Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Complicated by Kristen Ashley: Review


From the New York Times bestselling author of the Rock Chick Series comes a story of love, murder, and second chances...

When small town Nebraska sheriff Hixon Drake meets Greta Dare, the connection couldn’t be stronger, but the timing couldn’t be worse.

Dealing with the fallout of a divorce he never wanted and setting up a new home for his kids, Hix becomes that guy, that one he never wanted to be, and puts a stop to things before they can even start. Protecting his kids, and himself, is his only priority.

Greta, on the other hand, has found the place for her and the brother she adores that’s perfect for them—a sleepy little town in Nebraska. She’s learned from life that there are no hopes and dreams. The only thing to look forward to is peace. And that’s what she works hard to build for herself and her brother. Right up until Hix walks into her life.

Hix can’t fight the pull and stay away from Greta for long. And Greta’s finding it hard not to hope for something more with all the promise that is Hix.

But when the first murder that’s happened in over five decades rocks his small, sleepy county, Hix has got to learn to trust again, convince Greta to take a shot with him, and at the same time catch a killer.

In other words, things are definitely…Complicated.

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Check out a sample from Complicated, narrated by Lance Greenfield & Erin Mallon!

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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Review by Yvette:

Confession: I'm not the most seasoned of audiobook listeners. This is mostly because I find it difficult to give one my undivided attention, which is what's usually required for me to fully follow the story (What can I say? I’m not the best multi-tasker). However, when it came to Kristen Ashley's Audible-exclusive release, Complicated, I jumped at the chance to listen to an early copy, mostly because I’m obsessed with everything she writes and I knew it would be amazing. Spoiler alert (not really): it is. I don't think I've ever concentrated so hard on something as I did listening to Complicated because I didn't want to miss a single word of this sexy, emotionally-compelling, feel-good romance.

At its heart, Complicated is a character-driven romance, chronicling the budding romance between protagonists, Hixon Drake and Greta Dare (let’s pause a moment to admire their names). In a small town where everyone knows everything about everyone else's business, it’s easy to become fodder for the rumor mill, which is exactly what happens when the local sheriff becomes intimately acquainted with the town’s hairdresser/lounge singer. The two have an explosive connection and off-the-charts chemistry, which is complicated by Hix’s newly-divorced status and compounded by Greta’s familial issues. Each new chapter seems to present a new obstacle for Hix and Greta, which is exactly what made me root for them. That, and the fact that they’re both genuinely good people who deserve a happy ending.

Complicated is told in alternating perspectives, which I absolutely loved, not just because it showcased the two narrators, who each brought a different energy to the book, but because we get ample time inside the minds of both Greta and Hix. With her painstaking attention to detail and her signature process of pouring her characters' hearts and souls onto every page of the book, Kristen Ashley is a brilliant storyteller, but Lance Greenfield and Erin Mallon add a whole other dimension to the story. There's just something about hearing Hix’s rasping, growling voice in my ear and feeling every nuance of Greta’s soft-spoken, yet arresting presence that brought both the characters and the narrative to life in front of my eyes.

Love scenes so steamy, they had me fanning my face and double checking that my headphones were firmly plugged into my phone? Complicated has them. A narrative packed with drama, romance, and intrigue? This audiobook has that too. Kristen Ashley has an unerring skill for making your heart break and then healing it full to bursting – a skill she puts to good use when telling Hix and Greta’s story. With Complicated, Kristen Ashley delivers a heart-meltingly sweet, unforgettable story about love, second chances, and new beginnings that had me riveted from start to finish.

*complimentary copy provided by Audible for an honest review

Rating: 5 Stars

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