Friday, October 26, 2018

BLOG TOUR~GIVEAWAY~REVIEW~ Loose Ends, Volume One (Loose Ends #1) by Kristen Ashley @KristenAshley68




In Kristen Ashley’s first anthology, readers will find three short stories and two novellas taking them back to characters and series in the Kristen Ashley universe. 
No Clue , a short story – Visit with Joe and Vi from At Peace of The ’Burg series and learn how Joe breaks up a fight between his sons, what Ryker’s up to and why, exactly, his wife Violet has no clue. 
The Stars Aligned , a novella – The long-awaited love story of Hap and Luci. Introduced in Heaven and Hell , readers learned, after a heartbreaking journey through grief, Luci was ready to take another chance at love. But Hap was adhering to “the code” between brothers, unwilling to betray his dead friend Travis by falling for Travis’s widow. Further, Hap can’t quite believe a beauty like Luci could fall for a normal guy like Hap. But for Luci and Hap the heart can’t be denied. Especially when the stars align.
The Favor , a short story – Deacon and Cassidy from Deacon of the Unfinished Hero series go back to their favorite cabin at Glacier Lily, and there, Cassie asks her husband a favor. He’ll give her anything she wants. Including this.
More Than Everything , a novella – Readers left Diesel, Maddox and Molly at a crossroads at the end of The Greatest Risk of the Honey series. Maddox and Molly were all in with their commitment to their unconventional love triangle. But Diesel was letting the pressures and prejudice of family and society sink under his skin, making him hold himself distant from the man he loved. Can Maddox and Molly lead Diesel fully into their lives and give him more than everything?
Rock Chick Renewal , a short story – Tod has been planning Rock Chick weddings for years. He’s got a new one on his hands. And it’s not what he expected.

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A first for Kristen Ashley, and hope for more to come in the future, this anthology is a wonderful treat for both long-time fans and new readers alike. Jam packed with so much goodness, Loose Ends was the perfect combination of short stories and longer length novellas that had me excited to revisit past loves as well as eager to experience the "happily-ever-afters" of some beloved secondary characters.


No Clue ~ 5 stars
Within the pages of one of the most epic and emotionally charged romances I've ever read, At Peace, lives an extraordinary hero named Anthony Joseph Callihan. My love for Joe, as well as his woman Violet, is immeasurable. So I was thrilled beyond belief to savor more from their world. Older, but no less growly, sexy and swoon-worthy, we see a glimpse into Joe's everyday life and his ornery, chaotic brood. Not to mention the zany, off-the-wall Ryker popped in to make an unforgettable appearance, and his hilarity had me in stitches. No Clue was a sweet little story that had me falling in love with the Callihans all over again.
The Stars Aligned ~ 5+ Stars.
The Stars Aligned was the heart and soul of this anthology for me. Since first reading Heaven and Hell, and with every re-read following, my longing for Hap and Luci's story intensified. After years of hoping and obsessing, my wish has finally come true. It was A-Freaking-Mazing and definitely worth the wait.
Years after tragically losing her husband, Travis, Luciana Gordon is ready to love again. So many obstacles lie in her way, but the biggest hurdle is the man she's falling for ~ George "Hap" Cunningham. Hap's not only her dear friend but also Travis' buddy. Luci has an incredible feat before her in convincing Hap to take a chance at a relationship. Ghosts from the past and pressure from others complicate their situation even further.
All this had my emotions in a whirlwind. However, I did not doubt for one moment that Ashley would get me through this intense story, as she is the queen of second chance romances. In the end, their journey was profoundly beautiful. 


I loved Luci (pun intended) as her character oozed incredible strength. As I imagined, Hap was a tough nut to crack. His stubbornness in thwarting all of Luci's charms and denying his true feelings had me all edgy, but I understood his intentions. Hap loves Gordo, considers him a brother, and anything other than a friendship with his widow would be a betrayal. But Luci's determination and courage shines through as she guides them both beyond grief and mourning. And Hap...sigh...he was incredibly sexy, loving, and sweet. He proved to be the perfect hero totally devoted to Luci as he overcomes his struggles.

I adored seeing Sam, Kia, and all of the H&H gang, especially the gruff and grumpy Skip. He truly stepped up as the voice of reason when it came to Hap and Luci's relationship by making one heck of a heartfelt speech that was amazingly touching. Also excited to see a cameo from a character in the Magdalene series which I hope will one day have his own story. All in all, The Stars Aligned was everything I ever wished for when came to this couple.


