The finale to a beloved
series makes me melancholy, but one from this author totally devastates me. I
have a hard enough time letting go of Ms. Ashley’s characters and the
excitement that overcomes me the first time I step into their literary worlds.
Saying goodbye is excruciating, since I’m always anxious for the next
installment. Through the power of KA’s flawless descriptive writings, I’ve
emotionally attached myself to Knight, Creed, Raid and Deacon…feeling as if they
somehow magically became real. As much as I wanted my hands on Nick’s romance,
it broke me knowing that the story line was coming to an end.
Stepping into Sebring, I faced a great challenge with
getting to know and hopefully liking Nick, the ‘dark horse’, introduced in Knight.Bracing myself, the struggle was real because, lets face it…
Nick was a douche.
Nevertheless, I liked the challenge of an edgy bad-boy reinventing himself in a
way that leaves me no choice but to fall for him. By the end of the prologue,
Nick had my heart wrapped tight around his little pinky finger. Olivia (Livvie)
and Nick’s erotic romance superbly capped this series and once again, Kristen Ashley
overwhelmed me with yet another deeply passionate, highly emotional, poignant tale.
If you have not read the
series in its entirety, I highly recommend jumping on that pronto to understand
Nick’s mindset. His character started off (in prior installments) as someone I
loathed. Jealous, spoiled, sabotaging – he took full advantage of his brother,
Knight.After reading Sebring, I hate reflecting back on the
asshole he used to be. But, it’s crucial to remember his beginnings to
appreciate his character’s transformation. When a hero/heroine is at their
worst, Ashley is at her best as she triumphantly scripts their path towards
redemption. I absolutely savored seeing Nick struggle from his lowest point, work
hard to piece his life back together, while winning my affection along the way.
I loved the man he
became. Loved how he earned the respect of his brother, friends and family. Adored
how Nick forced himself through the cracks of Livvie’s armor, drawing her from
the darkness of fear into dawn’s light. He had my nerves twisted in knots with
his elaborate plan of using Livvie to avenge the murder of his late girlfriend/partner,
Hettie (his target being Vincent Shade). But without a doubt, his feelings for
Livvie were sincere practically from the start. His heart and soul belonged to
Olivia Shade as he placed her needs above all else. It may have taken Nick a while,
but in his struggle, he found strength for the sake of his love. That’s the
true beauty of this tale. The man Nick Sebring became is compassionate, understanding,
selfless and fiercely protective of Livvie. Even though Nick’s an anti-hero (overly
dark, edgy and living by his own set of rules), to me he’s also a true
Alpha-hero in every sense of the word. He was the perfectly flawed, dynamic
Seeing Livvie’s life was achingly
painful. Trapped under her father’s (a nefarious, heartless bastard) control,
she played the role of his dutiful daughter, while helping to run the crumbling
‘family business’. She survived by maintaining a stone-cold facade. Her somber
character made my heart bleed when seeing into her dark and lonely life. What I
admired the most was, hidden beneath the shroud of sorrow, stood a woman of
great strength who dared to hope. I desperately wanted Livvie to find
happiness, and it shattered me knowing she was the pawn in Nick’s plan. My anxiety level soared knowing that the realization would send her
reeling. Fortunately for her (and my nerves), what began under false pretenses
became very real rather quickly for Nick, when realizing Olivia Shade is not
what she appeared to be. She was desolate. She was vulnerable. She was trapped
in a prison created by her family and Nick made it his mission to unravel the
layers and free her from darkness. He found exquisite beauty in his Livvie and a
second chance to love again. In the end, Nick was amazingly romantic as he
moved heaven and earth in hopes of bringing Livvie much deserved love and joy.
From the onset, these two
ignited in a frenzied fury of erotic explosions. Their sexual chemistry was unrivaled
and wild. It was combustible. I was constantly fanning myself down as they frantically
battled for domination during each passionate encounter. Nick was incredible and beyond sexy. As Livvie
desperately needed affection, Nick consistently gave her everything, and I ate all
the intensity up with a spoon. And I loved seeing their tumultuous affair become
more than just a romp. Profound feelings of love developed, consuming both,
which made me swoon.
