Tag: Kristen Ashley

Review: Still Standing by Kristen Ashley

Posted March 22, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Still Standing by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee
Still Standing by Kristen Ashley
Series: Wild West MC #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: February 2, 2021
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First Person, Third Person
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 528
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
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two-half-stars
Series Rating: three-stars

When Clara Delany walks into the Aces High Motorcycle Club’s hangout, she’s hit rock bottom. She’s hiding her car from the repo man, she has less than two dollars in her bank account and the only employment she can get is delivering messages for a criminal.

All because of a man. Therefore, she’s sworn off them.

And then she meets West “Buck” Hardy, president of the Aces High MC.

Buck also meets her, and the minute he does, he makes it clear (to everyone but Clara) that they’re starting something. Since Clara doesn’t get that message, she decides to leave Buck and sort out her life in order to come back to him clean.

She’s not gone but hours before life hits Clara with another blow. Which means Buck and his boys have to ride in and save the day. After that, Buck makes no bones about where they stand.

But does he?

Welcome to the first novel in the Wild West MC series which will tell the stories of the brothers of the Aces High MC, the Resurrection MC, and the Chaos MC…and the women who love them.

Clara Delany hasn’t had the easiest life. Born into foster care, the only person she has ever loved is her bestfriend Tia. To protect Tia from her criminal husband, Clara delivers messages for him. Messages that people aren’t always happy to receive. Her current job has taken her into the Aces High MC where she has a message to deliver to their President. Clara doesn’t anticipate her attraction to West “Buck” Hardy, nor he to her. Clara just wants to conduct her business and be out of there, but Buck has other ideas.

They sleep together the day they met and honestly that didn’t bother me at all. It worked in this situation. Then Esposito (the boss) decides to teach Clara a lesson by kidnapping her and severely beating her. Buck & Aces High rush to her rescue and she finds herself living with Buck. This is after her abortive escape attempt when Tia disappears. Now it seems like Buck & Aces High are the only people capable of finding Tia. So what if she plays house in the meantime?

Before I started this book I made the mistake of skimming through GR reviews. Bad idea. Readers either loved it or hated it all for (what I thought were) valid reasons. I thought about not reading it, I’m not going to lie. Still, this is Kristen Ashley. I just couldn’t not read it. Even if it was as bad as reviews claimed it was, I still had to find out for myself. I thought that until about 31% in and decided to DNF it. Thirty minutes later I had picked it back up. That’s how Kristen Ashley works.

This review on GR really summed up the book:

If you love Motorcycle Man then you’ll love Still Standing because Still Standing is Motorcycle Man’s skeevier little sister.

This is true and false. Still Standing is definitely Motorcycle Man’s skeevier little sister. However not all of us like skeevier. I originally decided to DNF it after 31%. View Spoiler » I had a hard time with Clara because of her belief that she doesn’t deserve happiness and that she has to take what she can get.

Other than being the lover of the MC president, Tyra and Clara are nothing alike. Absolutely nothing. Tyra doesn’t take Tack’s shit. Clara thinks she should settle for whatever little happiness comes her way. I can’t see Tyra doing that. And Buck? Buck is Tack. They both just railroad their women into doing what they want them to do regardless of their feelings on the matter. It’s maddening but enticing at the same time.

View Spoiler » So yeah, I had a very difficult time getting past this.

Just like in Motorcycle Man, there was a family element that was very prevalent. Buck has two kids with a crazy ex-wife (see: Rush, Tabby, & Naomi). Something horrible happens to Buck’s daughter and the way that Clara was there for her was sure something to read. It made me sigh and smile how it brought the two closer. Especially since Tatiana hated Clara when she first met her. Their journey to friends and then a more mother/daughter dynamic was lovely.

My feelings about this book are so mixed that I can’t really decide if I really liked the book or not. I liked the characters. I only mildly tolerated Clara toward the middle of the book, but she got better as she started finding out who she truly was. Her journey was one that I enjoyed reading even if I didn’t really enjoy her character flaws. I’m not going to lie to myself, I will be reading the next book in this series.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Wild West MC

two-half-stars


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Review: Lucky Stars by Kristen Ashley

Posted February 19, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Lucky Stars by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee
Lucky Stars by Kristen Ashley
Series: Ghosts and Reincarnation #5
Also in this series: Fairytale Come Alive, Sommersgate House, Lacybourne Manor, Penmort Castle
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: June 20, 2012
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 520
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2021 Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

This is an alternate cover edition for ASIN B008DDW4OQ

Belle Abbot is pathologically shy and because of this, she’s living a nightmare due to the fact that she’s also a national treasure hounded by the media. James Bennett is known the world over as the perfect catch, handsome, wealthy and the owner of an intimidating castle on a Cornish Cliff, Chy An Als Point.

