Author: Staci Hart

Buddy Review: Coming Up Roses by Staci Hart

Posted October 8, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Buddy Review: Coming Up Roses by Staci HartReviewer: Ames and Rowena
Coming Up Roses by Staci Hart
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: August 1, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 293
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-half-stars

Everyone hates parts of their job.

Maybe it’s the paperwork. Maybe it’s the day-to-day grind. Maybe it’s that client who never knows what they want, or the guy who always cooks fish in the microwave.

But not me. I love every corner of the Longbourne Flower Shop, every flower, every petal, every stem. I love the greenhouse, and I love Mrs. Bennet, my boss. I love creating, and I love being a florist. I don’t hate anything at all.

Except for Luke Bennet.

The Bennet brothers have come home to help their mom save the flower shop, and Luke is at the helm. His smile tells a tale of lust, loose and easy. He moves with the grace of a predator, feral and wild. A thing unbridled, without rules or constraint.

When he comes home to save Longbourne, I almost can’t be mad at him.

Almost.

He doesn’t remember that night I’ll never forget. That kiss, touched with whiskey and fire. It branded me like a red-hot iron. But it meant nothing to him.

Everyone hates part of their job, and I hate Luke Bennet.Because if I don’t, I’ll fall in love with him.

*Spinoff of The Austen Series

Rowena: Coming Up Roses is a standalone contemporary romance by Staci Hart and it’s the romance that Ames and I decided to read together last month. August was a busy month for me, so I let this review slide but I’m here to fix that now so better late than never, right? 🙂

So, it took me a while to warm up to this story because I didn’t connect with our main character, Tess, all that much. She annoyed the snot out of me in the beginning but when I started to warm up to her character, stupid things happened and I was kind of like, WTF? throughout the rest of the book but even with all of that said, I still enjoyed parts of this one. I loved Luke’s family, I loved seeing Luke and Tess grow closer together and save the shop together but there were quite a few things that made me roll my eyes all the way to San Diego.

What were your initial thoughts on this one, Ames?

Ames: Ween! We’re totally on the same page with this one! Tess needed to grow the hell up. She annoyed me too and I struggled to see what Luke saw in her. However I did enjoy Luke, his family and the whole florist shop idea and all what they did to save their family business. That was a good story. But Tess…she was too afraid. I felt like her character growth came too late to save her for me.

Rowena: Yeah, I would have liked this one more if the romance between Luke and Tess wasn’t bogged down with exes, stupid lies, and just unnecessary stuff. I thought that them coming together to save Luke’s family business, along with them fixing their own shit from their shared past would have been plenty of conflicts to carry the story without all of the shit that we got.

I agree with you that by the time Tess’ character growth came about, I was over her and if it wasn’t for Luke’s family, especially his sweet Mom and siblings, I would have DNF’d this one. But I wanted to see what came of the whole shop makeover and I wanted to find out how things ended up between Luke and Tess. I just wanted things to happen differently and because I didn’t get what I wanted, my enjoyment of this book suffered. Like, one of the things that I didn’t get was how quickly the ex is forgiven and dealt with after the shitty thing she did. Between Tess and Luke’s Mom, to welcome her the way that they did, as quickly as they did? Yeah, I wasn’t a fan. I wanted her to grovel a bit more. That, along with how quick Tess was to forgive Luke for their past after he gave her his magic D, I just…ugh. I couldn’t. I give this book a 2.5 because of that. What about you?

Ames: See, I don’t think Luke did anything that wasn’t so horrible that Tess was mad at him for ten years. She was really stuck in this immature place and that’s why I didn’t care for her. As for his business with his ex, ugh. That whole plot was unnecessary and very predictable. I agree with you that there was enough to the story without his ex needing to be thrown in for good measure.

I usually enjoy Staci’s writing but this book was a miss for me. I’m going to give it 3 out of 5.

I do have to point out that I love the cover. It’s gorgeous.

Final Grades

Ames: 3 out of 5
Rowena: 2.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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What Are You Reading? (+ #Cockygate Giveaway)

Posted June 1, 2018 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 14 Comments

WAYR-New

Casee: I’m still reading Claimed by Rebecca Zanetti. It’s only the second book in the series. Now that graduation week is over, I can really get into it. I’ve been reading a few pages here and there this week but just haven’t had time to really sit down and read.

