Tag: Colorado Mountains

Sunday Spotlight: Bounty by Kristen Ashley

Posted September 25, 2016 by Rowena in Features, Giveaways | 3 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we’re running in 2016. Each week, we will spotlight a release we’re excited about. We’ll be posting exclusive excerpts and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

Kristen Ashley is a popular author here on Book Binge. Holly binge reads her stuff numerous times a year and I’m a fan of the Colorado Mountain series so even though this is an older release (came out earlier this year) we still wanted to feature this book on the blog.

bounty

Bounty by Kristen Ashley
Series: Colorado Mountains #7
Released on April 18, 2016 by Kristen Ashley

Pre-Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || KOBO

Justice Lonesome has enjoyed a life of bounty.

Even so, she’s inherited the curse of the Lonesome. A poet’s soul. Which means she’s still searching for something. Searching for peace. Searching for the less…that’s more.

And when the foundation of her life is pulled out from under her, grieving, she goes to the mountains to find her oasis. She hits Carnal, Colorado and decides to stay.

Deke Hightower lost everything at the age of two. He lost it again at fifteen. His life has not been about bounty. It’s been about learning to live with less, because there’s no way to get more.

Deke’s also watched all his friends go down to the women who gave them what they needed. He wants that for himself. But he knows that search isn’t going to be easy because he’s a rider. His home is the road. That’s the only place he can breathe. And the woman who takes her place at his side has to do it sitting on the back of his bike.

When Deke meets Justice, he knows she’s not that woman. She’s cute. She’s sweet. And she’s into him, but she’s got it all and Deke knows he won’t fit into that. So he holds her at arm’s length. Establishes boundaries. And Justice will take it because she wants Deke any way he’ll let her have him.

But when Justice finds herself a pawn in a dangerous game, Deke makes a decision.

When he does, he has no idea he’s just opened himself up to bounty.

Jus is still reeling from some drama and our guy Deke is around to comfort her…

Excerpt

“Jus.”

Deke’s voice carved into the perverse, bitter sick my brother and his mother stirred up in me and I lifted my gaze, twisted my neck and looked to his face.

He was not close.

But he was concerned.

And that concern undid me.

I turned fully to him, dropped my head and fell forward.

He was not near and then he was, right there for me to collide with as everything pressed into me. So much, I couldn’t hold it back, and the tears came.

He wrapped his arms around me as he stepped farther into me so he could hold me close.

That was when I started sobbing. My body shaking with it, automatically burrowing into his heat, his solidity, his bulk, all Deke.

His arms tightened.

“I miss him,” I whispered into Deke’s chest through a hitch.

The words with that hitch barely sounded before I felt Deke’s hand glide up my spine and tangle in my hair.

“Get it out, Jussy,” he murmured, his words stirring the strands at the top of my head so I knew he was bent to me.

Deke.

Fuck me, Deke.

“My brother’s a p-p-piece of shit,” I pushed out through the tears.

Deke’s arm around me got tighter and the tips of fingers started stroking the side of my ribs.

Even this did not make me feel better. In fact this—all that was Deke enveloping all that was me—made it better at the same time so much worse.

“He’s contesting the…the will,” I shared.

Deke said nothing.

I kept crying.

It came to me slowly that I was pressed hard to him and had my hands clenched into his tee at the back. I felt the damp material against my cheek and knew how many tears had leaked and that Deke took them from me.

I also knew he was being cool, a nice guy, because that was who he was.

But I couldn’t let this go on.

So I pulled my shit together, unclenched my hands and smoothed the shirt before I dropped them to his waist and tipped my head back.

“Sorry.”

Lamentably, he took my cue and let me go.

Incredibly, he didn’t do this completely.

He put his hands on either side of my neck and bent close so his face was a couple of inches from mine.

“Think, from what you’ve told me, you get that times get bad. Hope, Jussy, you also get that those times pass. Whatever’s happening, this will pass.”

Jussy.

Shit.

I nodded because that was all I could do.

