Tag: A Chaos Novel

Review: Walk Through Fire by Kristen Ashley

Posted August 8, 2016 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Walk Through Fire by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Holly
Walk Through Fire by Kristen Ashley
Series: Chaos MC #4
Also in this series: Own the Wind, Ride Steady, Walk Through Fire, Walk Through Fire
Published by Forever
Publication Date: October 27th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 624
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

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 . . .

This series has been hit and miss for me. Some I loved while others were just eh. I wasn’t sure what to expect from Walk Through Fire since High wasn’t my favorite character in past books. I didn’t dislike him, but I didn’t love him either.

High and Millie were together for three years. They met at a party and were inseparable after that first meeting. They both knew, right from the beginning, that they were it. There was no one else for either of them. Until Mill just cut High off one day and disappeared from his life. Twenty years later she sees him in a Chipotle and decides it’s time to make things right with him. She tracks him down to a motorcycle club event and they end up having sex, though it meant something totally different for High than it did for Millie.

They end up circling around each other for several weeks after that, until they come to a head the night the Club turns on Millie and the reason for her sudden breakup with him comes out. Then Millie takes off for Paris for two weeks and High realizes he’s been an ass and decides to fix what he broke.

Here’s the thing about this book: The first half was pretty great. I totally believed that Logan and Millie loved each other back in the day. I even believed that their love was the GREAT ONE and there was no one else for either of them (strictly speaking in terms of soul mates). What I didn’t buy for a single second was 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.

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) their 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.

But whatever. I could have gotten past that. 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?

There were some minor frustrations with both Mille and High, particularly their lack of communication, but I enjoyed parts of the story. Ashley excels at writing stories I fall right into, and this was no exception, at lest for the first half.

2.75 out of 5

three-stars

Joint Review: Walk Through Fire by Kristen Ashley

Posted November 13, 2015 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Joint Review: Walk Through Fire by Kristen AshleyReviewer: 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
Pages: 624
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

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.

Rowena: Same.

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.

Final grades

Holly: 2.75-3.0 out of 5
Rowena: 3.5 out of 5

three-stars

Guest Review: Walk Through Fire by Kristen Ashley

Posted November 5, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Walk Through Fire by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Tracy
Walk Through Fire by Kristen Ashley
Series: Chaos MC #4
Also in this series: Own the Wind, Ride Steady, Walk Through Fire, Walk Through Fire
Published by Forever
Publication Date: October 27, 2015
Genres: Contemporary
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

 

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 . . .

When Millie was just 18 years old she met Logan at a party. He was direct and immediately asked her out on a date. She accepted and from that point on they were inseparable – staying together for the next three years. Millie then, out of the blue, told Logan what she truly felt about bikers and he walked away. She really didn’t feel that way but was trying to get Logan to walk away and he did.

It’s now 20 years later and Millie happens to see Logan in a Chipotle. She runs at that time but when she thinks about it she feels she needs to come clean about what exactly happened 20 years ago. She ends up at a bike rally but when she runs into Logan they end up going back to his RV to fuck before she can tell him anything. When they’re done – before she can even catch her breath – he kicks her out and she realizes that treating her like shit is his way of getting back at her. Unfortunately Millie and Logan continue this horrid treatment of each other for the next couple of weeks until Millie finally breaks down and tells Logan what the real reasons for their break up were. When he finds out he’s upset that he didn’t find out the reasons back then but it changes everything and soon Millie and Logan are back to being the lovebirds they once were.

Logan was married for 13 years and has two daughters that he wants Millie to meet. They are 12 and 10 years old and taking the divorce pretty hard but he knows they’re sweet girls and will accept Millie. One of them does but the other wants nothing to do with her and creates problems. On top of that an enemy of the Chaos MC starts to go after Millie and Logan’s not happy about it.

This story was a good one but certainly, as far as my tastes run, not my fave in the series. Probably my second to least favorite (Lanie and Hops story was my least favorite).

The first part of the book was really good. I didn’t like the games that Millie and Logan were playing with each other but I understood and was pulling for them. They pretty much resolved their relationship by about the 45% mark in the book. The rest, imho, was just filler. The issues with Benito Valenzuela and Logan’s daughters were interesting but truly not integral to the story. If the story would have ended at the 50% mark in the book I would have thought this was a great short novel.

Logan is the typical alpha hero in Ashley’s books. Protective and possessive which is never a bad thing. He talks like all the other bikers in Chaos which is annoying but tolerable. He gave a lot of mini speeches throughout the book that made him seem “oh so wise” snort and those got old but he was a good guy overall.

