Series: Chaos #3
Published by Forever Romance
Publication Date: June 30th, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Also by this author: The Gamble, Wildest Dreams, Golden Dynasty, Fantastical, Broken Dove
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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 . . .
“What now?” he clipped, planting his hands on his hips.
I watched him do this.
His knuckles were all scabbed. But his fingers were long, not graceful, but handsome. They were a working man’s hands. They’d be rough. I could even see grease stains around the nail beds.
Something about that caused something to happen inside me.
My focus shifted from his hands to his crotch. His jeans were faded. The area around his crotch more faded.
Up I went to a black belt with silver rivets in it that had seen some wear, the length beyond the clasp dangling from a belt loop to the side in a supple way, the leather not close to stiff.
Up his flat belly to his wide chest and broad shoulders and bulging arms.
And up to his long black hair that looked thick, messy, had a lot of wave and brushed his shoulders. His beard wasn’t bushy, it was trimmed, but it was about two days away from being unkempt.
He was tall.
He was annoyed.
I felt the latter because he was the kind of man whose mood altered a room and I understood this because I was right then experiencing it. But I also knew it wasn’t just that or that we were the only ones in the room and having the conversation that was making him annoyed so of course I’d be feeling it.
It was him. He had that kind of power behind his personality.
I shifted my eyes to his.
Steel. A strange flat color that seemed impenetrable.
And suddenly I had a new dream. One that didn’t involve motherhood, cookies, doing laundry, and being a soccer mom.
One that centered around penetrating the impenetrable.
“So? What?” he prompted irately.
At his words, I flew across the room.
He had the chance to go back on a boot but that was all he had before my body slammed into his, my hands went to either side of his head and I lifted up on tiptoe as I yanked him down.
Then I pressed my lips hard against his.
A breath later, something strange happened.
Strange and wondrous.
His arms closed around me, and if I could think of anything, I’d worry about the state of my ribs.
But I couldn’t think of anything because his tongue spiked into my mouth and my world changed.
My entire world.
I didn’t have a dead sister.
I didn’t have a dead mother.
I didn’t have a lonely father looking after his mother, who was addled with Alzheimer’s disease.
I didn’t have an ex‑husband, who I once loved who I thought would cherish and protect me and help me build my dream, but now was making my life a misery and trying to take my son away from me.
I had this.
All of it. All the biker named Joker gave me by holding me so tight it was a pain that hurt so good and who was invading my mouth with his tongue in a way that stated clearly he could do it for a lifetime and never get enough.
My hands left his head so I could curve my arms around his shoulders as I pressed closer.
In return, one of his hands slid up my spine. He pulled out my ponytail holder and drove his fingers into my hair, cupping the back of my head, tilting it one way while he slanted his the other. He deepened the kiss in an intoxicating way while his other hand glided down and cupped one cheek of my behind.
That felt good.
He shuffled me back.
I went with him.
We kept kissing.
Then he turned quickly and we were falling.
Then he turned quickly and we were falling.
He landed on his back on the bed. I landed on him but barely had the opportunity to experience the dizzying beauty of the long length of his hard frame under mine before I was given more beauty when he rolled me and I had the weight of his hard frame pressing mine into the bed.
His hand left my bottom and went up, fingers yanking at my navy LeLane’s polo shirt, pulling it from my khakis, and then I had its heat, skin against skin.
I was right.
His hands were rough.
“His world ended. Right there, his world was done. Because there was nothing that would be better than Carissa Teodoro standing a foot away with her hand warm on his, grinning up at him. Nothing.”
Kristen Ashley is one author that continues to surprise me again and again with her ability to take my breath away. This past month I have been in the most epic of book funks because after reading Ride Steady the first time (yes, I did read it a second!) I just could not get Joker out of my head. He is without a doubt one of my favorite KA Alphas yet. Taking space right up there with Joe from At Peace, Tack from Motorcycle Man and Deacon from the Unfinished Heroes series. I should have known that when I started that prologue (dat prologue tho) that Ride Steady was going to get a 5 star rating for me. Trust me when I say that this book had EVERYTHING a KA fan wants.
“I’m in love with your ex-wife,” he returned, no amusement in his voice… “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… But know this, in the end, it’s gonna be me and her.”
The first thing on my “Every KA Fan Wants” list is a second chance romance. In Ride Steady, you are quickly introduced to the fact that Joker, or as he was known that the time, Carson Steele, and Carissa went to the same high school together. While Joker was from the wrong side of the tracks and all bad boy intrigue, Carissa was the quintessential girl next door. She was sweet, a cheerleader, popular, and completely out of Carson’s league. Despite a moment that seared deep in Carson’s memory, it isn’t until we fast forward 8 years later that we see how this plays out. Carissa is in a completely different place in her life. She is recently divorced (from the biggest douchebag in history) and a single mom to a gorgeous little man named Travis. A chance encounter brings Carissa front and center in Carson’s, aka Joker’s, life. This leads to my second thing on the “Every Ka Fan Wants” list and that is the build-up. If you read KA, you know how this works. Carissa and Joker are magnetic together. Electric. So it comes as no surprise that one of them is fighting it. And that leads to the ultimate “Every KA Fan Wants” list and that is the surrender.
“No matter what happens, I will never, not ever, not fuckin’ ever, Carissa, regret ridin’ down that shoulder to help you and your boy. It’s the best decision I ever made in my life, and I know that in a way I know I’ll feel that until the day I fuckin’ die.”
When Joker and Carissa surrender to each other is when this already entertaining and awesome KA novel elevated itself to greatness. It’s all in the details. The things they do for one another. They way they speak and interact and love each other. I read KA novels because while they are usually full of angst and heartache, it is the absolute joy that transcends past the page. Feeling all the feels while reading about how a biker with a heart of gold fell in love with not only the girl of his dreams but her son, gah! It doesn’t get any more KA than that.