The next novel in Kristen Ashley's sizzling Colorado Mountain series introduces a new electrifying relationship that turns Carnal, Colorado into a hotbed of action, romance, and suspense.
An old flame rekindled . . .
Zara Cinders always knew Ham Reece was the one, but he wasn't interested in settling down. When she found someone who was, Ham walked out of her life. Three years later, Zara's lost her business, her marriage, and she's barely getting by in a tiny apartment on the wrong side of the tracks. As soon as Ham hears about Zara's plight, he's on her doorstep offering her a lifeline. Now, it will take every ounce of will power she possesses to resist all that he offers.
Ham was always a traveling man, never one to settle down in one town, with one woman, for more time than absolutely necessary. But Ham's faced his own demons, and he's learned a lot. About himself, and about the life he knows he's meant to live. So when he hears that Zara's having a rough time, he wants to be the one to help. In fact, he wants to do more than that for Zara. A lot more. But first, he must prove to Zara that he's a changed man.
©2014 Kristen Ashley (P)2014 Hachette Audio
"Kristen Ashley's books are addicting!" (Jill Shalvis, New York Times best-selling author)
"I adore Kristen Ashley's books!" (Maya Banks, New York Times best-selling author)
"There is something about them [Ashley's books] that I find crackalicious." (Kati Brown, Dear Author.com)
Obsessive reader of at least 5 kindle books a week. Only use audiobooks to survive my daily 90 minute walk to work.
It says a lot for the quality of Kristen Ashley writing that I can dislike the overall plotline of a book and yet still enjoy listening to it.
I am a big Ashley fan but I had avoided this book because I did not like the synopsis. The h had been in an on-again, off-again non exclusive relationship with the H for five years. He breezed into her life occasionally; they hooked up for a while, and then he would move on to other places and other women. The h loved the H. He did not love her. So after five years of this lifestyle, the h, wanting stability and a family with a future, “settles” for marriage with a really nice guy who, unfortunately, she does not really love. The marriage lasts three years, she hurts a good man in the process and her divorce coincides with her business failing and her house being repossessed.
Back in town comes the H who, at the age of 43 has had something of an epiphany (due to an axe murderer obsessed with one of his other “on-again, off-again” girlfriends trying to kill him) and decides that he does, after all, want to settle down, and have a proper relationship with h.
So what was wrong with this book? Well, nothing really. I actually enjoyed listening to it, enjoyed the quality of the narration, and enjoyed the story of their developing relationship. I just prefer my romances to be exclusive from the start, as in, once the H and h meet, there is no one else involved because they are not attracted to anyone else once they have met each other. I found it hard to deal with the fact that the H spent four months living with the h when they first met, and then happily walked away to other women. I would have felt better if the h had also gone on to have other relationships but it seemed she was in love from the start and happy to take the crumbs of time the H offered. Even before she got married she told him that he was “the one” and yet he still walked away and let her marry someone else.
So after all this moaning, do I recommend this book? Surprisingly, I do. I enjoyed it, even if the romance was not fairytale enough for me, and there was just a bit too much fabulous sex, which does gets tedious after a while (or maybe I’m just getting old?). Strangely enough I do think they have a good chance at a HEA, mainly because the H had played around, and moved around, enough to know what he really wants – finally. I just wish he had to work a little bit harder to get the h to fall in with his plans. Once they were a couple, I have to admit that he did redeem himself, and he did acknowledge that his past behaviour had not been good, and that he had been so obsessed with his own “issues” he had missed out on years of happiness with the right woman.
The epilogue is a Kristen Ashley classic. Emotional, moving and romantic, but avoiding the cliché mushy stuff, it was a wonderful end to a book that is worth listening to.
"WOW! Great story! Great writing! Great narrator!"
Yes! Story line realistic and easy to follow, but having a wonderful narrator makes all the difference! Emma is excellent at the voices of all her characters! Ham sounds deep and scratchy and like a man, so his part in the story "felt" real. Loved "Cookie" because her drama was simple and real and NOT drug out all through the book! I get frustrated when the whole story is drama and could have been resolved with a conversation.
