Friday, January 8, 2016

Blog Tour ~ Sebring (Unfinished Hero #5) by Kristen Ashley @KristenAshley68
Nick Sebring has issues. Born feeling like an outsider in his own family, growing up under the shadow of a brother who could do anything, Nick isn’t that great of a guy. But when this culminates with Nick lashing out to hurt his brother through the woman he loves, Nick turns inward and makes some decisions about the man he intends to be.

And as he does this, he falls in love and truly learns the man that he’s grown to be.

When his love is murdered right before Nick’s eyes, Nick knows he has to avenge her. He knows how he’s going to avenge her. And he has no qualms using Olivia Shade to exact that vengeance.

Olivia Shade has grown up on the outside of her family too. Her problem is that they don’t want her outside. They want her all the way in, right under their thumbs. She pays the price for seeking escape and learns her lesson—she’ll never see a dawn where she wakes up free.

Then she meets Nick Sebring, and even as she fights it, the hope that died years ago starts to blossom. She can find love. She can have a man of her own. She can be happy. She can be free.

Olivia hopes while Nick schemes.

However, as Nick peels back the layers of all that is Olivia Shade, he finds something surprising. He understands its fragility. He falls in love with its beauty. He seeks to protect it.

But he forgets to protect his Livvie from one thing: Nick Sebring.


The finale to a beloved series makes me melancholy, but one from this author totally devastates me. I have a hard enough time letting go of Ms. Ashley’s characters and the excitement that overcomes me the first time I step into their literary worlds. Saying goodbye is excruciating, since I’m always anxious for the next installment. Through the power of KA’s flawless descriptive writings, I’ve emotionally attached myself to Knight, Creed, Raid and Deaconfeeling as if they somehow magically became real. As much as I wanted my hands on Nick’s romance, it broke me knowing that the story line was coming to an end.

Stepping into Sebring, I faced a great challenge with getting to know and hopefully liking Nick, the ‘dark horse’, introduced in Knight.  Bracing myself, the struggle was real because, lets face itNick was a douche. Nevertheless, I liked the challenge of an edgy bad-boy reinventing himself in a way that leaves me no choice but to fall for him. By the end of the prologue, Nick had my heart wrapped tight around his little pinky finger. Olivia (Livvie) and Nick’s erotic romance superbly capped this series and once again, Kristen Ashley overwhelmed me with yet another deeply passionate, highly emotional, poignant tale.

If you have not read the series in its entirety, I highly recommend jumping on that pronto to understand Nick’s mindset. His character started off (in prior installments) as someone I loathed. Jealous, spoiled, sabotaging – he took full advantage of his brother, Knight.  After reading Sebring, I hate reflecting back on the asshole he used to be. But, it’s crucial to remember his beginnings to appreciate his character’s transformation. When a hero/heroine is at their worst, Ashley is at her best as she triumphantly scripts their path towards redemption. I absolutely savored seeing Nick struggle from his lowest point, work hard to piece his life back together, while winning my affection along the way.

I loved the man he became. Loved how he earned the respect of his brother, friends and family. Adored how Nick forced himself through the cracks of Livvie’s armor, drawing her from the darkness of fear into dawn’s light. He had my nerves twisted in knots with his elaborate plan of using Livvie to avenge the murder of his late girlfriend/partner, Hettie (his target being Vincent Shade). But without a doubt, his feelings for Livvie were sincere practically from the start. His heart and soul belonged to Olivia Shade as he placed her needs above all else. It may have taken Nick a while, but in his struggle, he found strength for the sake of his love. That’s the true beauty of this tale. The man Nick Sebring became is compassionate, understanding, selfless and fiercely protective of Livvie. Even though Nick’s an anti-hero (overly dark, edgy and living by his own set of rules), to me he’s also a true Alpha-hero in every sense of the word. He was the perfectly flawed, dynamic protagonist.

