Love is somewhere near the bottom of Lily Thomas’ list of life goals, right next to competitive eating and underwater cave diving. She’s spent six years pirouetting and pliéing her way up the ranks of the New York Ballet with her eye on the prize and love in the back seat. But now that Blane Baker — Lily’s long time crush — is finally single, she’ll throw her rules out the window without thinking twice. Reality with Blane isn’t as epic as the fantasy she imagined, and the truth sends her spinning straight into the arms of the man she never knew she’d always wanted. West Williams has been friends with Lily since the day she moved into their building and he saved her armoire from a swift, sudden death by staircase. Their friendship has always been easy, the boundaries clearly defined. With neither of them willing to risk their relationship, they’ve drifted happily through the years as companions, never considering more. That is, until they do. And that realization changes everything.
Melanie’s 5-HAPPY Stars Review:
I took a chance with this book; an author I’ve never read before and a synopsis that sounded like it had potential. But what I found in With a Twist by Staci Hart was magic. I LOVED, a hundred times LOVED everything about this book. First off, the cover of the book perfectly fits the characters and the story that it held behind it. That was just the beginning of a multitude of reasons why I adored this book. OMG you guys, I can’t even right now. THIS book is one that I need on my bookshelf!!!
Let’s start with the hero—Weston “West” who has a… are you ready for it?? A damn MAN BUN and a full on beard to boot. And not only did those physical attributes bring me to my knees but ladies… oh ladies, ladies… He LOVES to READ! Yes, this guy collects books and lives for literature. Where the hell are these sorts of guys lurking around in the real world?! So yes, West not only looked like perfection but his actions spoke even louder to me. Protective beyond reason when it came to his little sister Maggie and his best friends as well. Lily who stands toe to toe with this amazing hero has definitely made her way into my top favorite heroines of all time. A trained professional ballerina with locks of gold and mile long legs she has the best personality I’ve had the pleasure of reading as of late. Witty, honest, and just all around lovely. She oozed girl next door with a side of sexy; a killer combination in my opinion. West and Lily’s story made me happy and I don’t think I’ve ever written something like that on any of my reviews to describe how it made me feel. Though they had challenges, my overall experience from reading this book was just pure joy. I can’t even count how many times a smile broke out of my face during the entire time I was reading. Not only were West and Lily falling in love, I was falling right along with them.
There are a lot of firsts for me with this book. As aforementioned, it made me feel happy and it also made me crave for follow-up books of the secondary characters even so early in the book. I think I was only about 5% in and I just knew I wanted… No, needed books about everyone. That’s just how strong these secondary characters were but the best part about it? Though these thoughts ran through my head, never once did it over power West or Lily’s story. My feet remained solidly planted, my attention constant on what their story had to share. I think that is a very, very difficult feat. Something I don’t think any author has given me before. A lot of times when I read a book, I almost wish that a follow-up on secondary characters wouldn’t happen and truthfully many times they do happen, I won’t give them a chance. But not this series; hands up, zero pretenses this Bad Habits series is definitely one I am craving for more.
The details were also so vivid of which I could only assume as either because the author herself is/was a ballerina or because the research was done extremely well made me want to be a ballerina myself. The passion that lies in Lily’s heart was projected right out through her eyes. The way in which she would describe what it all means to her even just through how she prepped her shoes was beyond me. I have never been so enraptured by something so simple.
What I loved was that this book wasn’t heavily laden with sex. It was instead filled with hope and excitement in knowing that when that moment finally happens, it would be magical; and it was. A scene when realization finally hits was bar none one of the best I’ve ever read. It was just so honest without being over the top. I felt it to the very tip of my toes and my golly I fell even more deeply for these two. The anticipation is SO WORTH IT!!! The last chapter of this book spilling sweet, sweet honey all my already love filled heart. My breath hitched and my eyes watered from the sheer beauty behind the author’s words. Again, just so real but yet incredibly dreamy at the same time. Perfectly done, perfectly executed, perfect… Just so darn perfect. If I could bottle up every ounce of what it made me feel at that moment, I’d probably never have a bad day in my life. With a Twist is one of those books that could be re-read time and time again. My first ever Staci Hart book and definitely not the last. I am forever grateful that I took a chance sorta like West and Lily in this book and I really, really, really urge that you also take that chance because I guarantee you’ll be left feeling like a man bun can bring world peace.
We Like It Big Tunes:
Bright Eyes– First Day of My Life
About the Author:
Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life — a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can’t forget that. She’s also been a mom; she has three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She’s been a wife; even though she’s certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She’s also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she’s been drinking whiskey. Her favorite word starts with f and ends with k.
From roots in Houston, to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she’s not writing, she’s sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.