BUTTERFLY IN FROST by SYLVIA DAY BOOK REVIEW

BUTTERFLY IN FROST

By Sylvia Day

Release Date: August 27, 2019

Publisher: Montlake Romance

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.

Disclaimer:I received an ARC of BUTTERFLY IN FROST by SYLVIA DAY. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own. Many thanks to Montlake Romance and NetGalleyfor the Advanced Reader Copy. 

It was my pleasure to read BUTTERFLY IN FROST by SYLVIA DAY. I haven’t read a book by Ms. Day in a number of years and I found myself quickly drawn into the story of Teagan, Roxy & Mike, and Garrett!

The passion in this novel is palpable from the moment Garrett runs onto the page! The only question is how long that passion will remain unfulfilled! Teagan and Garrett burn mystifyingly hot and the flames just get higher as they learn about each other. I wouldn’t consider this novel erotic in nature, but the sex scenes are very steamy!

I am always amazed when an author catches me completely unaware when I get through a book. Ms. Day had me looking for one ending and then wowed me with something that was so completely unexpected that I had to go back and reread the end of the book several times to really let it sink in! I was totally blindsided to say the least!

BUTTERFLY IN FROST by SYLVIA DAY is a book that I will keep and read over again, more than just once! I will definitely be watching for more of the same style from Ms. Day in the future as this really resonated with me!

I very definitely recommend BUTTERFLY IN FROST by SYLVIA DAY and give it five beautiful gold stars!

©AUGUST 27, 2019

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.”

***

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.

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SUCH DARK THINGS by COURTNEY EVAN TATE BOOK REVIEW

SUCH DARK THINGS

By Courtney Evan Tate (Courtney Cole)

 

 

Genre:  Psychological Thriller

Publisher:  Mira (Harper Collins)

Release Date:  March 20, 2018

 

I thought I knew him. He thought he knew me. We were both wrong…

Dr. Corinne Cabot is living the American dream. She’s a successful ER physician in Chicago who’s married to a handsome husband. Together they live in a charming house in the suburbs. But appearances can be deceiving—and what no one can see is Corinne’s dark past. Troubling gaps in her memory mean she recalls little about a haunting event in her life years ago that changed everything.

She remembers only being in the house the night two people were found murdered. Her father was there, too. Now her father is in prison; she hasn’t been in contact in years. Repressing that terrifying memory has caused Corinne moments of paranoia and panic. Sometimes she thinks she sees things that aren’t there, hears words that haven’t been spoken. Or have they? She fears she may be losing her mind, unable to determine what’s real and what’s not.

So when she senses her husband’s growing distance, she thinks she’s imagining things. She writes her suspicions off to fatigue, overwork, anything to explain what she can’t accept—that her life really isn’t what it seems.

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Prologue-

My skin is sticky with blood.

My waistband is wet with it, and I can taste it on my lips. It’s splattered on my face, and it tastes like metal that has been rotting in the sun and rain for a hundred years. The night makes me shiver, the cool breeze rustling my hair, and for a split second, I’m back there in that house, standing in that blood. My bare toes feel the warmth of the liquid turn cool as the minutes tick past.

Goose bumps raise on my neck, and a knot that I can’t swallow is lodged in my throat. My feet are frozen frozen frozen on the ground, and I can’t move.

Their eyes are open and lifeless, although they stare at me.

They see me.

Yet they see nothing.

I can’t breathe.

My lips are ice, just like theirs.

My heart is pounding and racing and stuttering, and I can’t breathe I can’t breathe I can’t breathe.

“Corinne. You’re safe here. Corinne.

And just like that, I’m not there.

I’m here.

“There was blood all over me.” My words are stilted and fragile, like glass.

I stare at my hand, and even though it’s clean now, I see it as it was seventeen years ago, covered in the blood of two souls…souls that were living and that aren’t anymore. It’s hard to wrap my mind around. First they were breathing, and then they weren’t. It happened in a split second. I inhale shakily.

“Think about that moment,” the doctor instructs. “Who can you see?”

I think on that. “Melanie is next to me on the floor. Her head is bleeding into a pool. There is so much blood that it looks black.” I close my eyes, because it had been the first time I’d seen blood like that, and it terrified me. “Joe is on the bed. His blood is splattered all over the wall. Both of them have their eyes open.”

Staring at me.

The emotions welling up in me are like a wave, swelling, swelling, swelling…until I can’t handle it anymore. The horror and the guilt and the pain are just too much.

“I can’t do this,” I blurt out. “I’m done for the day.”

Dr. Phillips looks at me, and he’s calm and detached.

“Corinne, why are you here?”

I pause. What a stupid question. “You know why I’m here.”

I hate it when they treat me with such condescension.

“Humor me,” he tells me. “Why are you here?”

I grit my teeth and look away.

He waits.

“You’re saying that I tried to hurt myself. But I wouldn’t do that.”

I look at him now, and he’s so *** emotionless. I look down at my left wrist, at the bandage covering up the stiches.

“I wouldn’t,” I insist again. “I’m a *** physician. I wouldn’t have cut my wrist horizontally. If I really wanted to hurt myself, I would’ve known to cut vertically along the vein.”

I finger the gauze. Beneath it, the cut throbs, evidence of something I don’t remember doing.

“I’m not crazy,” I add. And I don’t know if I’m trying to convince Dr. Phillips, or myself.

“You’re not crazy.” He nods. “But you’ve experienced a mental break. You’re here because you need to deal with the causal underlying issue so that it won’t happen again. Right?”