Seeing Livvie’s life was achingly painful. Trapped under her father’s (a nefarious, heartless bastard) control, she played the role of his dutiful daughter, while helping to run the crumbling ‘family business’. She survived by maintaining a stone-cold facade. Her somber character made my heart bleed when seeing into her dark and lonely life. What I admired the most was, hidden beneath the shroud of sorrow, stood a woman of great strength who dared to hope. I desperately wanted Livvie to find happiness, and it shattered me knowing she was the pawn in Nick’s plan. My anxiety level soared knowing that the realization would send her reeling. Fortunately for her (and my nerves), what began under false pretenses became very real rather quickly for Nick, when realizing Olivia Shade is not what she appeared to be. She was desolate. She was vulnerable. She was trapped in a prison created by her family and Nick made it his mission to unravel the layers and free her from darkness. He found exquisite beauty in his Livvie and a second chance to love again. In the end, Nick was amazingly romantic as he moved heaven and earth in hopes of bringing Livvie much deserved love and joy.
From the onset, these two ignited in a frenzied fury of erotic explosions. Their sexual chemistry was unrivaled and wild. It was combustible. I was constantly fanning myself down as they frantically battled for domination during each passionate encounter. Nick was incredible and beyond sexy. As Livvie desperately needed affection, Nick consistently gave her everything, and I ate all the intensity up with a spoon. And I loved seeing their tumultuous affair become more than just a romp. Profound feelings of love developed, consuming both, which made me swoon.
I'm always giddy when seeing past loves pop up within the story-line. Knight, of course, comes into play and manages to make me fall even deeper in love with him. He openly welcomes Nick back into the fold and forgives. It was a truly remarkable moment of tenderness and healing between two brothers that struck a chord within my heart. There’s so much more substance to Kristen Ashley’s prose than just a beautifully scripted romance. There are inspirational messages conveyed through her character’s experiences, which brings to light the significance of forgiveness, redemption and family. Whether we are journeying through a motorcycle club, parallel universes, the burgs of Indy, the mountainous towns of Colorado, or in the city of Denver where men live by their own codes – these fundamentals are ever-present in her tales. It’s brothers and sisters lending an abundance of guidance, love and support in a time of need.  With each read, I walk away uplifted and tremendously moved as she feeds my soul.

Like all good things, this series came to an end and Sebring was phenomenal. It was one hell of a gripping erotic romance filled with nerve-wracking moments of angst as anti-heroes faced off against their vile foes. GAH! My anxieties climbed sky-high as Nair and Benito added even more drama and twists to the plot. I hated to let these sexy men gobut when one door closes, the promise of what’s to come opens. A secondary character from the Rock Chick Series, who teamed up with Nick, was heavily involved in this story line. I’m keeping my fingers crossed hoping to see more of him in the future.

ARC received from Author in exchange for an honest review.

Going into a book with trepidation because of previous actions of a character in a series is hard. It's especially hard with you adore the author and simply must read everything she writes. I feel guilty about even having been scared at all. 
Simply because when has this author ever let me down?
She hasn't...
This story took me on an amazing and hot journey. Olivia and Nick definitely weren't a couple you'd think would work from the outside.
Nick was a blank page with a few smudged spots ..left over from his past as a pretty crappy guy to his brother . But slowly we see that page and his image .. erased and recreated anew. A guy who acknowledged he screwed up in his past and who had the ability and drive to make amends. He started off with revenge in his heart ..but that same heart hasn't fully experienced the beauty of the dream who was his Livvie.
These two were explosive and full of emotion. Even when they didn't speak no words were necessary. You felt them and it was deep.
To be trapped in a life .. Olivia was stronger than most to be able to live her existence. Nick chipped away at the ice cold princess until he saw warm woman underneath. I absolutely couldn't get enough of this alpha male with the best sense of humor. I laughed so many times. These two just fit and I was so pleased to be there for the ride.
The bonus of visiting with all of the gang felt magical.
To see the future of each couple just warmed my heart.
Then a sneaky peak at a mysterious character who've I wondered about before with hints of another story..I'm just all around happy.
Another amazing , beautiful and romantic read from the queen added to my favorites of all time shelf.


 The Series

In the hotel room, Nick heard the knock at the door.

He moved to it, looked out the peephole and felt the corners of his mouth hitch up when he saw her.

Fuck, those big green eyes, perfectly arched dark brows, the olive tint to her skin, the expert way she shaded under her cheekbones…

She was a coldhearted criminal but she was one that was very easy to look at.

And even easier to fuck.

He opened the door.

He was going to say something but he didn’t get the chance when her hand darted out and she caught him under his jaw, using it to push him in and around until his back hit wall.

She stared up at him, her hand wrapped around his jaw, her expression holding an emptiness that was so extreme it was almost like a void he could fall into and get lost forever.

