I haven’t put up a “What I’m Reading This Week” post. Hell, I haven’t finished the books on last week’s list. It’s Kristen Ashley’s fault.
When I post about what I’m reading, it’s with a personal caveat that I’ll read other things that week as well. I can blow through 5 books (at least) in a week. So, after I finished Never, Never I picked up Ride Steady, Ashley’s newest release and the third in her Chaos series. It’s about a motorcycle club. I’m obsessed with motorcycle clubs. For that, I blame Joanna Wylde, but that’s a completely different post. Ride Steady is 622 pages of delicious goodness, a story of young love unfulfilled and then a chance meeting bringing our couple together. The Chaos club is unlike the other motorcycle clubs I’ve read about and I liked that. Gone was the overly aggressive, slightly misogynistic male. In his place was a sexy, brooding alpha. Don’t get me wrong, I love every MC book I’ve read and the guys in them, but it was refreshing to read about Carson “Joker” Steele, to see a guy who could be a tough, motorcycle riding man without him calling women “bitches”. So, I committed to those 600+ pages, knowing I still had at least two books I’d committed to.
Huge mistake. By the time I was finished with Ride Steady, I was hooked on Ashley’s take on love and second chances. I needed more. Plus, her website claimed that before you read Ride Steady, you should read Knight. Though I didn’t follow that instruction, I needed more of Ashley’s writing and I had Knight on my Kindle. Knight was one of my first e-books and I remembered loving it. I remembered how much I loved the strong, intense Knight who, just as he showed the reader in his cameo in Ride Steady, didn’t put up with men who hurt women. When Knight meets Anya he can’t stay away. She thinks he scary (he has her landlord beat up because her building was unsafe). When he decides that Anya is his, there’s no hesitation, no fighting his attraction. I adore a man who doesn’t fight the inevitable. Did I mention that Knight likes control in all things? (that sounded very Christian Grey, there are similarities) He slowly introduces Anya to the world of Dom/sub and she likes it. Unlike the enigmatic Christina Grey, Knight is a bit older and knows who he is when it comes to women. There’s none of the angst you see in FSoG. Very refreshing.
Knight is part of Ashley’s Unfinished Hero series. Fortunately, I also owned Creed, the next book in the series, and by now commitments to John Green and Liani Taylor were forgotten and I plowed right into it. I love Creed. Honestly, this part of the series could just as easily be called “Unfinished Heroine”. Sylvie is an amazing heroine. Part tough as nails, part sweet, she is her lost love Creed’s equal in all things. Both are private investigators who grew up together and had a once-in-a-lifetime love. They’re separated by circumstances and reunited when Knight hires both of them to find out who’s targeting his business. If you love an alpha male but hate a sort of meek heroine, Creed is for you. Sylvie gives as good as she gets, curses just like one of the guys, can take a guy twice her size down, and enjoys sex as much as they do. She makes no apologies about who she is. Yet, when Creed comes back into her life she doesn’t fight her softer side and who she is with him and that makes her all woman.
All three books focus on the growing romance of the couples. We get to see them both in and out of bed and there’s no doubt why they love each other. Once the couple is together there’s none of the usual angst and miscommunication. They’re together and we see a strong couple throughout the book instead of just at the end. The sex is hot. There’s some suspense but it’s peripheral. Though each book follows a particular pattern that I’ve learned is all Kristen Ashley, each couple is brings something different to the table. No cookie cutter characters. So much to love.
I’ve managed to put the brakes on my Kristen Ashley obsession, for now. But, seriously, if you were looking for reviews of any of the books I mentioned last week, don’t blame me, blame Kristen Ashley. It’s all her fault.