Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Farthest Edge (Honey #2) by Kristen Ashley @KristenAshley68 @InkSlingerPR

5 Stars

Explosive best describes this second standalone in The Honey Series. Every facet of Branch and Evangeline’s journey in The Farthest Edge ignited, from their fiery sexual chemistry to their erotic playtime, and I felt as if my heart was going to explode all over the place. My emotions became so entwined within the pages of their love story it consumed me. All their joys, heartbreaking sorrows and passion had me reeling, tumbling over the edge right along side them.

“Ready to slip over the edge with me, baby?”

Hellz yeah, I was ready. Intrigued by these two characters when first introduced in The Deep End, I was more than willing to jump into this novel. It’s erotica at its very best; brimming with scene after salacious scene of heart thumping, body clenching kinkery. Loved every minute of their sexy time. However, there’s so much more substance to this read than the BDSM element and sizzling hot sex. It has all the old school vintage KA romance feels laced throughout its gripping plot, lifting this story to an entirely different level.

“He breathed, he did not exist.”

Branch Dillinger is a ghost of a man haunted by demons and focused on revenge. My heart ached seeing all of his pain. Buried under a tremendous amount of guilt, he’s stone cold and detached. No commitments. No emotional ties. Just looking for a quick release with a temporary club Domme and then moving on. Everything changes when Evangeline Brooks (Angie) falls into his life, turning his world upside down. This feisty woman is determined to break through his glacial demeanor in hopes of soothing his ravaged soul.

Evangeline is such a lovable heroine ~ a spirited, down to earth girly girl who’s sassy yet sweet. She’s also broken, barely surviving the horrors from her previous D/s relationship. It is her temporary ‘no strings attached’ arrangement with Branch that eventually brings her back to life. Under Branch’s care, she blossoms and finds herself again.

What I adored most about Angie was her persistent faith in their connection and her extraordinary strength. Despite the pains of her past, Angie trustingly gives all of herself to Branch. She understands his desires as her sub, as well as his needs as her man, and guides their relationship with care. She becomes strong enough to fight for their relationship. And the love she has for Branch is powerful enough to push him to the edge, giving him reason to stay and to finally exist.

I can’t begin to explain my love for this ex-military badass. I dislike comparing heroes since each is unique, but I saw hints of past loves within his personality namely Deacon, Raid and (strangely enough) Sam Cooper. It was so easy to fall for Branch as he embodied everything I love when it comes to a KA hero. The fact that he sexually submits to Angie does not, in any way, minimize his Alpha male tendencies. He’s dominating, gritty, has an outrageous carnal appetite and extremely protective as well possessive. I loved his gentle side, tending to Angie's needs knowing her traumatic past, gaining her trust and heart. But what truly drew me in, aside from all his sexiness, was his agony.

Branch’s heartache affected me in an unforgettable way. There’s one particular scene towards the end where Branch unleashes all his sorrows that totally annihilated me. I was a wreck and honestly, it’s one of the most achingly beautiful, tearful moments ever scripted. I love when characters, especially from this author, are so completely shattered their healing seems impossible. I want to feel their pain because I know for certain Ashley’s words and her couples will guide me through the gloominess to a place filled with love and beauty. KA has a magical way of bringing me joy through her writing. And when the road is paved with intense sorrow, as it is in this read, I appreciate the overwhelming feeling of bliss so much more. Both Angie and Branch suffered great betrayals in their past and it was beautiful seeing how their love healed. The way they comfort one another, establish trust and fall in love truly made this a touching story.

An enticing BDSM romance bursting with beauty, passion and raw emotions, The Farthest Edge is pure KA gold. If you’re hesitant because this book may seem vastly different from Ashley’s norm, don’t be. Everything I needed to lose myself within a great story was here, just with a heavy dose of kink. The familiar world building descriptive writing style, a captivating plot, dynamic characters, strong Alpha hero, powerful and breathtaking moments – I was in heaven, happily lost in Branch and Angie’s journey.  Another stunning novel from The Queen. I’m not sure what other bees will be buzzing in the future at The Honey, but I do hope to see more from Aryas and Gerbil.

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received from the publisher, St. Martin's Press.

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