Rating: 4 stars
Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance
Bernie Jenkins knows he’s nothing more than an obligation to Tomas. When Tomas helped Bernie move into his condo, they made a deal that Tomas would buy groceries for Bernie as long as Bernie cooked for him. Bernie knew from the beginning that it was charity because Bernie couldn’t afford a lot as a college student and teaching assistant. Bernie has been attracted to Tomas from the start, but has no doubts that Tomas will never be attracted to him.
Tomas Rodriguez has only ever seen Bernie as a clumsy, geeky friend. He set out to take care of Bernie in the beginning but never really noticed Bernie as more than a buddy he liked to hang out with. He even went as far as to always address Bernie as “kid.” Then one night, while out dancing, Bernie shows Tomas a different, more sensual side. Tomas is taken off guard, not knowing what exactly he’s feeling when it comes to Bernie.
A bet by Bernie’s and Tomas’s friends eventually leads to a relationship that Tomas did not expect. A romantic relationship built on the foundation of a strong friendship proves to be what the two needed. But even a relationship can’t cover up Bernie’s painful past, a time that Bernie would rather forget and never have to tell anyone about. Bernie starts to realize that the only way to have a relationship with Tomas is to open up and trust him even with the things that hurt too much to think about.
Sparks is the second book in Talia Carmichael’s Something in Common series. It’s a story about two men who finally acknowledge the spark of attraction between them, starting a relationship only to have secrets threaten to damage it. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by this story. In comparison to Detour, the first book, the wording was a lot smoother and the storyline flowed really well. And the drama that unfolded from Bernie’s past kept me wanting more. I liked that everything wasn’t so perfect for Bernie and Tomas. They had trust issues to work through. They weren’t always patient with each other. The ups and downs made for a more interesting read.
Bernie and Tomas were introduced in Detour and I was happy to see them get their own story. The author has a way of making all the characters – main characters and supporting characters – loveable. Bernie is a clumsy geek who at first glance you probably would write off as shy and plain. But he turns out to be this spitfire that is anything but shy. He has trust issues that come from his past, yet he doesn’t let that hinder his friendships. He is fiercely loyal to his friends and will protect them at all costs. Tomas is a protector and mother-hen. He has a big heart that is dedicated to his friends and family. He’s extremely protective of those he loves, especially Bernie. He would rather get hurt himself than to ever see Bernie hurt by anyone. Tomas was always the first to support Bernie in his decisions but not without questioning some of them. He helped Bernie find out who he was and what he really wanted from life. In the beginning they are both oblivious to their attraction to each other. But once they finally acknowledge the attraction it only serves to strengthen what was once a good friendship that turns into a strong relationship. Again, in this book, the author introduces a few new characters and expands on a few characters that were introduced in the previous book in this series. I’m looking forward to reading more of their stories in the future.
The only thing I didn’t like was the “serious” dialogue – when the discussion of feelings came into play. While there was a lot more dialogue in this book compared to the first book, some of the dialogue was extremely cheesy. I kept picturing a soap opera and kept thinking people don’t really have conversations like this. There were also a couple of cheesy, not-really-believable scenes that I could have probably done without. I just would have liked it to be a little more realistic and believable.
All in all, it was a good story with a sweet happy ending. I’m looking forward to reading even more about these characters now than I was after the first book.