitter Sweet Heart by Helena Hunting and I fell so hard for it. It’s a story I embraced from start to end. So when the opportunity to read this arc opened, I immediately jumped at the chance. I went in open minded and open armed, looking to embrace another fantastic book.
I’m disheartened to say, the embrace left me feeling rather lukewarm.
I still believe in Helena Hunting’s writing.
She has a terrific skill in giving unique voices to every character, bringing scenery to life, and making a story feel like you’re immersed alongside the leads. Her characters arrive fully formed and layered.
I appreciate that a lot, and it allows me to remain a fan of her work as I look forward to discovering all her books.
Harley and Gavin are definitely fleshed out characters who feel real and tangible, but I unfortunately struggled to like them. Especially Gavin, who I felt needed to stand up sooner for Harley against the literal Karen in the book. Harley was a nice character overall, but her naivety fell short in an otherwise well developed character. I am not sure why she needed other characters to tell her that her relationship with Gavin and her boyfriend were at complete odds in terms of the time dedicated to both. I couldn’t commit to that willful ignorance.
Nevertheless, I did enjoy how these two felt unique, felt complicated, felt real. Their voices were head loud and clear in my head, but I simply found, I didn’t quite like what I heard. And sometimes, that’s okay. Just like in real life, we don’t have to like everyone we meet.
The love story is one of the main reasons I didn’t take well to the book, for reasons I’ll detail below (minor spoilers to follow):
The story of her leads starts at a rather uncomfortable moment. Harley is the nanny of baby Peyton whose mother died in childbirth and Gavin is the grieving father. Harley has nannied for a year and a half, starting when she’s 19. One night she and a grieving Gavin almost share a kiss. They don’t see each other until 7 years later, where Harley finds herself in that nanny position again just far too quickly.
The beginning begins in the past and made me cringe, but I kept going because it felt like it was supposed to feel awkward. Like the right person, but wrong timing kind of situation. We go forward into present time to an older Harley who is understandably mortified of that night of the almost kiss. It’s not meant to be a romantic scene, but it’s a kiss they clearly will finish in the future. So I buckled in to get started in the ‘real’ romance, only to feel dismayed at seeing Harley informally retake her position as a nanny to Peyton. I wanted to root for said romance, but I has trouble with it, especially because so much of their relationship/bonding involved Peyton. The family dynamic overtook the romance. More so than this, there was a deep lack of chemistry. The lingering initial cringe remained in me throughout their entire journey. It took too long for Harley to be moved from a nanny figure to romantic interest. I didn’t enjoy the romance, but I really wanted to. I truly did, and I wish I did.
》The Ick Factor《
Now on to the main reason I did not fully warm up to this story. I am very open-minded when it comes to romances, I’ll dive into taboos, including age gaps and power dynamics that in real life I’d turn my nose up towards, but there are also certain limits I have, as I’ve come to recently discover.
One is spending 40% of a book where one of the leads in a relationship with a supporting character while clearing falling for the other lead. It doesn’t need to turn physical to be considered cheating and/or an affair in my book. Harley was absolutely emotionally cheating on her boyfriend. I have no idea why a few books I’ve read over the last months have had leads in similar positions, all I know is that this is just an immediate turn off.
Now, unlike those other books, Hunting calls it what it is: an emotional affair. There's quite a lot of self-awareness in this narrative, which I do appreciate. However, in this instance, that awareness is fleeting as the narrative quickly lets Harley off the hook. It’s swept under the rug, because hey, true love trumps all!
It’s an ick factor that I struggle to find anything romantic about. It took almost half the book to resolve, and once it did, I found myself simply not caring about the romance.
》It’s me, not you《
One thing I do need to make clear: the main problem in why I didn’t engage well with the book is me. I struggled because of personal limits I have in reading, as well as personal interpretations not all may share. It’s personal, but doesn’t mean it will apply to all. Perhaps you will warm up greatly to this love story. Perhaps you’ll see what I didn’t. I hope you do. It feels like an acquired taste. I’m sorry it’s one I didn’t digest well, but I hope it’s one you’ll find positively delicious.
Thank you Helena Hunting, NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing me an arc in exchange for an honest review.
Finally we get to hear the final Spark Sister Story!
