Release Day Review + Excerpt & Giveaway: Butterfly in Frost by Sylvia Day

Butterfly in Frost by Sylvia Day
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: August 27th 2019
Links: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

From #1 New York Times bestselling phenomenon Sylvia Day comes a hotly anticipated and passionate new love story.

Once, I would never have imagined myself here. But I’m settled now. In a place I love, in a home I renovated, spending time with new friends I adore, and working a job that fulfills me. I am reconciling the past and laying the groundwork for the future.

Then Garrett Frost moves in next door.

He’s obstinate and too bold, a raging force of nature that disrupts the careful order of my life. I recognize the ghosts that haunt him, the torment driving him. Garrett would be risky in any form, but wounded, he’s far more dangerous. I fear I’m too fragile for the storm raging inside him, too delicate to withstand the pain that buffets him. But he’s too determined…and too tempting.

And sometimes hope soars above even the iciest desolation.

IT’S FINALLY HERE!!! Sylvia Day’s next book post-Crossfire series is finally here. And while I can’t say that I loved it, I am SO happy she has a book out and that this means we have even more to come from this author.

Butterfly in Frost is a good-sized novella, not a full length book. It’s a quick, fast-paced, emotional read with the CRAZIEST twist at the end that I truly didn’t see coming. Teagan is a doctor living in Washington who works with pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. She works with Eva Cross(!) and keeps a quiet, steady life since moving away from Manhattan. Then her new neighbor moves in next door and Garrett Frost is all man, all gorgeousness, and all determined to win her heart.

I liked Garrett and Teagan’s story, but it was way too short and quick of a read. We only get to touch the surface of these characters and their issues, especially Teagan and her depression. Things progress insanely fast, romance-, sex-, and relationship-wise. I really wish we got something full-length for them because I know I would’ve loved it a lot more. The plot twist at the end though was FANTASTIC. I actually loved the twist and the way it changed how I looked at the entire story. Most of the problems I had with this book was explained with this twist, though it still wasn’t enough to make me fully love the book.

Sylvia Day can write, there’s no doubt about it. I’m still very much eagerly awaiting her Blacklist duet and praying it’ll be released soon. In the meantime, if you’ve missed Sylvia Day, I still encourage you to try this novella out.


lacey

Now here’s an excerpt from Butterfly in Frost! ❤

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Roxy bounces on her feet with excitement. “Les and Marge sold their house.”

I blink. “I didn’t know they were selling.”

She laughs and heads toward the front door. “That’s the thing. They weren’t.”

“Wait, what?” I hurry after her as she steps outside.

I look to the right at my home, a lovingly restored butterfly-roofed midcentury, then on to the traditional house just beyond it that belongs—belonged—to Les and Marge. Including Roxy’s, all three of our homes have unique lots set between the homes that line the street and the Sound, affording us unhindered views of the water as well as exceptional privacy—all within a twenty-minute drive of the airport.

Roxy shortens the length of her stride to allow me to catch up, then glances over at me. “The day after you flew to New York, a Range Rover pulled into their driveway, and the guy inside offered them cash to close—and move out—in fourteen days.”

My step falters, and Minnie gets momentarily tangled in her leash. The dog shoots me what I would describe as an irritated look, then keeps trotting forward. “That’s crazy.”

“Isn’t it? Les wouldn’t say how much the offer was, but I’m thinking it was huge.”

We march up the inclined driveway, my head tilted back to take in the houses scaling the hillside. Designed with big windows to maximize the view, the homes have a look of wide-eyed wonder. Our little stretch of the Sound used to be a secret, but with the housing boom taking over Seattle and Tacoma, we’ve been discovered. Many residences are undergoing major renovation to suit the tastes of new owners.

Reaching the road, we turn left. To the right is a dead end.

“Well, if they’re happy,” I say, “I’m happy for them.”

“They’re overwhelmed. It was a lot to happen all at once, but I think they’re happy with their decision.” Roxanne stops when Bella does, and we wait as the two dogs mark one of their usual spots on the gravel edging the asphalt. There are no curbs on the streets in our neighborhood and no sidewalks. Just beautiful lawns and a profusion of flowering shrubs.

“We all tried prying information out of them,” she goes on, “but they weren’t sharing anything about the sale.” She gives me a sidelong glance. “But they did share a bit about the buyer.”

“Why are you looking at me like that?”

“Because Mike and I both think the buyer is someone famous. A film director maybe. Or an artist. Can you imagine? First Emily, a bestselling author. Then you, a reality-TV surgeon. Now this guy! Maybe we’re sitting on the new Malibu—beachside living without wildfires or state income tax!”