After I’m done with Claimed, I’m going to pick up Ocean’s Light by Nalini Singh. I really don’t have an answer for why I haven’t picked it up before now. Obviously I’m demented.

Holly: I started re-reading the Kate Daniels series this week in anticipation of Magic Triumphs in August. I read Magic Bites, Magic Burns and Magic Strikes. At this rate I’ll have to do another re-read to be fresh for Magic Triumphs. I did download an ARC of Iron and Magic yesterday, though, so I’mg going to dig into that soon.

Rowena: This week, I finished reading Making Up by Lucy Parker and enjoyed it. Leo and Trix were a lovely couple that really came together and I ate their story right up. I didn’t read much else in the way of books. However, I did do a lot of reading on all things #cockygate. I read all of the documents that Courtney Milan provided on the cases and the entire thing is really interesting. I didn’t think I’d ever be this invested in a court case but I am. I’m rooting for Team Romance and hope that things turn out in our favor.

My plan for the weekend is dig into I Flipping Love You by Helena Hunting. I’ve been itching to read this story and am really hoping that I get over my slump and just start reading. Wish me luck!

Giveaway Alert

We are very fortunate here at Book Binge. We have loads and loads of books to read and we want to share the wealth so each week, we’ll be tacking on a Freebie Friday giveaway to our What Are You Reading posts. This week, we’re giving away…

What Are You Reading? (+ #Cockygate Giveaway)Cocktales by Penny Reid, Nana Malone, Dylan Allen, Jana Aston, Whitney Barbetti, Sawyer Bennett, K.F. Breene, Ruth Clampett, L.H. Cosway, Amy Daws, Mariah Dietz, B.B. Easton, Jaymin Eve, Emma Hart, Staci Hart, Jessica Hawkins, Julie Johnson, Karpov Kinrade, Adriana Locke, Lex Martin, Aly Martinez, Kayti McGee, Corinne Michaels, Liv Morris, Red Phoenix, Daisy Prescott, Jessica Prince, Meghan Quinn, C.D. Reiss, Julie A. Richman, Aleatha Romig, Kennedy Ryan, Kylie Scott, Sierra Simone, Tara Sivec, Kate Stewart, Leia Stone, Karla Sorensen, Rachel Van Dyken, April White
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: May 26, 2018
Pages: 998
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

About the Cocktales Anthology:Cocktales is a limited-release anthology (available *only* from May 26 – August 26, 2018) of original, never before published material, some of which is raw and unedited. Each story was specifically written for this anthology.

The goal of the Cocktales Anthology is to raise funds to fight against obstruction of creative expression. Specifically, what we believe are obstruction attempts through the trademarking of common (single) words for titicular use in books / or as a book series (eBooks, print, and audio).

*ALL* net profits will be donated to:1) Authors already impacted by creative-obstruction (10%), and2) Romance Writers of America (RWA) (90%) as a general donation intended for their Advocacy Fund.

Disclaimer: This anthology is not being conducted on behalf of RWA, nor does RWA endorse this anthology or effort. They have, however, graciously agreed to accept the funds.

Today is a big day for our author friends and #cockygate so to help in our little way, we’re giving away three e-copies of Cocktales: The Cocky Collective to three lucky winners. Our thoughts and good vibes to Kevin Knuepper, Tara Crescent and Jennifer Watson today in court.

What Are You Reading: Cocktales: The Cocky Collective

What are you reading this week? Any new favorites or books that drove you crazy? Share!


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Updated: #cockygate Part 2: #Cocky Author Files Lawsuit (includes link to full summary)

Posted May 30, 2018 by Holly in Discussions, News | 12 Comments

Note: This is a pinned post. Scroll down for additional content.

Update June 1, 2018: Thanks to Euna Park for the updates she was able to post on the court hearing this morning in NYC. The judge denied FH the temporary restraining order she requested for the publishing of books with the word “cocky” in the title and removed Kevin Kneupper from the lawsuit. Kevin being removed from the lawsuit has no bearing on his trademark case. That is separate.

FH’s lawyer is really claiming that the word “cocky” is synonomous with FH in the romance genre. Wow. Considering nobody knew who she was before all of this came to light, that’s overstating the shit out of things. I mean, sure, NOW that might be true but not in the way I think her lawyer meant.

