Featured Read Friday: Ride Steady

Dude. What. A. Week.

I’m pretty sure “wine me bro,” has become my new catch phrase. My hair isn’t listening to me, all my things are hiding from me, the raw cookie dough in my fridge I’m supposed to turn into cookies keeps ending up in my mouth (even though I explicitly told it that I’m not eating sweets for dinner anymore), I’m somehow ridiculously busy (probably because I’m really good at over booking myself) and no one in Seattle but me knows how to drive.  What’s a girl to do?

Ignore everything, pour yourself a glass of wine, sit your butt down somewhere nice and read a Kristen Ashley novel. Seriously. Her books are commonly referred to as crack and it’s a legitimate comparison (I think. I’ve never done crack, but I hear it’s some addictive stuff). I have yet to find one of her books that on my first read I am not up all night, telling myself just one more chapter, right before I’m swearing at my alarm clock because it’s yelling at me to get ready for work (who needs sleep?). They’re that good. So, of course I read them multiple times. Especially when I’ve had a week like this week. I don’t have the patience to be disappointed by a book.  So I go with what I know and this week I’ve gone with Ride Steady.

Ride Steady is part of the Chaos series. No, it’s not the first book but the great thing about Ashley is she is such a strong writer it doesn’t matter. Sure, sticking to reading order is nice, especially for those of the OCD nature, but you know what? Go be wild! Jump in mid series! Then swim backwards or forwards through the other books. You can go any way you choose. Yay choices!

Now let’s do a little synopsis and then why I vote you should read this book. (Okay, turns out I suck at writing synopses… I have no chill and spoil everything. Here is one courtesy of KA’s website ):

“Once upon a time, Carissa Teodoro believed in happy endings. Money, marriage,         motherhood: everything came easy–until she woke up to the ugly truth about her Prince Charming. Now a struggling single mom stranded by flat tire, Carissa’s pondering her mistake when a vaguely familiar knight rides to her rescue on a ton of horsepower.

In high school, Carson Steele was a bad boy loner who put Carissa on a pedestal where she stayed far beyond his reach. Today, he’s the hard-bodied biker known only as Joker, and from the way Carissa’s acting, it’s clear she’s falling fast. While catching her is irresistible, knowing what to do with her is a different story. A good girl like Carissa is the least likely fit with the Chaos Motorcycle Club. Too bad holding back is so damned hard. Now, as Joker’s secrets are revealed and an outside threat endangers the club, Joker must decide whether to ride steady with Carissa–or ride away forever…”

Sounds good, but what did you think about it Samantha?

Well since I’m recommending it obviously I thought it was killer. I think KA is killer. I am a 100% biased fan girl. But I’ll back it up a little too.

1) Details & descriptions. I’m one of those people that when I find a person fascinating, I find details about them fascinating (in a non creepy obsessive way). How do they decorate? What do they eat? Why do they like the shows they like?… etc. You learn a lot about a person by looking at not what’s just in front of you, but also in how they express themselves in every aspect of life (I believe this is called depth).  KA graciously provides this insight throughout the book.  I particularly love how she uses Carissa’s home. By detailing the changes made as Joker spends more time there she shows how Carissa’s “good girl” and Joker’s “bad boy” blend behind closed doors.  Ashley takes an area with potential for conflict (living together is frequently a make it or break it point *hint: they make it*), and uses it to not only bring realism to the couple but also depth to the relationship.

2) Alphas. I’ve decided the A in Ashley stands for Alphas because damn that woman can write a man. They’re the hero a romance reader craves with the realistic flaws a romance reader needs to believe. HOW DO YOU DO IT KA?! HOW?

For example I will give you this quote from our main man Joker:

“Yeah Carrie, it’s you. It’s always been you. It’ll always be you. Fuckin’ always.”

Yowza. In a world of dating apps, where I’m constantly banging my head against a wall because a guy can’t even ask me to hang out, this line makes my heart happy in so many ways. Here’s a dude who knows what he wants and says it, because if he doesn’t get the response he wants back, fuck it, he’ll figure it out. But at least this way his lady knows she’s important, and he’s in it to win it, er… her.

3) Heroines you like and want to be friends with because *GASP* it IS possible for women to like and respect other women! KA is a girl’s girl. In this book Carissa doesn’t like the chick her ex is with (for reasons you’ll find out) but she doesn’t bash her unnecessarily or put her down to make herself feel better. Carissa is a grown up so she handles things like a grown up. Yay adulting!  She also works her ass off at a grocery store, doesn’t expect Joker to pay for everything so she can stay home and eat bon bons, and is a really good mom! Go Carissa!

4) A happy endings that is realistic, with just enough embellishment to keep you hooked throughout the story.

To conclude: in the world of romance novels, Kristen Ashley is my Beyonce. Read Ride Steady and have a great weekend falling in love with Carissa and Joker’s story. Laugh all the laughs, cry all the cries, gasp all the gasps. Go on. Feel all the feels. And when you’re done, go read the rest of the series and fall in love with Chaos.


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