The mention of Roxy’s husband, Mike, coaxes an inner smile. A New York transplant like me, he adds a welcome touch of the life I left behind to the reality I’ve since created for myself—a reality that’s just been rocked by the loss of neighbors I like.

“What are the clues you’re working with?” I ask, deciding to play along. If I’ve learned anything the past year, it’s to accept the things I cannot change. A tough task for a control freak like me.

“Les pointed out to this guy that he hadn’t even seen the inside of the house. The guy said he didn’t need to. He knew already that ‘the light is perfect.’ I mean, who would say that? Gotta be someone who’s in visual arts, right?”

“Maybe,” I agree tentatively, disquieted by the unexpected conversation. The road rises sharply before us, the incline steep enough to put a little burn in my thighs. “Doesn’t mean he’s famous, though.”

“That’s the thing.” Her words carry a note of breathlessness. “Les wouldn’t give numbers, but he did say it was crazy the guy didn’t just buy that huge compound at the end of the street. That house is listed for three and a half million!”

My mind staggers at the thought. Les and Marge have—had—a beautiful home, but it’s not worth anywhere near that much.

“I think I saw the buyer once through that big arched window in the living room,” Roxy goes on. “The blonde with him was a looker. Supermodel skinny with legs for days.”

I’m panting when we reach the top; Roxy, who hits a gym most days of the week, is not.

A quarter mile farther, there’s a street to the right leading to Dash Point. Beyond that and straight ahead, the road slopes back down and around until it’s at water level. Redondo Beach is there, as is Salty’s, a restaurant on stilts in the water with expansive views of Poverty Bay and beyond. I’m about to wax poetic about Salty’s seafood chowder when a runner dashes around the corner at a full sprint. His sudden appearance rattles me. A closer look makes me freeze midstride. My breath locks in my lungs.

There are too many things to register at once, so my mind attempts to absorb the whole man. Dressed only in black shorts and shoes, he is a visual feast of deeply tanned skin, intricate sleeves of tattooed art, and sweat-slicked, flexing musculature.

And his face. Sculpted. Square-jawed. Brutally, breathlessly handsome.

Roxy, now a few feet in front of me, gives a low whistle. “Hot damn.”

about the author button

Sylvia Day is the #1 New York Times, #1 USA Today, #1 Sunday Times, #1 Der Spiegel, and #1 international bestselling author of over twenty award-winning novels sold in more than forty countries. She is a #1 bestselling author in twenty-eight countries, with tens of millions of copies of her books in print. Visit the author at www.sylviaday.com.

Website • Twitter • FacebookInstagramGoodreads

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$100 Amazon Gift Card and a Signed Copy of Sylvia Day’s BUTTERFLY IN FROST

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Review: Tangle by Adriana Locke

Tangle by Adriana Locke
Series: Dogwood Lane #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: July 2nd 2019
Links: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Sparks fly between a die-hard romantic and a sexy cynic in this fresh, funny romance from USA Today bestselling author Adriana Locke.

That cream-filled, caramel-topped doughnut should have been hers. Still, Haley Raynor can’t deny that the pastry thief with the dreamy blue eyes looks even more delicious. But moving in on a handsome devil like Trevor Kelly is bad news for a die-hard romantic like Haley. Trevor doesn’t believe in love. She does. Giving in to a fling and Trevor’s irresistible charms can’t end well. Can it? What can it hurt to give it a shot?

Girls always fall for Trevor, and in the end, he always ends up looking like a bad-boy cad. Still, spending some time with Haley and her smart-talking, kissable mouth sounds pretty perfect. Besides, he’s only going to be in Dogwood Lane for one week. How much trouble could they possibly get into?

The only answer? A “no falling in love” contract. All Trevor and Haley have to do is follow the rules and resist the attraction sizzling between them…before their hearts get completely tangled up in temptation.

After the wonder experience I had the last time I read a small town romance from Montlake Romance (That Second Chance), I couldn’t wait to experience this new small town romance from Adriana Locke! Though I didn’t quite love it as much as I did Meghan Quinn’s book, this was a solid contemporary romance read that I would recommend to fans of this trope. It’s sweet, the town is comforting and cozy, and I enjoyed the overall feel, though I wish I could’ve loved the main characters more. It’s book two in the Dogwood Lane series but can be read as a standalone, which is how I read it.

Haley and Trevor have the most adorable meet cute. It’s at a bakery and they argue over who gets the last donut (Trevor gifts it to Haley, the magnanimous man that he is). The two hit it off, with some great wit and banter, but they know they couldn’t be more different when it comes to love and relationships. Trevor has sworn never to get into a relationship or fall in love, and Haley wants exactly that. They make a contract between them: he promises not to break her heart and she promises not to fall for him. Easy, right?

