Beau Walker, owner of the Barbecue Shack, needs the help of Jake Parnell, his one-time rival and secret crush, in a televised barbecue competition. Beau is a proud man, but the stakes are high, and smart, sexy Jake is his only hope, even if being around Jake reawakens the attraction he’s fought for years.
Jake left his hometown, determined to build a life somewhere his sexuality wouldn’t hurt his family’s restaurant business—and far away from hunky, obstinate Beau Walker. Then his twin, Josh, is killed, and Jake returns to support his brother’s wife and children. Despite his reservations, he agrees to go head-to-head against Beau on national television. Between stress and grief, as well as pride and determination, only one thing is certain—the heat between Beau and Jake extends well beyond the kitchen.
Striking Sparks is a fun enemies to lovers romance by Ari McKay.
Jake and Beau, former high school rivals, are reunited when Jake returns home to help his sister in law. Each man has been shaped by their former rivalry and the words that were exchanged.
In addition to dealing with Beau, Jake has to deal with the grief of losing his brother and the cookoff show that his brother had agreed to be on soon.
The secondary characters are great and help Jake and Beau to settle their differences, which are many. They were rivals on the football field, and they had a lot of misunderstandings between them.
We are also treated to the great little town of Buffalo Lick, TX, with all it's character and charm.
One of the best parts of this story is the banter between Beau and Jake. They are so perfectly suited to each other and it shows. Their slow burn romance is well done and their connection is strong. Their chemistry was hot, but unfortunately, was mostly off page.
I am definitely happy to have discovered Striking Sparks and this fun series by Ari McKay.