cover image Butterfly in Frost

Butterfly in Frost

Sylvia Day. Montlake Romance, $9.99 trade paper (160p) ISBN 978-1-5420-1673-5

Day (the Crossfire Saga) flubs this disturbing short contemporary with a “gotcha” twist. Teagan is a doctor who just wants to be left alone; trauma has left her feeling “fragile” and “delicate.” But her new neighbor, Garrett, bullies his way into her life. Garrett offers Teagan’s neighbors a large sum of money for the house they weren’t planning to sell, invites himself into Teagan’s home, and kisses her forcefully with no warning. As he insinuates himself with her friends and brushes off her attempts to establish boundaries, readers will see red flags and danger signs everywhere. The narration is deeply intimate without ever hinting at what lies behind Garrett’s behavior, so the twist ending that’s meant to explain away and justify his aggression only leaves the reader feeling baffled and lied to. Fans of extreme alpha males and dubious consent might find this satisfying; everyone else should pass. Agent: Kimberly Whalen, The Whalen Agency. (Sept.)