Friday, September 26, 2014

Review: At Peace by Kristen Ashley

At Peace (The 'Burg #2) by Kristen Ashley
Publication Date: May 2nd 2011
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble 

About the book:

Violet Winters once had it all but lost it when her husband was murdered by a criminal madman. During a cold winter night Violet has to leave her warm bed to tell her neighbor to turn the music down. And that’s when she meets sinister, scarred, scarily attractive security specialist, Joe Callahan.

She wants to deny it, but Violet can’t beat back the hunger she feels for Joe so she gives in again and again. Feeling it himself, Joe feeds Vi’s hunger, breaking his own rules to keep her in his bed.

Even though Violet had only one man in her life, she’s sure Joe is giving her the signals and Vi decides she’s ready to take a second chance at life and, maybe, love. But Violet doesn’t know the dark secrets in Joe’s past, secrets so soul-wrenching, they’ve drained him dry. With nothing left to give, Joe’s determined to live his life alone and he breaks Violet’s heart.

Crushed by Joe’s betrayal, Violet comes to terms with the fact that, no matter what signals he gave, Joe was not theirs to win. But Violet’s husband’s murderer is obsessed with her and heartbreak again haunts the door of the Winters home. When it does Joe is forced to face the knowledge that he can’t fight Violet’s pull, she’s under his skin and filled him full to bursting.

Joe needs to win her back and put his life on the line to keep Violet safe. But, having had it all once, can Violet endure losing Joe?

My Thoughts:
I’ve been going through a pretty bad book slump so I chose a Kristen Ashley read hoping it would bring me out.  She hasn’t disappointed me yet and At Peace was just what I needed!  Romance, family bonds, friendships, danger and suspense, all wrapped up in one sweeping tale!

Violet and her teenage daughters moved away from moved away from Chicago to the ‘Burg in Indiana after her husband was murdered, two years prior. She moved to get away from his murderer, a powerful mobster, when it became apparent he’s set his sights on Violet.  He’s obsessed with her, sending gifts and messages.  This is how she meets, Joe Callahan, her neighbor, and he does not make the best first impression.

Violet may think Joe’s somewhat of a jerk, but he’s tall, dark and handsome, and entirely magnetic. She had resolved to keep her distance, but she gets a bit drunk out with a friend, and ends the night with him in a mind blowing passionate encounter!  They can’t seem to keep their hands off each other, and Joe’s sweeter than she had counted on, sending mixed signals, and so Violet thinks they could have something special.  Unfortunately, this is the part where Joe turns into a jerk and ruins things. 

Violet and Joe had a couple starts and stops, and the last one rips her heart out. Violet ends up trying to move on by dating a town cop, Mike, a super nice guy, but not Joe.  It’s hard to make space in your heart when you’re hung up on someone else, and I really felt bad for Mike because Violet strings him along. I wanted to smack both Violet and Joe at different times because of their stupidity, but I had to give each of them a pass because there were reasons behind this fumbling.  No worries, these two finally wake up and Joe turns out to be a complete sweetheart:

“You’re mine, the girls are mine. I’m stakin’ my claim with you right now and, you force it, I’ll do it with him too.”

“First fuckin’ time you smiled at me in my bed, that’s when it happened.  You’re under my skin. I like you there, buddy, and you like me there too.”

One of the BEST things about Kristen Ashley books is the couple time! You always get quality, swoon-worthy, heart-melting couple time!  Joe and Violet were no exception.  And that’s not even including the amazing epilogue. *sigh*

KA always surrounds her couples with amazing multilayered secondary characters, first and foremost were Violet’s daughters, Kate and Keira.  They were very affected by Joe.  Kate and Keira had their own separate relationship with him, and I was moved at how important they all came to be to each other. I was fully invested in Kate and Keira’s romances, teenage drama, and rooted for their happiness. I loved the relationship portrayed between Violet and her girls, too. The push and pull that goes on between mothers and daughters was very realistic, and I could easily relate!  February and Colt, the couple from the last book, factored heavily into the story as friends and support for Joe, Violet and the girls. It was a treat to see their HEA going strong!

The situation with Violet’s lunatic stalker comes to a violent and thrilling conclusion and I was on the edge of my seat in a few spots! Joe really showed himself to be a badass and there wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for the safety of his girls.

KA’s unique and captivating storytelling finally cured me from my reading slump and I can’t tell you how relieved I was.  It truly sucked picking up stories that just did nothing for me! Now I just need to find the time to pick up the next in the series, Golden Trail.

4 Suns

About the Author: 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.

Connect with Kristen Ashley:

1 comment:

  1. This book is a little long-winded (what KA book isn't? lol) but it's my very favorite of all of hers. Something about Joe and Vi and the girls really got to me. Also, I did not like mike in this, but looooved him in Golden Trail. Great review!