Trevor is new to the small town but everywhere he goes, he sees Haley. And every time they bump into each other, they are so charming and adorable – they really bring out the best and most out of each other. We can clearly see them falling for one another, but Trevor is one of the most stubborn men I’ve ever read. He was mainly why I couldn’t enjoy the book more. He’s very adamant he’s not capable of love and that he doesn’t want the responsibility of another person loving him. He was frustrating right until the very end. I really wanted to shake some sense into him!

Besides that, Tangle is a solid contemporary small town romance. I’m intrigued enough by the town and the secondary characters enough that I want to keep going with the series. This was my first time reading Adriana Locke, and although I didn’t love it, her writing is great and I know I’ll need to look into her other books!


lacey


Reading Order: Dogwood Lane series

#1 ~ Tumble: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Tangle: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ Trouble: Ebook • Goodreads (Feb. 11, 2019)


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Review: Million Dollar Devil by Katy Evans

Million Dollar Devil by Katy Evans
Series: Million Dollar #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: May 28th 2019
Links: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Big-city sophistication meets carnal hunger in this devilish contemporary romance from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katy Evans.

Heir apparent to her father’s company, Lizzy Banks needs a man. The perfect man. But when the rich “fundbabies” she usually rubs shoulders with prove impossible to hire, she takes a chance on a raw beast of a man salvaged from the wreckage of a bar brawl.

James Rowan earns a modest income as a YouTube daredevil, but he can’t refuse Lizzy’s million dollar deal. As she polishes his rough edges, creating a sophisticated gentleman fit for the highest circles of society, not only does she bring out the perfect man—it’s like she’s making the man of her dreams. How can she resist?

Though Lizzy loves seeing James in his clothes—and out of them—he isn’t the kind of man you bring home to Daddy. Her father’s disapproval and the pressure of the campaign have her eyeing the straight and narrow, but Lizzy’s finding it awfully hard to resist the devil on her shoulder…

The premise of Million Dollar Devil had me hooked and intrigued. There the clash of the classes trope – rich girl, struggling boy – opposites-attract, and a sort of reversed-gender Pretty Woman thing going on. Katy Evans has always been a solid author for me, doling out book after book of steam, chemistry, and hot AF alpha-male heroes. While this book has everything that KE is usually so good at, it lacked something that was in all her other books I loved. It was a bit of the writing, the characters didn’t work for me… While it’s not a bad read, it’s not as good as I’m used to from this author.

All Lizzy Banks wants in life is to impress her father and inherit his billion-dollar company. She’s tasked with one last chance to show him that she has what it takes to take over when he retires: find the perfect man to become the face of the company’s new line of men’s clothing. Then she meets James “Jimmy” Rowan – YouTube daredevil, protective older brother, and a gorgeous man who is in need of some cash. They strike a million dollar deal to clean up and sophisticate the man so he can become the model Lizzy needs.

I wish I could’ve loved Million Dollar Devil more. It’s probably my least favorite Katy Evans book. The writing just was NOT working for me. I couldn’t connect with the characters or their narratives (we get both their POVs) and at times I felt like one was too good for the other. I usually like the opposites-attract trope – Lizzy is as proper and good as a girl can get, while Jimmy is rough around the edges and a little dangerous – and while the chemistry is through the roof, I couldn’t bring myself to really root for them. I wish the story and characters could’ve been fleshed out a bit more.

Million Dollar Devil didn’t work for me, but if you love Katy’s more recent works, if might work for you. I’m still looking forward to and will read the next Million Dollar book, so I haven’t given up yet!


lacey


Reading Order: Million Dollar series

#1 ~ Million Dollar Devil: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Million Dollar Marriage: EbookPaperbackGoodreads (July 23, 2019)


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Review: That Second Chance by Meghan Quinn

That Second Chance by Meghan Quinn
Series: Getting Lucky #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: May 7th 2019
Links: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

USA Today bestselling author Meghan Quinn delivers a smart and cheeky romance about love’s power to lift hearts . . . and curses.

It was supposed to be an innocent night, celebrating my brother’s birthday. Nothing was supposed to go wrong. We’d vowed to be on our best behavior after all . . .

But it only took one rowdy night with my brothers to flip my world upside down. One unlucky encounter saddled us with a family curse and the promise of doomed relationships. I laughed it off immediately. “Yeah, right,” I thought. “A love curse. Ha!”

Boy, was I wrong.

Word spreads quickly in a town like mine; rumors about that night soon made us the most eligible yet untouchable bachelors in Port Snow, Maine. As a subject of endless gossip and speculation, I could kiss my dating life goodbye.