Belle and James meet and in one night, they fall in love. The problem is, Belle’s dating James’s brother.

As quickly as they fall together, Belle and James are torn apart. Not long after, circumstances throw them back into each other’s lives and they find they were right that first romantic night, they were meant to be.

Even if their families want them together, James’s brother Miles does not. Dogged by a rabid media who are fascinated by their love triangle, as well as Belle’s hidden demons, James and Belle find they have yet another problem to solve. The Point is haunted by the ghosts of two children murdered in the castle. Their murderer will stop at nothing to keep their souls tethered to The Point instead of letting them live eternity with their mother and father.

Belle is determined to find her courage and help them and she enlists her loopy mother, loopier grandmother, James’s even loopier ex-girlfriend and the dubious (but talented) team of rock ‘n’ roll witch Cassandra McNabb and Scottish ghost hunter extraordinaire Angus McPherson to help the children find their way back home.

James “Jack” Bennett has always known his brother, Miles, has an unhealthy obsession with one-upping him. It’s something that has been going on since they were kids. When Jack and Belle first meet, Belle is seeing Miles. She knows it won’t work with Miles, but before she can do anything about it, she meets Jack. After one night together the two fall in love. They make plans. Then Belle overhears something about Jack trying to get one on Miles by sleeping with her. Belle is devastated and doesn’t give Jack time to explain.

Fast forward a few months…Belle is pregnant but insistent that she doesn’t want anything to do with Jack. Belle’s mother and grandmother take matters into their own hands and go to Jack’s office to tell him. Jack doesn’t want anything to do with Belle nor is he sure that the child she is carrying is his. He’s quickly disabused of that line of thinking. It seems that now he has a second chance with the woman that he hasn’t been able to forget. He moves Belle into his home, on Cornish Cliff, determined to make things right.

Belle is leery of Jack’s intentions, though it doesn’t take long for her to soften up. When she realizes what a horrible mistake she made by not believing Jack, she’s not sure she can make it right. She’s determined to try. Enter the ghosts. The ghost part of the book was, er, interesting. Each book in this series took the ghost angle a little further than the prior book. I really enjoyed all the twists and turns in this book. I really find the heroes in this series heroes of the “old”. Meaning that they are more alpha, less apologetic for what they want. Just more everything.

This is the fifth and final book in the series. I have to say that it doesn’t make me happy knowing that. There was a cliffhanger at the end of the book and KA has no intention of writing the story. So fucked up.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Ghosts and Reincarnation

four-stars


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Review: Penmort Castle by Kristen Ashley

Posted February 12, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Penmort Castle by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee
Penmort Castle by Kristen Ashley
Series: Ghosts and Reincarnation #3
Also in this series: Fairytale Come Alive, Sommersgate House, Lacybourne Manor, Lucky Stars
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 2, 2017
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 485
Add It: Goodreads
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Cash Fraser is planning revenge and to get it he needs the perfect woman. So he hires her. Abigail Butler has lost nearly everything in her life and she's about to lose the home she loves.

Cash meets Abby, who's posing as a paid escort, and the minute he does he knows he's willing to pay for more than Abby being his pretend girlfriend. A lot more. Abby needs the money or the last thing that links her to her dead family and husband will be gone. The deal is struck. But both Cash and Abby get more than they bargained for.

Cash realizes very quickly that Abby isn't what she seems. And while he changes strategies, Abby finds out that Cash's legacy, Penmort Castle, is like all the tales say-very, very haunted. Making matters worse, the ghost in residence wants her dead.

Abby's found herself in the battle of her life (literally) so she enlists Mrs. Truman, her nosy neighbor, Jenny, her no-nonsense friend, Cassandra McNabb, white witch and clairvoyant with a penchant for wearing scarves (and lots of them) and Angus McPherson, dyed-in-the-wool Scot (which means he hunts ghosts in a kilt) to fight the vicious ghost who has vowed that she will rest at nothing to kill the true, abiding love of the master of Penmort.

Cash Fraser needs a woman. Abigail Butler needs money. When the two meet, Cash knows instantly that Abby is not what she seems. She tries to act like an escort but Cash knows that she’s anything but. What he does know is that she’s desperate. Desperation is what brought Abby to Cash and he’s going to take advantage of every minute of it. Cash needs a fake girlfriend so he can get his uncle out of Penmort Castle, his family’s ancestral home. The problem is that Cash wants his relationship with Abby to be anything but pretend.

Abby has lost everything. She lost her parents, she lost her husband, then she lost her grandmother. The only thing she has left is the house that has been in her family for generations. Unfortunately for Abby the place is falling down around her. It’s a big house that needs a lot of work. Problem is she doesn’t have the money. She and her friend Jenny come up with a scheme; she will pose as an escort and play Cash’s fake girlfriend so she can get the money that she needs. She doesn’t expect the sheer magnetism that is Cash Fraser. Abby is sure she is in over her head, but she continues on with her plan.

