Thursday, December 5, 2019

Release Day Review: Gilded Lily - Staci Hart

Gilded Lily (Bennet Brothers #2)
by Staci Hart
Published: December 4, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Retelling

They say there’s no such thing as perfect.
But I’ve built my life to perfection—the perfect boyfriend, the perfect apartment, the perfect career planning celebrity weddings. My job—my only job—is to make sure every event is absolutely and completely perfect.
What’s not perfect? Kash Bennet.
And I wish I didn’t find that so appealing.
I could have told you every perfectly imperfect thing about the gardener at Longbourne. Like his hair, lush and black and far too long. Or his nose, the flat bridge of a Greek god, bent a little like it’s been broken. Or his size. Beastly. Roped and corded with muscles, gleaming with sweat and peppered with dirt.
There’s no escaping him, not if I’m going to use his family’s flower shop for my events.
But nothing is what it seems. And in the span of a heartbeat, my perfect life is turned inside out.
They say the best way to get over somebody is to get under somebody new. When Kash offers his services to the cause, it sounds like the perfect plan.
What’s not part of the plan? Falling in love with the gardener.
But they were right—there’s no such thing as perfect.
And I’m the fool who finds out the hard way.

Available Now
5 Stars

Lila knows she wants to use the Bennet families business, Longbourne, for flowers for the wedding she is working on. Not only is it for THE celebrity family you see on TV nightly, it's her chance to prove that she is ready to be on top in the wedding planning biz. Too bad her boss and the youngest celeb sister are out to get her and she doesn't need daily interactions with Kash and his stupid t-shirts on top of that. Everything seems to be going great until her perfectly curated life comes tumbling down. The only stress relief she really needs is a good rebound and Kash is there with his easy charm and offer of no-strings fun. She never realized how good looking he is, how smooth, how complicated this could make things.

Kash is the easy brother, the one who likes his greenhouse work and feels more connection with the flowers and dirt than with the sassy Lila and her white suits. Nevermind that he's pictured her all mussed up, relaxed, and beneath him. Working together is one thing, even being her rebound is alright, but when his feelings just can't be buried anymore he challenges Lila for more. What he isn't ready for is just how different their lives are and just how much he doesn't fit in. With wedding season underway and a family crisis bubbling to the surface, Kash and Lila must decide whether opposites truly do attract or if the blossoming romance is destined to wilt.

"And I had to admit it was nice to be handled just a little."

Talk about not only an incredible retelling, but just an incredibly well-written, magical book. Staci Hart absolutely knocked it out of the park with Gilded Lily, it's just beautiful to read. Like a bouquet, this is a romance that blossoms with time; Kash and Lila's story is an opposites attract story line filled with character growth and emotions that reach out and touch you. It's filled with chemistry, heart, and life. Kash and Lila are easy to like, their goals, dreams, and struggles are so relatable and the added elements of the Bennet business just bring it all together. Plus, somehow Staci Hart managed to write the most beautiful smut scenes I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Seriously, they are works of art.

"The longing and quiet envy I felt struck me in the softest of places."

Gilded Lily is a story of passion, both for one's dreams and for another human. Kash and Lila are both so intense, but in such different ways. Despite their differences they fit together very well. Their coming together is certainly a choice made of convenience, but in time their intensity overflows and along with it their emotions. It's a chaotic time though and Staci Hart brought the wild ride that is a celebrity wedding to life, I even had anxiety. The dialogue in this book felt natural, the settings so easy to picture, and the characters are just so perfect. I love how the characters, including the secondary characters, band together to tackle issues. There is no issue too big for the Bennet clan to tackle and those friends and loves they've added along the way are just as much a part of the family.

"It was anything but casual. And I didn't know just what to do about that."

With the Bennet Brothers series, a Pride & Prejudice retelling, Staci Hart has given us characters with family values, realistic issues, and love stories that play before your eyes like a movie. Gilded Lily had just enough heat, heart, and quirk to keep me turning the pages long after I should have been asleep. I even cried, yes, that's right I cried and no one is surprised at all. I was that attached to this book, it's not even angsty, but it sure did feel like I was physically ther

e! I absolutely recommend this book, this series, and always, always this author.


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.

AuthorPicsAbout the Author
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, 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.
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 reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.

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