Author: Kristen Ashley

Review: Raid by Kristen Ashley

Posted September 23, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Raid by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee
Raid by Kristen Ashley
Series: Unfinished Hero #3
Also in this series: Knight, Creed
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: February 28, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 274
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Goodreads Challenge
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Hanna Boudreaux has lived in the small town of Willow, Colorado all her life. The great-granddaughter of the town matriarch, she's sweet, cute and quiet.
Too quiet.
Hanna has a moment of epiphany when she realizes her crush for forever, Raiden Ulysses Miller, is not ever going to be hers. She sees her life as narrow and decides to do something about it.
Raiden Miller is the town of Willow's local hero. An ex-marine with the medal to prove his hero status, he comes home, shrouded in mystery. It takes a while but, eventually, Hanna catches his eye.
But after all these years of Raid and Hanna living in the same town, the question is, why? Is Raid interested in Hanna because she's sweet and cute? Or does Raid have something else going on?

I just adore this series. Sure, it’s unconventional but I can’t stop reading these books.

Raiden Miller is a former marine that is back in his hometown in Colorado to bring down a very powerful drug dealer. His investigation leads him straight to Hanna Boudreaux. Hanna seems innocent, but Raiden has to make sure before he crosses her off his list. See, the drugs are being mailed through Hanna’s business. It doesn’t take Raiden a minute to figure out that Hanna has nothing to do with drugs. She’s an innocent that was taken advantage of by people that she trusted. Raiden is instantly protective of Hanna. It’s hard not to be because she sees the world through rose colored glasses.

Hanna has loved Raiden from afar for years. When he actually notices her, she’s not quite sure what to do. Then she finds out why he approached her. It’s not for herself, that’s for certain. Or that’s what she tells herself. Hanna soon discovers that Raiden wants her and he’s not going to leave her alone until she gives in. Giving in to Raiden isn’t hard for her. While she’s loved him for years, she never really knew him. All she knew him as was the town hero. Hanna had a bit of hero worship for Raiden, but now she’s getting to know the real man. She likes what she sees.

I really liked Hanna. I read some reviews and I know Holly some people didn’t like Hanna. I didn’t really care for her at first either. Her unrequited love for Raiden was a total turn off. Eventually her character got better and I really ended up liking her. I loved that she made afghans for a living. I loved how scatterbrained she was. I loved her relationship with her great grandmother. I also loved how Raiden just fit seamlessly into her life.

This is my favorite quote from the book. Raiden was telling Hanna about being in the military and that she was his reward for risking his life.

“You might think that’s jacked, but it’s not. It’s the goddamn fuckin’ truth. Whether you got that in your bed before you go or hope to find it when you get back, that’s why you do it. You do it for her. You do it to keep her safe. You planted kids inside her, or you hope to, you do it for them. You get home in one piece, she’s your reward.” His body pressed into mine and his face, partly shadowed, came within an inch of mine. “You’re my reward, Hanna.”

This is my third favorite book in the series. Raiden and Hanna’s story was a pleasure to read. I was left wanting more at the end, which is exactly Kristen Ashley is good at.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Unfinished Hero

four-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: Wild Fire by Kristen Ashley

Posted September 20, 2020 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 3 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂


Sunday Spotlight: Wild Fire by Kristen AshleyWild Fire by Kristen Ashley
Series: Chaos #6.5
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 22, 2020
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 220
Add It: Goodreads
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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristen Ashley brings a new story in her Chaos series…
“You know you can’t keep a good brother down.”
The Chaos Motorcycle Club has won its war. But not every brother rode into the sunset with his woman on the back of his bike.
Chaos returns with the story of Dutch Black, a man whose father was the moral compass of the Club, until he was murdered. And the man who raised Dutch protected the Club at all costs. That combination is the man Dutch is intent on becoming.
It’s also the man that Dutch is going to go all out to give to his woman.
**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you'll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

Excerpt

Invisible Man, this for you, or someone else?” Duke asked, taking Dutch’s attention, and Dutch realized he was so lost to his thoughts, he was working on autopilot and hadn’t noticed he’d approached the register and laid down his books.

“Someone else,” Dutch answered.

“You read it?” Duke asked.

“Yeah,” Dutch told him.

“Whole world should read it,” Duke muttered, jabbing a thick finger against the screen of the tablet that stood in for a till.

“Yeah,” Dutch agreed. “Listen, you wouldn’t have any copies of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas that haven’t been shelved yet, would you?”

