Sunday, June 7, 2015

Ride Steady Book Review


Title:  Ride Steady
Series:  Chaos
Author:  Kristen Ashley
Release Date:  June 30, 2015
My Rating:  4.5 Sinfully Sexy 's

First Thoughts:  Loved the sense of family in this one - the kind that's got your back no matter what.

Warning:  Prepare to fall in love with Joker - especially when you see him with a baby in his arms!


♥Many thanks to the publisher for providing me this ARC via Netgally.


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 . . .

My Review:

Carrisa Teodoro - High School cheerleader, member of the in-crowd, dating the high school golden boy.  On track for a beautiful fairytale life, right?  So how did she end up a single mom with a baby on her hip standing by the side of the freeway, with an Ex that not only refuses to come help her, but threatens to get full custody if she doesn't get their baby dropped off on time??  What happened to her white picket fence & Happy Ever After?

Carson Steele - A boy on the outside looking in at everything he knows he'll never have - the cheerleader, the friends, the life, a father who gives a shit.  Carson is an abused child with a burning rage, eating him alive.  He's living for the day he turns 18 & graduates high school to claim his own life & get the hell out of Dodge.  But the clock's ticking and one night, time runs out...

Twelve years later, fate intervenes in Carissa & Carson's (now know as Joker) life.  As Joker stops to help a stranded Carissa, recognition flares in his eyes & heart but he says nothing. He knew he wasn't good enough for her in high school, just as he knows she deserves better than him now.  MC guys don't have white picket fences . . . Or do they?  Carissa takes a step back from the big, badass motorcyclist who stops to help her.  She doesn't recognize him as the boy from HS but can't deny the sizzling connection that flames within when his eyes drift over her.  Thus begins  the journey of Joker & Carissa . . .Two damaged people wary of trusting anyone with their heart, both determined to make it on their own . . . and yet, powerless to stop the intense, magnetic force between them.   

Ride Steady is a heart-touching story of two people from opposite sides of the track, each learning to face their ghosts and let go, each daring to reach out and accept one another just as they are.  It is poignant & heart-touching, a sinfully sexy love story that is beautiful to see develop.  There is such a sense of family in this one - both traditional & non-traditional.  I loved the way Ashley brought in characters (2 neighbors & 1 teacher) from Joker's childhood who had given him a safe haven, a place to recover from his father's wrath, and made them part of his life now.  I also enjoyed Ashley's use of characters from other series & their involvement in Ride Steady.  At times, it's like a multi-series family reunion.  It was awesome to see Hawk, Mitch, Knight, Lee,  & others working along side the Chaos guys to help keep everyone safe.  As always, loved Shy, Hop, Tack...especially Tack, as he reaches out to Joker, emboding what true friendship & love is all about...a shining example of what being a brother means, what being part of a real family means.
"Fuck, Tack, she was a cheerleader."
Tack again lost his hilarity and speared Joker with his eyes.
"Now, brother, if you don't think you're good enough, the life you lead is good enough, the family you can give her is good enough, then we got a much bigger probem."
"Don't read that shit into it, because you know it isn't there. You also get me. There are women built for the life. There are women who take it on. But she deserves a white picket fence, Tack.
"Then give her one. No law says a biker can't live behind a white picket fence."
*(excerpt from Ride Steady - between Joker & Tack)

Carissa is a strong, kickass heroine - no TSTL girl here . . .she may be down in the beginning of this one but she is definitely not out.  Once she recognizes what she wants, she goes after it (him) like a dog on a bone.  Joker tries to discourage her but let's face it, he never really had a chance - especially not after the Chaos women, Tyra, Tabby, & yes, Elvira, not only adopt Carissa as one of their own, but join her campaign & cheer her on.  There are some great, funny scenes involving this crew in Ride Steady.  Like Joker, Carissa learns the true meaning of love, friendship, & family.

The suspense ramps up as Carissa's Ex begins a campaign to gain full custody of their child, Travis.  At the same time, danger invades the Chaos territory as a message is sent to the Club, Joker specifically, via a dead prostitute informant.  The plot development intensifies but for me, Ride Steady is carried on the shoulders of the characters - the badass, sinfully sexy MC guys with hearts of gold & their women who are just as tenacious & willing to fight for their men & families.  This is a beautiful ride - an awesome read!  Smokin' Hot!  Well done, KA!  A Must Read!  Loved it!!

My Rating:  4.5 Sinfully Sexy 's . . .And that's the truth!

Cross My Heart . . .xxx

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