Thursday, January 25, 2018

Complicated by Kristen Ashley Dual Media Review

From the New York Times best-selling 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.

Audiobook Details
Length: 18 hrs, 14 mins
Narrator: Lance Greenfield & Erin Mallon

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Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Amazon Audiobook  ~  Audible  ~  iTunes

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Audiobook Review

I adore Complicated. Yes, there are times when I wanted to throttle Hixon Drake, when I wanted to pull the Moonstruck snap-out-of-it double slap on him, when I felt that he really didn’t deserve Gretta because he was so far up his own patookus that he couldn’t see the light that would brighten his world standing right in front of him. Perhaps it’s because Complicated was first released exclusively to audiobook and that I’ve not yet read that ebook, but Hixon Drake seemed to be one of Ashley’s more bullheaded heroes. What made his knee-jerk reactions and stubbornness palatable was that they were tempered by his ability to admit when he was wrong and his willingness to try to rectify the situation. And that when he was ready to commit to Gretta, he was all in and wouldn’t let anything stand in his way – not his ex-wife, not his sullen teenage daughter, not Gretta’s horrific excuse of a mother, and not Gretta herself. As for Gretta, she’s the kind of woman I’d want to be friends with, and her love for her brother endeared her to me even more. As one would expect with a tale entitled Complicated, Gretta and Hixon’s journey to a them was… complicated.

One of the many things I enjoy about Ashley’s books is that the supporting cast of characters are almost always endearing – there’s always the obligatory male and/or female douche that you love to hate. Complicated seems to have excelled at loveable supporting characters. From Hixon’s children and his deputies to Gretta’s brother and bosses, I loved them all and how pivotal they were to the story and Gretta and Hixon’s journey. I cannot help but wonder how much of that is due to the story as it’s written or how much is due to the narrative talents of Lance Greenfield and Erin Mallon. I feel I should thank both narrators and Ashley for Complicated. You see, Complicated is the first M/F romance that I have successfully listened to on audiobook. I absolutely could not bring myself to wait for the book to be released on Kindle, so I dove in and hoped for the best. I was not disappointed as it is classic Kristen Ashley. It's also the first audiobook I've listened to with two narrators and I really enjoyed the experience. I was so excited about how much I enjoyed it, that I checked out other Kristen Ashley audiobooks to see if I could repeat my success. And I did. So the next time Ashley decides to release a book exclusively to audio first, I won’t even hesitate to snatch it up, queue it up, and enjoy the ride.

Ebook Review

I am a massive Kristen Ashley fan – and so was delighted to have the time in my schedule to read this book. (I also have Hookup sat waiting for a spare moment!) I am suffering from a huge book hangover and recovering from a sleepless night too, as I just kept reading until the very last page. My Sunday passed almost completely in Nebraska rather than my house in the UK!

This is a most remarkable story, as in the first instance our hero is most definitely not behaving in the manner of a hero. It is shocking to be honest. I was momentarily concerned and thought back through my back catalogue, wondering whether I was going to be okay with this turn of events... obviously, I continued reading and my faith was not only restored, but by dint of his amazing parenting skills creating fabulous children, it was given a boost.

I loved Greta from the very first moment, and my feelings never changed. Ms. Ashley has such a way with drawing people that I would know Greta at a hundred paces, and I would happily be her friend. The fact that we get her view point and that of Hix ensures that we do get a much better indication of why the first scene is not the end, and just where their heads and hearts are. Their chemistry is undoubtedly off the charts, but their synchronicity is more far reaching than just the bedroom.

There are a whole host of wonderful (and not so wonderful) characters in this novel, and some definitely deserve a mention. Andy, Greta's brother, is such a rich addition to the book, and the development of his friendship with Shaw, Hix's son, is beautiful to read. Their work colleagues from Lou, to Bets, Hal and other make us understand their behaviours and also their motivations. I would rather not mention Hope – but goodness me... really? and yet sadly that must happen.

A beautiful love story as well as a complicated one!

Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA and 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!). Her mother said they took Kristen away, put her Mom back in her room, her mother looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). Kristen's Mom remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning.

Nothing's changed.

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus, she's blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. They all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. She 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 she keeps growing, it keeps getting better.

Connect with Kristen

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Angela & Ruthie reviewed their personal copies of The Hookup (Moonlight and Motor Oil #1) by Kristen Ashley, audiobook narrated by Lance Greenfield & Erin Mallon for this post.

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