Tag: Kristen Ashley

PSA: Authors, Don’t Spoil It!

Posted October 31, 2017 by Holly in Discussions | 1 Comment

For years friends have been trying to talk me into watching Game of Thrones. My husband and I binge-watch shows regularly, but neither of us were really that interested in GoT. Finally, Ames and Rowena talked me into starting it.

Normally I’m all about spoilers. I don’t mind if I see or hear things about a show I’m currently watching or plan to watch (or books I’m reading or plan to read). My husband, on the other hand, hates spoilers. He won’t even watch the next episode preview because he doesn’t want to know.

We both went into GoT without really knowing anything about it. I didn’t pay attention to any of the posts about it over the years and neither did my husband. So I figured, what the hell, there are a lot of twists and turns, I’m going to avoid all spoilers. Y’all, it’s hard avoiding spoilers when you’re 6 seasons behind in a series and the current season finale is just airing, but I managed. I didn’t see a single thing that spoiled who lives and who dies, what intrigues were afoot, or anything else. It was like we were watching it in real time.

Until I read The Time in Between by Kristen Ashley. My husband and I had just finished Season 2, but there was a major spoiler for something that happens at the end of Season 3.

The spoiler was a huge one, detailing the events of one of the major events in the show (what happens at the end of “The Rains of Castamere” episode, aka The Red Wedding). And it was just casually mentioned on page as a throwaway comment. The hero and heroine were watching the show and bam, the hero throws out a major spoiler, no big deal (except it was a big deal, y’all! It really was).

Authors, please don’t spoil real-life shows in your fiction books. When I whined about this on Twitter, someone said “To be fair, that spoiler is four seasons old”. 1) I don’t care. A spoiler is a spoiler. 2) The show is still running, so there are a lot of people just starting it. 3) I avoided spoilers like the plague only to be innocently blindsided while reading a novel, ffs. That is not okay.

So, once again, here’s a friendly PSA from your local book blogger: AUTHORS, DON’T SPOIL REAL LIFE SHOWS IN YOUR FICTION NOVELS!

via GIPHY


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Review: The Time in Between by Kristen Ashley

Posted October 25, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: The Time in Between by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Holly
The Time in Between (Magdalene, #3) by Kristen Ashley
Series: Magdalene #3
Also in this series: The Will, Soaring
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: August 29, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 563
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

After a painful loss, Cady Moreland is coming to Magdalene to start the next chapter of her life. A chapter that began eighteen years ago but had a heartbreaking ending. The time in between was full of family and friendship, but Cady could never get the man she fell in love with all those years ago out of her heart.

Coert Yeager has learned to live without the girl who entered his life right when she shouldn’t and exited delivering a crippling blow he never would have suspected. The time in between was full of failing to find what he was missing…and life-altering betrayal.

But when that girl shows up in Magdalene and buys the town’s beloved lighthouse, even if Coert wants to avoid her, he can’t. A fire in town sparks a different kind of flame that won’t be ignored.

As Cady and Coert question the actions of the two young adults they once were thrown into earth-shattering circumstances, can they learn from what came in between and find each other again?

I’ve been anxiously awaiting The Time in Between! I really enjoyed the first two books and I couldn’t wait for Ashley to get back to the town of Magdalene, Maine. This is a second-chance love story and I ate up the first half of the romance. Sadly, the second half of the book kind of fizzled. They reconciled and were fully committed to each other by the 45% mark. The other 55% was just them living their lives. I don’t mind a bit of “after the HEA” in a novel, but when more than half the book is dedicated to them brushing their teeth, eating, going to work and just hanging out? Well…it was kind of boring. I liked catching up with the other couples and the residents of Magdalene, and I enjoyed watching Coert and Cady settle in to each other, but I’d have liked it more if it didn’t’ go on for so long.

There are two things I want to comment on. 1) in Kristen Ashley’s world, there can’t be an HEA unless there are kids. If the heroine is too old to have her own (as is often the case since she tends to write heroines in their 40s), then the hero conveniently has one or two of his own that she has to mother. Or, if he doesn’t, there’s always a miracle baby (or two) that the heroine gets pregnant with at the end. I would really love to see just one book where kids aren’t needed to make it all complete.

