(3 / 5)
Welcome back to Graham Reece, survivor of a crazy ax murderer from For You! You know Reece. He’s the guy Feb Owens hooked up with prior to being stalked by a serial murderer and getting back together with Colt.
Reece is clearly not in a good place when he shows up at the door of Zara Cinders, the woman he let walk away three years earlier. To make matters worse, Zara’s in no state to help him. She’s divorced, lost her store, and is about to lose her home. She’s sworn off men for good, and there’s no way she’s letting Reece back in after he broke her heart. Five months later, Reece returns determined to keep Zara in his life. For now, that means giving her a safe place to crash while she gets back on her feet. Later, he hopes it means sharing his life, his bed, and his heart. Despite his plan to protect Zara, fate steps in and shatters what little inner peace she has left while taking away the only family she’s ever known. Now it’s Reece’s job to make Zara see he’s the one for her and that together, they can do anything, including building a new if unconventional family.
I heart when Kristen Ashley gives tangential characters from other books their own story. Reece is super sweet, and Zara is heartbreakingly lonely. It’s easy to see how they fit together and build a life. What’s harder to take is Reece’s feelings on Feb. The two characters have a huge blowout about his relationship with the former heroine. I guess he makes it clear that February isn’t his love, but in a really round about Denver speak man way. I’m not sure I could have let go of my concerns based on Reece’s explanation. In other news, I love the return of Nina and Max. The scene at the Rooster is high-larious (as always). Bottom line, this is a really sweet love story. While there’s some mystery to it, no one’s life is ever in danger. No one’s running from any insane bad guy. It was sort of a nice break from the usual kidnapping routine in these books. Still without the typical drama, it wasn’t one of my all time favorites. Don’t get me wrong it’s a great book and a fitting next step in the series. Still almost anything is a little let down after reading the phenomenal Lady Luck and Breathe. This is a stand out series overall. You know me, though, I’m sort of a Kristen Ashley junkie.
(4.5 / 5)
Lady Luck may be my favorite Kristen Ashley book, but, holy moly, Breathe comes in a close second. Usually, I’m a sucker for the anti-hero, but Chace Keaton’s sincerity definitely makes me rethink my bad boy addiction.
So the story picks up about six months after Lady Luck leaves off (pre-epilogue). Ty and Lexi are expecting their first baby. In the meantime, Lexi’s trying to hook Chace Keaton up with the town’s librarian. Faye has been crushing on Chace since she was 13 years old. For the last seven months, she’s actively been trying to win Chace’s attention without success. Her latest idea is to find the person responsible for his ex-wife’s murder. Needless to say, Chace is unhappy when he finds out this plan. Still, the search for a murderer/rapist quickly gets put on the backburner when Faye comes to the rescue of an abused little boy. She and Chace are determined to set the young man back to rights and find the person responsible for his injuries. While the couple bonds over the boy, the ones responsible for Chace’s dead wife have not changed their focus. They want their secrets safe, and they’re willing to take away what Chace values most to get the job done.
Like I said before, Chace is a good-guy dreamboat. I would swoon for him in real life (because I like the literary bad boys, but in real life I love the honest to goodness sweet ones). Still, Chace is only about a third of the reason to like the book. Faye is the best heroine ever. I loved all references to her nerdiness. I totally geek out for Psych and Battlestar Galactica. I love when she breaks down Chace’s father Darth Vader style. I think if I had auburn hair and lived in Colorado I would so be this woman. She was totally relatable to my life. The third reason to immediately read this book is the story. It was a little out there, but I loved the surprise identity of SerenityWash at the end. I also liked the epilogue when Misty’s story and the story of the young man come full circle. Definitely do not miss this book.
(5 / 5)
Okay, I love Kristen Ashley, but I gotta tell you, this is the ABSOLUTE, no doubt about it, best book she has written (at least that I’ve read so far). It is super hot. It is super sweet, and it is super heartbreaking.
Ty Walker is a man done wrong. After serving five years for a crime he did not commit, he walks straight out to Lexi Berry. Lexi’s life hasn’t been so good the last five years either. After her pimp boyfriend was murdered on the job, his drug dealer best friend has made it his business to keep Lexi on a short leash. Her latest assignment: pick up a convicted killer and take him where he wants to go. Ty’s destination of choice: a Las Vegas wedding chapel. Ty needs a rock solid alibi for his grand plan ‘o vengeance, and a new wife fits the bill. What follows is the most bizarre and engaging whirlwind romance ever. That is until Ty (or arguably Lexi) screws it up. In the end, Ty has to decide which is more important Lexi or his revenge. The answer seems simple, but not when dirty cops, drug dealers, and a mysterious stranger are on your tail.
Ty is a total Hottie McHotterson, but you gotta be ready for his dirty mouth. This is the raunchiest talking, especially his “endearments” for ladies, hero I’ve ever read from Kristen Ashley, and I’ve read a few. It’s totally explainable once you get his back story, but that mouth gets Ty in trouble more than once. Still, he’s so sweet to Lexie (most of the time) and he wants to be loved so much, it’s easy to get over his dirty mouth, especially when it’s responsible for so much dirty sex. Lexie is a total goof. I loved her from the start. She’s definitely making lemonade from a life of lemons. She’s believable and smart. She’s got a backbone of steel too.
Now, while I loved the characters (as always with KA books), what really sold this book was the heartbreak. Lexie and Ty’s rocky relationship definitely has some down swings. The final one broke my heart. I could feel Lexie shutting down. I could hear her empty voice. I love a really good break up, and there are so few gut-wrenching ones in most romance stories.
If you only read one love story this year, this is the one. If you only read one KA book, this is seriously the one. It’s the best ever. (Sigh!)