It would have stayed that way if Ren Winters, the new girl in town, hadn’t crashed into my life. Brave, beautiful, and smart—her vivacious thirst for a fresh start has given me hope that maybe, just maybe, I can have one too.

Everyone wishes for that second chance . . . but could this really be mine?

I haven’t been THIS delighted in a book in a while! That Second Chance is one of the most charming romances I’ve ever read. It’s set in the small town of Port Snow, Maine, and legit, Meghan Quinn wrote this small town with so much heart that I wanted to move there. This was my first novel from Meghan Quinn as well, but you can be sure that it won’t be my last. I’ve become a huge fan of her writing and storytelling after reading this book. I’m absolutely dying for more of this series already!

I love discovering a series that centers around a group of family members. With the Getting Lucky series, we follow four brothers who’ve had a love curse placed upon them after a rowdy night in New Orleans. Griffin is the eldest, and a widower. He believes in the love curse because only a few days after he and his brothers were ‘cursed,’ his wife passes away. He’s been going through the motions for the past few years now, working at the family fudge shop and volunteering as a firefighter. Everything changes when a new resident moves into their quaint small town, and he’s the first to greet her – by rescuing her after a moose-related car accident.

Ren needs a new change of pace from her former life in Los Angeles. She chooses to move to the opposite side of the country to be a math teacher. It’s scary and overwhelming, but with the help of her first Port Snow friend Griffin Knightly, she easily finds a new home in this small town. I LOVE the fact that Ren and Griffin become friends first. Friends-to-lovers is my kryptonite, and the romantic development (which was paced perfectly slow and steady) felt so much more genuine between these two after they became friends. They are seriously adorable, taking trips around town, camping, setting up her new house together, all the while bantering playfully with each other. I loved every scene they had together and I couldn’t get enough of them. The main source of conflict for their romance is predictable, but I enjoyed the way it played out. The love curse is a little cheesy, but I really had no problem with it!

What makes That Second Chance such a solid small town romance is how real the town and its inhabitants feel. The Knightlys are such a charming family and all their friends are hilarious and sweet. Meghan Quinn has me so invested in this town and characters now – I can’t wait for each of the Knightly boys to get their own books. I only hope I’ll love them as much as I did Ren and Griffin!


lacey


Reading Order: Getting Lucky series

#1 ~ That Second Chance: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ That Forever Girl: EbookPaperbackGoodreads (Aug. 27, 2019)


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Early Review: Frozen by L.A. Casey

Frozen by L.A. Casey
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: April 19th 2016
Links: Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

There’s one must-have toy this Christmas, and Neala Clarke has told her niece Charli she’ll get it for her. Never mind that she’s got less than a week and it looks like everywhere is sold out. She’s promised Charli a Fire Princess doll—and Neala is a woman of her word.

Darcy Hart is a people-pleaser. So when his adorable six-year-old nephew, Dustin, asks for a particular doll at the last minute, he says yes. Luckily for Darcy, there’s one left in stock at the local toy store. Unluckily for Darcy, he’s not the only person who wants it—and his rival is the one woman who’s immune to his charms.

Neala and Darcy have loved to hate each other since they were kids, and they’re both willing to do whatever it takes to get that doll. This can’t possibly end well for both of them…can it?

Frozen is a Christmas-themed standalone from L.A. Casey, and it’s a quick, humorous read for those who want to enjoy something light-hearted and fun. I didn’t particularly love it, but I can’t say it wasn’t entertaining. The antics Neala and Darcy get up to are hilarious – you definitely won’t be able to get through this book without cracking up a bit!

Neala and Darcy used to be childhood friends… until they weren’t. Now, fifteen years after they declared themselves enemies, these two are just as toxic and have never ceased their arguments. They have some wicked banter and lots of bickering, so much that sometimes their families, who are friends, become involved. This Christmas, Neala and Darcy are fighting over a toy that they want to give to their niece and nephew (respectively) – except there’s only one toy left in the store.

What ensues is a hilarious, over-the-top fight, basically a tug-of-war for the toy. It’s ridiculous and funny and seriously entertaining to read. Then, when Neala and Darcy are snowed in, they have to confront the feelings that that been brewing since they first met and are now finally being let out.

I didn’t care for Darcy much – he’s a clichéd player who messes up with Neala – but I adored Neala. I loved how she never gives in to Darcy and can hold her own against him. She’s strong and independent, and just a fantastic heroine. But put her and Darcy in the same room together, and it gets explosive between them, both verbally and physically.

Frozen is funny and over-the-top – it’s a great read to pass the time. This would be the perfect holiday read, so if you have the patience to wait a few more months to read this book, go for it!

3 hearts
lacey


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