Review: Ride Steady by Kristen Ashley

01 ride I swear to God, Kristen Ashley can do NO WRONG. This book had all the feels. Oh my word, did it ever. One moment I’m giggling and the next I’m tearing up, and five minutes later I’m swooning. She writes the perfect story.

Right off the bat, my heart was breaking for Carson”Joker”Steele. His home life was made from nightmares. Pure nightmares. But some how he finds a way to break free and move on from the damage his father has done to him, and make a name for himself with the Chaos MC. He found a place to belong. A place of safety. A place where he’s not alone. But he was just treading, not really putting forth an effort to create livelong bonds. That is until he ran into Carissa and realizes that just skimming the surface isn’t a way to live. He needs to dive in deep.

Carissa had the perfect life, until it wasn’t. She married her high school sweetheart and gave him a child, but then he threw her away. She was forced to scrounge up and try and make a life for her and her son, with no help from her jerk off ex. Then one day she gets a flat tire and is rescued by the one boy she always felt something for. The one boy who was hurting but tried to hide it. The one boy that’s going give her the ride of her life.

Chaos is family. No matter what. They care for each other and will stand by you, until you get the through your thick skull. So when Joker is suddenly in the position to finally have something real in his life, his brothers will do anything to help him achieve that. Because everyone deserves to be happy.

I loved watching Joker transform into the man he was meant to be. He went from a non smiling, no emotion showing guy, to a smirking, full out rolling laughter in a matter of weeks. His feelings made me tear up half the time. He was straightforward and calm, and majorly swoony.

I swear, watching the big tough “manly man biker” with an eight month old, was enough to make me melt right to the floor. And then to watch him defend that boy’s mama, really made me melt. He was fierce and super loyal and he is the standard by which all men should be ranked against.

This is, by far, my most favorite MC series EVER. I hope there will be many books to come. I love the fact that some of the past characters, from the Rock Chicks to the Dream Men, make an appearance. I love seeing all their worlds collide and work together to keep everyone safe. Well done, Kristen!!

~Melpomene

Buy Ride Steady (Chaos)

Ride steady can be read as a standalone, but I highly recommend you read the rest of the Chaos books. Trust me, you will love this series.

Own the Wind is only 99 cents!! That’s a great incentive to get started with these guys!!

Then grab Fire Inside to continue the series.

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Review: One in a Million (Lucky Harbor #12) by Jill Shalvis

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One in a Million is the tale of Callie and Tanner. I’m going to tell you why I’m so in love with Tanner and EVERY Lucky Harbor character I’ve ever read.

Jill Shalvis has a way of making Lucky Harbor heroes ultra-alpha with a big dose of sensitivity and adorableness. It’s a talent. A skill. A miracle even. The men have muscles and brains and businesses and big hearts and deep souls. They are perfect.

Even though Tanner is clueless or selfish or begrudging at times, he still wants what’s best for Callie… And he wants Callie. Sigh. I live for watching the guy want the girl. He’s all meeting her for coffee and bringing her doughnuts and remembering that she gave him a Valentine in high school. See? Perfection.

And Callie. Well, she doesn’t believe in love. In her wedding planning business, she has seen too many brides focus on the wedding rather than the marriage. When Callie realizes she has loved Tanner for a long, long time, she puts up her defenses, leaving Tanner wondering.

She finally caves, of course. There’s a meeting of the minds and a heart-to-heart. And grandma Lucille? She makes sure this one in a million love story is happily ever after #12. 🙂

-calliope

buy ONE IN A MILLION

Review: He’s So Fine (Lucky Harbor #11) by Jill Shalvis

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I said it for book #10, and I’ll say it again. I love Lucky Harbor, and Shalvis writes the best alpha men ever.

He’s So Fine tells the story of Olivia (not her real name, but hopefully no one finds out) and Cole (like McGuyver, but more sensitive and nosy and muscly and alpha).

They don’t mean to hit it off, but the electricity between them is just too much to resist. When they finally knock down some emotional walls, they might even start a real relationship… If it weren’t for Cole’s inability to trust, and Olivia’s inability to share the truth. You see how that might cause some problems!

What impressed me was that Shalvis made Cole and Olivia’s character flaws a platform for comic relief, a wonderful use of wit that endeared me to the couple instead of being annoyed with them. The two pretty much save each other from themselves, and enjoy a terrific Lucky Harbor happily ever after. Sigh. Those never get old.