Ham (Graham) So reasonable. Delightfully intent, sexy, and masterful.
Emma brought the characters to life. was very pleased to listen and went looking for more books she's narrated.
wanted to, but had to sleep. Couldn't wait to start it again in the morning though!
A good book is made better by a good narrator. I've listened to some so-so books that were better than the writing alone because of the narrator, and I've listened to some really good books that were hard to get through because the narrator wasn't right for the story. It's a team adventure and this team is a winner on all accounts!!
"Really good addition to the series :D"
This was a very good book. Graham Reece first shows up in the book “For You” from KA’s The Burg series. I really liked what I saw of Reese in that book and have been looking forward to his book. Zara and Reece are really good together and I enjoyed their story. :D
Zara grew up in an abusive home and now has nothing to do with her family. She has made her way on her own for years and things haven’t been easy for her. She met Reece around 8 years before the current time of the book, when he happened to be working in her town for a while before he moved on. She knew he was her “one” but also knew she couldn't keep him. For 5 years he’d visit and be there for her at some points when she needed help but he’d always leave again so she ends up being forced to break things off with him and tell him she’s moving on.
Reece is a good guy but he was screwed over early in life and it made him untrusting of women. Only 2 women have broken past his barriers at all, and that’s Zara and February (the heroine from “For You”). He cared for Feb and his involvement with her for a while earned him an attack by a stalker/serial killer that was killing off past lovers. Once he recovers from his attack he starts to examine his life. He realizes he wants to find a home and build a family, so he goes after the woman he’s always known he was a fool to walk away from, Zara.
Things didn't go well for Zara after she ended things with Reese. She got married to a nice man but she was settling and knew it. She thought she loved him enough but once they were married she found she was losing herself to try to work things out with him. She had to end the marriage (for which she carried a lot of guilt) and around the same time the recession hit and financial issues came up which forced her in to a cheap but not very safe apartment and a low paying job. Reece did show up right after his attack and her divorce but neither of them was in the right state of mind at the time and they just ended up fighting. Reece leaves and gives her some space for a while but shows up again when she needs him and convinces her to move in with him (but only as a roommate) while also offering her a higher paying job. Zara still has feelings for Reece and knows it’s not a good idea (for her emotional well being if nothing else) but agrees because she’s in dire straits.
Zara and Reece are just roommates at first. They get used to each other again and become friends again but there are also fights at times as they’re both attracted to each other but not together so there’s tension. Eventually, in halting steps, Reece and Zara get together as more than just roommates. It’s not easy and their communication skills aren't the best. I’ll admit there were times when Reece didn't handle some of Zara’s issues the best but he did eventually get very good at expressing his feelings and in very sweet and meaningful ways. Zara didn't always listen very well and made some misjudgments herself but she came around and learned to trust what Reece was showing and telling her and started bringing her own goodness to the relationship.
Soon after Reece and Zara finally come together as a couple, Reece shows his supportive side to Zara as issues with her family come to light. Reece is great about helping Zara with the heavy problems she has to deal with. He is very protective of her and does what he can to lighten her load…I have to admit to falling for him a bit myself. The family issues do get sorted out and the book ends with a satisfying HEA for Zara and Reece.
This was a very good book. I really liked Reece and Zara and was happy they got their HEA especially since it was years late. This was a good addition to the series (it reminded me of book #1, The Gamble). I’d recommend this book. Thumbs up. :D
"NIce a little different but still great"
That I already knew some of the players
That the girl didn't get kidnapped
She is a awesome reader
Not worthy of a movie
"Not what the bad reviews are saying!"
Yes to both.....the characters were a hoot.
What was all the fuss about? K A has a formula for the mountain series that pervades through all the books. Fans of her know this. This one is no different.
I'll admit that after reading several stories one may get tired of the perfect mountain man gets gorgeous girl (who does not know it,) I am a little. But I still enjoy the characters and the mystery behind them and watching the story unfold. I laugh and cry with them and that's why I get the books in the first place.