Duke shook his head. “Not many givin’ up that book. We get one, you want me to call you?”

He could go to Barnes and Noble, easy.

With Tex as her barista, not to mention Indy and her crew all being the subject of those books that had been published, so folks came in all the time, Indy wasn’t hurting for customers, or cash.

Still, Dutch bought his books exclusively from Fortnum’s.

And he had a lot of books.

He had no idea why Fortnum’s was his go-to. It wasn’t about buying local or any of that other millennial shit.

Thinking on it, it was the fact he liked the vibe.

It was the fact that walking in there was like walking into someone’s house.

Like coming home.

To family.

Shaking off his thoughts, he agreed, “That’d be cool.”

“You wanna stay for a cup o’ joe and a talk?” Duke asked, and Dutch hid his surprise.

The man hadn’t approached. Not in word or deed.

There were the looks he gave Dutch, the ones he exchanged with Tex.

But he never said dick.

“No, got shit to do this afternoon,” he lied.

He had no shit to do that afternoon.

Or at all.

Ever.

“Boy—” Duke started.

“I’m not a boy,” Dutch bit.

His temper wasn’t usually short, but these days, it could be.

This was why Duke blinked.

He then said, “Son—”

“I’m not your son either,” Dutch returned.

“Right then.” Duke’s voice was no longer a friendly rumble. It was tight. “First, my age can’t have escaped you, considerin’ all this gray hair and wrinkles, so you are a boy to me, and you will be until you’re sixty and I’m dead. And second, any man’s a man at all, a man that’s younger than him and obviously struggling is his son. A son he looks after.”

Christ, was he not hiding it?

“I’m not struggling,” he lied again.

“Dutch—”

“Brother, just ring me up so I can get on with my day,” Dutch demanded.

Duke was silent a beat.

He then finished ringing him up, and Dutch paid.

“No bag,” he grunted.

Duke slid the books over the counter toward Dutch.

Dutch had turned, avoiding Tex’s eyes as he did, and started heading toward the door when Duke called, “You know that door is always open, but the one to my cabin in Evergreen is too, man.”

Chaos

Giveaway Alert

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

Sunday Spotlight: September 2020

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 Kristen Ashley

Kristen Ashley is the New York Times bestselling author of over sixty romance novels including the Rock Chick, Colorado Mountain, Dream Man, Chaos, Unfinished Hero, The ’Burg, Magdalene, Fantasyland, The Three, Ghost and Reincarnation, Moonlight and Motor Oil and Honey series along with several standalone novels. She’s a hybrid author, publishing titles both independently and traditionally, her books have been translated in fourteen languages and she’s sold over three million books.

Kristen, born in Gary and raised in Brownsburg, Indiana, was a fourth-generation graduate of Purdue University. Since, she has lived in Denver, the West Country of England, and now she resides in Phoenix. She worked as a charity executive for eighteen years prior to beginning her independent publishing career. She currently writes full-time.


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Review: Creed by Kristen Ashley

Posted September 4, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Creed by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee
Creed by Kristen Ashley
Series: Unfinished Hero #2
Also in this series: Knight, Raid
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 15, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 360
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Way too young, eleven year old Tucker Creed and his six year old neighbor, Sylvie Bissenette, find they have something awful in common. Creed then decides he’s going to do everything in his limited power to shield his Sylvie from her ordeal. So he does and Creed and Sylvie form a bond that grows and blossoms with their ages.
They plot to leave their lives behind, the town they live in that will hold them down and the histories they share that, unless they break free, will bury them. Sylvie goes to their special place, Creed never shows and she doesn’t see him again until it’s too late.
With Creed gone, Sylvie is forced to endure a nightmare and do the unspeakable to end it. To deal, she develops a hard shell with sharp edges that very few can break through. So when Creed again finds his Sylvie, he discovers the girl he loved is locked away and he has to find his way back into her heart without getting shredded in the process.

Creed is book two in Ashley’s Unfinished Hero series.

“Born to love you, baby… Die lovin’ you, my Sylvie.”

Tucker Creed never expected that Sylvie Bissenette would come back into his life. When he is reunited with her, Sylvie is not the girl that he remembers. He knows she’s changed and he also knows that it’s his fault. Creed and Sylvie have known each other since they were kids. Brought together by violence that touched both of their lives, they made a pact to leave their town behind as soon as Sylvie turns eighteen. Then something terrible happens and Creed is forced to leave Sylvie behind, never knowing that by trying to protect her, he was actually going to be responsible for one of the worst atrocities against her.