Millie is a broken woman at the beginning but comes into her own throughout the book. She, unfortunately also talked like a Chaos biker and that annoyed the hell out of me. In fact every single character in the book talked like a Chaos biker and quite frankly I’m not sure how Millie or anyone else ran a successful business talking like that. I found it incredibly frustrating that every character sounded the same to me!

In the end while I liked the book I didn’t love it by any means. I love the men of the Chaos MC and how they welcomed Millie back in to the fold after believing her to be a complete bitch for the past 20 years. They realized their mistake – which was a completely understandable one – and admitted it. Ya gotta love that. I will be reading the next book in the series because come on, it’s Chaos!

Rating: 3/3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars

Review: Ride Steady by Kristen Ashley

Posted June 30, 2015 by Holly in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Ride Steady by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Holly
Ride Steady by Kristen Ashley
Series: Chaos MC #3
Also in this series: Own the Wind, Ride Steady, Ride Steady, Walk Through Fire, Walk Through Fire, Walk Through Fire
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: June 30th 2015
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Suspense, Action & Adventure, Contemporary Women
Pages: 640
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

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 . . .

This series has been hit and miss for me. I really loved Own the Wind, but Fire Inside was kind of a flop. I went into this one with some trepidation, but I ended up really liking it.

Carson “Joker” Steele grew up in a shit home with a shithead, abusive father and no mother. For years he put up with the abuse until just before high school graduation when he couldn’t take it anymore and bolted. The one bright spot in his life was Carissa Deotoro. The head cheerleader and homecoming queen was way out of his league, but she was always kind to him and often took his back. On the day he left, she was the last person he saw and she reached out to him.

The years since have been good to Joker. He’s now a member of the Chaos Motorcycle Club, lead designer for custom builds in their garage and, in general, free to live his life. Sadly the same can’t be said for Carissa.

She married her high school boyfriend and spent a good number of years thinking they were happy. Until she was a few months pregnant with their first kid and he confessed to cheating on her and kicked her to the curb. For months he’s been doing everything he can to make her life miserable, including refusing to pay child support and pushing back their court dates. She’s broke, heartbroken and stuck on the highway with a flat when Joker rides to the rescue.

He recognizes her immediately, but she doesn’t realize it’s him. Still, she’s grateful for his help and bakes him a pie to say thanks. When she shows up at Ride, the Chaos MC’s garage, he avoids her. She doesn’t understand why, and feels hurt, until strange things start happening thanks to the club. Suddenly her car has new tires, a new transmission and runs better than it has in years; she’s got a new, more affordable babysitter; a house in a beautiful, safe neighborhood suddenly comes available at a price she can afford; and best of all, she has the city’s most expensive law firm representing her against her ex . She knows Joker is responsible. What she doesn’t know is why.

Joke wants Carissa to have the beautiful life she once wished on him. To that end, he pushes his brothers to help her in every way they can. In turn, they push him to claim her as his own. He knows he isn’t good enough for her, but eventually he can’t stop himself from going after her anyway. The problem is Carissa is already suspicious of her sudden turn of good fortune, and Joker kind of forgot to confess his real name.

I loved the relationship between Carissa and Joker. They both had some issues from their pasts, Joker felt like he wasn’t good enough and Carissa struggled with her self -esteem and body image, but they worked together and had an open, honest relationship. I especially loved the way Joker was with Carissa’s infant son, Travis. He jumped right in. It was adorable.

My main issue with the story – and I admit it was a minor one – was Joker’s reaction when Carissa finally realized she knew him from high school. He knew he was wrong to keep it from her, something he discussed with others, yet he made her feel bad when she was understandably upset. Her initial reaction may have been over the top, but she was right to be angry and he completely minimized that.

That aside, I really liked Carissa. She started off kind of timid and almost beaten, but she really came into her own. Lost lost her baby sister and her mother before she was 17, so she was desperate to hold on to her family, which meant she ignored a lot of her ex’s bad behavior.

Ashley’s writing can be over-the-top, but the editing here was really well done. It had her signature style and flare, but lacked a lot of the clunky info dumps and unnecessary descriptions. While parts of the story frustrated me, I loved how all the conflicts were resolved by open communication. I also loved how, once they committed, Joke and Carissa were a solid team.

Ashley delivers another engaging, compelling read. I can’t name the indefinably quality her novels possess that make them so readable and enjoyable, but this one has it.