“Sorry, I…well, your shirt’s all wet,” I said, taking one hand from him to wipe my face.

“It’ll dry.”

I nodded again.

His fingers curled around my neck gave me a gentle squeeze.

“You good?”

I was not.

I gave him another nod anyway.

His eyes moved over my face and I knew he knew that nod was an inaudible lie but he didn’t call me on it.
He just said quietly, “Good,” gave me another squeeze and dropped his left hand.

But with his right, he lifted it up and I held my breath because I thought he was going to touch my face, dry a tear, something.

Instead, he raised it to the top of my head and tousled my hair before he gave me another close look, turned and walked away.

Shit, Deke comforted me then tousled my hair like I was his little sister.

Shit.

I didn’t like that.

But it was kind and it was sweet and it came from Deke.

So as was becoming my lot, I’d take it.

So sweet!

Not nearly enough though, we need more!

Colorado Mountains

Giveaway: We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

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Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About the Author

KristenAshley

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | PINTEREST | INSTAGRAM

Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA. She nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorise and she hadn’t taken her first breath!).

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana but has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write.

Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multi-generational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland and existed amongst the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.


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Review: Jagged by Kristen Ashley

Posted June 5, 2014 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Rowena’s review of Jagged (Colorado Mountain #5) by Kristen Ashley.

An old flame rekindled . . .

Zara Cinders always knew Ham Reece was the one, but he wasn’t interested in settling down. When she found someone who was, Ham walked out of her life. Three years later, Zara’s lost her business, her marriage, and she’s barely getting by in a tiny apartment on the wrong side of the tracks. As soon as Ham hears about Zara’s plight, he’s on her doorstep offering her a lifeline. Now, it will take every ounce of will power she possesses to resist all that he offers.

Ham was always a traveling man, never one to settle down in one town, with one woman, for more time than absolutely necessary. But Ham’s faced his own demons, and he’s learned a lot. About himself, and about the life he knows he’s meant to live. So when he hears that Zara’s having a rough time, he wants to be the one to help. In fact, he wants to do more than that for Zara. A lot more. But first, he must prove to Zara that he’s a changed man.

Both Holly and Ames are crazy about Kristen Ashley books and while I have liked every single book that I’ve read by her, I’m not obsessed with her the way that they are.  In this series, I’ve only read The Gamble. Max was delicious but for some reason, his book didn’t move me to continue the series but when I came across Jagged, I thought, “Why not?”

This book had its moments of goodness but it’s not my favorite of Ashley’s books.

One of the things that stood out for me in this book was Graham’s nickname.  Ham.  I’m sorry but when I’m reading about two people getting it on and one of their names is Ham, I’m not thinking of a sexy man but of Christmas dinner.  And his nickname for Zara?  He calls her cookie. WTF? Now, I’m thinking about Oreos.

Aside from their names, this book had a solid story.  Graham and Zara used to have a thing but Ham wasn’t the settling down type so they went their separate ways and now Zara is back in town, down on her luck and Ham wants to help her out.  That seems to happen a lot in Kristen Ashley books.  The heroine is down on her luck, having been dealt a shit hand and then the hero comes along and alpha’s his way into her life and with his help (because of course, they’re strong and capable of taking care of themselves), her life turns around.  It must be all of the hot sexy times they have.  I do like that KA heroines are not the simpering damsels in distress that romance novel heroines are assumed to be.  They’re the kind of women that deal with shit.  They keep right on trucking along, trying to fix their lives instead of dwelling on things that they shouldn’t be dwelling on.

This book was good, the romance was steamy but for some reason, I’m not even sure why, it didn’t hold up for me as much as the other books that I’ve read by this author.  Something was missing and well, that sucked.  I’m sure that fans of the author will like this book and I still want to continue the series so that’s something.  It just wasn’t my favorite.

Grade: 2.5 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.


