Author: Kristen Ashley
Publisher: Forever Mass Market
Series: Chaos #3
Pages: Paperback, 640 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 30, 2015
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 . . .
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“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.
Q & A with Kristen Ashley
1. A la Twitter style, can you describe your book (or series) in 140 characters or less.
The answer to this is no. I can barely form tweets not describing my books in 140 characters or less. But I shall try!
Joker and Carissa…
Okay, that’s sat there for three days. So I actually can’t do this!
2. What do you love about writing stories that involve the characters getting a second chance at love?
No one is perfect. We all make mistakes. Even if we’re sure whatever we’re doing is right at the time, life has the power to make things go wrong. And if you feel you’ve failed, if you’ve been burned, if you’ve been in pain, it is very hard to pick yourself up and start again. Or pick yourself up and try again. It takes a great deal of courage to move on from whatever may have happened in life and still reach for happiness. So I like exploring that idea with love not just because I’m a romance novelist but also because I’m a to-the-bone romantic.
3. Do you have a song or playlist that best fits Ride Steady?
Not really, though there’s a song that plays at the end of the epilogue that I think works for that moment for Chaos as a whole but particularly, and finally, after a very long row to hoe, it works for a lot longer than a moment for Carissa and Joker.
4. What scene from Ride Steady was the most fun to write?
The scene nearer to the end when all the girls get together to take Carissa’s back when she makes a not-very-smart decision about exacting revenge. I love, love, love the sisterhood and showing how awesome it is in my books. How it can be hilarious and supportive and enlightening and thoughtful and rich and warm and meaningful all the same time. That scene is a perfect example of all that.
5. Do you have a favorite quote/scene from the book?
Close to the end, Joker with Travis when they’re looking through the magazine. That gets me (happily) in the throat every time I read it.
First up: I got to say, this is my favourite KA book so far.
Let’s face it there are mostly two kind of people in this world: The ones who adore KA and the ones who don’t. There are very few -like me who are on the fence...
My fist encounter with Ashley’s books was due to my reading buddies. They -well, most of them at least- were raving about how awesome all her books were…. this was before I actually had read any romance novels round 3years ago. Back then I mostly read fantasy and some YA. Due to some bet or challenge I lost I had to read a specific KA book. And though I didn’t hate it totally, I thought it was ok, much to the dismay of said reading buddies. They kept telling me I really should read the dream men series, kept inviting me to KA buddy reads, so long story short I finally gave in and read Rock Chicks with them.
I had to admit, I enjoyed Rock Chicks. It was cute and fun. But I was still on the fence. My biggest issue being the writing style. Well particularly the one word dialogues that seem to dominate all of KA novels.
Then a long while later I decided to give the Dream Men series a go- but as an audio…. Which honestly I still think is the best way to enjoy that series. It’s superbly narrated! Seriously fantastic.
Chaos being a spin-off from Dream Men, I got into reading it and am lucky enough to have gotten the ARCs for them.
I think looking at Ashley’s work retrospectively there are two things that become apparent. Ashley has a very clear MO.
And second, her writing is in my opinion vastly improving, which Ride Steady is the poster child for.
Now having a clear MO is probably the reason for the very clear divide between readers… So if you don’t like the quite, brooding, uberhot alpha dudes that just sort move in, settle down when before they were only up for casual; a sweet, baking, caring, pretty, normal heroine, with no hidden agenda and a huge heart and lots of back and forth (mostly one worded) dialogues - then you probably won’t enjoy this one either.
If you are a KA fan- grab this one it’s a good one!
And most importantly if you are like me sorta on the fence, if you like contemporary romance with a cool caring alpha, give this a try.
I loved this one. As I said my favourite KA so far. And the reason for it, is plain and simple the character building.
It was nice to revisit the Chaos gang. I feel like I know Chaos more and more. And also I really like the motorcycle club background - Ashley really brings the lifestyle (or at least what I imagine it to be like) through. I found myself appreciating the casts values and lifestyle -even if they not my own.
Carissa is probably one of my favourite characters Ashley has written so far. Even if she does fit the usual mould. Somehow she felt more realistic and I could totally connect with her. I love that she was always upfront and honest with everyone.
Joker/ Carson is the perfect hottie, in so many ways. And while he has issue to work through- just like Carissa- it’s done with no angst and no drama. Just simply done.
I love the relationship Joker has with the guys, especially Tack. But I also adore how he rekindles his relationship with the neighbours and his teacher.
Somehow it felt like this is more personal to KA - and it ended up more personal to me.
Which is exactly why I like Ride Steady so much.
A beautiful story about friendship, overcoming the odds and most importantly about standing with your friends. A cute romance with a good dose of smut- naturally it’s KA after all.
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