Ride Steady by Kristen Ashley
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: June 30th 2015
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The ride of her life . . . Once upon a time, Carissa Teodoro believed in happy endings. Money, marriage, motherhood: everything came easy---until she woke up to the ugly truth about her Prince Charming. Now a struggling, single mom and stranded by a flat tire, Carissa's pondering her mistakes when a vaguely familiar knight rides to her rescue on a ton of horsepower.
Climb on and hold tight . . . In high school, Carson Steele was a bad boy loner who put Carissa on a pedestal where she stayed far beyond his reach. Today, he's the hard-bodied biker known only as Joker, and from the way Carissa's acting, it's clear she's falling fast. While catching her is irresistible, knowing what to do with her is a different story. A good girl like Carissa is the least likely fit with the Chaos Motorcycle Club. Too bad holding back is so damned hard. Now, as Joker's secrets are revealed and an outside threat endangers the club, Joker must decide whether to ride steady with Carissa---or ride away forever . . .
What a book!
I’m not sure why I keep dragging my feet when reading Kristen Ashley books because I always end up loving the heck out of them. Yeah, they can go on forever but I don’t even care, I love these motorcycle men!
Carson Steele grew up in a bad way. His Mom left him before he started crawling. His Dad was a piece of shit who beat him and did all manner of bad things to him and around him so by the age of eight, Carson had a plan. To get out. He just had to survive until he was old enough to get away, but he was determined to get away. He was a loner at school because he wasn’t much of a talker and didn’t want to make friends and then have to fend up their attempts at wanting to come over and do normal friends things. So because he was a loner, people talked, they saw his bruises from the beatings and they talked some more. He was used to sneers and looks of pity but the one bright spot in all of the madness was his crush on the golden girl, Carissa Teodoro.
Carissa came from a loving family. Her parents doted on her, they loved her and she was popular at school even though she didn’t feel like she fit in with her friends. When tragedy struck her family, she didn’t let the loss of a loved one change who she was at her core. A kind-hearted girl. But as she grew up and the happily ever after she thought was hers goes south, Carissa is stuck in a bind. Her husband left her for someone younger while she was pregnant with his baby and keeps taking her to court for custody of their son. Her debt keeps mounting but her slimy lawyer ex-husband keeps bleeding her dry until one day, a knight in shining armor pulls over to help her change her tire. She didn’t know how much her life was going to change after running into the biker known as Joker.
Oh how I loved this story. I loved Joker. I loved Carissa. I loved Baby Travis and the love that Joker came to have for that little boy. I loved the romance between Carson and Carissa. I loved the family that Carson brings into Carissa and Travis’ life and I loved the easy-ness that came with the love between Carson and Carissa. I loved Mrs. Heeley. I loved Linus and Kamryn. I loved Elvira and her crazy shopping sprees and every crazy thing that came out of her mouth. I especially loved the scene where Carissa tries to get back at Carson’s terrible Dad after everything he did to Carson. I loved that Carissa cared enough about Carson to want to avenge him and just love him. I loved Mr. Robinson and the talk he had with Carson when Carson was in high school.
There is a lot that I loved about this book but there were things that drove me crazy too. The descriptions for some things confused me and kept taking me right out of the story. Like when Carson’s in high school and he’s planning on getting his degree but didn’t see himself going to college (according to his talk with Mr. Robinson), that confused me. The description of Joker when he shows up to change Carissa’s tire.
He had a full black beard on his face. It was trimmed but not trimmed enough (as in, the beard being nonexistent).
The nickname Joker. This is actually what kept me from reading the book for so long. His name was freaking Joker. I kept seeing images of the Joker from Batman and well, that’s not a good thing to think about when reading about a hot biker in a bad ass motorcycle club.
But even after all of those times where I thrown out of the story for weird descriptions and weirder nicknames, that did nothing to dim my love that I came to have for the MC, Tack and Tyra, Shy and Tabby, Laney and Hop, High, Snapper, Big Petey and the rest of the club (cause you know, they’re NOT a gang). I just loved this book to pieces and can’t say enough good things about it.
The romance was fantastic. I enjoyed getting to know both Carson and Carissa. I loved that their relationship was an open communications kind and that Carissa was finally able to get the easy she deserved. Especially with all of that drama with her ex. I loved that Joker was by her side when she needed him and that they talked their issues out and had a grown ups relationship. No petty fights over stupid things. No immaturity. Sure, Joker was an ass when Carissa first started coming around but once he put his insecurity shit away, he was all in. Loved that.
I loved seeing that Carson realized that he may have had a shitty home life as a kid but he had good people in his life as well. I loved seeing him reconnect with Mrs. Heeley and Linus and Mr. Robinson. I loved seeing him try to take care of them now the way that they took care of him then. He didn’t turn out too bad. He was a pretty fantastic hero.
Carissa won me over from the very beginning. When she spoke up for Carson with her so-called friends in high school. I loved that she had a crush on him and wanted to take him to Dairy Queen and he turned her down. I loved seeing her rise from the ashes and fight for her life against her punk ass ex-husband. I loved seeing how strong she became over the course of the book and how close she became to the Chaos family. She wormed her way into their hearts and I just loved it all.
This was another fantastic addition to the Chaos series and I’m pretty anxious for the next book. At first, I didn’t have a clue who the hell Logan Judd was but after some digging I found out. We’re getting High’s book next guys. Yippy skippy! I can’t wait. If you’re looking for a great contemporary romance with a motorcycle club in it, look no further. This is the book for you.
Grade: 4.5 out of 5