"THIS BOOK TOOK, MORE THAN IT GAVE TO ME"
One thing I love about Kristen Ashley is that she knows how to move your emotions, as a reader. She makes you FEEL…she makes you think. With that in mind, I kept thinking about sayings like, "you don't choose who you fall in love with." Well, that saying was fitting for Zara Cinders. I mean, who would have chosen to love a man, and give him 5 years of her life, who was not only a man-whore, but a roamer, all while BEING with HER!! Where was her self-worth? That is probably what kills me the most, especially when you learn about her family background, then it makes sense that she would allow herself to become emotionally latched on to a man who wasn't able to give her commitment. I think that's the worst part of Graham ("Ham") Reece. When he was present, he was good, he was interested, he was connected, but it was clear that there was no room for Zara to request more from him than the scraps he gave her. I hated that. I wouldn't want that for any woman.
For me, this story took more energy than it gave me. It made me angry and it put me in a bad mood. Ham is a hulking, handsome man, but he had issues with women. You just knew his backstory was going to be horrific because it was like someone poured acid on his emotional connections and his ability to establish roots with Zara. When he finally had a chance to be with Zara (9 F-in years later), he regretted walking away. But, I hated that even when he came back to win Zara over, he was a shitty communicator, and he had a kind of "no-nonsense" or "no-tolerance" policy regarding her questioning him, in particular, about February Owens. February Owens is a woman HE mentioned to Zara in a fight saying pretty much that of all the women he has slept with only February and Zara were kept in the same category (meaning he kept coming back to them). So OF-FREAKN-COURSE- Zara is going to feel some insecurity about February. And, sorry, but when he finally felt fit to give her an explanation about February, and what she meant to him, it was shit. I hated that Zara caught him talking to her on the phone and called February "beautiful" and throughout the book referenced Zara's looks as "dam pretty." Well, guess what???? Every woman KNOWS THAT THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN "beautiful" and "pretty." So, when he described Zara as "beautiful" only on their wedding day, well, that just wasn't good enough. Even though Ham said Zara was the best woman he ever met, well it's still shit knowing there was a very, VERY close runner up who he still laments not having a closer relationship with her (since her man won't allow it). I don't know…maybe I should read February's book in order to understand Ham's connection to her. But, due to Ham's emotional distance and lack of tolerance for Zara's emotional output, well he never was good enough….even after everything he did to win Zara back. When it comes down to it, the bad times overshadowed the good times toward the latter part of the novel, and weighed the whole book down for me. It's one of those stories where love is the only explanation because everything else is just jacked up.
I know this review became more of a rant, but MY GOODNESS, I'm still fuming from reading it. The positive aspect of Ham and Zara's story is that KA delivers a very REAL type of love, but it's not ideal.
"Super author and series"
The story content, and the narrators.
I like Zoras store clerk friends. They are super funny.
I like that she is engaging.
This book made me feel angry, sad and happy. I'm not going to elaborate so I don't give anything away.
I have read a lot of this authors books and I have not been disappointed yet. Go to her website and get the book order.
Total Romance and Sexy!!!!
The whole series of Kristen Ashley's books are all "Total Romance"
I love all the bedroom scenes. And I love the way "Ham" comes to take care of the woman. To make her SAFE and feel PROTECTED!!
This story made me cry!!
"Not my favorite"
This book is not my favorite in the series... It is is still a good book but not at the sane level as the other books in the series.
I really enjoy this author and this series, I like the humor and the action. I would definitely recommend. The narrator is amazing she really fit this story or should I say this authors books.
"Another winner in this series!"
This is another 5 star book in this series. Not all in the Colorado series have been 5 stars. Loved "The Gamble", "Breathe", and now "Jagged" is also wonderful.
Just for anyone's information, Sweet Dreams wasn't top notch and Lady Luck was pretty good.
Jagged was a great story along with as always perfection narration by Emma Taylor. I loved the twisting romance between Ham and Zara.
Zara's issues kept mounting throughout the story and loved how they all came around and how this story ended. You won't be disappointed and it's worth a credit.
I hope the next one in this series is as good as this one.
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