Monday, April 10, 2017

Book Spotlight on Twist by Kylie Scott (REVIEW)

The friends to lovers theme gets an update in this uniquely premised romance where a first face-to-face meeting could be the end of a beautiful relationship as past pain intrudes on a relationship just starting out.  Keep reading to get a tempting glimpse of Twist by Kylie Scott, along with my impressions of it, then get captivated by this sweet and sexy romance.  After drooling over this cover, captivated by the hottie adorning it, make sure to add this second installment in the Dive Bar series to your bookshelf!

When his younger brother loses interest in online dating, hot, bearded, bartender extraordinaire, Joe Collins, only intends to log into his account and shut it down. Until he reads about her.
Alex Parks is funny, friendly, and pretty much everything he's been looking for in a woman. And in no time at all they're emailing up a storm, telling each other their deepest darkest secrets... apart from the one that really matters.
And when it comes to love, serving it straight up works better than with a twist.




Friends to lovers is a favorite theme of mine and in this tale Ms. Scott puts a unique spin on it to amp up the drama and modernize it for the digital age.  After numerous emails Alex thinks she's found the man of her dreams, a man worth going outside her comfort zone for.  When she decides to pay an unexpected visit to him for his birthday though, everything comes crashing down as truths are revealed and hurtful words are said.  On the cusp of Alex giving up completely fate intervenes to throw her and Joe together once again in a relationship full of ups and downs that charmed me as well as frustrated me at times.

Alex is a likable young woman who has let fear and self-doubts rule her life for far too long.  Her email exchanges brought out a stronger side to her, a braver one that had her making a spontaneous decision.  She's hurt though when she discovers that the man she grew close to isn't who she thought he was, which is understandable and which brought out her bitter side at first.  Joe's not at all the kind of guy she's normally drawn to but she comes to appreciate him the more time they spend together.  Alex has always set herself apart from others but quickly finds herself caught up in the lives of Joe's family and friends, making a place for herself in their circle.  Being with Joe has her taking on new challenges and each time she meets those goals I was left cheering.  Her interactions with Joe started off antagonistic but quickly took on a sweet and sensual vibe through sexy and playful banter.  She became a good support to Joe when he needed her most but when a blast from his past returns she too returns to her usual ways of running in self-preservation of her heart.  It disappointed me but she ultimately made me proud by fighting for what she truly wanted in a cheer-inducing conclusion.

Joe has always felt second best to his charming, playboy brother Eric.  Girls always cozied up to him for an introduction to the sexy Eric which made him feel unworthy and doubtful of finding his own HEA.  Seeing Alex's online dating profile had him doing the unthinkable by pretending to be Eric so he can get to know her better.  Her appearance at the family bar though throws him for a loop, but desperate to make amends he'll wear his heart on his sleeve and present all the qualities of the quintessential book boyfriend.  With his long hair, rugged mountain man looks, and strong protective nature he might not be what she thought she wanted but he slowly wins her forgiveness and ultimately her heart in a sweet and sexy evolution of friends to lovers.  Joe's the one everybody counts on, the loyal one who never says no to those who need his help.  Alex shows him that it's okay for him to think of his own wants and desires and when he finally stood up for himself it left me cheering.  Ultimately Joe's a sexy beast, endearing in his interactions with Alex and a truly delicious man with a talent for dirty talk and a body built for sin.  His only flaw is in taking on too much responsibility, taking on guilt associated with a tragedy that wasn't his fault, but had him pushing Alex away out of his personal pain.  It was an act that frustrated me as it was a blow to her self-esteem, but for all the loving words and deeds that came before I easily forgave him.

The premise of this story was an appealing one that set up a solid foundation between Joe and Alex despite their immediate falling-out.  Seeing their previous conversations made their quick connection more believable.  Their interactions were antagonistic early on but evolved into a sweet and scorching romance as they opened their hearts and desires to each other.  They were a good support system to each other which made each of them better and stronger in a relationship that had me rooting for them through every speed bump thrown in their path.  Along with this compelling and immensely likable main couple was a large cast of equally engaging secondary characters.  They were a larger than life group who supported one another and who played their own parts in getting Joe and Alex together, sometimes with humorous intentions.  There were a few who stood out though.  Amongst those were Alex's transgender friend Val whose backstory was heartbreaking.  Her attitude was feisty and unconditionally supportive of Alex and I would love to see the story of her and Liam's romance. The other character that caught my attention was Eric, and not always for his good qualities.  Eric was arrogant, uncaring of women's feelings, and seemed a bit childish at times.  He didn't want to take on adult responsibilities, happy to get by on his charm, but a tragic event might very well be the catalyst to his becoming more mature and worthy of HEA on the verge of his story releasing next.  Readers looking for a fun and flirty read with a touch of angst and a lot of scorching encounters will find this the perfect read to put a smile on their face and a blush to their cheeks.

My rating for this is a B+

*I got this book from NetGalley for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


Kylie is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. She was voted Australian Romance Writer of the year, 2013 & 2014, by the Australian Romance Writer’s Association and her books have been translated into eleven different languages. She is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.

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