Seven years ago, twenty year old Harley was working as a live-in nanny for widowed dad Gavin and his 18 month old girl Peyton. It was her dream job and she loved the little girl. But then one sleepless-baby-crying-night she accidentally almost kissed Gavin and the little family moved to another city almost immediately. But now, seven years later, they're suddenly back in Harley's life! And Harley is still just as attracted to the single dad. And Little Peyton treats Harley as if no time has passed.
Will those three get a chance for a happily ever after?
READ THE BOOK TO FIND OUT!
Such a sweet romance! Just like the first books it was so adorable and cute and a bit heartbreaking. I still love the whole setting of this series. The family hotel with all the normal and not so normal events! And now they're partnering with the Mills brothers and their hotels. Everything is very busy and exciting - only Harley is not overly excited about all the changes. That's why she's so drawn to her old life as a nanny. I really loved watching how she cares for that girl so much and with such fun projects like baking and arts and crafts and princess this and that. Glitter! So adorable! And the adults are falling for each other too of course. Only it might not look so good to the outside - the very young nanny from years ago is falling for the widowed daddy. Gavin's mother-in-law is not happy - even though Harley is 28 now!
Anyway - that's it. Nothing more to say - I don't want to spoil things! READ IT!
MAKE A WISH was an adorable + sparky + glittery + very sweet love story! I loved reading it! Run to your nearest amazon for your own Gavin - he'll be sold out in no time!
I adore single parent books. I just like that added element to a new budding relationship. I also love seeing the hero being a dad. Gavin and Peyton's relationship was really special, and Peyton played a really big role in this book. She was adorable and I also loved her relationship with Harley.
I'm not the biggest fan of long separations in books, but in this case it made sense. Harley was young and Gavin was grieving. It made sense that they needed time before exploring that spark they had from the beginning. Once they reunited, it was like there wasn't years that separated them. They had a lot to still work through but the chemistry was there from the start.
It was so good to see the last sister find her true love and have that happily ever after that Avery and London found in their story. I just loved all three sisters and really enjoyed this series.
This was such a sweet story. Even if it was a little heartbreaking in the beginning for Gavin.
I don’t typically like single parent stories, but this one may have just changed my mind. I like it even more that it’s the dad as the single parent. Gavin clearly puts his daughter, Peyton, first. Which makes him even more swoon worthy.
Harley is someone I think we should all strive to be. She is incredibly sweet, loving, and GREAT with kids. The two together just make sense.
Cute story, four stars all the way around.
ThNk you NetGalley and St. Martin’s press for the ARC!!
The ending of a book has not brought me to tears in a while, but this one got to me. As far as romance novels goes, there is a formula that most of them stick to, and I was happy to see this one go a little bit outside of the norm. Usually, once the couple finally gets together, that's then end of the story, but this happened a bit differently, in that we got to see not just an immediate fantasy happily ever after, but the realistic version, where Harley and Gavin made mistakes and doubted each other. They had to work at making not just their relationship work, but also factoring in what was best for Peyton. It was lovely to see the relationship between not just Gavin and Harley, but also the progression between Peyton and Harley. These were tricky relationships to navigate and I found it incredibly compelling.
I received this story as an ARC in the form of an audiobook and I absolutely loved the narrators chosen for this. The narrators helped draw you into the story and specifically for me, made Harley such a lovable character.
No surprise here that I began this story not realizing that it was part of a series (maybe one day I will be less of a hot mess) but this completely worked as a standalone novel and definitely "sparked" my interest in going back to read the first 2 stories in the series.
Many many thanks to NetGalley, St. Martin's Press, and Macmillan Audio for providing me with this Arc in exchange for my honest review! The publish date for Make a Wish will be 1/24/23, so make sure to check it out!
Picking up a Helen hunting book is like ordering the perfect platter at your fave eatery. You get balanced meal of all the colorful sentiments to devour. She plots with precision and serves perfect portions of tropes for us.
There's a single dad angle, a second chance at love, a young delectable nanny angle and of course witty banter tops it all The hero, Gavin Rhodes is a single dad to a toddler Peyton. He has his hands full and heart emptied after the death of his wife.
