Reviewer: Holly and Rowena
Walk Through Fire by Kristen Ashley
Series: Chaos MC #4
Also in this series: Own the Wind, Ride Steady, Ride Steady, Ride Steady, Walk Through Fire, Walk Through Fire
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: October 27th 2015
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Suspense
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The flame never dies . . .
Millie Cross knows what it's like to burn for someone. She was young and wild and he was fierce and even wilder-a Chaos biker who made her heart pound. They fell in love at first sight and life was good, until she learned she couldn't be the woman he needed and made it so he had no choice but to walk away. Twenty years later, Millie's chance run-in with her old flame sparks a desire she just can't ignore. And this time, she won't let him ride off . . .
Bad boy Logan "High" Judd has seen his share of troubles with the law. Yet it was a beautiful woman who broke him. After ending a loveless marriage, High is shocked when his true love walks back into his life. Millie is still gorgeous, but she's just a ghost of her former self. High's intrigued at the change, but her betrayal cut him deep-and he doesn't want to get burned again. As High sinks into meting out vengeance for Millie's betrayal, he'll break all over again when he realizes just how Millie walked through fire for her man . . .
Rowena: For MC romances, Kristen Ashley is a definite go to author for us. She writes the grown folks kind of romances that never fails to rock our ever loving socks.
Walk Through Fire is the fourth book in the Chaos series and it follows Logan “High” Judd and the one that got away, Millie Cross as they take that journey back to each other. It’s been twenty years since these two have crossed paths and with their breakup being the explosive breakup that it was, it wasn’t a surprise to the reader that when these two run into each other again, lots and lots of drama goes down.
As always, KA wrote a story that had me all over the place. You name an emotion and I probably felt it while reading this book. For the most part, I loved it. This book had everything I love in a romance and I was satisfied when the book finally came to a close.
What did you think Holly?
Holly: ‘Finally’ came to a close is right. This book went on forever. It’s the book that never ends…it just goes on and on my friends. …
But let’s start at the beginning. Millie and High met at a party and knew they were meant for each other and only each other. Until suddenly Millie dumps High three years in. They haven’t seen each other in 20 years. She spies him in a Chipotle and overhears a phone conversation that leads her to believe he has kids and is maybe going through a divorce, so she decides maybe it’s time to bury the hatchet and apologize for leaving him. High is nowhere near a calm, forgiving place when it comes to Millie and they end up having hate sex. But even though it’s unhealthy, neither of them can walk away. Until the true reason for her leaving comes out, and High has to reevaluate everything he believes.
For me this book can be broken into 3 parts. 1) Millie and High reconnect. 2) They figure out their relationship. 3) blah blah blah.
Rowena: OMG, yes to #3. Holy cow, I didn’t think this book was ever going to end but I think it’s the same with every Chaos book that I’ve read. A whole lot of the ending chapters could be taken out of every book and we’d still get a solid romance with issues resolved and the set up for the next book completed.
Holly: The first half of the book really drew me in. Millie and High meeting again, him treating her like crap, her pushing back at him…all of that worked for me.
Rowena: I agree, I enjoyed seeing how much angsty sex these two kept having, no matter how much they told themselves they were over each other. High was a complete asshole but I never once hated him. I understood where he stood and even though I winced a lot in the beginning, I still wanted him and Millie to find their way back to where they were 20 years ago.
Holly: I didn’t love the Chaos ladies sticking their noses in, though. I liked Tyra in her book, but she has irritated the fuck out of me ever since.
Rowena: The old ladies do ride that line of annoying the shit out of me with all of their business minding but I’ve got to be honest. I love the shit out of Elvira. She is probably one of my favorite parts of this series. Her mouth and her sass livens shit up and I enjoy her in each and every book she’s in. I want to be her when I grow up, I love her so much.
You know what’s amazing? How much I did not care for High in the last book and how much I loved the hell out of him in this one.
Holly: I didn’t dislike High necessarily, but I didn’t like him either. I certainly wasn’t interested in his book. I ended up really liking him though.
Rowena: I didn’t dislike him, I just didn’t care much for him. When I found out that his book was next, I was a bit disappointed because he was such a background character that I didn’t really feel anything for him. I’m SO glad that I read this book because I enjoyed it. I enjoyed him. He was a great hero.
One of the things that I really enjoyed in this book was the realistic way that the whole thing with Zadie (High’s youngest daughter) was portrayed and handled. I liked seeing both Logan and Millie struggle with Zadie’s feelings and behavior. I thought it was well-written.
Holly: I liked that Zadie was a brat, too. Not because I wanted her to be a brat, but because it was totally realistic. In all other Ashley books when the heroine meets the kids for the first time it’s love at first sight and they instantly adore her. Not so here.
Holly: I also love that Ashley doesn’t do the stereotypical ex thing. Logan’s ex? LOVED HER. I loved that she was who she was, wanted him to be happy and was genuinely a nice person. When they started going on about holidays and spending time together and Millie was like “OMG YOU’RE SO COOL” I was nodding my head along. She was totally cool.
