on June 30th 2015
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Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Series: Chaos #3
The ride of her life . . .
Once upon a time, Carissa Teodoro believed in happy endings. Money, marriage, motherhood: everything came easy---until she woke up to the ugly truth about her Prince Charming. Now a struggling, single mom and stranded by a flat tire, Carissa's pondering her mistakes when a vaguely familiar knight rides to her rescue on a ton of horsepower.
Climb on and hold tight . . .
In high school, Carson Steele was a bad boy loner who put Carissa on a pedestal where she stayed far beyond his reach. Today, he's the hard-bodied biker known only as Joker, and from the way Carissa's acting, it's clear she's falling fast. While catching her is irresistible, knowing what to do with her is a different story. A good girl like Carissa is the least likely fit with the Chaos Motorcycle Club. Too bad holding back is so damned hard. Now, as Joker's secrets are revealed and an outside threat endangers the club, Joker must decide whether to ride steady with Carissa---or ride away forever . . .
“Yo!” I heard Snapper call and I looked to him to see he was looking beyond me. I turned around and saw Tabby was heading toward me and Snapper. “I’m takin’ Carissa out on my bike. You wanna look after her purse or put it in Shy’s room or somethin’?”
At his request, Tabby’s gaze immediately cut to the pool tables. When she took them in, for some reason, her face got hard before she softened it and looked back toward us.
“Not a problem,” she said, stopping at us. “Go. Ride.”
“Never been on a bike,” I told her and her face split in a big smile.
“Then go. Ride.” She leaned in to me. “Beware, wind in your hair, moon on your skin, you’ll fall in love.”
I wasn’t sure that was a good thing. I’d fallen in love with something I couldn’t have, and if I fell in love with the wind in my hair and the moon on my skin, without someone to give that to me, I couldn’t have that either.
But to heck with it.
Maybe this would be the only bike ride I’d I’d have in my life.
And maybe the kiss Joker gave me was the only fabulous kiss I’d ever get.
And maybe my dream of having a family or the other dream of getting behind the steel guarding Joker’s eyes was lost to me.
But I was still breathing.
So I’d take what I could get.
Tabby put her hand on my purse, which was lying on the bar. “Got this. Have fun.”
“Thanks,” I whispered.
She winked at me.
I looked to Snapper. “Let’s go.”
“Meet you at the end of the bar, babe.”
“Right!” I chirped, jumped off my stool, threw Tabby a smile, nabbed my jacket that I was sitting on and bounced to the end of the bar.
When I got there, Snapper had pulled on his leather jacket. He grabbed my hand and guided me out the door and to his bike. Then he got on his bike before instructing me on how to do the same.
The bike roared, he backed out on an angle, and we glided over the tarmac of Ride.
He pulled out onto Broadway and I got it.
The wind in my hair.
The moon on my skin.
The leather of his jacket in my nostrils.
The solidness of him under my hands at his waist.
We got close to the onramp of I‑25 and he shouted, “Hold on!”
“Sorry?” I shouted back.
“Hold on!” he yelled, taking one hand off the grip and using it to pull my hand from his waist and around to his stomach.
He put his hand back on the grip and we turned up the ramp, going faster, faster, faster, the wind whipping my hair and biting into my skin. I curved my other arm around him, put my chin to his shoulder, drew in air and leather, and I got it.
That it being why this was the life for a biker.
No encumbrances. You wanted to smoke pot, you smoked it. You wanted to wear a tube top, you wore it. You wanted to drink shots, you drank them. You wanted to make out hot and heavy on a couch in a room filled with people, you did it.
You wanted to live, you lived.
You wanted to be free, you got on your bike and rode in the moonlight.
You did not drink martinis you didn’t like. You did not take a job your mother‑in‑law thought you should have. You did not take guff from your ex, not ever.
You did what you wanted.
You were free.
In all that was happening to me, all that I was feeling, all the disappointment of that night and the bizarre devastation I felt that the first time this happened, me on the back of a bike, I would have preferred it be with Joker . . . right then, for that moment, I let it all go.
I let it go, held on to Snapper and I let myself feel it.
Feel something rare and beautiful and overwhelming.
Feel something I knew for certain I hadn’t felt in my whole life.
“okay, Carson,” … “Go after your beautiful life.”
This book. THIS BOOK!! Ride Steady had a very “classic” KA feel to it with fabulous characters and a journey only Kristen Ashely can take us on. She is the master storyteller who can weave a book and create drama, angst, feels, steam, heartache, love, and the beauty of being imperfect but perfect just the same. Ride Steady is no exception. Throw in badass, alpha men with big hearts , adorable babies, a strong heroine and a few FANTSTICLY written cameos of past characters we love…YES, PLEASE!!
