5+++ “Catching Butterflies” Stars!
“Who would have thought my Carson Steele would catch butterflies.”
Ride Steady is the third book in Kristen Ashley’s Chaos series. What you get with this book is classic KA to me. I adored this! We get the KA signature alpha-male, a feisty female and a lot of hot and steamy. We also get KA's life lessons and true depth that I have come to expect from this author. By the end, our hero and heroine found their beauty and I loved the Epilogue.
This book is a beautiful and tender romance that I was easily absorbed into and completely lost myself in. It was truly KA at her absolute best proving to me that she will forever reign as the literary Queen of my heart. This stand-alone love story encompassed everything that made me fall into a crazy obsession with Kristen Ashley in the first place – a brilliant storyline, a descriptive and wordy writing style, a sexy alpha-male, an endearing heroine, humorous and witty dialogue, some passionate sexy times and family dynamics (in this case a biker family) told with a flare that only this author can create. Every time I pick up a book by this author it is like coming home. Truly!
“She was golden. Nothing beat her. She smiled through pain and made you believe it.”
Carissa Teodoro’s and Carson Steele’s story start when they are in high school. Carissa was the quintessential popular cheerleader who was beautiful and sweet. Carson was the whispered-about bad boy with a reputation. What not many people knew was that he was with an abusive ass-hat for a father. Carissa longed for a fairytale life with a Prince Charming right by her side. Carson was simply waiting for the moment that he could escape the hell he was living. The pair may have crossed paths and had an inexplicable attraction even back in high school; however, it was not meant to be for Carissa and Carson at the time. Life took them in two very different directions. Until they meet once again a number of years later, when an intense and scary looking biker comes to Carissa’s rescue...
Seven years later and Carissa is a young, divorced mother who is struggling to give her son the best life she can. Her high-school sweet-heart was not the man she thought he was and her happily ever after certainly did not turn out as planned. Finding herself stranded on the side of the road one day with a flat tire she is unable to fix on her own, Carissa has no idea her life is about to change when the rumbling of a motorcycle coming in her direction gets her attention. She is a little taken aback when a familiar looking biker comes to her aide. He helps Carissa and offers to have her stop by the garage he works at to have her car looked at. Fate is definitely working overtime here.
Carson Steele managed to leave the destructive home where he was raised and found another family with the Chaos Motorcycle Club. He is now known as “Joker” and has been embraced by this crazy band of brothers. When Joker stops to help a woman stranded on the side of the road and discovers that she is the one girl he has never forgotten, it is almost a blessing in disguise that she does not recognize him. After all, he is a different man. Joker has created a new life for himself and carved out a new path, a path that a good girl like Carissa Teodoro would likely not fit into. How could a girl who was once the prom queen and deserves her white knight in shining armor ever fit into the Chaos world?
“Jesus, you do it for me.”
“I do...” I paused uncertainly, “what for you?”
“Yeah, Carrie,” he answered. “It’s you. It’s always been you. It’ll always be you. Fuckin’ always.”
I absolutely adored Joker and Carissa. It may have taken Joker a little longer than Carissa, but both recognized that they were each other’s chance at true happiness and love. Both of them have been through enough in their lives to recognize that what they shared with one another was profound, deep ad special and it was something beautiful. Something they wanted to hold on to with both hands no matter what obstacles come their way or what demons they had to push back. I loved how both Joker and Carissa were straight-forward and honest never beating around the bush to express their desires and needs. And this, my friends, is pure KA greatness. The intensity of their connection, their profound chemistry and passion, the wonderful character development and incomparable prose – all this made up a beautiful story that had me laughing, crying, struggling to catch my breath and touched me at a very powerful level. I connected with both Joker and Carissa. I was so immersed in their story that when the end came I did not want to let go. Talk about a huge book hang-over!
Kristen Ashley has this innate ability to evoke some powerful emotions from me. Very few authors do this to me. Joker and Carissa’s story is a slow-burning epic journey where a biker with an abusive past learns how much he truly has to offer and where a girl who once dreamed in fairytales finds the life she has always dreamed of in the arms of a biker. This story is real, has immense soul, and it comes from the heart. By the time you hit the Epilogue in this book, you will realize that what this author has weaved is nothing short of brilliant and magic story-telling. It’s a story that simply wraps around your heart. A knight-in-shining-armor can appear at any time in a lady’s life sweeping her off her feet and giving her a breathtaking forever.
One thing that is worth noting is the amount of cameo appearances that this book has. IT. WAS. AWESOME. Not only do we get to catch up with the Chaos brothers that we have come to know and love and their women, but we also get appearances by just about every KA bad-ass alpha male featured in the Rock Chick and Dream Man series. Sigh!!!!!
Kristen Ashley books exist on a separate level for me. They are like the holy grail of books. There is no comparing this author’s masterful writing skills to anyone else. With this being said, I can honestly state that Ride Steady is one of my absolute favorite books by this author. Yes, this says a lot considering the obscene amount of love I have for KA. This book resonated with my heart and soul and left me sighing happily in the la-la land that KA books usually leave me in. There is nothing wrong with that except for the fact that I now have to read a few older books by this author to get her out of my system. ;)
I was Carson “Joker” Steele’s. End of story.
*****An advance reading copy of Ride Steady by Kristen Ashley was generously provided to me via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.