4 out of 5

four-half-stars

Review: Own the Wind: A Chaos Novel by Kristen Ashley

Posted October 15, 2013 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Own the Wind: A Chaos Novel by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Holly
Own the Wind by Kristen Ashley
Series: Chaos MC #1
Also in this series: Ride Steady, Ride Steady, Ride Steady, Walk Through Fire, Walk Through Fire, Walk Through Fire
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: April 28th 2015
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Suspense, Contemporary Women
Pages: 448
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Too hot to handle . . .
Tabitha Allen grew up in the thick of Chaos-the Chaos Motorcycle Club, that is. Her father is Chaos' leader, and the club has always had her back. But one rider was different from the start. When Tabby was running wild, Shy Cage was there. When tragedy tore her life apart, he helped her piece it back together. And now, Tabby's thinking about much more than friendship . . .
Tabby is everything Shy's ever wanted, but everything he thinks he can't have. She's beautiful, smart, and as his friend's daughter, untouchable. Shy never expected more than friendship, so when Tabby indicates she wants more-much more-he feels like the luckiest man alive. But even lucky men can crash and burn . . .

Holly‘s review of Own the Wind: A Chaos Novel (Chaos, Book 1) by Kristen Ashley

For years, Tabitha Allen had a crush on Shy Cage, one of the members of her father’s motorcycle club. He never looked at her, though. Partly because she was the daughter of his friend, but mostly because she was too young. When she was 16, Tabby started dating the wrong guy and Shy was there to see the fallout. Ever since, he’s had a bad opinion of her. When she’s 19 he rescues her from a house party (not that she needs rescuing, but he doesn’t know that) and he makes even more assumptions about her. He decides he needs to teach her a lesson so she’ll get on the right path. Unfortunately for both of them, he goes too far and she ends up avoiding him for the next four years.

When tragedy strikes, Shy is surprisingly the one Tab turns to. He helps her pick up the pieces and they form a tight bond. All along Shy wants more, but Tabby isn’t in a place to go there. When she finally is, what they have is beautiful and right. But nothing is ever easy, and Shy hooking up with his leader’s daughter is a big deal to more than just her dad…

I really enjoyed this book. I was concerned Tabby and Shy were too young to have a book. She’s first introduced in Motorcycle Man, the fourth book in Ashley’s Dream Man series. She was 16 in that book. This one picks up a few years later, and the story spans several years. She’s in her 20’s by the time we get to the meat of the story. Ashley did a great job showing growth and maturity from both Shy and Tabby.

Shy had hidden depths. His family was murdered when he was younger and he lost all the love and stability he prized as a child. Now his only blood family is his younger brother. Chaos has become his family, and that includes Tabby. He screwed up by treating her harshly when she was younger and now she avoids him at all costs, but he can’t deny he cares about her and craves more from her than a cold shoulder. When he gets his chance to befriend her, he jumps on it. I think this was one of the things that made Shy so easy to relate to. Yes, he was a badass biker dude. But he was also kind and compassionate, and not afraid to stand strong for Tab when she needed him to.

Tab was kind of mess for the first 1/2 of the book, which was understandable given the tragedy she suffered. I liked that she matured over the course of the novel. The pace of the romance is slow – they don’t immediately jump into a relationship – and I thought that worked well with Tab’s past.  That she was willing to battle for her relationship with Shy showed her in a really good light. My favorite scene of the book is where Tabby confronts her stepmother, Tyra (the heroine of Motorcycle Man).

“How dare you?” I asked.
“Pardon?” she asked back, but quietly.
“How dare you think you deserve to know who I’m sleeping with when I want to keep that private, between him and me, be happy for a little while, just get used to him, the relationship we’re building, the life we’re going to share? How dare you think that is not my choice to make but it’s yours or Dad’s or anybody’s? How dare you not take my calls like you’re putting me in the naughty corner when Dad’s pissed, on a rampage, and something this important is on the line? And how dare you sit there and act like I owe you pieces of me that are not yours to own unless I deem them something I wish to share, like who’s in my bed?”

She ended up being fierce and independent, but also sweet and fun to read about. I liked that the main conflict came from the way the club reacted to her relationship with Shy. I also liked that their relationship developed slowly, with them being friends first and more later.

There is a bit of excess here. The parts with Natalie, Tab’s girl, were rather silly. I also thought the bit at the end could have been skipped. But overall I found it to be an emotionally compelling read. I was wrapped up in it from page one. Ashley is easy to become addicted to.

4.25 out of 5

This book is available from Forever. You can buy it here or here in e-format. The e-book is available now. The print version will be available in June.

This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.

four-half-stars