The Favor ~ 4.5 Stars
It's back to cabin 11 with the overly sexy Deacon and his woman, Cassie from the Unfinished Heroes series. I loved catching up with this couple, seeing the family they built and the tender love they share. 

More Than Everything ~ 3.5 Stars 
Maddox, Diesel, and Molly who debuted in The Greatest Risk (Book 3 of the Honey Series) are an unconventional trio. In all honesty, MMF romances are not my usual cup of tea, but these characters and their dynamic relationship had a way of easily earning my affections. Super kinky, all together or paired off, they were hot. However, there were times I did feel pushed out of my comfort zone. Regardless, I enjoyed this threesome as they dealt with all of their struggles. The love and support Mad, D and Mol shared were sincere, as each worked hard towards the happily ever after they most certainly deserved. A huge bonus with this novella was meeting Rebel ~ Diesel's sister and Rush's (Chaos) love interest. I LOVE IT when KA weaves in characters from different series!

Tell Me What You Want ~ 4.5 stars
A fantastical standalone so cute and sugary sweet that I truly enjoyed. I would love to see more of this couples' story.
Rock Chick Renewal ~ 5 Stars
What a wonderful short story! The dedication alone had me all sniffling and misty-eyed. Revisiting all the Rock Chicks and their Hot Bunch men was like coming home from a long journey. It had me seriously craving for a series re-read. This time, it's all about Tod and Stevie, and I relished spending time with them. A feel-good story that left me overjoyed and smiling.

 

I voluntarily reviewed an advance copy of this publication


From “The Stars Aligned”


“I loved him too.”
She shut her mouth.
“You know that. I miss him too. Not like you, I get that. But I just want you 
to know I feel that, for me, for you, and I’m there even if we’re like we are 
right now. I’m there when that hits you, however you need me to be.”
Luci stared at Hap’s profile unable to speak.
She would not be able to do that. If the shoe was on the other foot, 
he had lost a wife he adored and was moving on with Luci, but he continued 
to mourn his wife’s passing in his way, she would need him to do that inside 
himself. To hide that from her. She was too possessive. Too selfish. 
She knew that about herself, even if she didn’t like it. She’d want to be a 
bigger person, a better person, and she might be able to hide her feelings 
from him to give him what he needed, but it would hurt. She’d never offer it,
as Hap would say, straight out.
But he meant it.
He meant every word.
“I would not be able to do that for you,” she blurted.
He glanced at her before looking back at the road. “Sorry?”
“I would want to, but I would find it difficult to support you in that way.”
“Seein’ as that’s not the way it is, you don’t have anything to worry about,” 
he replied.
That was not the point.
She didn’t belabor the point.
Dio, but she loved him.
“May I ask you something?” she requested.
“Shoot,” he invited.
“If it was the other way around, not you losing a woman you loved, 
but if I’d found you first, not Travis, and I had lost you, how would you feel 
if Travis and I found each other?”
“I’d want you to be happy.”
Not a moment’s hesitation.
Not one.
“Do you say that because you know how I was with Travis?” 
she pressed cautiously.
“I say that because I’d want you to be happy,” he repeated. 
Another glance to her before he looked back at the road. 
“Baby, why do you think I’m right here and you’re right there?”
Luci turned her eyes out the windshield but not her attention.
I’d want you to be happy.
Dear Lord, she was going to cry.
“Luce?” he called.
She swallowed and stated, “I would find it in me to support you through 
the loss of a woman you loved, however you needed me to support you.”
“Honey, look at me,” he urged, taking up her hand, pulling it to his thigh 
and holding it tight.
She looked to him and he must have felt it because he didn’t take his eyes 
off the road when he resumed speaking.
“That’s not where we are. As sweet as that is, we’ve got what we’ve got. 
That’s enough to deal with. There’s no point to this conversation because 
we are where we’re at and not anywhere else, 
and we got enough on our plates. It serves no purpose to take it 
anywhere else. You found Gordo. You lost Gordo. You want me. 
I’m right here. That’s where we are. 
Let’s just find our way through that minefield, yeah?”
You want me. I’m right here.
What did that mean?

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