Saturday, September 27, 2014

Deacon by Kristen Ashley @KristenAshley68 (ARC Review)

ARC received from author in exchange for an honest review
5 Beautiful War Stars

Excitement flowed through me. With kindle in hand, eyes fixated on its screen, the world around me faded away. All that existed resides in cabin 11 – Glacier Lily Cottages - Antler, Colorado.  Captivated and consumed by Deacon and Cassidy’s love story, I was once again lured into a fantastical world created by one of my favorite authors, Kristen Ashley. As expected, I was treated to a wondrous, emotional tale filled with laughter, heartache, and amazing erotic scenes, which surpassed any previously penned by this author. Deacon is a must read for fans and lovers of romance.

Deacon is the fourth installment in the “Unfinished Heroes” Series  - stories about ‘anti-heroes’  - decent men whose life experiences forced them to do undesirable deeds. Deacon, aka John Priest as he is first introduced to Cassidy, is one of those men. Heart-shattering events from his past led him down a dark and dangerous path to become a “dead man walking”.

This erotic romance is by far one of the hottest, sexiest books I’ve read. The sex, which included BDSM elements, was deliciously arousing.  Cassie and Deacon know how to get their kink on and their “vanilla” lovemaking was just as sizzling.  Ashley has out done herself, making this read one of my all time favorites. It had it all…a well written plot, drama, suspense, passion and breath-taking moments. Her detailed and descriptive writing, as well as the dialogue, gives great insight into the hearts and minds of the characters.  

Cassie is the owner of Glacier Lily Cottages, cabins set in the mountains of Colorado. Her first customer is a gorgeous, terrifyingly scary man who calls himself “John Priest”. From the moment they met, Cassie was drawn to him by simply glancing into his expressionless eyes. And so begins a quasi-relationship spanning over six years as Deacon finds himself returning to what he considers homecabin 11. All the while, a war was raged within the mysterious Deacon Gates. A battle between his will to remain a broken, emotionally detached man and the growing need to submit to his burning desires for Cassie.

I fell head over heals in love with Deacon. Tall, handsome, rugged, outrageously sensual and a growler – everything I desire in the Alpha hero of my dreams. Each time he rumbles “WOMAN”, “HERE” to Cassie, I tingled with girlish excitement.  The complexity of his character was fascinating.  A total badass who voiced so few words but whose actions and expressions spoke volumes. His transition from a stoic, soulless man to a caring and passionate lover overwhelmed me.

Buried beneath his ‘wall of ice’ lived a true romantic hero. The more Deacon shed his secrets, the more I connected with his character.  Tough and tender, serious and sweet, commanding and compassionate – all that makes Deacon the powerful man who wormed his way into Cassie’s heart, managed to capture mine.

Cassidy Swallow is “the shit”. One of the strongest storybook heroines I’ve come across. She’s funny and sassy (in a non annoying way). Her determination to be both an independent woman and to break through to Deacon was immeasurable. She’s the perfect “tough broad” to challenge a man like Deacon. I admired her tenacity and the way she gave all of herself to help heal his pain. Cassie is without a doubt the woman Deacon needed to help conquer his demons, let go of an ugly past and fight a “beautiful war”.

For fans, Deacon is a must read. It contains some sexual situations mentioned in the disclaimer, but honestly, I personally had no trouble with it. There is no cliffhanger, but a foundation is set for the last installment. It can be read as a stand-alone. However, I highly recommend reading Knight, Creed and Raid to fully appreciate the journey and the characters involved in the storyline. One of the highlights of diving into a new release is discovering which old friends make cameo appearances. Another reason why I love KA’s books, the perpetuity she gives all of her characters. You really never say a final goodbye. My only gripe (if you can even consider it one) is that I found myself wanting more of Cassie and Deacon’s romance. I am a greedy reader when it comes to Kristen’s work. Her stories exist on a different plane for me, and the power of her tales touches me in unspeakable ways.  Seeing the word “epilogue” fills me with dread knowing I have to wait to get my next fix. 



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