2) Ashley writes complicated relationships really well. In most of her novels there’s an evil ex who proceeds to make the hero(ine)’s life hell. 99% of the time those evil exes are redeemed in the end, at least partially. I really love this aspect of her novels. Too often the cardboard ex is cast as the villain and that’s that. Not so with Ashley. Even the true assholes are often multifaceted. Twice in this novel we saw characters in a different light. I really enjoyed that.

Anyway, while there was some truly great parts to this book, the majority of them happened before the halfway mark. The romance and angst in the beginning didn’t make up for the slow second half.

3.25 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Bookish Thoughts: Series Obsession, Kristen Ashley and Print Reading

Posted January 12, 2017 by Holly in Discussions, Features | 13 Comments


I binge-read Ilona Andrews’ backlist in November. I took a break from F/UF/Sci-Fi for a couple years, so I’m pretty behind when it comes to some popular authors. My latest obsession is the Innkeeper Chronicles. I’m totally in love with Dina, Gertrude Hunt, Sean Evans and the entire world. Now that One Fell Sweep is out, I have no idea what to do with my life.

ComplicatedKristen Ashley is releasing a new BDSM erotic romance series with St. Martin’s. The Honey Series revolves around The Honey Club, a BDSM club and features her typical alpha-males. Book one, The Deep End, releases in March. Although I’m a huge Ashley fan and her books really work for me, I’m on the fence about this new series. Part of it is my aversion to BDSM novels, but a larger part is, I think, the idea of Ashley doing erotic BDSM. I’m jonseing for a new release from her, which is why this is on my mind. Do you plan to read it? She also has an audiobook exclusive releasing in May. Complicated will be available only in audio. I’m not a fan of audiobooks, but I’m kind of tempted by it.

Fire TouchedFire Touched is out in MMP this month. Both the Mercy Thompson and Alpha and Omega series are fabulous, but I don’t own them in print, because as with Ilona Andrews, I came late to the Briggs party. Even though I’ve been downsizing my print collection, I feel a compulsive desire to purchase Fire Touched – and the rest of the series – in print for my personal library. Since my J.D. Robb collection is gone, I have shelf space. But I already own them in digital and I doubt I’ll ever read them in print. I just want them because they look pretty.

 

 

In November I gave a book from Linda Howard’s backlist away in our Monthly Reads giveaway. The winner said she couldn’t choose and asked us to pick one for her. How are we supposed to do that? Do we go for a classic goodie like Duncan’s Bride, or a thriller like Heart of Fire? That’s like asking us to choose our favorite kid. Which book would you choose?

 


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Sunday Spotlight: Bounty by Kristen Ashley

Posted September 25, 2016 by Rowena in Features | 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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Lightning Review: Midnight Soul by Kristen Ashley

Posted September 19, 2016 by Holly in Reviews | 5 Comments

Lightning Review: Midnight Soul by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Holly
Midnight Soul by Kristen Ashley
Series: Fantasyland, #5
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: August 15th 2016
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 645
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

Against his will, Noctorno Hawthorne, an undercover vice cop, finds himself embroiled in magic, mayhem and parallel universes. Too late, he meets an amazing woman only to find she’s destined for his identical twin in another world.

And things aren’t going real great there.

Noc is recruited to help save that world.

What he doesn’t know is his destined love resides there.

Franka Drakkar wears a mask. A mask she never takes off to protect herself in a world of malice, intrigue and danger.

When Franka meets Noc and he discovers her secrets, convinced she carries a midnight soul, having shielded herself from forming bonds with anyone, she struggles with accepting his tenderness and care.

When Noc meets Franka, over wine and whiskey, her masks slips and Noc knows it’s her—only her—and he has to find a way to get her to come home with him.

And then make her want to stay.

I’ve been anxious for Noc’s book for ages, though I admit I was surprised his heroine was Franka. I expected (hoped?) it would be Valentine. Shows what I know.

I do not recommend starting here. The storylines from previous books are interwoven and really bring this novel together. Plus, I feel like the majority of the novel was spent on secondary and previous characters from the other books.

It took me quite some time to fall into this story. Generally KA grabs me right away, but I struggled through the first quarter or so of the book. I found parts to be somewhat predictable (esp for someone who has read a lot of KA), but I enjoyed the romance and, more, enjoyed the return trip to Fantasyland. We caught up with all the previous characters and had some closure from some that weren’t coupled yet (the other Circe!). While I don’t recommend this as a starting place for those who are new to Ashley or this series, I think fans will enjoy it.

3 out of 5

three-stars


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