Rowena: I really liked Deb and liked that she supported Logan and Millie’s relationship from the jump and wanted to help them with getting Zadie on board with it too. I understood Millie’s wariness during their first meeting together because it was a surprise to see an ex be so supportive and understanding and willing to help in any way that she could.
Holly: You know what I didn’t buy for a single second? That Mille lived in a bubble for 20 years. She had close friends but never went out? She ran a very successful party planning business but didn’t network? Her life just stopped the second she walked away from High? That didn’t make a lick of sense to me. She didn’t do much personal stuff? Okay, I can buy that. But she would have had to network and stuff for work.
Rowena: I found the whole Millie didn’t move on for 20 years, not even to have a one night stand or anything like that a bit much. So basically, she lived like a nun for 20 freaking years? [insert eye roll here] At times, it felt like Millie needed Logan in her life to give her life meaning and that really sucks because what kind of life is that? Where’s your self-respect? You made the decision to do what you did, so why punish yourself for 20 years? The adult thing to do would have been to move on, even if she didn’t move on to a new relationship and decided to live the life of a spinster, why couldn’t she have fun? Why couldn’t she take vacations? Have fun, laugh it up with her besties? Why did her happiness start and end with Logan Judd?
Holly: That’s it exactly, she began and ended with Logan. That makes no sense. I can’t respect a woman who see no value in herself outside of her man.
It also frustrated me how immature both Millie and High acted at times. They were in their (or close to? I can’t remember now) 40’s. I wish they’d acted like it. Instead they purposely lashed out at each other, refused to communicate and involved themselves in petty, high school-type drama. The Club didn’t show itself in a very favorable light, either. The way the men acted was silly and childish, and the women were just as bad. That thing where Hop serenades Millie at the club? I physically cringed. Like, WTAF?!?
Rowena: OMG, don’t even get me started on Hop’s song at the club. Grrrr….
Holly: The big problem was the second half of the book. Millie and High work out the animosity between them about 1/3 of the way into the book. The rest is all just external problems in the form of drama with his kids, club business and a bad guy using Millie as bait to draw High – and Chaos – out. Plus there were some things that made me want to bang my head against the wall. Example: The bad guy breaks into Millie’s house and tells her he took pictures of her and High having sex in her office/studio (which is in a building behind her house), yet they continue to have sex there without thought. Uh..what?
Stuff like that drove me crazy.
Rowena: Millie was 41 and High was I think, 43 cause he was a couple of years older than Millie.
But you’re right, they were immature in this book for a little bit and it annoyed me but when they get their shit together, I adored them.
Rowena: What did you think about the whole Valenzuela thing?
Holly: Eh, I think all Ashley’s suspense plots are dumb. I think they’re unnecessary and do nothing to further the romance, or story arc. Valenzuela was just background noise to me. I didn’t take him seriously and, in fact, rolled my eyes every time something about him was mentioned.
Rowena: OMG, same about Valenzuela. So his little minions did what they did, kidnapped Millie and he just…lets her go? He’s that untouchable that he’s not worried about loose ends, Millie running her mouth? Everything? [insert another eye roll here]. I didn’t understand it, I didn’t care for it and I was really hoping that this thread would run its course and end in this book, but I guess not.
Holly: And the book seriously went on forever. I kept wondering when it was going to end.
Rowena: How many times did I text you, asking when this book was going to end? I lost count because this book was so freaking long but that will not stop me from inhaling the next book in this series.
I’m mighty curious about who’s next. Are we going to get a book from Snapper? Hound? When the hell will we be getting more Rush? I want more Rush dammit!
Holly: I don’t know who she’s going to write about next, but I really want more focus on Rush. I kind of wonder if this thing with Valenzuela isn’t going to be the push for Rush since he wants the club totally out of everything.
Rowena: My eyes about popped out of my face when I read about Hound’s feelings for [dot, dot, dot] because wow, I wonder if they’re going to tackle that in a future book. What do you think?
Holly: I don’t know about Hound and the other. It seems like Ashley was setting that up. I don’t know how I feel about it though. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Rowena: Overall, I enjoyed this book. There’s a great deal of love, romance and a bunch of other shit that goes on and on but through it all, this book was enjoyable. I forgave everyone for acting a fool where Millie was concerned, I thought the bit with High’s kids was well written.
Holly: There were some frustrations with both Millie and High, particularly their lack of communication, but overall I enjoyed their romance. Ashley excels at writing stories I fall right into, and this was no exception. Though I wish it had ended sooner.
Rowena: What would you grade this one? It was a 3.5 read for me.
Holly: I’m going to say 2.75-3. I can’t decide if all the frustration I had pulls it down a quarter star or not.
Holly: 2.75-3.0 out of 5
Rowena: 3.5 out of 5