He’s a *** asshole.

I stare at the wall. At the whiteness, at the sterility.

“You need some plants in here,” I tell him, avoiding the question. “Greenery puts patients at ease. All this blankness…it’s maddening.”

“I’ll keep that in mind,” he says wryly. “Corinne…”

I interrupt. “Dr. Cabot,” I tell him. “I’ve earned it.”

“Dr. Cabot,” he corrects himself. “You’re right. You’ve earned it. You worked a long time to finish medical school and your residency. You’re a top ER physician. You have a life envied by everyone around you. You’ve got to take care of yourself, so you can protect this life you’ve built.”

I close my eyes. Behind my eyelids, it’s dark and safe. It’s black and warm.

“Protect it from what?” I whisper.

“You tell me,” he answers. “You’ve got something inside of you that is triggered now, something that creates panic and a fight-or-flight response. We know what your father did so long ago. What we don’t know is why…or what damage it has caused in you, damage that seems to be affecting you now.”

“I don’t know either,” I say helplessly, my eyes opening to the white walls again. “I can’t remember. I never could. You know that.”

“I know.” Dr. Phillips nods again, and he tries to be so fucking comforting. “You have a history of dissociative behavior. You blocked out what your father did so long ago, and it stands to reason that your brain has developed that as a defense mechanism. It’s doing it again now. If we don’t get to the bottom of why your memories are being triggered now, after all of these years…you’ll never have peace. Do we agree on that?”

Reluctantly, I nod.

“So we have to start at the beginning. You have to stay here and focus.”

Anger flares in me, red and hot, and I stare him down. He doesn’t blink and neither do I.

“Focus?” I ask him, and my words are sharp and I wish they would cut him. “You think it’s as simple as sitting down and focusing? How dare you sit there and tell me what to do, when you have no idea what it’s like?”

I stand up to leave, but the psychiatrist’s next sentence holds me in my place, freezing me.

“Corinne, you promised Jude you’d try.”

Jude.

My beautiful, understanding Jude.

I swallow hard. I did promise. And I have to follow through, even though the pain it causes me is immeasurable. I owe it to him. I’ll do it for him. Not for this psychiatrist, but for Jude.

My body folds back into the seat, and I finger the medical bracelet circling my right wrist. Corinne Elizabeth Cabot, Female. It’s me, condensed into one stark sentence, yet I’m a stranger to myself right now. That’s why I’m here. I don’t know myself or my thoughts. My memories are foreign, blocked, nightmarish, out of control.

“Fine.” There’s nothing else I can say.

Dr. Phillips is quietly triumphant. “Let’s begin again. Take a deep breath and close your eyes.”

I do, drawing the cool air in a rush over my teeth, expanding my lungs and holding it, before I let it slowly exhale. I do it again, then again.

“Think back to that night, Dr. Cabot. Stand in that room. Tell me where your father is.”

I envision it, I see it in my mind like it was yesterday. My father in his bloody steel-toed boots. “He’s on the porch, waiting for the police to come.”

“He left you alone in the house with two dead bodies?”

“Yes.”

“He didn’t try to run?”

“No.”

“Okay. What did you do then?” my doctor asks me calmly, unfazed by the ugliness of my story.

“I was stunned. I think I was in shock. My hand was bleeding.”

Dr. Phillips looks at my hand, because I’m stroking the scar now, an unconscious nervous tic that I often do when I’m anxious. “What happened to your hand?”

“I don’t remember.”

“Is there a lot that you don’t remember from that night?”

“Yes. You know that.”

“Yes, I do,” he acknowledges. “So you’re standing in the middle of a bloody crime scene because your father left you alone. What did you do then, Corinne?”

“I looked out the window,” I tell him. “I was frozen. I couldn’t move. My feet felt like concrete and I was afraid if I moved, my heart would explode. So I took deep breaths. I watched the trick-or-treaters walking by. I looked at the blood on my shoe. I looked at the jack-o’-lanterns that were lit on porches, and the ghosts hanging in the trees. There was a full moon. There was light on my shoulders.”

“Anything else?”

“I stared at the street sign on the corner. All Hallows Lane.”

“That’s ironic,” the doctor points out needlessly.

“Yes.”

“How long did you stand there?” His question is quiet.

“Until they came and took me away.”

Many thanks to Courtney Evan Tate and Netgalley for the Advance Digital copy of Such Dark Things. Opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

Jude and Corinne seemingly have it all. But something sinister is brewing beneath the surface of their picture-perfect life. Corinne carries the baggage of something horrific from her eighteenth year that has haunted her ever since. But she doesn’t remember the details of what happened.

Coming to terms with the past and building a strong future isn’t in the cards for Jude and Corinne with the interference they face from outside forces.

Such Dark Things by Courtney Evan Tate is an exceptionally intense read. This is a book that, once I started reading, my entire world faded far into the background and I couldn’t put it down!

Ms. Tate has a flair for the dramatic and knows how to write a psychological thriller! There was no easing into the plot, it soared off the first page and never descended! I was hard-pressed to catch my breath between each page!

Tackling the subject of PTSD and Dissociative Disorder, which are often found in people who have experienced a life-altering trauma, is a vast undertaking. Ms. Tatee handled it expertly.

I highly recommend you pick up a copy of Such Dark Things by Courtney Evan Tate to find out IF their life is really what it seems!

Reviews by Room With Books gives Such Dark Things by Courtney Evan Tate five steaming hot cups of Room With Books coffee!

©March 18, 2018

 

 

Courtney Cole

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author

 

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