Monday, April 11, 2016

Blog Tour ~ Bounty (Colorado Mountain #7) by Kristen Ashley @KristenAshley68
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.

 4.5 Stars
I've missed the mighty mountain men of Colorado and so stoked to be back in Carnal to visit with some of my all-time favorite Alpha-hunks. Mostly, I couldn't wait to unravel the enigmatic character that has haunted me for so long… Deke Hightower.
Since introduced in Sweet Dreams, I was fascinated by his imposing presence and wanted to dig deep into his soul. I discovered he’s a man whose sparse words spoke volumes. It took a gypsy chick, Justice Lonesome, to peel away the layers and bring his character to life. Their journey consumed me ~ from a chance encounter to a friendship turned undeniable love ~ I was happily absorbed in Jussy and Deke's world.
I loved how fate brought this couple together...twice. First time in Wyoming, while Justice was hanging out in a biker bar contemplating her unfulfilled life, longing for simplicity. Her world changed after spending a few moments with the gorgeous guy standing by a chain link fence. The stranger named Deke connected with her ‘poet's soul'. With a promise to meet again broken, Deke became an impassioned memory, which inspired Justice to compose and record a song that defined her life altering experience. It was Deke's song. And it was a hit.

Years later, after the recent passing of her father, Jussy decided to build a home in Carnal. Lo and behold, her contractor is none other than Deke, the man who rocked her world and stood her up. Thing is, he didn't recognize her at first. YIKES!! Poor Justice, I sympathized with all the hurt she felt. Top it off, he acted downright rude. Jussy being a cool chick took all his gruffness in stride and was determined to become his friend. It took time, but Deke finally remembered Jus and explained the heart breaking reason why he never showed.
Jussy, Deke's boho gypsy princess and famous singer-songwriter, was the most down to earth heroine. I liked the strength, sincerity and compassion her character embodied. I dug how deeply she connected with everyone who touched her life, bringing out their best, especially those most guarded. She was a woman of means, who had the world at her fingertips, but took nothing for granted ~ especially Deke’s affections. But what I absolutely adored was the way she immediately understood Deke, recognized his needs, and loved him unconditionally.
After reading Bounty, I was moved to write a ballad professing all of Deke's hotness. Broody, rugged, and a beast in bed...I was totally into his intense sexiness. Deke was a headstrong man who lived a simple life. Reserved and set in his ways, it took time for me to warm up to his character. But when I saw all the pain he shouldered, I got where this “travelin’ man” was coming from. Hurt from his past gave him good reason to deny his desire for Justice. Regardless, I wanted him to let go of his hang-ups to see the real woman behind all the money and fame.

One terrifying night for Justice caused Deke to put his feelings into perspective, and everything between them shifted. He could no longer fight the attraction, Jus meant the world to him. Determined to give her peace, love, comfort… anything his gypsy princess needed. That’s the moment I saw the fiercely protective and loving side of Deke come to life, and he won me over. When he beautifully opened up his heart, and gave all of himself to Jussy, I was a goner… and fell deeply in love with the caring, overly affectionate man he became.

Both free-spirited wanderlusts, they were perfect together. I loved that their journey was a slow burn filled with discovery, love, laughter and passion. Gah! Ashley is a master when it comes to writing sizzling sex scenes that makes me all tingly inside. One of the most sensual moments, and there were several, was when Jus finally confessed the meaning behind her song ~ how meeting Deke long ago affected her. His reaction was phenomenal.

Once again, I was spoiled with the bounty KA brings to all her tales - dynamic characters, scorching passion, a very detailed and emotional plot - the gifts were endless. It can be enjoyed as a standalone, but I recommend experiencing all of these hot romances. I loved that this read was reminiscent of Ashley's earlier works within the series, where secondary characters were more intimately involved in the story line. Practically all of the Colorado Series gang, and some from different series, came into play. Overjoyed that Krystal, who I adore, had a notable presence in the story. Jussy brought out a different side of Krys and she absolutely shined! There were some moments of angst, and during one particular heart palpitating scene, I was scared out of my mind! Seriously, my heart was in my mouth, tears filling my eyes! I would have liked a longer epilogue, seeing more of Jussy and Deke’s future ~ I'm a very greedy reader when it comes to KA’s tales, never wanting to let go of her characters or their stories. Nevertheless, the ending was heartwarming as well as bittersweet. Bounty was an exceptionally written, powerful story of destined love that touched my heart.
A final note ~ Bounty included an incredible playlist of songs that enhanced this couple’s journey. (Jus crooning “Time in a Bottle” brought me to tears). But, it was this tune that was playing in the background of my mind, as I was fully absorbed within Deke and Justice's world...