He heard the door swish closed and latch.

Then she was up on her toes, her head moving toward his, those green eyes dropping to his mouth.

She didn’t get her lips to his before his tongue was out, as was hers, both of them colliding and tangling before her mouth slammed to his just as her body pushed in, pressing hard, forcing him tighter to the wall.

He shoved out. Gripping her wrist at his jaw, he yanked it down, twisting and slamming her against the wall, slanting his head to deepen an already deep kiss. Their tongues again clashing before he actually took her mouth.

But he took her mouth.

And like she’d done to his, he consumed it.

His fingers still around her wrist, he yanked it around his back, using his body to shove her tight to the wall, pressing his hardening cock against her stomach.

She arched, and moving quickly, whipped him around so his back was to the wall and she took over the kiss. Tearing her wrist from his hold, she curled her fingers around his throat just as she cupped his hardening crotch with her other hand.

Fucking hell, this woman was hot.

But he was done playing.

And he was done kissing.

Her mouth, that was.

He pushed her away. She struggled to regain control.

She lost this struggle when he caught her hand and dragged her down the short hall into the room.

She lost her footing when he gave her hand a strong tug and she fell into him with a soft gasp.

He let her hand go, caught her hips and threw her four feet onto the bed.

That got him another soft gasp which took his cock from hardening to rock-solid and throbbing.

He bent over her, holding her now intense green gaze, spanning her hips with his hands. Shoving backwards, he found the hook of her skirt, released it and pulled down the zipper.

He moved his fingers to curl them into the sides of her skirt’s waistband. With a vicious tug that took her hips and panties with it, he yanked off the skirt.

Chest to the bed, eyes to her cunt, the black curls neatly groomed with a precision that meant her wax technician was a master with possible OCD issues, they were also glistening with wet.

Having the tussle at the door, seeing the utter perfection of her pussy, smelling her, watching her legs part in invitation, her knees shifting up, Nick couldn’t have gone gentle if he’d wanted to.

Luckily he didn’t want to.

He bent his neck and devoured her.

Fuck, she tasted just as perfect as she looked.

As he fed, he felt her excitement ramp. Tasted it. Ate it. Gave her more. Consumed the result. Drove her to the edge.

And when he had her there, he stopped and moved over her.

Not surprisingly, she used both the pump she already had planted into the bed and the calf she had wrapped around him to flip him and then she was straddling him, pushing up, her hands already to his fly.

Normally, he would not allow this.

Her face flushed with need, her manner urgent, even desperate, all that surged through his blood, his gut, straight to his cock.

So he allowed this.

She tugged his pants down, grabbed his dick, guided it to her and took him home.

At the beauty of her sheathing him, he gritted his teeth against the urge to let go and release way too fucking early. Bucking his hips, he watched how much she liked taking him, her head thrown back, her shining, straight mass of silken black hair swaying.

Then she dropped forward into a hand in the bed by his side, locked eyes with him and rode him violently as he watched until she gave it to herself and she kept doing it until she forced it from him.

Fucking spectacular.

He came down buried inside her, his eyes opening to see her still resting in her hand in the bed, her body moving gently with her still-labored-but-evening breathing, her dark hair framing her oval face, her straight bangs brushing her lashes, her green eyes locked to his trying to brand him, make him hers.

No way in fuck that was happening.

But he’d take more of this.

A lot more.

That said, the woman was going to learn how to give up control.

Not surprisingly, without a word, she swung off his cock, moving immediately toward the side of the mattress.

Nick focused on pulling up his trousers, doing the fly and angling off the bed. By the time he was up and had turned his attention back to her, she was on her feet, facing him, arms twisted behind her to do up the skirt she’d put on.

He held her gaze.

“We got all night, Olivia,” he informed her.

Not even a hint of a response to him calling her the name she hadn’t given him.

Then again, he knew she knew him; she’d make it her business.

She also knew he’d do the same with her, even before he sat next to her the night before.

Her expression might not have changed but his words spurred her to action, this being walking his way.

She stopped. Her eyes still on his, she lifted a hand and touched his chest lightly with just the pad of her middle finger.

It lasted half a second.

Then she dropped her hand, turned and walked away.

He heard the door close behind her and he couldn’t stop his smile.

Fuck yes, a seriously cool customer.

And the hottest fuck he’d had in his life.


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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