Five hearts – oh-my-gaaaawd!!

Design Rating:

Five stars – it's perfect!


October 13, 2020

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Every Sweet Regret

by Lexi Ryan

Reviewed March 23, 2022

"He works his way back up to my ear with his mouth and back down to my thighs with his hands. “You know what it’s like to be fucked, but do you have any idea what it’s like to savored? To have a man who wants to earn every moan, every sweet gasp from those lips?” He nudges my legs apart, and his fingertips brush faintly against the fabric between my thighs. It’s hardly a touch. It’s a whisper. A promise of what’s to come. And when I jerk my hips toward him in a raw, physical plea for his touch, he pulls away enough for me to see his smile. “Tease,” I say."

Design: 5/5

The design of the entire Orchid Valley series is simply perfection-embodied in book format. It is gorgeous, beautiful, sensual, sexy – pure perfection! I so desperately wish that I would have designed this series – I have major designer envy. And the design of “Every Sweet Regret” is so gorgeously hot! The cover models so perfectly depict Stella and Kace – they live up to the expectation, for sure! For me, I could so clearly “see” Stella with Lexi’s words, I mean, she’s the living embodiment of Jessica Rabbit. That’s pretty clear. And when it came to Kace, the description in the book is excellent, but this cover model just smolders it up – wowee-wow!! And together… hoooooly-sex-on-a-stick! I am obsessed, just falling over myself over this book’s design. The cover models, the fonts, the colors – the pure beauty. It hardly gets any more perfect.

Review: 5/5

I’m swooning. Absolutely swooning over Orchid Valley – and Kace and Stella in particular – and of course over Lexi Ryan. I’m also maybe a little biased (*disclaimer*?) for the fact that Lexi Ryan is solely responsible for me falling into the HEA genre and down the steep-steep rabbit hole that I love oh-so much. But I’m sorry (well, sorry-not-sorry), Lexi just can’t do anything wrong! Every single one of her books – nay, series – is just… perfect. Lexi is the absolute MASTER of not just incredible writing, of amazing-amazing characters that are full of depth and beauty and wit and humor and intrigue, of creating a whole town and world and setting that transports you totally in time and space, and she is not just the master of some of the effing hottest and sexiest yet often sweetest and most romantic sex that has ever been written – as if the combination of all of these traits wasn’t the recipe for an incredible book and series (time and again)… But no – she doesn’t stop there. Lexi’s talent continues onto me dubbing her the “queen of the plot twist,” “the queen of the other shoe dropping” – where everything comes to light and comes together – I only have to reference the manilla envelope from book #7 in the Jackson Harbor series, “Not Without Your Love.” Amiright?

Well, this brilliance of hers is totally all in Stella and Kace’s story, which is the second book in the Orchid Valley series. Now, this book can totally be read as a stand-alone, but don’t… just don’t do that to yourself! Read Brinley and Marston’s story first because wow… just wow. It’s a rollercoaster and it is soooo good. In comparison, Lexi will take you on a rollercoaster in Stella and Kace’s story too, but here is her brilliance yet again: it is an entirely different rollercoaster… at a totally different fair… in a different county – sorry, that analogy took on a life of its own.

Kace and Stella’s story, much like most of Lexi’s books, revolves around what I like to refer to as a character-building book. Sure, the town and other characters play a part as do the details – but this book is all about Stella and Kace, their dynamic (for the most part) – and what I mean by this is that all of the other parts of the story are just supporting elements to their overall story (what I mean is that by comparison some books will have small side stories). And what a story it is. Stella has been in love and lust with Kace, her brother’s best friend, since she was 15. She’s been dubbed the irresponsible party girl – but I personally hate that she thinks that of herself and thinks that others think of her that way – and even worse, that Kace has been made to believe it, too. Stella is described as a total knock-out, like a complete-total-fucking-knock-out! She’s described as a total 10, but she’s got a personality and heart to match. She’s a 10 all around – except for her hang-ups and self-doubts, but that’s understandable because most of us have those. However, she doesn’t deserve the bad rap – she’s so amazing! Stella is the type of girl that every girl would love to have as one of her best friends because she’s outgoing, fun and funny, smart, compassionate, spontaneous, sexy and self-assured, and knows how to enjoy life. By comparison, Kace is described as someone who could use a little spontaneity in his life, and to learn how to live in the moment. And I’m sorry, but wow… Kace is described as this tall, so handsome, long-haired and well-built, dad of the year, devoted and monogamous guy who just isn’t aware of his attractiveness and hence lacks any of those jerky arrogant guy traits that a lot of hot guys have. And I love it. But to our pleasant surprise, when we get to the hot-and-steamy sexy scenes, boy does Kace surprise us then! Mmmm it’s delicious.