Enter the babysitter/nanny, nubile Harley Spark. She manages to wiggle her way into their tiny broken family and makes her own place in it. But the road to happiness doesn't start there, so the fork in the road proves to be a blessing in disguise.
“I’m not letting you off the hook. I’m telling you to let yourself off the hook.” He gives me a wry smile. “We both deserve to be happy, even if it’s not with each other.”
7 years later they meet again but by now lot of water has flown under the bridge. And there's an added baggage in Gavin's heart
And of course the "Karen" It's light & frothy toll the banter hits home. Peyton is adorable but Gavin & Harley just need to get over their hngups, cause I cheered for them throughout . A sensitive, yet fun read. 4 stars for Angels of Love Follow me on: Email🌻 Bookbub 🌻 Twitter🌻 Instagram🌻 Blog🌻 Facebook🌻 Amazon 🌻
Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Make A Wish is the third book of the Spark House series following one of three sisters as she tries to find her place in the family business while also navigating a new relationship with a the widowed father she nannied for eight years before. It is a cute story and can be read as a standalone.
Harley and her sisters have made their hotel a destination for weddings, business conferences and kid's birthdays. She was happy working with her sisters doing the kid's parties but those aren't as lucrative as the other kinds of events and are about to be scrapped. Harley also helped with social media, but the hotel is about to franchise and now has a team for that. She is a bit lost in where her place is at Spark house and is now trying to figure out a way to still work with her sisters at the family business, but also have something she loves doing while there.
Harley nannied for Peyton and Gavin for a year and a half when Peyton was a baby, right after the death of his wife in childbirth. One night lines almost got crossed and Harley almost kissed Gavin. Right after that, he moved to be closer to his in-laws. Now Gavin is back in town and a ten year old Peyton is adorable. When they run into each other at an event, something might be there but with Peyton as a buffer, they explore hanging out with her and becoming good friends.
As someone who dated my Hubs when his kids were about the same age as Peyton in the story, I related to a lot of the troubles of balancing a relationship with someone with kids and some of the additional conflicts with in-laws and mixing a family. While this was different because there is no ex to deal with, there are still relationships and boundaries that need to be considered and navigated.
I connected to the characters and their issues. Harley sometimes is too understanding and forgets to stand up for herself in all of her relationships, while Gavin has the death of his wife to deal with and the guilt of falling in love with someone new. I enjoyed this story and the cute ending. I think a lot of the time Peyton stole the show with her child exuberance and personality. Overall, a very cute story.
Narration: Stella Bloom is a favorite narrator of mine. She narrates many books written by Kristen Ashley and I think she captures the emotions of characters in romances so well. Jason Clarke has a huge list of books he has narrated as well. While I don't know his voice as well as Stella's, he has this great rumble for the male lead that was incredibly sexy. I liked how he portrayed all the characters. Together they narrated fantastically. I was able to listen at my usual 1.5x speed.
Make a Wish is book 3 of the Spark House series by author Helena Hunting. It is a standalone contemporary romance, told from both POV with a HEA.
WHAT TO EXPECT: ✔️ sing father ✔️ love after loss ✔️ age gap ✔️ slow burn
Harley loves kids & used to be a nanny but has been working with her sisters at Spark House for the past seven years helping organize events. The last person she expected to see at one of said events was Gavin and Peyton Rhodes, her last infant charge and her widowed father.
Now that they’re back though, Gavin doesn’t hesitate to reach out to ask for her help with Peyton and Harley is more than eager to spend time with both of them, going as far as ignoring her totally wrong for her boyfriend.
As she spends time with both Gavin and Peyton, she realizes that the connection between them. But even after breaking up with her boyfriend, navigating the delicate waters of dealing with Gavin’s grief over his wife and his overbearing in-laws proves to be more than they can handle.
Make a Wish had a lot of heart and emphasis in family and friends, particularly Harley and her sisters and it felt more like a women’s lit vs. a romance. Harley & Gavin's relationship is a slow burn and almost all of their interactions revolve around Gavin's daughter. Because of this, there wasn’t a lot of steam or romance, yet it was a very sweet story with lots of feels.
The narration by Stella Bloom and Jason Clarke was good. She does a great job with all the different voices including the male ones and I enjoyed Jason’s deep voice very much.