Author Liv Morris also attended the hearing and had this to say about the Cocktales: The Cocky Collective:

This is more great news for Team Romance. I’m super glad to see that Cocktales will be able to continue to sell books. I really love how supportive our community has been over this whole thing. It makes me so glad to be apart of such an awesome community.

Here is a list of links that Courtney Milan provided that includes all, or well, most documents pertaining to the lawsuit:

Defendants Joint Memo in Opposition to Preliminary Injunction & TRO
Tara Crescent Affidavit
Crescent Exhibit D
Crescent Exhibit G
Declaration for Jennifer Watson
Declaration for Penny Reid
Plaintiff (FH) Reply to Memorandum of Law in further support of Plainitffs Motion
Full Transcript of Preliminary Hearing on June 1, 2018

Here are some other posts that went up in the last couple of days:

Authors Guild and RWA Prevail in Court Defending Authors in “Cocky” Trademark Dispute
Judge Denies Injunction Request in Cocky Trademark Dispute
RWA’s Update on Recent Trademark Proceedings
The Cocky Trademark Author Writes an Open Letter to Herself in Response to Cockygate
How an Author Trademarking the word “cocky” turned the romance novel industry inside out

Marc Whipple has a great running commentary on the entire #cockygate on his blog so be sure to check that out too.

Posted on May 30, 2018: Rowena and I have been on vacation so while we’ve been keeping up with the latest nonsense with #cockygate, we haven’t had a chance to update until now.

Read More


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Guest Review: With a Twist by Staci Hart

Posted August 6, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: With a Twist by Staci HartReviewer: Tracy
With a Twist by Staci Hart
Series: Bad Habits #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: July 16, 2015
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

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.

Tracy’s review of With a Twist (Bad Habits #1) by Staci Hart.

Lily is a ballerina with the New York City Ballet. She has had a crush on one guy, Blane Baker, since she was fifteen year old (she’s now 22) and all of a sudden he’s paying attention to her and more! She’s thrilled that he’s finally noticed her as he’s been with the same bitchy girlfriend for forever. The problem starts when he actually sleeps with her. Only, it’s not exactly sleeping with her – it’s just playing a quick game of hide the sausage for Blane, in a rehearsal studio, with absolutely NO foreplay. She can’t believe that someone that hot can be that bad at sex but she believes that it was just a quirky first time thing. Only…it happens again. She’s pretty sure that what she thought was great isn’t so fabulous as he acts like an ass sometimes as well. She’s determined to give him a third attempt at redeeming himself when they head to a club with all of her friends.

West is Lily’s best friend. Lily and moved into an apartment and West ended up helping her get her furniture up the stairs. He was dating someone at the time so he was off limits even if she thought he was incredibly hot. Now West is free but they’ve become best friends and that’s good enough for both of them. That is until West discovers that he’s in love with Lily and wants her for himself NOW. The problem is that she’s still interested in Blane and he needs to wait to tell her he loves her. When he does it doesn’t exactly go as planned and the big revelation might actually push them apart rather than closer together.

What a fun book. I really enjoyed almost every part of this story. West and Lily were perfect for each other as both friends and lovers. I very much enjoyed reading about their journey and all of its ups and downs.

The book mainly focuses on Lily and West’s characters but there’s also a good portion of the story that relates to their friends as well. We met Patrick, West’s roommate, who is an artist and in love with Lily’s bartender roommate, Rose. They used to date but Patrick blew it and now they just smolder in silence. Then we have Maggie who is West’s sister who just moved to NYC after she found her fiancé screwing her best friend and maid of honor an hour before she was supposed to get married to the jerk. She’s trying to get over Jimmy so doesn’t want to date but there’s something going on with someone but it’s not revealed who it is. Added to the mix is Cooper who is a friend of all and a billionaire’s son who, from what I can tell, has no other job than to be a playboy. He hangs with Lily’s model sister, Astrid, as fake boyfriend/girlfriend for the paparazzi. It’s a strange and complicated bunch but all together they made a fantastic group. I thought the author did a great job of conveying how much they cared for each other as friends and I know that’s not always easy to pull off.

Overall the story had some great elements – friendship, love, romance and lots of laughter – and they all came together to make a very good book.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

This title is self-published. You can buy it here in e-format.

four-half-stars


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