Book Review: Ride Steady by Kristen Ashley

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Title: Ride Steady (Chaos #3)
Author: Kristen Ashley
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 610 pages
Rating: 5 butterfly stars

Synopsis
The ride of her life . . .
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 and stranded by a flat tire, Carissa’s pondering her mistakes when a vaguely familiar knight rides to her rescue on a ton of horsepower.

Climb on and hold tight . . .
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.

Grace Review

As you probably already know, I’m a HUGE Kristen Ashley fan, but of all of the KA books I’ve read, I’ve connected the least with the Chaos series.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love me some bikers.  And I love me some Tack.  He is after all my #3 KA Alpha.  But I didn’t fall in deep with either Shy or Hop from the previous books in the series.

So if you are hesitating to read this book, I will tell you point blank, DON”T HESITATE!  This book is easily my favorite book of the series.  Not only that, but Joker made a run to replace Tack as my favorite KA biker.  He is that special.

Joker had a rough childhood at the hands of Mom who left him and an abusive alcoholic Dad.  But he finds a new family with the Chaos gang.  What I found most interesting was how much he pushed away this new family.  He stayed private for the most part, and despite his moniker, never really smiled.  Until he stumbles upon Carissa and her son Travis one day, struggling with a flat tire.

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Joker is an odd mix of badass and sweet, switching between the two personalities depending on his company.  Around Chaos business, the underground fighting, or Aaron (Carissa’s ex), he is the true badass KA Alpha who DOES NOT take shit from anyone.  Around Carissa and her son Travis, he is all kinds of sweet.  Even as Travis beats the hell out of his face.

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As a couple, Joker and Carissa are night and day.  He’s a biker.  She’s a homecoming queen.  I loved that the attraction was built as teenagers.  Although they didn’t take action then due to the fact that they came from different worlds and only shared smiles in the hallway, that attraction didn’t die down.  And despite their differences, this couple just plain worked.  I never doubted if they were right for each other.

One of my favorite parts of KA’s books is when the hero or heroine lays out their feelings, and explains to the other why they are right for each other, and are their “forever”.  This book has not one, not two, but multiple moments.  Carissa and Joker expose their feelings to one another, laying out how deep and long those feelings have existed.  Even more powerful was when they did so to Aaron, who just wouldn’t go away.

“I’m in love with your ex-wife,” Joker returned, no amusement in his voice, his eyes locked to Neiland’s. “I’ve loved her since high school, man.  She means everything to me.  You gotta drag her down, that’ll suck, but I’ll pick her back up.  You gotta rip her apart, I’ll fuckin’ hate watchin’ it, but I’ll put her back together.”

KA’s version of heaven
I may or may not have squealed when I saw Tack’s POV in the book.  Ok, I totally squealed.  He did a fine job of reminding me why I love him so much.  Then Lee Nightingale shows up.  And Mitch Lawson. And Hawk Delgado.  And Luke, and Hank, and, and . . .  gah!!!  Oh yeah, the pimpster Knight also has a role, for you “Daddy” lovers.  This must be what heaven looks like. KA heaven.  And I don’t ever want to leave.

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This team of Alphas comes to play as the thorn in Chaos’ side, Benito Valenzuela, causes some trouble for Joker and tries to take over their territory.  With Chaos’ reach, and a load of help, this was an empty threat in my mind.  But it seems this slimy guy won’t go away, so I doubt its the last we’ve heard from him.

In my mind, there is nothing like escaping into KA’s world.  And this book, unexpectedly had so much sweet, I had a permanent grin through most of the read.  With the angst being on the mild side, this is just one of those books to sit back and enjoy every moment.

“She might make it tough on you, but if she’s that girl and you’re it for her like she is for you, this will be a bump in the road, but then you’ll ride steady.”

This epilogue was a bit different with a new character’s POV, but trust me when I say,when you figure out who it is, it is all kinds of awesome!  With Carissa, Joker has a future that his past can’t touch.  And that’s a beautiful thing.

“I wish I had that flat tire.  I’d bronze it!”

– Grace

*An ARC was received from the author for an honest review.

Amazon

Goodreads

Click on the images below to purchase the previous books in the series:

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