Kace has spent a long time trying to NOT notice Stella – despite her years of flirting. He, at times, wasn’t even sure if she was serious – but he’s noticed that she’s seriously beautiful and incredible. The chemistry and relationship build-up between them is delicious. That is the only way to describe it. The chemistry is so evident, once Lexi opens the curtain and reveals to us the insights of each character. She leaves us a trail of crumbs, and we are so eager and starved for more!

It is so hard for me to not gush about the story and about Stella and Kace right here and now, but by so doing I’d totally be spoiler alerting all over the place, revealing some of the small crumbs that just can’t be leaked ahead of reading the book in its entirety. You need the build-up… the sweet-sweet build-up. And just like all of Lexi’s books – her special formula – the build-up in the first 50-70% of the book is sooooo damn good, the initial get-together is so haaawt and amazing and mind-blowing. What follows is the start of the bombshell(s) that Lexi always drops on us… leaving us in a puddle on the floor. And what a puddle she leaves us in when Stella and Kace’s bombshells are dropped. So often I find myself physically feeling upset, frustrated, anxious… just so many emotions. But then!! Then!! This is where Lexi’s mastery comes in, when she brings it all together for us, when she threads the needle and brings it home. It is such a sweet release… what? The sexual inuendo is too much? But it is!! When she brings it
home, when she brings the story together full circle – the emotion that you feel is so incredible. All the anxiety and frustration she had you feeling mere pages before is all gone and you feel such relief, joy, and ecstasy. And the way she does it in Stella and Kace’s story… wow. I never saw so many of the pieces of the story coming. How she comes up with all of the plots and details is just beyond me. But this is why I just love-love-love her writing, her characters, the details that she brings to life, the complexity of the plots, the amazing ups and downs of it all, did I mention the writing? – and then she brings it all home… in such a sexy and sultry way that makes us pretty hot and bothered. Ugh, it’s almost just too much at times.

Now y’all might know me and my HEA book preferences if you’ve read a few of my reviews by now and so you know that I love details. I love it when the details are such that the world that is crafted becomes so vivid in your imagination. I loooove when there’s a plot twist that I never could have anticipated or seen coming. And who doesn’t love a hot-as-fuck hero and heroine whos chemistry is off the charts, and their HEA story is so unique and incredible? Yes, these are my favorite parts of these stories – and it is not always easy to craft a story and do it well – BUT guess who does it at a Master Class level? You guessed it: Lexi Ryan does. Every single one of her stories sets that bar and fits the bill every time. “Every Sweet Regret” certainly follows her formula and is such an amazing and sweet story – and it is needed after the emotional roller coaster we were taken on in the first book of this Orchid Valley series! Now it is onto Abbi and Dean’s story, which, shocker! Is also incredible!!!

Amazon excerpt:

For as long as I can remember, Kace Matthews has been my brother’s best friend and my not-so-secret crush. But I knew nothing would ever happen between us. The successful single dad doesn’t fall for the hot mess party girl. Kace + Stella exists in the doodles in my high school notebooks and in my dreams. Never in real life.

Until he finds me on a hookup app and starts flirting shamelessly.

It turns out high school Stella was not prepared for Kace Matthews. Adult Stella isn’t much better, but I manage to break down the walls to show Kace the real me—not just the life-of-the-party exterior, but the vulnerable pieces I hide from the world. Combine that with the combustible chemistry we have in real life, and I’m a goner.

Too bad it takes me so long to realize Kace doesn’t know I’m the girl he’s been falling for online. Telling him the truth now that he knows my secrets could mean losing everything…

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