“because I don’t like butterflies. They’re beautiful, but they’re delicate, and I don’t got it in me to handle anything with care.”
Carson Steele (Joker) has never had it easy. He just wants a family, loyalty, someone to think he’s worth something and show him that worth…but he’s never had it. He’s looked up to the Chaos MC since childhood and watching the brothers and their families unite. Joker want’s that, craves that, needs that kind of unconditional loyalty,…but has no idea how to get it.
While in high school, he’s simply fighting to keep afloat; Fighting to breathe through his miserable life with his miserable father. He’s just trying to get through high school then get out. Watching the goings on of the Chaos MC from their front gate is a refuge for him. Watching Carissa Teodoro was another. She was the high school golden girl and had a smile and laugh he couldn’t resist. Even though he was never really friends with sweet Carissa, watching her from afar gave him a sense of peace. But he knew he had to leave town before he drowned, before his father pushed him under water and destroyed him forever.
“One day, Carson Steele, you’re going to be a magnificent man. I don’t know how that will be. You could be president. You could eradicate disease. OR you could be a master mechanic who builds amazing cars. But whatever it is, it will happen. I believe it. And one day, you’ll see past what you’ve been taught and you’ll believe it too.”
Carissa Teodoro was the golden girl in high school. She was sweet, pretty, and dated the most popular boy is school. But Carissa was deeper than that. She knew heartache too. Not the likes of Carson Steele’s pain but heartache just the same. She watched him in high school, felt a connection to him but he was so distant and removed it was hard to pin him down… so she had to say goodbye.
“Good stuff for you out there Carson,…Good Stuff, A good life. A beautiful life. You’ll get it. I know it. Because you deserve it.”
After many years being away from his hometown, Carson returns. He left town as boy named Carson Steele and returned as man named Joker whose ready to pass through those front gates of Chaos MC to become a brother.
Carissa’s life over the years didn’t go as anybody planned. Sweet, pretty Carissa has not had a sweet, pretty time since Joker’s been gone. The only good thing that’s happened is her son Travis. But she’s a broken woman and a shell of who she used to be. She needs support and now that Joker’s back in town he just can’t help being that person…no matter how much HE fights those feelings to do so!!
I ADORED Carissa. Even though she was broken down, she was not broken! She still had sass, fight, love and whole lot of charm. And scary, broody Joker was a challenge she was not going to back down from.
“That’s twenty cents,”…”Hunh?” he grunted. “Regular curse words are a nickel…bad curse words are a dime. Everyone knows the f-word is a bad one and since starting now, you’re paying me every time you curse, that’s twenty cents you owe me.”… “I’ll give it to charity or something. The way you cuss, we’ll probably be able to build a homeless shelter in a week.”
Joker was amazing. He was broody, crass, distant and a TOTAL alpha badass with a heart of gold. I LOVED him, every single thing. And the way he was with Carissa’s son, Travis? Be still my beating heart!! SWOON!
“Yeah,…I’m your Joker.”
Did I mention the FABULOUS cameos of past characters? Well it bears repeating! It was AWEOMSE!! Bottom line, READ THIS!!
“Who would have a thought my Carson Steel would catch Butterflies.”
I could hi-light Kristen Ashley’s words the entire book! She creates a world and feeling for me, like no other. The love these characters have for each other and the way she has them express it, is SO DANG GOOD!
I think I’ve said it before, but reading her books is like being wrapped in a warm blanket. I know that sounds crazy, but hey I’m not the best at this putting my feelings into words. lol!
With all that goodness being said, I didn’t love the book. I loved certain moments, and the FEELS that she creates, but I didn’t love the book as a whole. We all know that our queen KA writes long books. No big surprise there,but this one had me skimming quite a bit. I would find myself getting bored, but then I would get the feels and all would be ok. At first when writing this review I gave a 3.5 stars apart of me wants to give a 4. I AM TORN! I will ALWAYS read her books no matter what. She is just “IT” for me, but I want some of the old magic back!
“Tack studied him before he remarked, “You think I’m whipped.”
Joker made no reply. He wouldn’t disrespect a brother like that, especially not Tack.
But he did think that.
Tack grinned and took a pull from his beer.
After he dropped it, he said reflectively, still grinning. “Maybe I am. Though, the way I am and the woman holds that whip, it’s a good thing to be.”
“I am going to heal you, Carson Steele. It’s gonna happen. That’s it. No response necessary.”
“Hey,” he whispered.
“Hey,” I whispered back.
He curled his fingers around the side of my neck and slid them up to my jaw.
“You good?”he asked.
I swallowed. Then nodded.
“Wanna be better?”