“Lightning strikes...Maybe once...Maybe twice”.
And it did, for the Gypsy that was Justice Lonesome. 

ARC received from author in exchange for an honest review

I saved this book as long as I could to start it. I have learned that anytime I begin a Kristen Ashley read I'll be consumed. Its never a surprise that it's always deep to my soul immersion. Deke and Justice took me far away back to a place where friends are family and once you are in you are there to stay. She weaves in new amazing people right onto the tapestry of a bond of souls where you can't even see the threads beginning or ending. 

I won't rehash the plot.. It just needs to be experienced.. I'll just leave this here. There was beauty because is this authors way. There was passion because she bleeds it. There was humor and generosity. But most of all there was a bone deep slow burn falling in love romance that I simply couldn't put down. Deke and Justice had a tough road to walk down and I rooted for them the whole way. Deke was different than any other Kristen Ashley Hero and although it took me a while to warm up to him, once I did it was blazing hot, down to my toes warmth for a strong man, a good friend and one hell of a partner for Justice.
 Justice was unique also and her many layers were created by family and friends. Her roots made her and her strength kept her when nobody else was there. Her gypsy ways made the best girl a guy like Deke could hope for. I think his hesitance in the beginning was just his heart not believing that someone like his Jussy could actually be there ..and be there for him. With him. It took time and it took a lot of fantastic funny conversations between these two but seriously they just fit in so many ways. I definitely count Justice as one of my favorite KA heroines ever. Music had a heavy theme and fitted the love story perfectly. I felt light in my heart and a sweet feeling of peace when the story faded. I simply always feel so blessed after a gift from this author.


Deke’s voice carved into the perverse, bitter sick my brother and his mother stirred up in me and I lifted my gaze, twisted my neck and looked to his face.
He was not close.
But he was concerned.
And that concern undid me.
I turned fully to him, dropped my head and fell forward.
He was not near and then he was, right there for me to collide with as everything pressed into me. So much, I couldn’t hold it back, and the tears came.
He wrapped his arms around me as he stepped farther into me so he could hold me close.
That was when I started sobbing. My body shaking with it, automatically burrowing into his heat, his solidity, his bulk, all Deke.
His arms tightened.
“I miss him,” I whispered into Deke’s chest through a hitch.
The words with that hitch barely sounded before I felt Deke’s hand glide up my spine and tangle in my hair.
“Get it out, Jussy,” he murmured, his words stirring the strands at the top of my head so I knew he was bent to me.
Fuck me, Deke.
“My brother’s a p-p-piece of shit,” I pushed out through the tears.
Deke’s arm around me got tighter and the tips of fingers started stroking the side of my ribs.
Even this did not make me feel better. In fact this—all that was Deke enveloping all that was me—made it better at the same time so much worse.
“He’s contesting the…the will,” I shared.
Deke said nothing.
I kept crying.
It came to me slowly that I was pressed hard to him and had my hands clenched into his tee at the back. I felt the damp material against my cheek and knew how many tears had leaked and that Deke took them from me.
I also knew he was being cool, a nice guy, because that was who he was.
But I couldn’t let this go on.
So I pulled my shit together, unclenched my hands and smoothed the shirt before I dropped them to his waist and tipped my head back.
Lamentably, he took my cue and let me go.
Incredibly, he didn’t do this completely.
He put his hands on either side of my neck and bent close so his face was a couple of inches from mine.
“Think, from what you’ve told me, you get that times get bad. Hope, Jussy, you also get that those times pass. Whatever’s happening, this will pass.”
I nodded because that was all I could do.
“Sorry, I…well, your shirt’s all wet,” I said, taking one hand from him to wipe my face.
“It’ll dry.”
I nodded again.
His fingers curled around my neck gave me a gentle squeeze.
“You good?”
I was not.
I gave him another nod anyway.
His eyes moved over my face and I knew he knew that nod was an inaudible lie but he didn’t call me on it.
He just said quietly, “Good,” gave me another squeeze and dropped his left hand.
But with his right, he lifted it up and I held my breath because I thought he was going to touch my face, dry a tear, something.
Instead, he raised it to the top of my head and tousled my hair before he gave me another close look, turned and walked away.
Shit, Deke comforted me then tousled my hair like I was his little sister.
I didn’t like that.
But it was kind and it was sweet and it came from Deke.
So as was becoming my lot, I’d take it.

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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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