You guy’s sitting down?
I sure hope so.
Because it is with great Grinch joy and bah humbug happiness that I say…
I really liked this book.
I know, I know…
For those around here who know me and and my history with Kristen Ashley, you know how exciting this is for me.
For those who don’t…lemme hand you a quick run down.
I ADORE her.
I ADORE the vast – and it is VERY fucking vast, home girl is prolific – majority of her books.
I ADORE her rambling lunatic way of writing that makes connections between characters so strong, so believable, so I’m-right-there-with-them, sitting in their living rooms, taking in their candid family photographs.
I ADORE the worlds and clubs and posses and chickdoms she has created.
I ADORE home girl’s ability to write the best sex in romance.
Beginning with Broken Dove, and Deacon, and then The Promise, I became…less than enthused.
And then there was Wild and Free.
And my head exploded.
To be frank: I have talked a LOT of shit about some of KA’s more recent releases.
I have been brutal in several reviews – no seriously – BRUTAL.
Don’t believe me? I’ll link some of those reviews at the end of this bad boy.
And I have been called a fair-weather friend for those reviews.
A fake fan for some of those reviews.
A drama seeking whore who only read those books to write rants for those reviews.
And you know what?
I scoff at that.
Because I am one of her biggest fans.
I have read over 52 of her books, people.
And as true FANS, we are allowed to be passionate and critical of stuff we don’t like from authors we love.
People don’t read and buy 52 things they know they are going to dislike.
That’s just bad math.
Most fans (funds and space allowing, of course) get everything they can get their hands on from whatever their fandom is.
Just look at EVERY fucking booktubers “Harry Potter Shelf,” for fucks sake.
They literally must have asked mom and dad for every edition, version, companion book, wand, what have you, for every Christmas and birthday since they were ten years old.
And I dig it. We all like to surround ourselves with stuff we love.
So it brings me total fucking JOY to have loved this thing.
I truly enjoyed every minute of it.
Yes, it got a little long-winded at times.
Yes, the second half was kind of without any of the major climactic moments I was expecting.
But, you know what?
Reading this made me feel like I was back in 2011 reading Motorcycle Man, which was my first KA ever.
Did I love it as much as Motorcycle?
Is it one of the best KA’s I’ve ever read?
Probably won’t be for you either.
But that’s ok.
Because I just enjoyed it.
Reading this was like wrapping a familiar warm blanket around my shoulders and saying, Ahhhh….
I really liked Johnny.
He was swoony and KA-sexy.
And I really, really liked Eliza.
Yes, she was a hippie-ish, cooking, decorating, CUTE dress-wearing KA heroine, as per usual.
But, she was also PRACTICAL.
She wasn’t an idiot.
She wasn’t delusional.
She wasn’t Justice, the retarded “poet’s soul” from Bounty whom I wanted to tag with a mack truck.
But, most of all?
SHE ONLY CALLED JOHNNY “HONEY” FIVE TIMES.
Also worth noting is that KA changed up some stuff.
She didn’t have people chin-lifting, saying “eyes” and constantly wax poetic about how “cute” everything was. She also didn’t go into detail about drywall and slowly kill the parentheses button.
All of which I loved and appreciated.
TL;DR: Looking forward to re-reading this one (as I re-read ALL of my 3+ star KA’s) over and over and over…