Off-the-charts hot, witty, romantic and emotional
with all kinds of delicious alpha goodness wrapped up in one
rugged, rural mountain town hero that totally captivated my heart.
- Related Posts: Mega Alphas, 2014 Favorite Singles, My review of The Gamble (#1), My review of Lady Luck (#2), Kristen Ashley Reading Orders
When the local police department’s secrets are revealed and the wife he’s forced to marry is murdered, Chace finds himself the town of Carnal’s hero. Knowing how deep in the mud he was forced to sink, Chace feels he’ll never get clean. The quiet, content future he envisioned of the love a good woman with whom he could build a family was now beyond his reach. The only thing he can do is find his wife’s murderer.
But he isn’t the only one looking.
While searching for new leads, he runs into Faye Goodknight, the town’s quiet, shy, pretty librarian. Chace has long since had his eye on what could possibly be the town’s last remaining virgin but he has also long since given up hope he could make her his. Faye is pure and clean and Chace refuses to dirty her with his sordid past.
Pure and clean Faye may be, but when the shy librarian is forced to go head to head with the man who she’s had a crush on since he hit her hometown, Chace finds Faye is full of surprises. And he doesn’t know what to do with her.
I’m really starting to believe that it’s simply impossible for Kristen Ashley to write a bad book. Every single time I jump into one of her stories I am so completely absorbed by it all. The characters are fraking awesome, funny and unforgettable. Simply said, every KA book I read is kickass and this one is no different. That being said, it was really emotional and that’s one of the elements I’ve loved so much in The Colorado Mountain series. The stories are infused with just a bit more heart, more emotion with scenes that have left me blurry eyed and holding my heart to my chest.
This story picks up and spins off from Lady Luck. We got to know Chace Keaton as a supporting character who worked undercover in the Carnal PD. We knew he was married to Misty, who was the person that lied about Ty’s whereabouts the night of a fateful murder and who ultimately was murdered herself in a very brutal, very heinous way. The town of Carnal sees Chace as the kind of man whose courageous actions saved the lives of others, saved the police department and even their way of life by standing up to the corrupt men who had been terrorizing their town on both small and large scale. The trouble is that Chace is now left with years of darkness and guilt just festering inside of him, dismissing all positive thoughts and consuming any hope he had for a happy future.
Enter the town’s pretty, quiet, nose-forever-stuck-in-a-book librarian, Faye Goodnight.
Faye is kind, sweet and well-respected. While she seems shy on the outside, she’s a real firecracker with a whole lot of “backbone.” I loved her wit, her love of fictional characters and her passion for science fiction. She’s a bit of a geek, but in the coolest, kindest way… and she’s been in love with Chace Keaton since her teenage years.
“I’d seen Chace Keaton at sixteen years old… and I convinced myself I found my hero and he was always there, just out of reach. But he wasn’t just out of reach and if I kept hoping, kept reaching, eventually his fingers would close warm, strong and firm around mine.”
When Chace runs into Faye one night, fate gives them a second chance at happiness. Despite a very bumpy start, Chace realizes the goodness that is Faye Goodnight and before too long, he can’t seem to let go of her and everything she makes him feel. Up until now Chace feels defined by the darkness inside of him, unworthy of the praise, respect and affection he receives. He can’t imagine that anyone would accept him after knowing the truth behind what he’s had to see and do over the course of his thirty-five years. He’s been thrust into the shady side of life by his father with hardly a person in his corner to have his back. But being next to Faye and absorbing the light and happiness she gives freely, is a feeling he isn’t ready to let go.
“Straight up, this is the man in your bed. I want in there, Faye, and when I get in there, I’m gonna dig in deep so when I share my shit that’s so dark you’ll be blinded by it and you’ll wanna run to the light, you can’t because I’m so deep, you can’t let go.”
Faye sees nothing but goodness in Chace and she’s determined to help him believe that the man he is today is more than worthy of happiness and praise. Time and time again he’s shown selflessness and valor, he just needs to see it in himself.
“I’d walk to the ends of the earth hand in hand with Chace Keaton and all he had to do to get me to do it was kiss me deep, smile at me, hold my hand and call me baby.”
Starting off, Chace comes off mean and cruel, but in reality, he’s such a tortured soul with a great, big heart full of love and kindness. I couldn’t help but fall for him and for them as a couple. It was incredibly sweet to see two people finally come together after caring for each other for too long. They way in which they fall in love is simply beautiful to see unfold. Chace is Faye’s unreachable dream… a larger than life ideal she never thought she would have in her life. And now, having him in her bed, lying in his arms and having him literally rock her world in every which way is more happiness than she could possibly ever imagine.
“He was pressed up against me after kissing me and being all… I don’t know… intense and growly and manly and saying nice thing after nice thing all, well… intense, growly and manly which made him sound like he really, really meant them. At the same time acting like the alpha male who just beat the rest of the world’s alpha males in hand to hand combat and after had climbed up a mountain of their carcasses and was thumping his chest and grunting, ‘Faye, my woman!”
In addition to their heartwarming love story, we also have a beautiful secondary story line that helps bring Faye and Chace together. It’s a profoundly emotional thread she weaves into the plot, and it had me in tears multiple times. And of course, throw in some murder and kidnapping, some sizzling chemistry, unforgettable friends from other books and the best damn epilogue you can imagine, and you’ve got yourself another 5-star Kristen Ashley book. This has absolutely been one of my favorite KA reads. I am always so very impressed with not only her signature style of writing, but also her well-developed characters that you feel you know intimately by the story’s end. In summary, this is a heartfelt story about a reluctant hero who with the fierce love of a kind woman is able to overcome the demons within himself to finally find his happily ever after.
Fraking loved it! 🙂
“I held out for a hero and I don’t give a frak if you don’t think you’re one. I know you are and even if you weren’t one to the whole town, you’re one to me and you can take that to the fraking bank.”
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