By the numbers review: ★ Hero: 👤👤👤👤 ★ Heroine: 👤👤👤👤 ★ Plot: 📚📚📚📚 ★ Romance: 💕💕 ★ Sexiness: 🔥🔥🔥
★ I received an ARC of this title from the author via NetGalley. The excerpts are from that copy. I am voluntarily reviewing this title. ★See all my book edits on Instagram
Back to Spark House for another romance and Harley getting her own story!
I really liked how the plot was set up with this one by the flashback of Harley being Petyton's nanny after Gavin's wife died in childbirth. Gavin, Harley and Peyton reconnect years later at a birthday party and the friendship/romance blossoms from there.
This book deals with a lot of emotional baggage due to Marcy's death and how various people handle it. Harley and Gavin definitely have that firey romance, but it often gets interrupted by Peyton or derailed by a not so accepting mother in law. Our couple usually handles the interruptions quite well.
Gavin is definitely a fun single dad that doesn't mind dressing up with his little girl and isn't afraid of all things glitter. With all the emotions going on, it was nice that he wasn't a super mopey character. I liked seeing Harley in a different/serious light too in this book beyond just the fun little sister.
The only thing that bugged me slightly in this book was Peyton's age. To me it seems like she was more like a 6/7 year old instead of 9 based on how she acted. Maybe I just have a super mature 9 year old daughter.
I really liked that this book dealt with issues way beyond just the romance aspect. It was also nice to see how Avery and London's lives were going too, but this book would have been good read by itself. Another good book in the series!
Thank you to MacMillan Audio and Netgalley for providing me a copy of this Audiobook for my honest review.
Make a Wish is the third and final book in the Spark House series. This is a series of interconnected standalone romances.
This book is Harley's story. It can be read as a standalone (different narrators) however the main characters of each book are in the other books a lot. So I would definitely recommend reading in order since their stories continue.
Make a Wish starts with us seeing Harley as a 20 year old nanny. The story then moves to the present with Harley at 27.
Family is such an important part of all of these books. And I've definitely enjoyed getting to see the three sisters each get their own book. I've also really loved seeing Spark House grow (their family's event hotel).
Harley was such a great heroine. I loved seeing how much she loves working with kids. And her relationship with Peyton was so fun. However I'm not understanding why so many books lately have the heroine start the book with a boyfriend.
I did like the male POV. It was nice to see a single dad with a precocious 9 year old daughter. And it was interesting to see all of the challenges that the relationship between him and Harley had to overcome. And the grief aspect, while super heart-wrenching, was well told.
I definitely enjoyed this book and the last part of the book was really good (it made me super teary-eyed). However I wish that there had been more that was unexpected . But overall still such a good series.
Thanks to netgalley, the author and SMP Romance for allowing me to read this book.
Four and a Half Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭒ Make a Wish by Helena Hunting is the third book in her popular Spark House series but can be read as a stand-alone book. However, it’s a fun series and all the books are great.
Story Recap: Harley Spark loves children and is the children’s party event coordinator at her family’s event hotel, Spark House. As the youngest of the three sisters, she is beginning to question her role at Spark House but loves working with her sisters. Her sisters have told her that they will be ending the children’s parties at Spark House because they don’t add enough to their bottom line. Harley is disappointed but knows she has to think of the company first.
At her last Spark House children’s party, Harley runs into Peyton, a little girl she used to babysit as a toddler, who is now an energetic nine-year-old. However, it’s Peyton’s dad, Gavin, who has Harley wanting to run away from the party. When Harley was a young woman, she was a live-in nanny for Peyton, after Peyton’s mother died during childbirth. Taking care of young Petyon and her grief-stricken father, Gavin, was a fulfilling job until she almost kissed her boss, Gavin. Shortly after that “almost kiss”, Gavin and his toddler daughter Peyton, moved away to Boulder to be closer to his in-laws. But Harley has always thought that their move was because of her clumsy attempt to kiss, Gavin.
My Thoughts: I’ve read and enjoyed every book in this series, and I like this one the best. I’ve been waiting for Harley’s story, and it was worth the wait. I love Harley, she’s less driven than the other sisters but just as passionate about life. Just not as passionate about Spark House as her sisters. She found her niche at Spark House by doing the children’s parties, but now her sisters have decided to drop doing the parties as it’s not as lucrative as weddings and corporate events.