When Abby accompanies Cash to Penmort Castle, she knows the rumors are true; the castle is very haunted and not by a happy ghost. This one is furious and is able to physically hurt anyone she wants. And who she wants to hurt is Abby for daring to try to take away the man she loves. Never mind that she killed the man she loved and this is his ancestor. Abby is soon fighting for her life. She has the wackiest team, but who she really wants on her team is Cash.

Cash knows that the idea of ghosts is ludicrous, yet he’s unable to discount Abby’s fears especially when she shows him how many women have died at Penmort. Before long he has a witch, a ghost hunter, Abby’s best friend, and her crazy neighbor. As unbelievable as it seems, Cash is all in and he’ll do anything to protect Abby.

After reading the first two books in this series, I was super excited to read this one. It seems as each book gets a little more of a ghost aspect to it. I was really enjoying this book. A lot. Then Cassandra (the witch) and her coven calls Ben (Abby’s dead husband) back from whatever plane he’s on to help. Abby is still devastated by Ben’s death though being with Cash has started the healing process. Cash gets jealous of a ghost. I’m not really sure how I feel about that but I was pretty annoyed at the time. It just took the story a little too far.

I really enjoyed the secondary characters though Jenny was a bit odd. Other than that and the excessive ghost weirdness, I thought this was a well-written story.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Ghosts and Reincarnation

four-stars


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Review: Lacybourne Manor by Kristen Ashley

Posted January 27, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Lacybourne Manor by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee
Lacybourne Manor by Kristen Ashley
Series: Ghosts and Reincarnation #2
Also in this series: Fairytale Come Alive, Sommersgate House, Penmort Castle, Lucky Stars
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 2, 2017
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 492
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

In 1522, the very night they were wed, Royce Morgan and his new bride, Beatrice Godwin, were murdered on their way home to Lacybourne Manor. After the cruel deed was done, a local witch came across their bodies, witnessing firsthand the tragedy of star-crossed lovers. Vowing that Royce and Beatrice would someday uncross those stars, using magic mixed with murder as well as true love, she linked their spirits together with hers (because someone had to protect them) forever... or until their reincarnated souls find happily ever after.

Now, arrogant, forbidding Colin Morgan lives at Lacybourne. He knows from lore-as well as the portraits of Royce and Beatrice that hang in Lacybourne's hall and the small fact that he looks exactly like Royce Morgan-that he's the reincarnated soul of his ancestor. One stormy night, flighty, free-spirited, scarily-kind-hearted Sibyl Godwin comes to Lacybourne and it doesn't escape Colin's notice that Sibyl is the spitting image of Beatrice.

However murder, magic, a warrior's heart beating in a modern man's chest, a woman bent on doing good deeds even if they get her into loads of trouble, a good witch whose family has vowed throughout the centuries to protect true love, distrust and revenge make a volatile cocktail. This means the path to happily ever after is paved with tranquilizer darts, pensioners on a rampage, Sibyl's bad morning moods, heartbreaking misunderstandings and all kinds of magic, good... and bad.

Colin Morgan considers himself a practical man; a man that values logic. Colin knows it’s not logical to think that he’s the reincarnated soul of his murdered ancestor but the resemblance between himself and Royce Morgan is uncanny. Colin has come to terms with the fact that the lore is most likely correct. That doesn’t mean he’s going to break the curse that looms over Lacybourne Manor. That is until Sybil Godwin comes into his life unexpectedly. She’s everything he ever wanted and never expected, which is why he wants nothing to do with her. Her dog is named Mallory, the name of Royce Morgan’s horse. If Colin doubted that Sybil was Beatrice reincarnated, he soon understands that she certainly is.

For Colin Morgan had been born with a broken heart, the broken heart of a long-dead warrior, a warrior who lost his love and his life at near the same exact time.

Sybil has always felt like she was destined for something but she has not worked out why she believes this. She has always been certain, but she stars to have doubts. Taking some time to herself, Sybil heads to the family home in Bristol, hoping to find some clarity. Then she meets Colin Morgan. Sybil is unprepared for the force that is Colin. She has no idea that she is the spitting image of Beatrice Morgan, Royce’s bride.

Colin has no intention of ever telling Sybil about Beatrice, but he does decide that he’s going to have a relationship with her. He soon realizes that having Sybil in his life will be anything but simple. When Sybil discovers who Colin thinks she is, she’s devastated. She doesn’t want him to want her because she’s a reincarnated ancestor. She wants him to want her for her. There are a lot of misunderstandings between Colin and Sybil. They soon grasp the fact that evil is afoot; evil that wants to kill them as Royce and Beatrice were killed.

