Review: Twist

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: TwistTwist by Kylie Scott
Series: Dive Bar #2
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on April 11th 2017
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 288
Goodreads
four-stars

FINAL DECISION: A wonderful quirky romance between two flawed humans.  Kylie Scott never disappoints in making her characters feel real and honest and TWIST is no exception.  Loved the characters!

THE STORY:  Joe Collins has always been the good brother.  When his younger brother Eric wants to sign up for an online dating service, Joe helps him but ends up connecting with one of his brother’s matches.  Under the identity of his brother, Joe corresponds with Alex Parks for months until Alex decides to surprise Eric on his birthday.

OPINION:  Twist features such wonderful characters that I loved every moment of the book.  Joe is a genuine good guy who makes the “mistake” of adopting his brother’s persona to email a woman who catches his interest.  I liked how Joe falls into doing something that is completely against his nature — but the truth is that it might have been the right thing to do ultimately.

Joe is so wonderful a man. A bartender, a builder, someone who has done his best even when taken advantage of by those he cares for.  He cares for Alex even when she is angry with him and takes on so much onto himself for everyone around him.  I liked how considerate he is and how he is able to accept all of Alex’s neuroses with equanimity.

Alex is a woman of incredible contradictions — as are we all.  Talented as a graphic artist, she has trouble with social interactions.  Her fears make her veer away from the possibility of being hurt.  She has meaningless sexual relationships as a way of placing distance between herself and others. Joe challenges her at every turn.

I especially liked in this book how Joe and Alex have a funny and sweet relationship that becomes incredibly hot and intense.  How can you not love a guy who takes care of a woman who is at her absolute worst. Joe works to help Alex become the best she can be which means challenging herself.  Joe needs help as well.  These two nicely balance one another.

This book was almost a 5 star book, but the end of the book has a crisis which disrupts Joe to an incredible extent.  Both Alex and Joe relapse into their comfort zones a bit.  That causes a problem in their relationship which is resolved too quickly and easily for my tastes.  Too much of a serious situation is resolved off stage for me.  Even with that caveat, I loved this book and recommend it.

WORTH MENTIONING:  Mal!

CONNECTED BOOKS:  TWIST is the second book in the Dive Bar series.  The book can be read as a standalone although a lot of characters appear in the prior book so you might enjoy it more knowing more about the interrelationships.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4 stars.

NOTE:  I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in order to provide a review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions contained herein are my own.

four-stars

Review: Dirty

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: DirtyDirty (Dive Bar, #1) by Kylie Scott
Series: Dive Bar #1
on April 19th 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 288
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Warm, Emotional Romance with Humor and a Great Cast of Characters

“We’d both had dreams go lopsided.”

FINAL DECISION:  Funny and emotional kick off to Scott’s new series centered around a location — Dive Bar – with characters who come together at a crossroads in their lives and unexpectedly find a new path forward together.

THE STORY:  Lydia Green is having a terrible day.  It is her wedding day and she gets a video of her groom making out with his best friend — and best man.  Fleeing from her wedding, Lydia ends up crying and soaked in her wedding dress in the shower of Vaughan Hewson.  This encounter is complicated by the fact that they have never met before, Lydia has broken into his house, and Vaughan is naked.  Vaughan and Lydia begin a friendship that day as both has been shaken up by life.  Vaughan is a musician whose group has just broken up, he is broke and confronting the death of his parents.  As Lydia and Vaughan put the pieces back together, they may find out that they are building something together they didn’t expect.

OPINION:  I’ve read all of Kylie Scott’s books and I think this one may have the most romantic hero ever.  Vaughan has lines that just made me sigh with adoration.  There is a scene where the Vaughan and Lydia are lying together in bed with their pinkies linked together.  This scene is so incredibly moving and so quiet and gentle.  I normally like the intensely emotional books with large dramatic scenes. This scene and others in the book were so gently beautiful that it stuck with me.  I read the book a week ago, have read several books in between and yet that scene sticks with me.

