Friday, October 30, 2015

Walk Through Fire (Chaos #4) by Kristen Ashley: Blog Tour Review, Excerpt & Giveaway


Blurb:

Millie Cross knows what it's like to burn for someone. She was young and wild and he was fierce and even wilder-a Chaos biker who made her heart pound. They fell in love at first sight and life was good, until she learned she couldn't be the woman he needed and made it so he had no choice but to walk away. Twenty years later, Millie's chance run-in with her old flame sparks a desire she just can't ignore. And this time, she won't let him ride off . . .

Bad boy Logan "High" Judd has seen his share of troubles with the law. Yet it was a beautiful woman who broke him. After ending a loveless marriage, High is shocked when his true love walks back into his life. Millie is still gorgeous, but she's just a ghost of her former self. High's intrigued at the change, but her betrayal cut him deep-and he doesn't want to get burned again. As High sinks into meting out vengeance for Millie's betrayal, he'll break all over again when he realizes just how Millie walked through fire for her man . . .


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Review by Yvette:

Turn to page one, hold my breath, and wait for the pain to pass: that's typically how I begin every Kristen Ashley book. Melodramatic? Perhaps… I'm the type of reader that tends to shy away from books that elicit a strong emotional reaction (i.e. angst). It's therefore somewhat masochistic that I eagerly anticipate each new release by this author considering that she has the power to turn me into a sniffling, sobbing mess with a few choice words. To say I was unprepared for the emotional impact that Walk Through Fire would have on my psyche is a gross understatement because, despite the fact that Kristen Ashley has a direct line to my heartstrings, she pulled out all the stops with this second chance romance. Walk Through Fire is the type of book that will swiftly break your heart before oh-so-slowly stitching it back together and, as much as I dreaded having my heart decimated, I devoured every sentence and would gladly start the whole process over again.

With Walk Through Fire, Kristen Ashley doesn't just write a second chance romance, she writes an epic, gut-wrenching, and beautifully brutal second chance romance. Told in alternating perspectives that switch from the past to the present, we find out how protagonists, Mille and High, fall in love before being torn apart, only to be reunited after a twenty-year separation. Love versus hate, blissfulness versus anger, hopefulness versus despair – the divide between the past and the present couldn't be more different. There's so much history between them – so much longing, so much pent-up aggression, so many unresolved issues – their past is like a tangible presence, reminding them of everything they had and then subsequently lost. I found myself glued to the pages, unable to find any semblance of comfort until I knew exactly what had transpired to separate this seemingly perfect couple. The feels that this book evokes are all-consuming, with Millie and High’s romance demanding your complete and undivided attention from start to finish.

Heavy on the romance and light on the MC-related action with just a touch of suspense, Walk Through Fire is a riveting, emotionally compelling story about having dreams and making the effort to see those dreams realized. The combination of High’s gruff but soft-hearted biker persona and Millie’s sassy but sweet energy is both heartwarming and entertaining. With their effortless and soul-deep connection, Millie and High burrowed their way into my heart and refused to leave. Millie and High's road to happily ever after is filled with twists, turns, and plenty of bumps, challenging them every step of the way. The fact that they have to work for that happy ending makes the end result that much sweeter.

*complimentary copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Rating: 5 Stars

About Kristen Ashley:

Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA. She nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorise and she hadn't taken her first breath!).

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana but 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 multi-generational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland and existed amongst the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.

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Excerpt:

I beeped the locks and had a hand to the handle when I heard, “Lookin’ for me?”

When that deep, coarse voice came at me through the dark, my body became paralyzed, my eyes glued to my hand on the handle.

Then it kept coming at me.

“Bitch, followed you the last forty-​five minutes. Reb got in touch. Told me you hit Scruff’s.” On the next, the voice was nearer. “You’re lookin’ for me. So tell me what the fuck you want so you can quit lookin’ and I can quit lookin’ at you.” Slowly, I turned, my head going back automatically because I felt him close and I knew what close to Logan meant.

I was five-seven.

He was six-​one.

He towered over me, or at least that’s what it always felt like because he wasn’t only tall, he was also a big guy with a big presence.

And right then, it felt like that, especially since his big presence was an angry one.

His face was in shadows, I could barely see it.

But I could feel him.

And I could smell him.

God, I could smell him.

He didn’t wear cologne or aftershave. His scent was all his. And I remembered lying in our bed holding his pillow to me, my face shoved into the sheets, taking him in after I’d made him walk away.

His scent hadn’t changed. Not even a nuance.

Smelling it without warning felt like walking unsuspecting into the street and having a truck slam into you. And that feeling was so strong it was a wonder my body didn’t go careening through the trucks and bikes, slamming into them, shattering every bone.

He moved forward so he was in my space, the smell strengthened and my body tightened to guard against it.

“Woman, after all this time, whatever shit you gotta hand me, fuckin’ do it,” he ordered irately. “You got two seconds to spit it the fuck out. You don’t, you won’t get another chance, and you know I’ll make it that way. So this is your only shot. Take it or get in your fuckin’ car and get your ass outta my world.”

I stared into the shadows of his face, wishing with everything that I could see it.

Apparently, I did this for two seconds because Logan bit out, “Right. See nothin’s changed. Weak. Now get your ass . . .” he dipped his face to mine, “gone.”

And when he did, I got up on my toes and kissed him.

It was totally crazy.

But I also totally couldn’t help it.

He smelled so fucking good.

And he was Logan.

Close. Right there. His face in mine.

He jerked away, muttering a disgusted, “What the fuck?”

But the words or their tone didn’t penetrate.

I smelled him and I’d had a taste.

I was gone.

I lifted both hands to either side of his head, yanked him down to me, and went back in, going for it, giving it my all. Even when his fingers clenched painfully into my hips pushing them back to set me away, I held on tighter and shoved my tongue between his lips.

It touched his, just that, just a touch, and then I cried out into his mouth when I found my back slammed into my SUV.

But it wasn’t his way to get me to let him go.

No.

His head slanted and he forced my tongue out of his mouth when his invaded mine.

And that was when I was gone.

I was already gone but right then there was nothing to me.

Nothing at all.

Except my hands on Logan’s head, his body pressing mine into my car, his smell all around us, his tongue plundering my mouth, all this exploding fire everywhere.

He drove a hand into my hair, twisting it, the pain bristling over my scalp and I cried out into his mouth again even as I arched deeper, pressed closer, willing, like it had always been, to give it all because he was Logan, he got it all.

But also because I knew I’d get it back a hundredfold.

He swayed us forward so his other arm could lock across my back and he kept at my mouth as I rolled way up on my toes, pushing deep, wrapping my arms around his neck, consumed by the kiss and not giving that first fuck.

I was ready to ride it out.

No, I needed to ride it out.

No matter where it went.

He broke away and that was when my hand went into his hair, fisting tight in protest.

“That what you want?” he growled, his voice lower, the abrasion physical, and I shivered with delight.

I wasn’t entirely certain of the question but I answered a breathy, “Yes.”

“That’s what you want,” he repeated, a statement this time, seeking confirmation.

“Yes, Logan.”

He let me go but took my hand, his skin rough against my fingers. The feel of it back after all these years washed through me and I fancied I remembered every time, in quick succession, from the first night we met to the night before I broke it off when he’d taken my hand and guided me somewhere.

Lost in it like I’d always been lost in it, I followed blindly.

Attached to Logan, I’d go anywhere.

Even if we were walking through fire.

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