I genuinely loved this book. I even enjoyed the misunderstandings. This book was written in 2011. Colin is an alpha of the “old”. Similar to a McNaught or Garwood. I haven’t found there to be very many heroes like that anymore. Not for new books anyway. I did read some GR reviews and saw that some people had a problem with Sybil. She was all over the place, but that’s what made her so great. I found her to be delightful. The paranormal aspect just heightened the book. I loved reading Royce and Beatrice’s story and even “meeting” them.

Overall, this book made me want to continue on with the series.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5

Ghosts and Reincarnation

four-stars


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Review: Sommersgate House by Kristen Ashley

Posted January 25, 2021 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Sommersgate House by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee
Sommersgate House by Kristen Ashley
Series: Ghosts and Reincarnation #1
Also in this series: Fairytale Come Alive, Lacybourne Manor, Penmort Castle, Lucky Stars
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 2, 2017
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 436
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2020 Goodreads Challenge, Goodreads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Douglas Ashton is the cold and unfeeling owner of the sprawling, gothic Victorian Mansion, Sommersgate House. Julia Fairfax is his stubborn American sister-in-law. After tragedy strikes, Douglas and Julia are forced to live together at Sommersgate and raise their newly-orphaned nieces and nephew.

Douglas has no desire to raise his dead sister's children nor does he want the distraction of the tempting Julia living under his roof. Julia is struggling with grief and trying to make a go in a new country without much help from impossibly handsome but even more impossibly remote Douglas. Not to mention, she has to deal with the active hostility of Douglas's frosty, Attila-the-Hun-in-a-skirt mother, Monique.

Douglas decides the best way to give the children what they need, get his mother to behave and give himself what he wants is to marry Julia. When he tells her (yes, tells her) she will be his wife, Julia thinks Douglas is (probably) insane. And anyway, she's decided if she ever has another husband (since the last one wasn't so great), he was going to be short, balding, have a paunch and worship the ground she walks on (none of these characteristics define Douglas in the slightest).

One more thing, Sommersgate House is haunted by the ghosts of the man who built it and the woman who was the love of his life. They both died mysteriously at Sommersgate months after it was finished. When they did, a curse settled on the house making it seem strangely alive. And the only way for the beautiful but frightening house to rid itself of this curse is for its owner to find true love.

After the death of her brother and sister-in-law, Julia Fairfax is devastated. However, she doesn’t have time to grieve. She has two nieces and a nephew that she is now responsible for. While Julia wants to curl into a ball and cry her eyes out, she has to be strong for her brother’s children. When they were alive, her brother and his wife asked her if she would take the children if anything ever happened to them. Julia, of course, agreed immediately. What she didn’t expect was that she would only get joint custody of them. She also doesn’t expect the stipulation that the kids be raised at Sommersgate House in England.

The last thing Douglas Ashton wants to do is be a guardian (and half a guardian at that) to three ravaged children. He also doesn’t want their aunt anywhere near him. For years he has thought of Julia, but he never did anything about it. Now she’s living in his house as are his nieces and nephew. While Douglas will certainly take care of all their monetary needs, the last thing he wants to do is parent the children. So he goes about his life as usual, always working, always out of town. Julia doesn’t like this much and tells him so, which shocks him. Not many people stand up to Douglas, but Julia Fairfax is obviously one of those people.

Julia wants as much stability for the children as possible. With Douglas gone from Sommersgate House for days–even weeks–at a time, parenting the children has landed directly on her slim, grieving shoulders. She’s always had a crush on Douglas and she wasn’t going to let his off-putting manner distract her from what needs to be done. Her nieces and nephew need both their aunt and their uncle. So in normal Julia fashion, she makes plans to tell Douglas that he needs to be available.

Douglas tries to stay away from Julia, but her passion for life makes it hard. She’s not afraid to stand up to him or even argue with him. That’s rare in Douglas’ life and he relishes it. Douglas soon decides that the only option open to he and Julia is to get married. He’s relieved when he finally comes to that decision, no longer at war with his feelings for her. Too bad Julia is not having it. She already married for love once and it almost destroyed her. She was not going to get involved with a man that she could fall in love with, never mind that he will never love her back.

I enjoyed this book immensely. Julia was such a beautiful, courageous heroine. Her absolute devotion to the children and their wellbeing was so heartfelt. She was witty, emotional, exciting, and smart. She gave up her life in the States to go to England and she didn’t regret it for one moment. Douglas was a very magnetic hero. He didn’t talk much, but I always knew what he was feeling. Kristen Ashley did an amazing job with these two characters. I’m already reading the second book in the series.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

P.S. This book includes a haunted house.

Ghosts and Reincarnation

four-half-stars


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