Friday, March 31, 2017

[ARC Review]: "Twist"

romance novel covers, contemporary romance, Twist by Kylie Scott
Twist by Kylie Scott
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (April 11, 2017)
Series: Dive Bar, 2
Genre: Contemporary Romance

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. 

Where to Buy*:
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My Review:

"You’re too hairy for starters.” 


“Who needs that much hair? On your head, your face, the bits on your chest … it’s all too much.” 

His brows drew tight. “That so?” 

“Why, I bet there’s a jungle down there. Tell me, Joe, have you had any complaints? Is the tiger getting lost?” Tongue in cheek, he stared back at me. “I’m just worried about you.” I shrugged, all innocence. “Friend.” 

“Kind of you to be so concerned about my dick. Friend.” 

I smiled benevolently.

Alex has been emailing Eric for a while now; they met on a dating website and quickly started talking regularly, though they've never met in person. When Eric suddenly stops answering her, she decides to head out to his home town and surprise him on his birthday. But the surprise is all on her when she walks into the Dive Bar. It is Eric's birthday -- but the Eric from the dating profile, the Eric standing in front of her looking so confused and mistaking her for a previous hook-up, is not the Eric she's been talking to. Instead, she finds out, in front of all these strangers, that she's actually been talking to Eric's older brother, Joe. Joe, who is nothing like the sort of men Alex is attracted to . . . yet the two of them fit so well together in email. Can she get past the fact that he lied to her like that and continue what they started?

For me, the start for Twist was a bit slower than what I experienced with Dirty. It wasn't snail-pace slow or anything so drastic, but I did feel like it was dragging *just a bit* compared to the fun start that I so enjoyed with book 1. However as the story went on, I did feel like I still got Scott's usual humor and fun here, so I was still quite happy as things picked up.

“And remember, when in doubt, get the girls out.” 

I cocked my head. “What?” 

“Tits,” whispered Rosie. 

“Ah.” I checked out the small amount I had on offer. “I’m not sure that’ll work in my case.” 

“Apparently size doesn’t matter,” said Lydia, who had enough going on for two women with some to spare. “If they’re into breasts, then all are great.” 

Maybe. “I think Joe’s more of an ass man, actually.” 

Lydia sighed dreamily. Dreamily or drunkenly. Tricky to tell which. 

“Nothing says I love you like anal.”

I did have a few moments where a joke or phrase sounded familiar, like I had read it in a previous Scott novel. I'm not sure if it was actually a repeat or if it's just the way her writing voice is? It wasn't a big deal, but it gave me brief pause once or twice before I moved on. Related, there was one scene where I felt like the joke was a bit exaggerated and became more annoying than anything else. It's while Vaughn is on stage singing 80's love ballads and there's a table with a teenage boy and his parents; the teenager can't stand the singing, and starts pretending like he'd rather die than listen to it -- stabbing himself with a fork, pretend sawing his throat with a knife, hitting his head on the table, etc. Now, if just one of those had been mentioned, it would have been okay; by that, I mean clearly the reader would get the point -- in typical teen boy fashion, he doesn't want to listen to lovey-dovey shit. But in the span of a few pages, Alex takes note of all the things he does to show his feelings about the music and it felt like overkill. Even more so since apparently the parents didn't notice any of it, nor did anyone else in the bar, just Alex. Again, not a huge problem, but something that stood out for me anyway.

Now Scott's books are always written 1st POV from the heroine only. I have nothing against 1st POV but I do prefer if it alternates between both character's POV. Even though her books are only from the heroine's perspective, I've usually felt like I still had a good idea about the hero, who he is and why he does things. But for some reason, I felt like I didn't get much about Joe here. I was left wanting his POV more than I have previous heroes. For example, I think of Mal's book (Play -- probably my favorite) and his character comes across on page really strongly even without directly getting his perspective. In comparison, Joe's character fell short for me in that way.

Scott definitely has the rom-com feel to her books. This is true with Twist, but there was quite the emotional turn that I wasn't expecting. It hit me out of nowhere and definitely changed things for many of the characters (more so supporting characters than Alex and Joe directly -- no spoilers, I promise). Again, it's not that I didn't like this turn, I just didn't see it coming.

But, like I said, there's still plenty of fun and snark, so it's not like it's a heavy or overly angsty read. In the end, I think the heavier emotions were balanced out by the lighter fluff.

“I’m starting to notice how much you like to be in charge.” 

“Hmm.” He half smiled. “Did you know, when I have my hand around your throat you get very, very wet? I can feel it on my dick, how hot and slick you are right now.” 

Hell. Even his words got me wet. When it came to Joe Collins, my pussy was a wanton whore. And seriously, who could blame it? His body was one big beautiful playground. There wasn’t an inch of him I didn’t want to explore. 

He leaned in, nipping my earlobe, making me gasp. “I think you’re starting to trust me, Alex.” 

“Maybe you’re just really good at this cuddling and comforting stuff.” 

“Oh, I’m all for pleasing you.” He grabbed hold of my hair, holding me in place for an assault on my neck. Shivers raced down my spine.

Scott does sex scenes well and I don't have any complaints here. These two have chemistry. I enjoyed watching Alex try to deal with intimacy with Joe; she's very much against emotions and anything beyond a quick, mutual hook up, while he wants to fuck her rough just as much as he wants to slow it down and maintain eye contact. She doesn't know how to deal with the latter and tries her hardest to turn him back to hard, somewhat impersonal fucking. He doesn't push her, but he also doesn't exactly let her get away with keeping her guard up completely either, and it provided great heat between the two.

“Basically,” he said, voice little more than a rumble, “with your permission, I just want to hold you down and make love to you for a good long time, watching your face as you come.”

I think what I loved the most was seeing the glimpses of previous characters, especially Mal. Oh, Mal. Have I mentioned I love him and his silly antics? Every time he shows up, even briefly, in a book I smile.

Overall, yes, there were some little things that kept me from loving Twist as much as I did Dirty, but that half a star difference really wasn't that big. I still had a great time reading it, will recommend it (and Scott's other books) to many, and I can't wait to see what Scott gives us next!


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I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley.

*Note: The quotes used belong to Kylie Scott; TBQ's Book Palace does not claim them. Any mistakes or typos in the quotes are my own fault.

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I'm curious to see whose story is next.

Also of note: I listened to Dirty, and while I was reading Twist, I kept hearing the narrator's voice from Dirty in my head. This happens when I switch between audio and e/print with some series/authors. Has it ever happened to you?

Find all the quotes I tweeted HERE!


Until Next Time,


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