Friday, April 22, 2016

Bounty by Kristen Ashley

Justice Lonesome has enjoyed a life of bounty

Even so, she’s inherited the curse of the Lonesome. A poet’s soul. Which means she’s still searching for something. Searching for peace. Searching for the less…that’s more.

And when the foundation of her life is pulled out from under her, grieving, she goes to the mountains to find her oasis. She hits Carnal, Colorado and decides to stay.

Deke Hightower lost everything at the age of two. He lost it again at fifteen. His life has not been about bounty. It’s been about learning to live with less, because there’s no way to get more.

Deke’s also watched all his friends go down to the women who gave them what they needed. He wants that for himself. But he knows that search isn’t going to be easy because he’s a rider. His home is the road. That’s the only place he can breathe. And the woman who takes her place at his side has to do it sitting on the back of his bike.

When Deke meets Justice, he knows she’s not that woman. She’s cute. She’s sweet. And she’s into him, but she’s got it all and Deke knows he won’t fit into that. So he holds her at arm’s length. Establishes boundaries. And Justice will take it because she wants Deke any way he’ll let her have him.

But when Justice finds herself a pawn in a dangerous game, Deke makes a decision.

When he does, he has no idea he’s just opened himself up to bounty.

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Book 7
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

The story commences with brilliant prologue where Justice meets Deke in bar. She immediately knows he is the one for her. They set up a date but he stands her up.

Seven years later, following the death of her father, Justice moves to Carnal looking for a simpler life and runs into Deke again, but he doesn't recognise her. Deke is put directly in her path when he is employed to do renovations on her house.

Kristen Ashley has once again given us another strong, beautiful heroine to root for. Justice, the daughter of a rock god and a famous singer in her own right, recognises the bounty she has been given in her life. She is down to earth and strong and it was easy to love her. In Deke we get a guy who is strong and stoic to begin with. He has baggage which has him keeping his distance from Justice, even though he is interested. Deke makes assumptions about Justice that are incorrect. He is a good man and it was great to have a hero who is living the simple life who isn't perfect.

I loved being back in Carnal. We get to visit with all our favourite characters from The Colorado Mountain series as well as cameos from characters from other series by Kristen Ashley. Bounty is a story very much about the romance between Justice and Deke but we also get action, danger and plenty of drama to go along with it.

This is a fabulous story but I struggled through the middle where there is a lull in the story. There were lots of words on the page but not much happening but sex and their day to day lives. The book picks right up in the last quarter and once again Ms. Ashley gives us a totally kick arse epilogue that left me in tears.

Kristen Ashley fans are going to love Bounty. You really do need to read the previous books in the series to get the full effect of the story. If you haven't read a KA book and aren't sure where to start, The Colorado Mountain series is the perfect starting point and as Bounty is book 7 in the series, you'll have lots of stories to keep you entertained.

Bounty was a glorious read for me. Okay, I might be laying it on a little thick, but Ashley’s romances make me cry like my heart’s been broken, bust a gut laughing, get a little hot and bothered, and fall in love, not only with the featured couple, but often with the people around them as well. And Bounty was an exception only in that with this being the seventh book in the Colorado Mountain series, I was already in love with most of the people in Deke’s life, giving the book a family reunion-like feel. But I learned that I didn’t know Deke even a smidgeon as well as I thought (and I knew I didn’t know him that well despite his regular appearance in previous installments), and Justice brings her own crew to the mix that have been added quite nicely to my Colorado Mountain family.

If you’ve read many of Ashley’s romances, you know that there’s a very loose formula they follow – girl meets boy, sparks fly, girl suffers a trauma, girl’s past baggage is dealt with, a second trauma/drama may occur, they finally work their way to each other, and this is all interspersed with some steamy scenes. Now I say this is a very loose formula because I find that while the men usually have that alpha male protector personality, the women vary widely in personality. But in the case of Bounty, the person with the past baggage is Deke, not Justice. This isn’t to say that Justice doesn’t have baggage, but hers is mainly carry-ons in the form of friends and family that cause the drama. Deke is actually the character with the emotional baggage and although Ashley doesn’t often take that road, Deke isn’t the first male lead who lets his past emotional baggage nearly waylay the relationship. Fortunately, Justice is such an authentic woman who is down to earth and genuinely nice, that Deke has no choice but to pull his head out of his derriere and get on with it. Obviously this takes a while and is hastened by a major drama not of either of their making (i.e., one of Justice’s carry-ons), so the relationship starts sooner than I expected it to considering Deke’s past issues, and considering what they were, I was actually surprised that they didn’t pop back up, but that they didn’t showed how real Justice was.

Despite what appeared to be smooth sailing for Justice and Deke, I spent pages upon pages, waiting for the next shoe to drop. Remember the loose formula I referred to? So I read, loving the easiness of Deke and Justice’s relationship, by which I mean how well they fit, how well they clicked once Deke stopped fighting it, but I was still waiting for the shoe to drop. And just as I began to think that Ashley was going to deliver a smooth, slow glide to a happy ending – something that would have matched Justice’s personality – the author doesn’t drop the shoe, she throws a couple of stilettos in quick succession, and the second one nearly destroyed me. I was devastated and this was made worse when I looked up the song that Justice sings to Deke. And that heartbreaking scene was only out-teared (oh yes, keep the tissues handy toward the end of the book) when I looked up the song that Deke had the musicians sing for Justice in the Epilogue. Bounty was another awesome addition to the Colorado Mountain series that not only made me fall in love with yet another wonderful couple, but also delivered what is likely the funniest condom buying scene I’ve ever read. And as much as I loved reading Bounty, I hated getting to the end for two reasons. First, because my time in Colorado was over (for now). Second, because as much as I’m looking forward to Wood and Maggie’s story, I hate that it will mark the end of the Colorado Mountain series. Thank goodness I enjoy rereading books and can return to the towns of Carnal, Chantelle, and Gnaw Bone whenever I feel the pull.

I was born a middle class white child in Gary, Indiana, USA. One of the last of a dying breed. I nearly killed my mother and myself making it into the world, seeing as I had the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck (already attempting to accessorize and I hadn’t taken my first breath!). Mom says they took me away, put her back in her room, she looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). She remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning.

Nothing’s changed.

All I’ve ever wanted to do was write (well, and be the Queen of the World, but you gotta start small) and I’ve published a gazillion books and counting (and a gazillion is a lot! shoo!).You can learn about my titles that have been released or that are soon to be released in the Titles section of the website.

Even though I jump genres, there is always a theme to my books…humor (hopefully), engaging characters (again, hopefully) and romance (definitely).

My loves are movies, music, food and fashion and I partake of all of them as often as I can (the middle two more than the others, the former, which takes time I don’t often have and the latter, which takes money I rarely have). In fact, I love food so much, I like to share my good fortune so I put my recipes on offer for you on this page (see top menu and don’t miss them, they’re awesome!).

I grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and have lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus I’m blessed to have friends and family around the globe. My family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write and growing up it was large and multi-generational. We all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. I grew up with 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 I keep growing up, it keeps getting better.

So here I am, thank goodness.

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Angela and Veronica reviewed their personal copies of Bounty (Colorado Mountain #7) by Kristen Ashley for this post.

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