The main characters in this book are really likeable.  (There are secondary characters that I didn’t like as much, but I look forward to seeing their development). Vaughan is sweet and definitely sexy (oh la la, the opening meeting between Lydia and Vaughan).  He is also a good man who never plays games with Lydia.  Caring and protective but no wimp, Vaughan helps Lydia without taking over her life.  I simply adored him.

Lydia is a woman who wants to belong.  Her disaster with her fiance forces her to confront this need and push past it.  A plus sized woman, she has a poor self-image of herself.  Through her work at Dive Bar and her relationship with Vaughan, Lydia finds a strength and resilience that she always had but didn’t see in herself.  After the hysterical flight from her marriage, Lydia shows maturity and strength. I liked her in all her quirky nature.

This book also sets up conflicts and storylines that I expect will be explored in future books in the series.  Lydia and Vaughan’s relationship is straightforward compared to what is coming up — I can’t wait!

WORTH MENTIONING: Kylie Scott has a marvelous ability to create a whole community of characters who have complicated relationships, difficult lives, real affection for one another, and sometimes great pain between them.  The characters in and surround Dive Bar (who hopefully will be getting stories of their own in this series) are a group worth cheering for.  BTW: Stage Door fans get a little treat in this book.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  DIRTY is the first book in the Dive Bar series.  This series is a very lightly connected spin-off of the Stage Door series, but you don’t need to read that series to enjoy this one.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4.5 stars.

four-half-stars

Review: Deep

Deep
Deep by Kylie Scott
My rating: 4.25 of 5 stars

“Positive.”

THE STORY: Lizzy Rollins and Ben Nicholson had a one night stand two months ago and now Lizzy has found out she is pregnant. Lizzy is a twenty-one year old college student. Her sister has just married one of the band members of Stage Dive. Ben is the bass player for the band. Although there was chemistry between the two since they met months ago, Lizzy is the sister of one of Ben’s band mates and therefore off limits. Lizzy’s pregnancy forces Ben and Lizzy to confront their feelings for one another.

OPINION: With flawed characters who make mistakes and have to deal with the consequences of their actions, DEEP is sometimes frustrating and often sexy, sweet and funny.

For those readers who have trouble with repetitive mistakes, warning that Ben has problems that don’t go away. For those who have read prior books in the series, that pattern will be familiar. The characters in DEEP struggle with their demons and don’t get over their problems easily.

DEEP is not as dark as prior books in the series. In many ways, this book is sweet, but Ben doesn’t know how to have a relationship and he badly messes up with Lizzy. While he does make multiple mistakes with her, the reader can also see his growth as a character.

Lizzy is the strong one here despite her youth. She is a survivor who makes the most of her situation. She acknowledges her mistakes. At the same time, she is at times an unrealistic romantic who builds up fantasies in her head but doesn’t always ask for what she wants. When her fantasy doesn’t happen, she gives up rather than fight.

As with all the Stage Dive books, DEEP is very sexy and hot. This book is also very sweet. Ben and Lizzy build a relationship in parts. I especially liked their texts to one another which just felt sweet and honest. I laughed at the way pregnancy was portrayed in this book.
It felt more realistic than other portrayals and is not just a plot device.

DEEP is not my favorite of the series, that goes to LEAD, but I especially enjoyed the interaction of all the couples in the series. All the characters play important roles in this book so fans of the series will be pleased.

Once I started this book, I couldn’t stop even reading late into the night. Readers who have followed the series, will know that something has been going on between Ben and Lizzy. This book answers the questions of what happened and then goes forward giving all the Stage Dive characters a happy ending.

WORTH MENTIONING: DEEP introduces the character of Vaughan who is going to be the hero of the spin off Dive Bar series. He almost stole the show for me.

FINAL DECISION: I recommend this book especially for fans of the Stage Dive series.

CONNECTED BOOKS: DEEP is the fourth book in the Stage Dive series. It is not necessary to read the previous books to enjoy DEEP although starting at the first book is the best way to appreciate this one since all the couples have prominent roles in DEEP.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4.25 stars.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in order to provide an honest review of the book. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.