One of the mainstays of the Lucky Harbor series is Lucille, resident blue-haired busybody. In this particular book, Shalvis introduces us to Olivia’s friend Callie, Lucille’s granddaughter. That introduction has got me veddy veddy interested in what might be coming up ahead in Book 12. I can’t wait!

-Calliope
buy HE’S SO FINE

Review: It’s In His Kiss (Lucky Harbor #10) by Jill Shalvis

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I love Lucky Harbor. The women are tough cookies even though they cry and glare and let a good kiss redeem bad behavior (well, not SO bad). Shalvis writes the best alpha men ever, EVER, and they are all different. How can there be so many smart, cocky, sensitive, charming, muscled men in one town? And all with distinct personalities and quirks and talents? I do not know, but I like it.

It’s in His Kiss is WONDERFUL. Becca moves to Lucky Harbor to get away from her wacky family, and she meets Sam. They ogle each other and work together at Sam’s boat chartering business for a while, until Becca realizes Lucky Harbor has avenues for her to use her musical talents. Meanwhile, they fall a little bit in love. And of course there’s a misunderstanding and a happily ever after.

That’s my kind of book: Relatable, likable characters; quick, smart dialogue; a forward-moving plot; characters who display authentic humor and poignant friendships; and a satisfying romance. And Shalvis further proves her writing talent by writing a series where each book can be read standing alone, yet if you read them together you enjoy nuggets of recognition and common threads. Just perfect.

I stayed up late to read this. I stayed up late to read #11. And I’ll stay up late to read #12. I can’t get enough of Lucky Harbor. 🌊☀️☔️😎💏

The subsequent books in the series will be released in September and October.

-Calliope
buy IT’S IN HIS KISS

Review: Decadent (Big Sky Pie #4) by Adrianne Lee

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I so enjoy these fun, yummy romances set in a Montana pie shop. Adrianne Lee does a terrific job writing food – it’s totally natural and easily fits in with the storyline. Not to mention Lee’s sensory descriptions are top-notch and make me want pie. Lots of pie.

The romance in Decadent is a little different from books 1-3. Very lusty. More flirting. Roxy is a sensual woman who knows what she wants, so the flirting is overt and you know a physical relationship is on deck.

Wade endeared himself to me. Shy, hesitant, afraid to make a mistake, he has a hard time making his actions match his feelings. Roxy makes some moves, though, and solves that problem!

The end was a little abrupt for me. Roxy leaves and comes back just a bit too quickly and without a lot of explanation. Apart from that one bump, Decadent smoothly sailed the happily ever ship. I was glad to be aboard.

By the way, I started Decadent before bed and was enjoying it so much that I forced my eyes to stay open until I finished it. I closed the kindle waaaay past my bedtime, but I fell asleep happy… thinking about love and pies and Montana skies.

-Calliope

June 2014 release. Only $2.99! And fine to read as a standalone.
buy DECADENT

Review: The Girls of August by Anne Rivers Siddons

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This would be a fantastic book to listen to in the car on the way to the beach for a week. Or while basking in the sun on your back deck. It’s a beach read… about the beach and its freedom and isolation and peace.

I admit I went into this book expecting something heavy. Instead I found an easygoing story about four women who get together for two weeks at the beach. The catch is, one woman is the new girl. The other three don’t let her forget it, and make her life miserable until personal tragedies bring them all together.

The Girls of August leaves many loose ends: we don’t know what happens with the health of two of the women, or the marriages of the other two. We never find out what happens to the island natives, or to the land that was supposedly left to one of the husbands. We don’t know if there’s a next vacation planned or a wedding.

I’m uncomfortable finishing a book without closure. I felt like I read a short story that was supposed to share a moral or a theme, but left the plot hanging.

However, The Girls of August has the wonderful redemptive quality of authentic friendships and introversion. These ladies were real with each other. They were snarky and sarcastic and bitter and loving and comforting and witty. They used the quiet of the beach to peel away their layers and discover themselves – not the women other people *expected * them to be, but who they really were. These women didn’t necessarily change, they just figured out who they were and who they were going to be from now on.

–Calliope

buy THE GIRLS OF AUGUST