Published: November 5, 2013, Forever
My rating: 5 of 5 ⭐️
For five years Zara Cinders had rebuilt her life and started up her business, before coming to the realization that her occasional lover, Ham Reece, would not be the one to go that one step further and create the family with her she always wanted. He had been her rock through the years, helping her through the most difficult of times, but part of her had always known he would not stay around for long. Unfortunately Zara was very much in love with Ham.
Graham Reece had sworn off serious relationships. He was content travelling from place to place, getting work wherever he decided to stop for a while, usually tending bar somewhere. No longer a young man, he dragged his share of baggage along and never really considered settling down. So when Zara informed him she was seeing someone and was ready to settle down, he let her go. But he never completely could let her go. She had always been special to him and through a friend in town he was able to keep tabs on her.
Three years later, when he crossed the path of a deranged madman, Ham took the opportunity to take a good long look at his life. There was one woman he regretted walking away from, and from the information he has received, she is not doing so great right now. Zara lost her business, her home and her marriage went up in smoke. She now is living in a seedy apartment and works for minimum wage barely making ends meet. Ham won't stand for that.
Not trusting the changed man Ham claims he is, Zara is hesitant putting herself in a vulnerable position again. He has walked away before, why would she trust him to stick around now. But as some unfinished business from Zara's past rears its ugly head, Ham moves heaven and earth to resolve it and keep Zara as clear as possible from the fallout. Until his own nightmare comes knocking at the door.......
Almost every Kristen Ashley book I read, I get so emotionally drawn in, I actually FEEL the emotions. I feel physically ill when Zara thinks Ham is with another woman....I FEEL a lump in my throught when he says "easy", or strokes his finger along her ear and jaw. I really live these books, and I can't think of another writer who has that ability. I'm a big fan......
I love stories like these, of men that seem to be stuck in their unattached ways. Good men, just for some reason unable to give 100% of themselves........until they meet that someone. Then suddenly it's like a switch is flipped and they have a determination like no other to get the deal done. Graham at least shows a little restraint, that is, until he feels his woman is threatened or in danger of being hurt. Then it it's full steam ahead and in complete Alpha protective mode. For a big burly bear of few words, Ham is surprisingly insightfully and sensitive to Zara's needs.... Delicious!!
Having survived a messed up childhood, Zara is not a push over by any stretch of the word. She built her own life, her own business after turning her back on her family, sure it didn't work out the way she wanted, but she wasn't sitting down or letting others pick up the pieces. She was scratching and clawing and doing whatever she had to to survive once again. Had it been anyone but Ham, basically forcing help on her, she would have resolutely refused. But Ham knows she won't take handouts, so he allows her to barter and bargain in order to at least maintain her pride.
As always the writing is a breath of fresh air. So tight and to the point, with few wasted words or endless dialogues. When you read the book, it is like watching a movie in writing. It is that captivating, that constantly entertaining. There is a pace and a flow that is almost impossible to interrupt, even for a bathroom break. (That's why I love my Kindle!!)
The language used is real, the emotions portrayed are not overdone, but feel honest. The sex is not drawn out, but concise and scalding hot, and I love that we often just 'walk in' on a scene, she loves doing that!!!
Let's face it, if I could, I'd have Kristen Ashley design me a man!!! I have no doubt he would be absolutely perfect!!
✨Spicy, colourful and kick-ass trip to Gnaw Bone!✨
**ARC courtesy of NetGalley and Forever in return for an honest review.**