Jagged (Colorado Mountain #5) by Kristen Ashley
Publication Date: November 5th 2013 by Forever
About the book:
An old flame rekindled . . .
Zara Cinders always knew Ham Reece was the one, but he wasn't interested in settling down. When she found someone who was, Ham walked out of her life. Three years later, Zara's lost her business, her marriage, and she's barely getting by in a tiny apartment on the wrong side of the tracks. As soon as Ham hears about Zara's plight, he's on her doorstep offering her a lifeline. Now, it will take every ounce of will power she possesses to resist all that he offers.
Ham was always a traveling man, never one to settle down in one town, with one woman, for more time than absolutely necessary. But Ham's faced his own demons, and he's learned a lot. About himself, and about the life he knows he's meant to live. So when he hears that Zara's having a rough time, he wants to be the one to help. In fact, he wants to do more than that for Zara. A lot more. But first, he must prove to Zara that he's a changed man.
I always have fun when I pick up a Kristen Ashley book and Jagged was no exception. Like a most of KA reads, Jagged has a winning heroine and a gruff diamond-in-the-ruff man.
I met Graham Reece in ForYou. He was a man who shared time with different woman with the understanding of “no-strings attached”. Reece ended up almost losing his life when a deranged killer targeted him and so he has taken a serious look at his life and decided he needed a change.
Zara is one of Ham’s (“Ham,” which is short for Graham, worst KA male name, in my opinion, to date!) ladies that he “visited” over the years; meaning his hookup when he’d blow through town or had time off to meet up. They didn’t start out that way though, they actually dated for a time nine years earlier before Ham felt the need to move on, but Zara kept saying yes to his visits even though he broke her heart when he left.
Things change for Zara though when she meets Greg and although he isn’t what Ham is to her, he offers the hope of something Ham doesn’t: marriage, security, and a family. Zara doesn’t want to waste anymore time waiting for Ham to get his act together so the next time he calls Zara tells him they can’t meet anymore.
Three years pass, Zara and Greg get a divorce, and Zara falls on hard times financially. This is when Ham comes back into Zara’s life to help, but Zara’s been kicked around emotionally, and isn’t quick to forget how Ham just came and went as his pleased all these years. She doesn’t trust him at first and rightly so, in my opinion! Zara VERY reluctantly accepts Ham’s only because he gives her no choice. She thinks he’s still going to leave at some point, but Ham has bigger plans in mind.
Ham is a changed man. Almost losing his life shakes him up and forces him to take evaluate his direction. He’s back in Gnaw Bone after all of that with a purpose, and that purpose is Zara.
I have to say, KA writes some of the best heroes: strong, gruff, alpha men who once they’ve figured out who their woman is are fiercely protective, hotly possessive and extremely loyal. There’s not one that I haven’t come to love and swooned over. With that being said, Ham was my least favorite of KA’s heroes. The knowledge that he kept walking away from Zara for nine years when she clearly wanted more bugged me. He had his reasons, but still, I didn’t like it. Thankfully, the majority of the story focuses on Ham making up for the past and patiently waiting for Zara to figure out he’s there to stay.
“I also always knew, from the first time I said good-bye to you, that I was a special kind of fuckwit for doin’ it because I was drivin’ away from the best woman I’d ever known. And years have passes, Zara, and you’re still that woman. It’s just that now, I’m never gonna drive away. I’m never gonna leave you and I’m not gonna let you leave me.”
Of course, this wouldn’t be a KA story without some outside danger and drama and this is provided through Zara’s father and family. He’s a horrible man and her mother is not much better. Ham is with her, supporting her the entire time making me forget his prior idiocy.
It was fun catching up with Nina and Max, Cotton, and Arlene in this installment. We don’t really see much of any of them in the other Colorado Mountain series because they’re in Gnaw Bone whereas the rest of the stories are have been set in Carnal.
A copy was provided by Forever through Netalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!