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Book Club ( + a Giveaway): Sweet Dreams by Kristen Ashley

Posted July 19, 2013 by Holly in Features | 20 Comments

BookClubOur book club pick for July is Sweet Dreams by Kristen Ashley. This is the second book in her Colorado Mountain series, but can be read as a standalone since none of the characters from this book were introduced in the first, The Gamble. The book was first self-published, but has recently been picked up by Grand Central Publishing’s Forever imprint.

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Lauren Grahame has spent her whole life thinking something special was going to happen. She didn’t know what it was, she just knew it would one day be hers. But she learned the hard way that special wasn’t on offer.

So, after divorcing her cheating husband, Lauren searched for nothing special and she thought she found it when she landed a job as a waitress in a biker bar in Carnal. It was perfect: a nothing job in a nowhere bar in Nowheresville.

Then Tatum Jackson walked in. Part-owner of the bar, he took one look at high-class Lauren and wanted nothing to do with her. And he made this known, loudly.

Tate’s angry insults seared in her brain, Lauren decides the feeling is mutual and she doesn’t want anything to do with the gloriously handsome Tate Jackson. The clash of the bartender and barmaid begins but, even though Tate makes his change of mind clear (in biker-speak, a language Lauren is not fluent in), Lauren is intent on going her own way.

Until a serial killer hits Carnal and Lauren finds out Tate isn’t a bartender, he’s a bounty hunter. He stakes his claim for Lauren before he goes on the hunt for a killer but Laurie doesn’t speak biker nor does she understand bounty hunters and Tate comes back from the hunt to find his old lady has moved on.

Life throws curveball after curveball at Laurie and Tate. As secrets are revealed, women are brutally murdered, and Lauren tries to find her inner biker babe.

*I tried to keep this post as spoiler free as possible. You should have no problem reading it. The comments are open to spoilers, however, so read those at your own risk. 

There’s a lot going on in this book. One of the things Ashley really needed was an editor who could help her cull out some of the ridiculous excess in her stories. But sentence structure and info dumps aside, her writing is very compelling. It’s easy to fall into her world and become wrapped up in the lives of the characters.

While I struggled with many aspects of the story, I admit I couldn’t stop reading. The more I read the more I wanted to read. Part of the appeal of this particular book is Lauren’s personal journey. I don’t think Tate changed or grew much during the course of the book. What we saw in the beginning was what we closed the book with. But Lauren kind of came out of her shell. She was understandably devastated when she realized her husband had had an affair for years with her best friend. After the divorce she took off and had wandered aimlessly in her car. When she lands in Carnal she thought she’d found a good place to land. There was nothing special in town and a job waitressing at a bar was anything but. As she settles in, however, she really opens up. She comes into her own and starts collecting friends and relationships along the way.

One of the thing I loved best about Lauren was that she was a mature, older woman. There were a few times she acted silly, but for the most part she was decisive in her thoughts and opinions. There wasn’t a lot of teenage angst or silly dramatics with her. That’s pretty unconventional in today’s romance market.

As much as Tate frustrated me in the beginning, I admit I loved him. He had a tendency to fly off the handle and say thing he didn’t mean when he was angry, but at his core he was a strong man. He like Laurie for herself, attitude and all.

There was a lot of background noise in this book. A serial killer on the loose, Laurie’s ex-husband showing back up in her life, Tate’s ex, her relationship with Tate’s ex’s brother, her family, his friends, the townsfolk, etc. While I think Ashley did  a good job of incorporating each part into the story, many of the things were unnecessary. Especially the serial killer thing. It was pretty over-the-top.

Was this your first Kristen Ashley book? If not, which did you start with?

Would you read her again?

What did you think of the novel?

Did you enjoy Laurie and Tate?

What were some of your favorite aspects of the novel?

What were some of your least favorite?

I think Ashley is a love-her-or-hate-her author. It seems to be all or nothing with readers. I can see the flaws in her writing and struggle with many things in her novels, but I can’t stop reading her. I binged on her a few months ago and I haven’t really stopped.

