New Release: With A Twist by Staci Hart

I've been talking about this book for daaays to anyone who would listen to my fangirling, and I'm so excited that Lily and West's story is finally out in the world! (Only 99 CENTS!!!) Here's my review--I have a lot to say, okay?!--along with a couple of beautiful teasers! :)

Bad Habits, #1
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 pliĆ©ing 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.

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Have you ever walked into a cute boutique, fell in love with a unique dress or a piece of jewelry, and then wanted to wear your new, one-of-a-kind find everywhere you go? You want to show it off, to make other people fall in love with it just like you did, right? That's how I felt when I first got a glimpse of Staci Hart's writing, with her Hardcore series, and that's how I'm feeling again, with her new release, With A Twist! Her gorgeous books just call out to me and get me so excited to share with everyone! With this author, I feel like I've discovered a gem, and she's quickly becoming one of my favorites. I adore her refreshing voice and her ability to create a standout cast of characters!

With A Twist was such a fabulous read! It had...Dance. Drama. Friendship. Humor. Love. Passion. Staci's writing had that special x-factor, making her characters pop and really come to life. There was just something about them that made the story feel original, brought it to a one-of-my-favorites-of-the-year level! As the first book in the Bad Habits series, With A Twist introduces us to an eclectic group of friends in New York and focuses on Lily and West's points of view. Lily Thomas, a ballerina, finally has a chance with her longtime crush and fellow dancer, Blane Baker. She's been pining for him for so long, fantasizing about being with him...But there's a theme to this tale, one that quickly rears its ugly head...Life doesn't always turn out the way you imagined it would.
Lily's situation with Blane ends up having more than its fair share of issues and bumps-in-the-road (including a particularly infuriating villain and some messy drama in the dance studio!), but enter West Williams, Lily's close friend and neighbor. Lily and West just pair so well together. He's a literature TA at Columbia, who rocks a man bun, beard, and tattoos. (And he collects books!!! *bites lip* If I ever met a West in real life, I would totally melt and swoon!) He's the smart, kind, and soulful type. I loved how easygoing and natural things felt with West. I really enjoyed the heart-to-heart talks.  First and foremost, you feel that genuine companionship between the two of them, solid roots for love to develop from.

The realization that they might feel more for each other, though, doesn't come easily nor is it fast-tracked. Their love story is the slow-building kind. A part of me did expect the romantic connection to kick in a little sooner, was the tiniest bit surprised that Blane played such a big role, but I ultimately appreciated the bigger picture. Staci took her time showing us who Lily and West are, what drives them. Lily, for example, is determined. Talented. You see that part of her as she works hard to prepare for her role as a principal dancer, and Staci really drew me in with the ballet side of the story. Lily is also hilarious. She had such an energetic, colorful voice. More importantly, however...

While I thought a couple of her decisions regarding Blane were questionable (*clenches jaw*), I also found her flaws relatable. Lily's thoughts and emotions felt real to me. During her pursuit of Blane, her dream guy, she made me think about all of the times I've made that same mistake--hyping something up too much in my head, counting all the reasons why it should work out. Lily's struggles show what it's like to fall for the idea of something, not what actually exists in reality, and what happens when you finally face the truth. doesn't always turn out how you imagined it would. It'll throw its twists and unexpected turns right at you. (A significant lesson learned in this book!) I loved being a part of Lily and West's everyday lives and going along for the addictive roller coaster ride towards a happy ending! And oh, the sweet, beautiful reward waiting at the end...Staci gives us the burst of happiness and satisfaction that we deserve. *dreamy sigh*

Through every up and down, Staci also weaves the supporting cast into the story perfectly. The group scenes are fantastic! I can't shout loud enough how much I love love love this tight-knit group of friends. The banter. The personalities. (Playboy Cooper Moore, one of West's bro-besties, nearly stole the whole show for me. I am officially president of his fan club.) They were an entertaining mix--from a bartender, to a tattoo artist--and they were a true support system for Lily and West, a source for advice and comfort when things really started to unravel. Oh, the friendship feels in this book!

By the end, I loved being in the Bad Habits world so much and was reluctant to leave it behind until the next book comes out. There was enough drama to rival my favorite TV shows. There were moments that made my face ache from laughing or grinning so wide. Then, it was all rounded out with sweet, tender, and heartfelt scenes. Staci's voice and style made With A Twist a fabulously refreshing read. I was absolutely hooked by the writing, from page one, and I easily got wrapped up in these characters. I can't wait to see what's next for this series! I am already highly, highly anticipating the next book and couple! Bring on Chaser!



| Hardcore: Volume One | Review |

| Hardcore: Volume Two | Review |

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, with 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, cleaning, or designing graphics. 

*** ARC provided in exchange for an honest review ***