Sunday, 15 May 2016

Wasted Words by Staci Hart - Review


Some universal truths refuse to be ignored.

Peanut butter and jelly are a match made in heaven. Spaghetti and meatballs are best friends forever. And guys like Tyler Knight don’t go for girls like Cam Emerson.

She knew from the second she met him that he didn’t belong on her bookshelf, the six-foot-six ex-tight end with a face so all-American, it could have sold apple pie. So she shelved him next to the supermodels and rock stars and took her place on her own shelf — the one with the flannel-clad, pasty-faced comic book nerds. Most of her boyfriends have existed between the pages of books, but rather than worrying over her own lacking love life, she puts all her energy into playing Cupid, using her job at the book bar, Wasted Words, as her stomping ground.

Tyler Knight always looks on the bright side. His career-ending injury turned into a job as a sports agent. A horrible breakup led him to Cam, his quirky, smart roommate who is far more beautiful than she realizes. She’s made it perfectly clear she’s not interested in him — not like that at least — but if she ever changes her mind, he won’t hesitate. Because he doesn’t see the lines she’s drawn between them, as much as she insists that they’re there. Deep down he knows that despite their differences, they’re a match well made.

*A romantic comedy inspired by Jane Austen’s Emma*

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Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: May 2016.

There was nervous excitement picking up Wasted Words, I stumbled upon Staci Hart last year when the cover of With A Twist  stopped me scrolling my newsfeed, literally reaching through social media, grabbing my collar while screaming STOP STOP STOP LOOK AT ME!!! For anyone who follows me they know with certainty that the Friends to Lovers trope is my ultimate, from that moment on I was enamoured, my love of Ms Hart's covers wasn't relegated to only that title, as Chaser and Last Call hit the interwebs I was once again enchanted, the author's ability to catch every aspect of the characters and bring them to life not only on the cover but again in her words held me captive, she made me fall in love with this quirky group of friends, with their lives, with their sorrows and their triumphs, when whispers of Wasted Words began I was intrigued, for lovers of the Bad Habits series Cam was a newly introduced character, even in the brief mentions she was quirky and fun and I couldn't wait to discover more about her.

Cam has her world carefully organised like the books she loves, everything on its right shelf grouped with their suitable partners, she's friendly and outgoing, loved by those who know her, with a knack for match making Cam derives joy out of nudging people in the direction of their soul mates, finding ingenious ways to get people to connect organically leaving them none the wiser to her meddling ways, being able to zero in on possible love matches comes naturally, but when she turns her hand to pushing her bestie / roommate into the path of another woman things begin to change.

"It was in the mundane moments that I noticed her...
"I wondered, and not for the first time, if she would ever date me. If she'd let me kiss her. If she'd kiss me back." 

Tyler had the world at his feet until an on field injury ended his dreams of going pro in the NFL. Years later Tyler has recovered and moved on with his life, he has a dream job as a sports agent, after being unlucky in love Tyler somewhat removed himself from the dating market, no longer actively looking for love, content focusing primarily on work, his spare time spent with his roommate and closest friend, the pocket rocket that is Cam, frequenting her work Wasted Words, taking part in her singles nights, spending weekends camped in front of the television together, going to NFL games, their bond unbreakable, when Tyler is introduced to someone who would usually make perfect sense for him he's rattled that he isn't excited in the way he should be.

"All this time, I had my eyes peeled for a match for Tyler, and now I found one. I just couldn't figure out why I felt woozy about it."

Built on a solid foundation of friendship, everything about Tyler and Cam should be easy, it should be effortless, their connection is undeniable, their chemistry, explosive but when love doesn't come in the shape and form you expect it there can be dire consequences. All of the emotions that bubble up inside telling you how right this is, can't change your head telling you that it can end in disaster. Waging a war on heart and head is tricky when you don't know who you want to win. There's a beautiful message in Wasted Words that reminds us to look outside of what we've conditioned ourselves to believe, Hart urges the reader to question the imaginary shelves we put ourselves on, to question the fences we build to keep people out, to prevent the chance of future hurt.

"This is supposed to be easy. When you fall for someone, shouldn't it be easy? I don't feel like we're the same. We're not equals."

Ultimately the beauty of Wasted Words is in more than just the witty banter, which Hart writes with perfect comedic timing, more than the sizzling chemistry between Tyler and Cam, which abounds, more than the urge to climb into your kindle and butt their heads together urging them to open their eyes, to see what's right in front of each other, which happened more than once, the beauty of this story was in those moments where I connected with Cam, when I felt her fear and trepidation, when I felt her confidence slip and her anxiety increase, it was in those moments when she became a friend, someone I wanted to wrap my arms around, and not just read about her. It was the moments when she was lost inside her own head trying to navigate her way out of past hurts. It was in the moments when Tyler stood sure and proud, when he knew what he wanted and went after if, when he said the perfect words to have me swooning and wanting to climb within the pages for very different reasons to those previously. Friends to Lovers isn't a new trope, and it's certainly not new to me, Hart crafted Wasted Words in a way that left it feeling fun and fresh, she made loving not only the hero and heroine but all of the characters...wait well not ALL of the characters but you'll need to read the book to find out, effortless. Eloquent, refreshing and a pleasure to lose myself in, Wasted Words was everything I hoped for.



About Staci Hart:

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.

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