The star of the story is Peyton, Gavin’s nine-year-old daughter. She is funny and works as a buffer between Gavin and Harley. Gavin is an adorable dad, and will do anything to make his daughter happy, including tea parties wearing a tutu and special trips to child-themed restaurants.
Recommendation: I highly recommend Make a Wish to anyone who enjoys romance. I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Thank you NetGalley, McMillan Audio, and Helena Hunting for the an Advanced audiobook of Make A Wish.
Make A Wish by Helena Hunting is released January 24th, 2023.
Make A Wish is the third book in the Spark House series.
If you like age gap tropes and workplace(ish) romance, this would be a book to consider. Harley was young when she worked for Gavin as a nanny. They get close, but something happens that causes Gavin to pick up his daughter, Peyton, and leave town. Years pass, and an unexpected reunion occurs.
My rating may have been affected by the fact that I did just jump into this series without reading/listening to the first two books. With that being said, I did not feel connected to the main character or Gavin, Peyton was funny and was really the only character that I was able to somewhat connect to. Another reason, was because I really couldn’t get passed the female narrator’s voice. It didn’t match how I imagined Harley sounding, I feel like if I read Make A Wish instead of listening, I would have a connected with Harley.
Overall, the story was enjoyable, I just chose the wrong format.
Make a Wish is the third book in the Spark House trilogy which I have enjoyed although this is not my favorite. The plot is easy to follow; twenty-year-old Harley Spark is the nanny to toddler, Peyton Rhodes, daughter of widower Gavin Rhodes. Gavin’s wife died in childbirth, and he is still grieving. One night during a shared moment she almost kisses him and the next thing she knows they have moved away.
Seven years later Harley has given up her degree in childhood education and now works for Spark House, the family hotel when Gavin and his daughter show up to a child’s birthday party. They reconnect and start meeting for lunch so Peyton can get reacquainted with Harley. You can probably see where this is going.
Things move along at a fair pace and soon they are a couple, but their relationship hits a few speedbumps including Gavin’s former mother-in-law who disapproves of Harley and Gavin’s parenting. When things go wrong, Gavin takes it out on Harley, and she realizes that before they can move forward in this relationship, they both have old wounds to heal.
This book didn’t have the “spark” that I expected, and I kept getting annoyed with Harley’s passiveness and Gavin’s lack of backbone. Of course, it got better towards the end as they reached for their HEA.
I “read” this book via audiobook and am familiar with both narrators, Jason Clarke and Stella Bloom, who have long been favorites of mine and brought the characters to life in a way that made sense for the personalities. I gave the book three stars.
Make a wish is the 3rd book in the Spark House Series where we get to read about Harley Spark's story. Harley is the youngest Spark sister and takes care of social media for Spark House. But with their expansion plans, Harley is unsure where she fits at Spark House. During her early 20s, Harley is a live in nanny for widower Gavin's new baby Peyton. Gavin and Peyton leave town and Harley is heartbroken. Cut to present day, Gavin and Peyton are back and they strike a connection with Harley again and develop feelings!
While I loved When Sparks Fly, Starry eyed love was ok too, I had a lot of issues with Make a wish. Gavin came across as an opportunist who was using Harley for childcare. I never felt any love develop between Gavin and Harley. It seemed like a convenient arrangement plus sex. Gavin also never stands up for Harley with his mother-in-law unless it suits him. Another issue I had was Peyton being a 9 year old behaved like a 5 year old and was treated like one too! Harley was also a push over be it with Gavin and with her sisters. This book had a lot of potential and could have been a good one had these issues been addressed. It was a quick read!
Thank you @stmartinspress @smpromance @macmillanaudio for the ARC/ALC of Make a wish.