I'm always giddy when
seeing past loves pop up within the story-line. Knight, of course, comes into
play and manages to make me fall even deeper in love with him. He openly welcomes
Nick back into the fold and forgives. It was a truly remarkable moment of
tenderness and healing between two brothers that struck a chord within my
heart. There’s so much more substance to Kristen Ashley’s prose than just a
beautifully scripted romance. There are inspirational messages conveyed through
her character’s experiences, which brings to light the significance of forgiveness,
redemption and family. Whether we are journeying through a motorcycle club, parallel
universes, the burgs of Indy, the mountainous towns of Colorado, or in the city
of Denver where men live by their own codes – these fundamentals are ever-present
in her tales. It’s brothers and sisters lending an abundance of guidance, love
and support in a time of need.With each
read, I walk away uplifted and tremendously moved as she feeds my soul.
Like all good things, this series came to an end and Sebring was phenomenal. It was one hell
of a gripping erotic romance filled with nerve-wracking moments of angst as anti-heroes
faced off against their vile foes. GAH! My anxieties climbed sky-high as Nair
and Benito added even more drama and twists to the plot. I hated to let these
sexy men go…but when one door closes, the promise of what’s to come
opens.A secondary character from the
Rock Chick Series, who teamed up with Nick, was heavily involved in this story
line. I’m keeping my fingers crossed hoping to see more of him in the future.
ARC received from Author in exchange for an honest review.
Once upon a time, I fell in
love with a man that lived in the shadows and counted the smiles of the girl he
adored from afar. And thus began my journey to a small town in Upstate New York
and into the lives of three brothers, bound not of blood, but by destiny. Poughkeepsie Begins brought me full
circle, as Debra Anastasia beautifully recounts the heartbreaking events,
trials and tribulations that forged the everlasting bonds between three
Seeing into the horrors they
endured during their teenage foster care years, and the flashbacks into the
wretchedness of their early childhood, Blake, Beckett and Cole’s stories made
my heart bleed with sadness. The abuse, as difficult as it was to witness,
allowed me to truly understand their mindset as well as set the stage for the
men they were forced to become. The common factor between was the brutality
suffered at the hands of the monsters that confined them. However, the experiences
set them down separate paths, taking on particular roles, while vowing to
remain a constant in each others lives.
Cole, the quietest of the
three, underwent the most physical and mental abuse. Somber emotions overwhelmed
me when seeing his breaking point – the pivotal moment that brought him to his
knees while turning to his faith in order cope with the depravity that engulfed
his life. It was devastating, yet hopeful knowing his faith brought him peace.
Cole is the dark horse in
this series. On the surface he is soft spoken, understanding, pious and gentle.
But buried beneath, lays a boy so lethal, it rivals the likes of Beckett’s
deadly ways. Polar opposite forces rule his soul and I love the dynamics of his
Beckett is one slick
son-of-a-bitch with a twisted sense of humor. I freaking love his witty and
sarcastic ways. In a blink of an eye, he could bring down any unfortunate
bastard who dares to get in his way, with either his cutting tongue or fists. Beck’s
loyalty to his brothers is unrivaled. He is cast in the role as protector,
and with it comes the responsibility to guard his brother’s well being.Beck’s rise to power within the crime
underworld is not driven by selfish greed or lust for power. It’s for the
chance to obtain stability for his brothers. Their world is cruel, and by
selflessly selling his soul, Beck tries to secure their future. And in doing
so, he foregoes his chance at love by letting go of the one girl who was
determined to save him. There’s honorable intentions buried beneath his immoral
demeanor, and his self-sacrifice earned my respect.
My favorite hero within this
series is definitely Blake. Don’t get me wrong, I have great love for all, but
there is something special about the gentle aurora that surrounds Blake’s
persona that touches me deeply. The boy, so shattered and riddled with fears,
captured my heart from the very beginning. His dedication, compassion and
calmness he unfailingly gives his brothers reminded me of all the reasons why I
adored this sexy green-eyed hunk. The symphonic beauty radiating from his
character’s soul pulled on my heartstrings and I will miss him greatly.
In Poughkeepsie Begins, Debra Anastasia brings to life some of the
most outrageous, yet lovable characters. Her unique writing style harmonizes
angst, heartache and dark humor with a touch of romance. The Poughkeepsie
Brotherhood is one of my all time favorite series and although this novel is
considered a standalone, I highly recommend reading all installments to fully
appreciate her heroes’ experiences. Bravo, Debra, and thank you for bringing me
back to the beginning.
ARC received from author in exchange for
an honest review
continues to unravel in Kim Karr’s Tainted Love Series finale, Crush.