Sylvie is a survivor. She survived when Creed broke his promise to take her away from their town. She survived when her father sold her to the town pimp. She survived being pimped out. Then she survived by killing her pimp in self-defense. Now she works for Knight Sebring. Sylvie knows what Knight does and why he does it. Her job is to protect the girls. When someone roughs up one of Knight’s girls, Sylvie is the one that takes care of it.

Through Knight, Sylvie and Creed are thrown back into each others lives. Creed doesn’t recognize the woman that his Sylvie has become. Sylvie doesn’t give two craps about what Creed thinks. He broke his promise to her all those years ago and then disappeared from her life.

To be honest, I didn’t love this book at first. I felt that Sylvie was overbearing and trying too hard to be a man. The flashbacks were a nice touch. They really told of Sylvie’s journey from an innocent six year old girl to a brokenhearted eighteen year old girl to where she is now. That’s the Sylvie that I fell in love with. As with most Ashley books, there is a lot of filler here, but I really enjoyed it. The conflict in their relationship was resolved quite quickly so there were a lot of pages to fill. I devoured this book and ended up really liking it.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Unfinished Hero

four-stars


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Review: Knight by Kristen Ashley

Posted September 2, 2020 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Knight by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee
Knight by Kristen Ashley
Series: Unfinished Hero #1
Also in this series: Creed, Raid
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: April 15, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First Person
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Erotica
Pages: 280
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Anya Gage has learned that to get anything good in life, you have to work for it. She has no expectations, no dreams.
Then she finds herself at a party where she doesn’t want to be and she meets Knight.
Knight Sebring knows who he is, what he wants and what he likes. And he gets it. But he never expected something as sweet as Anya Gage to wander into his bedroom during a party he did not expect to be having to borrow his phone.
Knight tries to leave Anya to the life she deserves of white picket fences and a man who watches football on Sundays – good, normal and clean. But when Anya comes to his nightclub and finds herself in a situation, he knows someone has to look after her, he can’t fight it anymore and he decides that man will be him.
Knight teaches Anya that, just as with the bad, in life you should also expect the good. And he teaches her this by giving it to her.
But Knight has a dark past and just as he desires Anya for exactly who she is, he fears when she finds out exactly the man he has become and always intends to be, she’ll leave him for good, normal and clean.

I loved this book when I didn’t really expect to. How could I not love it?

“Wars fought over a face like this. A man would work himself into the ground for it, go down to his knees to beg to keep it, endure torture to protect it, take a bullet for it. Poison his brother to possess a face like this.”

When Anya Gage is invited to a party with a friend, she tags along not knowing that her entire world is about to be turned upside down. Finding that the party is not for her, Anya goes searching for her coat. In Knight Sebring’s room. Sheltered she may be, even Anya knows Knight Sebring. He runs the hottest club in town. Even she had been there. Knowing all she knows about Knight (which isn’t much), she’s hardly prepared for her first meeting with him. Or each subsequent meeting.

Knight can’t believe his brother would throw a party at his place without clearing it with him first. Then he believes it because his brother is a total loser. He doesn’t expect to run into someone as young and fresh as Anya. Knight can see immediately that she’s innocent, something that definitely calls to him. Still, the innocent and Knight don’t go together very well.

From their first meeting, Knight and Anya are fire. Their attraction is pretty much instantaneous. Knight is the kind of person that takes what he wants. What he wants is Anya, in his bed and in his life. But he knows that she’s too good for him. She’s light and he lives in the darkness. He tries to let her go, but he just can’t give her up. He wants to take care of her. He wants to make her life easier, make her happy in bed and out. He just wants Anya.

This book won’t be for everyone. It’s definitely more of an erotic romance rather than contemporary. Contemporary erotica is what I would call it. Knight is the quintessential alpha anti-hero. At first there doesn’t seem to be much to like about him. He’s overbearing and a little too protective. He gives Anya orders and expects her to obey. He takes over her life (for her safety of course). View Spoiler » Even with all that, he’s surprisingly likable. I couldn’t help but fall in love with both Anya and Knight. I ended up loving how Knight took care of Anya. She’s worked so hard her entire life and he wants to help her so she can actually live her life. Preferably with him.