𝑻𝒓𝒐𝒑𝒆𝒔: Single Parent, Nanny Romance, Age Gap Romance
4.5 Stars! (ARC provided by Social Butterfly PR/St. Martin's Press)
Harley Spark lives in Colorado Springs where she owns and runs an event hotel called Spark House with her two older sisters Avery and London. She spends her days working on their social media, and planning fabulous events. While hosting a princess themed birthday party she crosses paths with a man she hasn't seen in seven years. When she was twenty she nannied for Gavin Rhodes. He was a struggling widow trying to survive, and she was his lifeline most days. She took care of his daughter for a year and a half, and then she crossed a line when she almost kissed him. Everything changed and they moved across the state. She got attached, so it was hard on her when they suddenly disappeared from her life. Now it feels like the past is coming back to haunt her. She's embarrassed and feels awkward, but Gavin seems excited to reconnect after all these years.
Gavin Rhodes and his nine year old daughter Peyton move back to Colorado Springs. After only a few weeks in town they run into Harley. She's part of their past and feels familiar. Father and daughter both like spending time with her, and an easy friendship forms. She's like a ray of sunshine back in their lives, and makes them both happy. As Gavin and Harley get reacquainted will they want to explore the connection between them? Now that they are now both in different places in their lives, could the timing finally be right?
Make a Wish by Helena Hunting is the third book in the Spark House series. It's a single dad, friends to lovers, second chance romance about family, love, and beautiful connections. I've been looking forward to the youngest Spark sisters story and it didn't disappoint. I adored this couple and their electric chemistry. This book was packed with plenty of emotion, swoon and all the feels! <333
(free review copy) all the stars for the setting and returning to the world of Spark House. I honestly wasn’t the hugest fan of the love pairing for most of this book BUT I cried at the end so there’s that.
» Contemporary Romance » Single Dad » Age Gap » Forbidden Love » Second Chance at Love » Forced Proximity
While I didn’t like Avery’s book in this series, I really enjoyed London’s story. I had high hopes for Harley in Make A Wish, but it just fell flat by the end. It just didn’t do it for me. I felt like we continued to have the same conflict chapter after chapter.
The entire story was heavily influenced by the loss of parents/loved ones and dealing with grief. It was handled well, but the romance was lacking.
There was really no chemistry between Gavin and Harley - anytime we got a glimpse of it, Peyton would interrupt. Cute the first time, not so cute the 4th or 5th time. Gavin’s MIL was uber irritating and I hated the way Harley got treated by her sisters until the very end of the book.
I wish I could’ve loved this book, but I just couldn’t. Thank you to the publisher for the physical ARC of Make a Wish.
Excuse me whilst I wipe away all these fat tears rolling down my face because of how perfect and emotional this story was.
I think…no I KNOW Harley is by far my favourite Spark sister.
Whew..now I need a few minutes to gather my thoughts…
Harley is a precious and loveable woman. She cares for everyone, sees the positive in everything and will help anyone with anything she can help with, she’s instantly likeable. She loves kids and helping grow their creative side.
Her relationship with Gavin is complex. It’s easy, it’s hard but it just feels right. Their connection was instant and easy even if it’s at the wrong time.
Gavin was an amazing man. His love for the cutie that is Peyton shone brightly throughout this book. He’s a dad, a dad that wants his little girl to be happy. He’s kind and caring and the perfect kind of dad.
Harley and Gavin’s story is swoon worthy. It’s emotional and heartbreaking yet beautiful at the same time. I’m not going to lie, the tears came to my eyes a few times, I got so attached to them all.
I don’t want to go into much detail to spoil it for anyone so I’ll cap it here.
Make a Wish is a single dad , age-gap romance. It’s emotional and addictive and one you’ll need to read.
H. Hunting knows how to write a book that’ll have your attention from the get go, this book sure does!
4 stars. This is my favorite Spark sister book. While I didn’t love Avery or London as characters, I really loved Harley. She was just so sweet and kind and empathetic and understanding. Single parent is a favorite trope of mine, which is funny because dead ex is a trope I typically don’t enjoy. And they often go hand in hand, as they do here with Make A Wish. But I loved the single parent aspect of Make A Wish, and especially the relationship between Harley and Peyton. If I’m being fair, their relationship maybe slightly overshadowed the romantic relationship, but that’s ok. Because Peyton was the cutest. Given these tropes, the conflict is probably predictable, but the way Harley and Gavin overcame it was really sweet. I also loved that the epilogue was from Peyton’s point of view. I do think this can be read as a standalone. The couples from the first 2 books do play a part in this book, but the role is very much secondary. All in all, I think this was a really great end to the Spark sisters series, and thoroughly enjoyable.
