Liked it, didn't love it.
Both Ham and Zara made my head spin. I just couldn't make up my mind as to whether I should love Ham or hate him. He would say things that were so sweet, then all of a sudden he would drive that knife right through your heart with words no woman in love with a man wants to hear. I'm not sure I got over his admission of his love for February. Even when the sweet and committed Ham came out, his hurtful works were always in the back of my mind. Could he not have kept that to himself? Maybe as a man he didn't know he shouldn't be saying those things? Either way, I would have walked away. If the words a reader reads can give doubt to the love he feels for Zara, imagine how much they must have hurt her.
Zander was a shocker and a great twist to the story. I couldn't imagine how Zara felt when she learned of him and all the things she missed out on. I was kind of hoping that her father, Xainder, would have suffered a long, painful death for the things he had done. What an evil man he is! Maybe he still will in the hell he know calls home. And her mother, Amy, an extremely frustrating situation. Even though I hated her, I had hoped she'd eventually see the light and come around. At least try to put some effort into getting to know her family, minus her monster of a husband of course. Such a shame she was such a weak woman and we didn't get to see her redeem herself in the eyes of Zara.
I also didn't think Ham was quite alpha enough, at least not by the Kirsten Ashley standards I was used to in the previous books in the series. I'm not sure any of the other men would have let their woman's ex's hang around so long. I would have liked to see him a little more possessive. Oh AND there was one important "factor" missing in this story for me, something that ALWAYS happens! I missed the suspense and chase of the omitted "factor". Not sure if you'd classify it as a spoiler if I said it, so I won't just in case.
So with all that being said, I did really like the whole second chance love theme. Jagged is still a good read if you're a KA fan, and trust me, I really REALLY am. It just fell a little short for me. I'll blame Ham on that one...
*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.*
So I have been having a marathon of KA and the Colorado Mountain series of late. The series continues with Jagged and that is the story of Graham “Ham” Reece and Zara Cinders. I thought it was strange that these characters were dropped in mid-series. I even went through the other books searching for their names. I don’t know if they are from another KA series and have landed up in Gnaw Bone but having no background on them in the other CM books, I wasn’t attached to them to begin their story. But, that didn’t deter me and I wanted to read on.
Zara hasn’t had the best life, with family loss and estranged relationships, not to mention a failed marriage and business, Zara finds herself trying to make ends meet. When Zara is minding her own business, in sweeps the man who broke her heart, Graham. Ham has been traveling for the last few years, after dealing with some personal pain, he couldn’t commit to Zara and used work as an excuse to leave.
“I’d walked away from the love of my life. And he let me.”
Zara is determined to keep Ham at arm’s length, she can’t be sucked in by him again. But of course, like every man written by Kristen Ashley, he doesn’t take no for an answer. Ham knows he has a lot of making up to do. He’s determined to make Zara’s life better and when she discovers a shocking secret, Ham is determined to give Zara everything she desires.
“Said it before, more than once, you matter. You beddin’ down in a bedroom I don’t use is no skin off my nose. Stop worryin’ about shit you don’t need to worry about and just breathe easy for a while.” For me, it was him. It had always been him. And this was one of the myriad reasons why.”
“You’re going to give me that?” His hand came up to cup my cheek and he whispered, “Cookie, pay attention. I’m going to give you everything.”
I felt the main conflict in the story was quite weak, not as strong and gut punching as the other books. Yes, the storyline with Zander was sweet and Zara was finally getting what she wanted out of life. But I’ve come to expect certain drama with KA’s books, so I couldn’t help but think this book felt a little out of place in the series and in the content department too.
Jagged surprised me, being the shortest book in the series so far. KA is known for her 500+ page books. Jagged was almost half of that and I felt the story did suffer, the community presence wasn’t as strong and the storyline wasn’t as intricate. And no one got kidnapped to my surprise!
What we did get was a heroine fighting for her family and Ham, finally setting down roots to give Zara the stability she craved and deserved.
“Fuck ‘em, cookie, this is our night. I want this, a nice place, good food, you lookin’ fuckin’ amazing sittin’ across from me, me sharin’ important shit you gotta understand. They don’t exist. The room is meltin’ away. It’s just you and me, good food, and me givin’ you all of me. This is our night. You with me?”
Ham giving me all of him. “Yes,” I whispered.”
If you are looking for a quick KA read (that doesn’t happen often) then Jagged is the one for you. It can be read as a standalone as there are no links to previous characters in this series, but it was great as always to see them pop up.
Although Jagged isn’t my favourite book in the series, it was still an easy read and I’m looking forward to Deke’s story to complete the series.