There were some really annoying things about Knight though. One of the biggest ones is that he won’t marry Anya. If he had a reasonable explanation for not wanting to marry her, I could possibly get on board. But he doesn’t. That doesn’t end up mattering in the end because the love these two have is epic. Once in a lifetime. So the whole marriage thing didn’t matter in the end. It was just annoying at first.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

Unfinished Hero

four-stars


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Joint Review: Dream Maker by Kristen Ashley

Posted August 31, 2020 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Joint Review: Dream Maker by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee & Holly
Dream Maker by Kristen Ashley
Series: Dream Team #1
Also in this series: Quiet Man
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: May 26, 2020
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 544
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Goodreads Challenge, Holly's 2020 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Dream Man and Rock Chick series comes a brand new story about love, friendship, and the bonds of sisterhood. Evie is a bonafide nerd and a hyper-intelligent chick who has worked her whole life to get what she wants. Growing up, she had no support from her family and has only ever been able to rely on herself. So when Evie decides she wants to earn her engineering degree, she realizes she needs to take an alternative path to get there. She takes a job dancing at Smithie's club thinking this would be a quick side gig, where she can make the money she needs. But with her lack of dancing skills and an alpha bad boy who becomes overly protective, Evie realizes this might not be as easy as she thought.Daniel "Mag" Magnusson knows a thing or two about pain, but the mask he wears is excellent. No one can tell that this good-looking, quick-witted, and roguish guy has deep-seated issues. Mag puts on a funny-guy routine so he can hide his broken heart and PTSD. But when Evie dances her way into Mag's life, he realizes that he needs to come face-to-face with the demons of his past if he wants a future with her.

Dream Maker is set in the same world as the Rock Chicks and Dream Man series. We were first introduced to Hawk and his men in Mystery Man, and more recently we got to know them in Quiet Man. Dream Maker follows Evie, a stripper, and Mag (Daniel Magnusson), one of Hawk’s commandos.

Holly: Kristen Ashley is one of my favorites. Her novels are all very similar, but it’s easy to fall into them. This was one of the better ones of hers I’ve read in awhile. You’re still pretty new to KA. What did you think of it?

Casee: I really, really liked this book. I think it’s one of KA’s better books. Of course it could have been shorter, but I was so into the story that I didn’t really care. I’m so glad I read Quiet Man first. I know it’s a prequel, but it was sure nice to know what was going on.

Holly: I’m not one for reading in order, but I think reading Quiet Man first is a good idea. It sets the stage (stage, get it? ha ha) for this novel and gives us a better understanding of why Evie and Mag were set up together.

I really liked how close knit the group was in Quiet Man, and I think some of that was missing here. I wanted more interactions between Evie and the guys. But I still really liked it.

Casee: I really liked Evie’s personality. I loved her quirkiness and her loyalty (although misplaced) to her family. I loved how she called Mag “Danny” and he got annoyed when she called him “Mag”. So stinking cute.

I felt that some of the closeness of the group was missing as well. I really liked Lottie’s interactions with the guys in Quiet Man. While Evie did interact with the guys, it wasn’t on the same level.

Holly: I liked certain aspects of Evie’s character, but she also made some dumb decisions based on her insecurities. I was really glad to see how things progressed with her through the novel.

I agree. It wasn’t the same. I mean, I guess it makes sense that not every girl will have a connection with them, but usually KA is big on that kind of thing.

Casee: Did you like any of the secondary characters? I’m not sure I liked any of them. Not a whole lot anyway.

Holly: I don’t like the Rock Chicks. They’re annoying. I did like the other strippers and Mag’s friends, but they played such a small part. I definitely didn’t like Evie’s family.

Casee: Favorite part of the book?

Holly: I know it’s weird, but it was when Evie was a bitch to Mag and called him a manwhore and he got pissed. Something about his reaction really worked for me. Yours?

Casee: That is weird, but totally understandable. My favorite part was when she told her mother off. What a bitch that woman was. She cared more about her son being in jail than her daughter being kidnapped. Bitch.

Holly: I was glad she told off her mom, but honestly I wanted to see her tell them all off. I did like that her sister came through in the end, though. I also liked that Evie was super judgmental about her sister, then realized the error of her thoughts. I like how multi-layered KA’s characters are.

Casee: Where does this fall in comparison to your favorite KA books? This one ranks pretty high for me. I really, really enjoyed it. I would give it a 4.25 out of 5.

Holly: It’s mid-range for me. I prefer her older books. In terms of her more recent releases, this is better than most, but not my favorite. I’d give it 3.75 out of 5.

Final Grades

Casee: 4.25 out of 5.
Holly: 3.75 out of 5.

Dream Team

four-stars


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