If you haven’t had a chance to try her yet, or you just want to read this book but haven’t done so, Forever has offered us 15 digital copies of the book to giveaway!
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Spoiler Warning The comments are open to spoilers. Read at your own risk! Spoiler Warning

 


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July Book Club Pick!

Posted June 9, 2013 by Holly in Features | 4 Comments

We took a break in June from the Book Club because we’re working on a redesign and didn’t have the time to dedicate to it. But we’ll be starting it back up in July.

Our theme for July is DFRAT (Digital-First Read-a-Thon), so we chose a book that was published in digital first. We’re going to read Sweet Dreams by Kristen Ashley.

She’s ready for the ride of her life . . .

Lauren Grahame is looking to reinvent herself. After leaving her cheating husband, Lauren moves to Carnal, Colorado, and gets a job as a waitress in a biker bar called Bubba’s. It’s a nothing job in a nowhere joint . . . until Tatum Jackson walks in. Lauren has never seen a man with such good looks, muscles, and attitude. But when he insults her, Lauren doesn’t want anything to do with him. Too bad for Lauren he’s also the bar’s part owner and bartender.

When the rough-around-the-edges Tate meets the high-class Lauren, he thinks she won’t fit in at Bubba’s. Yet there’s more to Lauren than meets the eye, and Tate soon sets his mind on claiming her as his own. Before long, the desire burning between them is heating up the cold mountain air. But when violence strikes the town, Tate must reveal a dark secret to Lauren-one that may put an end to their sweet dreams.

This book was originally self-published in e-format and was recently picked up by Forever. It’s on sale for $3.79.

Buy it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Kobo.

 


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Review: The Gamble by Kristen Ashley

Posted January 4, 2013 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: The Gamble by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Holly
The Gamble by Kristen Ashley
Series: Colorado Mountain #1
Also in this series: Jagged, Kaleidoscope, Sweet Dreams, Sweet Dreams
Publisher: Self-Published, Forever
Publication Date: April 18, 2011
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Romantic Suspense, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 629
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Nina Sheridan desperately needs a timeout vacation. With a fiancé who can't even remember how she takes her coffee, Nina wants some distance to rethink her engagement. Flying halfway around the world from England to a mountain town in Colorado should do the trick. But when she finds a gorgeous man at her rental cabin, Nina's cold, lonely adventure suddenly heats up.

The owner of the house, Holden "Max" Maxwell is surprised by the beautiful woman who turns up at his door. But when Nina becomes ill, Max spends days nursing her back to health. A private man with a broken heart, Max finds himself drawn to the strong-willed woman. Soon it becomes impossible for Nina and Max to deny their growing attraction to one another. Yet even as these two wounded lovebirds think about taking a chance on a relationship, a dangerous secret from Max's past emerges-and threatens to end their love for good.

I really liked this book, despite the lack of editing. And trust me, that’s a huge thing considering the lack of editing is really noticeable. First, this book showed up as over 1400 pages on my Nook. I’m pretty sure that was a formatting error, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that really was the right number. These books seems to drag on forever. Especially the 300 page epilogues. Cripes.

Aside from that, the main characters and the town of Gnaw Bone, CO.  really grew on me. Nina and Max had major chemistry and their banter was fun and witty. I enjoyed Nina’s personal journey as well as the romance between the two. The story is really engaging. That Nina shows up from England expecting a relaxing vacation and gets an unwanted roommate, an illness, ex-girlfriend and family drama is hilarious. The town came alive slowly, but I grew just as attached to the residents as Nina did.

The mystery plot was pretty meh. I’m not sure why Ashley includes them. The story would have been much better (and SHORTER!) without.  They all seem to follow the same formula, which gets old after awhile. Plus, the villains are always pretty easy to figure out.

Skipping those parts, this is a story I’ll re-read again and again.

Rating: 4 out of 5

This book, and several of Ashley’s others, were picked up recently by Grand Central Publishing. I’m hoping this means they’ll finally be edited. (fingers – and toes – crossed)

Colorado Mountain

four-stars


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