Short and Sweet Review: Spark of Temptation by Jess Haines

Spark of Tempation
by Jess Haines
Part of the Nocturnal Anthology
Paperback: 532 pages in total

Publisher: Zebra
Available: September 7, 2010
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Book received from: Author

Blackmailed into taking a treacherous case, P.I. Sara Halloway is thrust into a demon war. Sara seeks guidance from a charismatic mage, but their hunger for one another soon becomes a deadly distraction…and the danger surrounding them only makes their urges more powerful…

Reviewed by: Sophia (FV)

Quick Rundown: Spark of Temptation is told from the point of view of Sara.  She is the business partner and friend of Shiarra from Jess Haines’s debut novel Hunted by the Others.  Shiarra is laid up in the hospital and Sara is picking up the slack in their Private investigation business while she is down.  Royce, a vampire club owner wants to hire Sara to find out who is lurking around his club and what their motive is.  Sara is reluctant since she wants nothing to do with Others but in true vampire style, Royce manages to blackmail her into doing it. She allows Arnold, a mage also from Hunted by the Others to join her in the investigation.  However it turns out they are in for more than they bargained for when they discover a plot by the AOA.

Impressions after the first chapter: I enjoyed Ms. Haines Hunted by the Others and after reading the first chapter of Spark of Temptation I found myself right back in the world she built there.  I had no problems remembering the characters and picking up this story.  However, I don’t think it’s necessary to have read Hunted by the Others before Spark of Temptation, it can stand alone.

The Hero: Again, since I read the novel that preceded this novella I had already become acquainted with Arnold.  He is a mage and good friend to Shiarra and Sara.  He was a strong secondary character in Hunted by the Others, but unfortunately readers may not fully appreciate him in Spark of Temptation since not a lot of insight is given into his personality or history.

The Heroine: Sara is focused on her job as a private investigator and is fearful and nervous around Others (non-human paranormal beings).  She would prefer to deal with only human clients but when push comes to shove she doesn’t back down from doing her job.  Her career is important to her even coming before some relationships in her life.  That is until she realizes some relationships are worth letting down her defenses.

What worked: I really enjoyed the action and suspense.  I thought this was a well rounded mystery and I read through it rather quickly wanting to know how it would all play out.  I’m intrigued by the white hats—the Anti-Other Alliance.  They seem like the bad guys, should be the bad guys but…I don’t want to spoil.  Reading this short novella has renewed my interest in this series and I look forward to reading Taken by the Others, the next book in the H&W Investigations series.

What didn’t work: I don’t mind little or no romance in an urban fantasy.  However since the title was Spark of Temptation and the blurb was written in such a way to lead the reader to believe the romance is focus of the story I felt mislead and a little disappointed.  There was a ‘spark’ of romance between Arnold in Sara however the romance was very minor and the suspense and mystery was the focus.  I did enjoy the story and there was romance but my expectations based on the title and blurb were not met.

Final conclusion: Spark Of Temptation is a exciting, faced paced addition to Ms. Haines H&W Investigations series.  I appreciated being able to have a little more page time with secondary characters Arnold and Sara.  I really enjoyed the mystery and suspense and revisiting Jess Haines urban fantasy world but I was disappointed in the romantic relationship between Sara and Arnold.

Other contributors to the Nocturnal Anthology:

  • Jacquelyn Frank – The Phoenix Project
  • Kate Douglas – Crystal Dreams
  • Clare Willis – My Soul To Take

Other reviews on GoodReads

Visit Jess Haines at:  Blog

Purchase Links: Amazon || Book Depository


  1. says

    Too bad that you felt a bit cheated on the romance part. Sounds like an exciting read. I really like this review format, nicely cut down to the important elements of the book. :)

  2. says

    Thanks for doing the review! Sorry to hear the story didn't quite meet your expectations (I realize it was heavier on the mystery/action than actual romance), but I'm glad to hear you're looking forward to TBTO.