Review: Ride Steady by Kristen Ashley

Review: Ride Steady by Kristen AshleyRide Steady by Kristen Ashley
Series: Chaos #3
Published by Kristen Ashley June 30, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 640
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Also in this series: Walk Through Fire
Also by this author: At Peace
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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 . . .

I’ve lost count of how many Kristen Ashley book I’ve read, but I swear each time I read a new Kristen Ashley book I feel like I’m reading her for the first time. Kristen Ashley continues to amaze me with her ability to captivate with me with storytelling that make my heart skip a beat and takes my breath away. Carson ‘Joker’ Steele became a heavy contender in my all-time favorite KA heroes list after reading RIDE STEADY and he might become a favorite of yours too when you read this book.

One day Carson Steele, you’re going to be a magnificent man. I don’t know how that will be….But whatever it is, it will happen. I believe it. And one day, you’ll see past what you’ve been taught and you’ll believe it too.

RIDE STEADY starts with a prologue that immediately has your heart bleeding for Carson ‘Joker’ Steele. Ashley gives you a glimpse of Joker’s life before he became the brooding, badass biker we were introduced to at the beginning of the series. Carson’s life wasn’t easy, and it was full of disappointment, abuse, and pain. Carson learns early on that his only chance of surviving was to be strong, endure, and then leave the painful life he’s known for most his life and make a name and life for himself. Despite his upbringing, Joker eventually reaches his goals and becomes part of the Chaos Motorcycle Club, a brotherhood of badass men with an unbreakable bond and loyalty to family and friends.

She was golden. Nothing beat her. She smiled through pain and made you believe it.

Unlike Carson Steele, Carissa Teodoro’s life was pretty sweet. Growing up, she had loving parents, was the pretty and popular cheerleader in high school, and dated the football star. She would eventually marry her high school sweetheart, live in a nice house and was eagerly awaiting the arrival of her baby. But then her “perfect” life comes to a halt when she discovers her husband has been cheating on her and then kicks her to the curb. Now, Carissa is a single mother struggling trying to make ends meet just so she can give her adorable baby boy a comfortable life.

A chance encounter on the side of a Denver highway eventually brings our two protagonists together, and kickstarts Joker and Carissa’s road to happily ever after. Now, their meeting wasn’t a meet cute, but it definitely made an impression on both of them. You see, Joker and Carissa actually knew of each other in high school. While Joker knew who Carissa was the whole entire time, Carissa had no idea who the rugged and intimidating biker that was helping her out. Something about Joker draws her to him, but she doesn’t find out until later who he really his, and when she does, it makes their reunion a whole lot sweeter.

It was always you. Only you. I was into you back then, Carissa, in a big fuckin’ way. And that hasn’t changed.

What I loved most about RIDE STEADY was that Kristen Ashley combined two of my favorite traditional romance tropes: second chance at love and the struggling single mom. Add in some badass, alphalicious bikers, Chaos MC brotherhood, a strong heroine, and Ashley’s magic touch, this book became so much more. I definitely felt like my emotions were on a roller coaster while reading Ride Steady. My heart broke for Carson. I wanted to give Carrie’s ex-husband a beat down for what he did and continued to do to her. I wanted bitch slap Joker when he was being a jerk. I jumped for joy when Joker and Carissa finally surrendered to each other. I squirmed when Joker and Carrie got their sexy on. My heart melted when Joker shared sweet moments with Carissa’s son, Travis. And my heart felt full when Ashley brought back some of my beloved characters from her Chaos World. Tack Allen makes a few appearances in this book, and if you thought you loved him before, you’ll love him even more after Ride Steady. And my favorite, favorite secondary character in all of Ashley’s books, Elvira, will have you cackling when she struts in the scene and does what Elvira does best, being sassy and fabulous.

This was it. Him and me. Joker and Carrie. Carson and Carissa. Connecting. Finally.

While Ashley stays true to her formula, she will still entrance you with her descriptive story about finding true and real happiness, never giving up, and the importance of family and loyalty. I can’t even tell you how many times I had to put my Kindle down and absorb awesomeness of Kristen Ashley’s storytelling, and all the times she had me swooning and going googly eyed over Carson ‘Joker’ Steele. Kristen’s books almost makes me forget that I’m supposed to be this black hearted bitch that doesn’t get all hearts, flowers and butterflies. But when she writes phenomenal stories like Joker and Carissa’s story, I can’t help but be that kind of girl and I’m not even ashamed to admit it. RIDE STEADY is a perfectly packaged contemporary romance that will sweep readers away and make them wish they had their own badass biker to ride away with.

 

 

About Kristen Ashley

Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA. She nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorise and she hadn’t taken her first breath!).

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana but has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write.

Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multi-generational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland and existed amongst the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.



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