Thank you to Helena Hunting and SMP romance for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
A heartfelt and endearing conclusion to the Spark House series! Make A Wish is delightful. I simply adored watching our final sister Harley find her HEA with swoony single dad Peyton. This entire series has been such treat- sincere, charming, and heartwarming. The Spark sisters will always have a tender place in my heart.
I was already excited for Harley, but this book has some of my favorite tropes- single dad, second chances, and age gap…all with the best sister girl gang in the Spark ladies. The journey of each of these characters are are charming. Gavin is just so swoony- a dreamboat of a single dad who melts the heart. He’s an amazing dad, and as he opens his heart and explores his connection to Peyton, we see him become the swoony book boyfriend. And Harley is so thoughtful and relatable. Crushing on the newly widowed dad, her shock in seeing him years later. And I loved her connection with Peyton. Helena does a great job of positioning the chemistry of both characters- and I appreciated how we both get sweet moments between Peyton and Harley AND we have much needed solo moments with Gavin to develop them as a couple. And we also get to see them form their own family unit. Harley and Gavin are so sweet together. Their connection blossomed so naturally, and I loved how Harley really helps Peyton and Gavin heal, the undertones of guilt and loss married with hope and healing.
The Spark House series is so full of love and family- and watching these lovely sisters find their love, find their path, and find themselves.
Make a Wish surprised and disappointed me. I enjoyed the first half of the novel, despite my aversion to children centric romance novels. Nine-year-old Peyton is adorable and a pleasure to read as she learns to cope with the changes around her. Seeing her through the main character, Harley’s, child loving eyes made Peyton very hard to dislike. However, the relationship hurdles Harley and Gavin need to clear are cliche.
Harley, the third and final Spark sister, loves children, but put her dreams on hold to help her sisters with Spark House. Now that the business is striving, she’s realizing she made a lot of sacrifices. Enter Gavin, the father of a child she was nannying nine years ago before they abruptly moved away.
Gavin is a flawed character. He’s a typical Hunting love interest, but on the softer side. Gavin’s issues are the driving force of the conflict in his relationship with Harley. The relationship hurdles Harley and Gavin need to clear are cliche and just when you think they worked out their problems, another more serious problem emerges. This more serious problem was glossed over in a way it shouldn’t have been.
Harley and Gavin’s chemistry is lukewarm as their connection is one based in family rather than solely on physical attraction. This isn’t surprising considering the more family centric focus of this series.
Overall, Make a Wish started out strong but faltered in its use of cliche relationship hurdles.
*** I received an arc in exchange for an honest review.
As I've come to love all 3 of the Spark sisters over the course of two books, I was so eager for Harley's story. And it did not disappoint.
While her sisters, Avery and London, have a great business sense, there is something truly special about Harley that you can't learn, the ability to connect with others. More importantly, the ability to build that connection with children. Harley has that gift, and this book explores her struggle to use that skill to grow the family business, and maybe even find love.
This story had two plotlines, Harley's reconnection with Gavin Rhode, and his daughter, Peyton, who she nannied years prior. Despite the years apart, the three find quick comfort in one another. Are Harley and Gavin using Peyton as an excuse to be with one another, or do they both have Peyton's well-being as a priority? I thought it fell somewhere between the two. It is clear they both adore Peyton, and it helps that Peyton adores Harley right back. But it was also clear that this reconnection was more than friendship, and I liked how they didn't waste much time admitting it.
The other plotline in this story involved the growth of Spark House and Harley's role within it. One of the reasons I love this story is the intelligence and hardworking nature of these sisters, who have grown a small local business into one worthy of expansion. Harley may not have the same business sense as her sisters, but her role in the business is no less important. I thought her struggle and hesitancy to voice her concerns felt honest, and I admired how she finally stepped up to voice her vision when the time was right.
This story does follow a similar formula to the previous two books, so I knew there would be some drama and heartbreak. But overall, the angst wasn't too much. And who doesn't like a little groveling, lol.
Overall, Harley may have been the last sister to find love, but it was worth the wait!