Blog Tour: Ride Steady by Kristen Ashley ~ Read an excerpt, Kat's review & enter the Giveaway! @Kristenashley68 @ForeverRomance
This is the story of Carissa and Carson (Joker), two somewhat friends that parted ways in high school only to find each other again years later. One has lost their family and the other has finally found theirs.
All Carissa wanted was to get married and be a mom. When that finally happened for her, things took a bad turn. She found herself broke and raising her son, Travis, alone. Or as alone as one could be with ex trying to make her life a living hell.
Carson was brought up by a horribly abusive, loveless father. If not for a couple neighbours and a teacher trying to help him see the good in him and the potential he had, he may have just wandered through life as a lost soul.
The thing about this story, is there were so many facets that captured my heart. And Tack was a huge part of that. He was the kind of father Joker dreamed of having. Seeing him interact with his own son, smiling, laughing, hugging, yeah, Joker wanted that. A love and sense of belonging he wasn't blessed to have growing up.
“He burned you,” Tack’s voice was tight. “And I let you stand at that fuckin’ fence."
Chaos embraced him. And when Carissa came along, there was no way they'd leave her struggling alone. They had her back big time! Family is family, not just by blood, but by the bonds of the good souls that have found something special in one another. That, is what Chaos brings to the table.
Now, I don't normally like books with kids in them, because they so often interfere with the romance flow but OH. MY. GOD. This is a Kristen Ashley book after all and without that element, Jokers heart wouldn't have shined so bright.
It's so amazing to see a man love a child as if he was his own. "Yeah. I'm your Joker." This kind of love and acceptance is enough to melt any heart. Sure it happens all the time in real life, but I for one, have never witnessed it first hand. Kristen did a beautiful job showing me how it could be. How it should be. Joker went above and beyond, but really was just himself. His faith and heart had not truly been tainted by his evil father. I loved every moment Kristen gave us with Carissa, Travis and Joker together.
It was so great to get so much Tack in this story. Made me realize how much I missed him. (I feel a Motorcycle Man reread coming soon!)
And what Joker did for his former high school teacher, I could just scream over my undying love for all that is this man. Linus, Big Petey, Mrs. Heely, I loved them all. They added so much heart to the story. Makes me wish all these characters were real, this world could use people like them in it.
This book is definitely another Kristen Ashley favourite of mine, they just seemed to keep piling up. And I welcome adding more in the future!
“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.
Kristen Ashley grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana, and 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 multigenerational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland, and Kristen grew up listening to the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon, and Whitesnake. Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music and love was a good way to grow up. And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.
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