I could not wait
to get my hands on this sequel and glad when it quickly picked up, right where
I was left dangling by my fingertips, over a cliff in Blow. Tensions escalated and ran sky high as Logan and Elle’s love
and relationship strengthened despite unknown forces and past enemies working in
a concerted effort to rip them apart.
push and pull drama at first as Logan struggles with his fears over imminent
threats against his Elle. Nevertheless, his desires and the overwhelming need
to safeguard her could no long be denied. I loved his determination and
over-protective Alpha tendencies when it came to Elle’s safety. He claims all
of her; works tirelessly to shield her from harm as no one, not the mob or the
feds, will stand in their way. Logan was the perfectly sexy, dominating hero.
delivers sizzling romances coupled with extreme angst and mysteries layered
within its plot. I’m always on edge, fully engrossed, as the tension she builds
skyrockets. In Crush, the web of
secrets and dangers that surround this couple held me captivated as my nerves
were frazzled, trying to piece together clues peppered throughout this fast
paced story.And as I tried to pay close
attention to the tiniest of details, surprise plot twists had me gasping.
Always expect the unexpected when savoring this author’s tales.
Crush had it all – murders, mysteries,
mayhem…the mobster element (which gave me a ‘Soprano’s’ meets ‘The Departed’
vibe), nail-biting drama and heart pounding moments. I was on the edge of my
seat throughout most of this read. Although I would not consider this a dark
romance, there were times of gloom and doom that crushed me with dread and
A life for a
Elle was a
somewhat strong heroine who grew more confident as the story progressed, but
Logan stole the show for me. He was just the perfectly devoted, swoon-worthy
knight in shining armor whose raw passion and dominance caused my heart to
pitter-patter. He was so sweet and gentle as he put Elle’s needs before his
This series was
a tense roller coaster ride and a good choice for fans of romantic suspense. I
was totally consumed and pulled deeper and deeper within the story-line, falling
in love with a cast of unforgettable characters. Another beautifully written,
scorching hot romance from Author Kim Karr.
out Griffin “The Hulk” Hancock was getting his own book…
I was overjoyed and could
not wait to crawl inside Griffin’s crazy mind. Throughout the Thoughtless Series, his character came
across as the comic relief to an otherwise serious, angst filled story.In Untamed,
we get all of Griffin – His lunacy, his outlook on life and seeing the world
through his eyes. The experience was interesting, to say the least. I can
unequivocally say that Griffin is the most delusional, self-centered character
I have ever come across, yet I adored him. This bad boy bassist has the largest
ego – ever. His world and everything he touches is… Awesome.
Beyond his clueless idiocy,
lays the heart of a man who learns life’s lessons the hardest of ways. In
losing it all, Griffin struggled and learned not to take life, family and
friends for granted. And in his struggle, he worked hard to regain the
adoration of those who love him. I have to say he drove me nuts with all his
misguided views and poor decisions. But,
I cherished how he matured and sought redemption.
For most of the story
Griffin, in his uniquely comical way, exasperated me with his stubbornness,
jealousy and selfishness. The mistakes and circumstances he got involved in had
me both giggling at his hijinks and wanting to smack some sense into him.
Poor Anna, I felt terrible
for all her frustrations. Her husband was a handful, driving her (and me) to
the point of vexation at times.
By hitting rock bottom - losing
fame, fortune and his family, reality FINALLY sank into his thick skull. Griffin
was smacked silly with a huge wake up call, forced into maturity and took
responsibility for his actions. This is where I’ve come to adore him even more
– the clueless Hulk grew up.
This story was a great
departure in style and tone from the previous installments of this series. It
was a refreshing change to see Stephens penning a tale mostly filled with
levity in comparison to the emotional angst fill heaviness that draped Kiera and
Kellan’s romance. Yes, there were serious moments, but for the most part, Untamed was a lighthearted read. As much
as I love Kellan, I am a hulk fan girl too. I liked Griffin jumping into Untamed and walked away cherishing his
character. I always appreciate a good story involving a character’s redemption
and Griffin certainly proved himself to me despite his stupid, ridiculous
mistakes. He grew and learned to
treasure the important things in life…his wife, his family and friends. I loved
seeing more of Kellan…*sigh*…and the rest of the D-bags. For a fan of the
series, this is a must read and I do hope Stephens continues the series by
giving Evan and Matt their own romances. I don’t want to let these characters
Arc kindly received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.