Tag: Chaos MC

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

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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

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Review: Ride Steady by Kristen Ashley

Posted July 21, 2015 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Ride Steady by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Rowena
Ride Steady by Kristen Ashley
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: June 30th 2015
Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Suspense
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 . . .

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).

Huh?

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

This book is available from Forever. You can purchase it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

four-half-stars

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Guest Review: Ride Steady by Kristen Ashley

Posted July 16, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Ride Steady by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Tracy
Ride Steady by Kristen Ashley
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: June 30th 2015
Genres: Contemporary
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 . . .

Tracy’s review of Ride Steady (Chaos #3) by Kristen Ashley

Carson had a crappy home life growing up with his dad beating him and treating him like a slave. He was thought of as the loner/loser kid at school. He had a crush on a cheerleader named Carissa who was nice to him but he knew that he could never date her. When he was just months away from his 18th birthday he finally decided to fight back when his father came at him. He knocked his dad flat and left town. Now he’s back and part of the Chaos MC and his road name is Joker. He designs and builds cars for the Chaos business and he loves what he does. When he stops to help a woman with a baby on the side of the highway he’s shocked when he realizes it’s his HS crush, Carissa.

Carissa hasn’t had a fabulous life either. Her sister was killed when she was young then her mother died when she was 17. Her father is around but he lives with her grandmother who has Alzheimer’s so she doesn’t see him often. All through HS Carissa dated Aaron and then eventually married him and had a baby. Aaron is a complete asshole and not only cheated on Carissa but then kicked her to the curb when she was still pregnant with their son, Travis. When Carissa meets the MC member, Joker, she’s immediately attracted to him and tries to pay him back for the kindness he did her on the highway. What starts as just an acquaintance soon turns in to much more.

This was a really great book. I loved both of the main characters as well as a ton of the secondary characters as well. There were some characters brought in from other series that confused the hell outta me cuz it seemed that the author assumed we’d know who they were but I didn’t have a clue. That was kind of annoying.

The relationship between Carson and Carissa was awesome. They were each trying to heal the other in their own way and I could feel the love between them almost immediately – even though they didn’t mention love for quite a while in the book. They had incredible communication and that paired the angst down considerably. She helped him live life again and deal with his childhood and he helped her grow stronger in dealing with her ex-husband.

I adored how Carson was with baby Travis. He immediately took to the child and was so good with him. We learned that he had taken care of kids in the 7 years he was gone as a way to get his rent down and that explained his comfort level with Travis. Travis was a great little baby character – only 8 months old but a stinker when it came to slapping people upside the head. lol I kept waiting for Carissa to tell him not to hit but that never happened. J

Such a good book! I really liked it a lot (which I’m really happy about since I didn’t care for book 2 at all). I’m very much looking forward to High’s book in October!

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

This title is available from Forever. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

four-half-stars

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