Sara’s Favorites of 2017

2017 felt like a good year to hide under the covers with a good book. Here’s what did it for me this past year.

UF/Romantic Fantasy

Wildfire by Ilona Andrews
The last (contracted) book in Andrews’ Hidden Legacy series hit it out of the park. Everything from the smoldering romance between Nevada and Rogan to the revelations of series secrets were flawless.
If you like detailed worldbuilding and original plots you should totally read this series. [Read more…]

Review: Walk Through Fire by Kristen Ashley

walk through fireReviewed by Carrie

Although I’ve had issues with some of Kristen Ashley’s latest releases, her Chaos MC series has always worked for me. I was really excited to review the fourth book in the series because it is a second chance romance with older characters – a trope I love.  It started out promising, but it quickly became apparent that this was the same old Ashley story/ plot/ characters.

Twenty years ago, Millie Cross “made” the only man she’d ever love walk away from her so he could have a better life. Ever since then, Millie’s been a shell of a person just going through the motions.  She thought she had made peace with her choices until one day, by chance, she runs into her old flame.  All the feelings that Millie had locked down tight roar to the surface as she feels compelled to make sure that her ex really did get the life he deserved. [Read more…]

Review: Ride Steady by Kristen Ashley

ride steadyReviewed by Carrie

It’s been awhile since readers have been treated to a new story in Kristen Ashley’s Chaos series. Honestly, the last couple of books the author has put out didn’t work for me and I was worried going into this book. Thankfully, the story hit all the right notes and even surprised me with its tenderness. [Read more…]

Review: Kaleidoscope by Kristen Ashley

kaleidoscopeReviewed by Carrie

I went into this one a little gun-shy because the previous book, Jagged, was only so-so for me.  I was so nervous that the author had lost her voice.  Well, folks, it’s a mixed bag again but I can say that I thought this was better than Jagged.

Jacob “Deck” Decker has been cruising along life ok for the past couple of years.  Finally able to let go of the pain of losing his first love, he is blindsided when he runs into his former paramour’s best friend on the street.  [Read more…]

Review: Jagged

jaggedReviewed by Carrie

I believe I have mentioned before that I am a Kristen Ashley fangirl.  I happily overlook issues that might get under my skin with other authors because Ms. Ashley writes such compelling stories.  However, the reverse is also true in that I expect certain things from her books. Unfortunately, Jagged, the fifth book in her Colorado Mountain series, reads more like a “very special episode of Kristen Ashley’s characters” than a complete story and series continuation. [Read more…]

Review: Fire Inside

Reviewed by Carrie

FULL DISCLOSURE: I am a Kristen Ashley fan girl. So even though her writing might not be technically sound, her characters are so compulsively readable that I excuse any other shortcomings.

While this book can be read as a stand-alone, reading Motorcycle Man will give the proper backstory to not only this book, but the whole series. Fire Inside is the 2nd book in Ashley’s Chaos series about a biker motorcycle club (MC) where the men are all leather-clad alphas who pursue their women with a single minded determination. We first met Lanie Heron back in Motorcycle Man when her fiancé, Elliot, foolishly got involved with the Russian Mob. Elliot’s misdeeds catch up with them which resulted in Lanie and her best friend Tyra suffering grave injuries, while Elliot paid the ultimate price.

Eight years later, Lanie shuffles through her days still mired in guilt and loneliness. After watching Hopper (Hop) Kincaid strut around the Chaos compound for years, Lanie decides to jump start her stalled out life with a one night stand with the sexy biker. One night turns into many more as Lanie and Hop find that they can’t give up the explosive sex.

“Lady, we’re not sleeping, we’re resting then we’re fucking some more. Last time I’ll say it. Not done with you, got things I want to do to you and I’m doin’ them.”

Lanie is not only dealing with survivor’s guilt but also dealing with a dysfunctional family consisting of a philandering father, an alcoholic mother and a sister has divorced herself from the family drama.

I must say that Lanie is not one of my favorite of Ashley’s characters. In Motorcycle Man, she comes off as brash and judgmental and these behaviors persist in this book with Hop. Because of this, it hampered the desire to sympathize with her plight. Lanie’s broken family provides the framework for her behavioral motivations which does facilitate some understanding. In the end, I did come around to her.

Hop is the one who really makes the book for me. Even though he can be commanding, he is never high handed. He consistently gives Lanie support and backs up his words with actions. He’s not perfect, but willing to apologize when he is in the wrong. AND…not only is he a sweet smoking hot biker, he plays guitar and dedicates a song to Lanie! SWOON!!

There is more interaction with outside people than in the previous Chaos book although it is still limited. I was hoping for a girl’s night! What is really out of place is the Benito storyline. So far, all that is known after 2 books is that he’s a drug dealer encroaching on Chaos territory and there might be a war. Is this a plot device to show how rough and tumble Chaos bikers are or will there be actual suspense to follow? I hope we can see more Hot Bunch/Chaos interaction!!

Fire Inside is yet another fun ride by Kristen Ashley and I can’t wait to be on the back of the bike again soon!

Grade: B

Click to purchase: Amazon
Fire Inside
by Kristen Ashley
Release Date: June 4, 2013
Publisher: Forever