Deacon has an ugly history, a history that broke him, leaving him a ghost of a man. Out of necessity he left the normal world to descend into the criminal world and found he fit. So he stayed. Cold as ice and living off the grid, Deacon has no intention to connect, not with anyone. Then he returns to some remote cabins in the Colorado Mountains and finds they have new owners. One of them is Cassidy Swallow, a young woman willing to work hard to live her quiet dream in a house by a river surrounded by aspen and pine.
Suddenly Deacon finds he's at war. Cassidy's pull for him to connect is strong. He fights it, but he loses, always coming back for more. But when he does, he gives her nothing. From the first time she sees him, Cassidy knows Deacon is dead inside. She knows he’s the kind of man who could destroy a woman. But one night when Deacon's control slips, Cassidy takes a chance. He might break her. He also might be her dream come true.
©2014 Kristen Ashley (P)2015 Audible Inc.
"Narrator Stella Bloom sucks listeners into Cassidy's ruminations on the hospitality industry, her failed romances, and her addiction for John Priest. Bloom's reading is as juicy as listening to your best friend talk about her love life." (AudioFile)
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"Best book by far in this series"
I liked these characters. This book is more like the Kristen Ashley I enjoy! The other books in this series were disappointing. I liked John Priest aka Deacon, and I like Cassidy - two believable characters. I liked the storyline as well. Hot sex scenes, fun dialogue, and interesting characters. The only downer was the reader. I just don't like her style. To me it's like fingernails scraping a chalkboard. The female voices for the secondary characters she used were horrible. Here are these buff, hot guys...I do not think their wife's would have those screeching loud voices. Yikes! Just not in to her reading /performing style.
"FOR 5 YEARS HE RESISTED HER PULL...... THEN HE BROKE"
As usual Kristen Ashley has delivered a story that captures your imagination and you're able to mentally play each Chapter in your mind. Deacon is empty and emotionally damaged by his past, he's a dead man walking, but slowly, over years of occasionally staying in the same holiday cabin, the ice around his heart slowly melts and his heart starts to beat again.... and the cause is the beautiful, gutsy but vulnerable owner of the cabins Cassidy.
Deacon is very much an Alpha male who speaks with a 'biker type' short word sentences and he has a sexy dirty mind and mouth. However, he's caring but not sharing with Cassidy and she hardly knows anything about him despite this she falls hard for him...... until she finds a photograph that'll rock her world and when Deacon fails to explain anything it will crush her, breaks her heart and sends him into a downwards spiral.
Worth a credit? Dual POV, good narration, nice romance, great chemistry, scorching hot sex scenes and lots of drama made this a creditworthy listen and I think there's just one more book to go in the Unfinished Hero series and it's Knight"s brother Nick.... yaye can't wait.
"loved the audio more than the book!"
K Ashley is a fabulous writer. each story is better than the last, as is the whole series! I liked the narration for Cass a lot, but when she spoke as Deacon it was flat. would have been better with a man for his part in my opinion. It was distracting.
"Very good addition to the series :D"
This was a very good story. I first heard of Deacon in Raid's book and was curious about the man that trained Raid in the business. I really liked Cassie and Deacon both and I liked seeing them get together. I was a bit surprised with the way this story ended though...the romance is solid but there's a bit of a cliffhanger with some events that show up at the end of the story that make me hope the next installment in the series comes soon.
Cassie is a smart and spunky woman from Oklahoma She knew from the age of 13 that she wanted to live in Colorado and after saving for years, Cassie bought a vacation place in Colorado with 11 cabins she can rent out. Cassie's boyfriend moved out there with her but had no money in the property and not much interest in working once he got there.
Deacon is a god guy that went through some really bad crap. It killed him, leaving him breathing but not really living outside of that. Now, he works in an underground society where his coldness is an asset. Because of his past Deacon thinks he's destined for misery and doesn't want to allow anyone past his defenses.
When Cassie first meets Deacon, she hasn't owned the place very long and Deacon arrives looking for a cabin right in the middle of her and her boyfriend having a fight. Cassie is really surprised by her reaction to Deacon because part of her wants to step back because he looks so dangerous and part of her wants to throw her arms around him and never let go. She's unsettled by her reaction to Deacon and is glad when she doesn't see much of him until he leaves. Deacon shows back up every few months and takes a cabin for anywhere from a couple days to a week. Cassie dumps her lazy boyfriend after about a year there and at some point after that, when Deacon shows up to stay, Cassie tries approaching him by offering him a slice of pie. He knows what she's offering and shuts her down quickly and then shuts the door in her face. Cassie doesn't approach Deacon like that again but he does still come to stay sporadically. When he shows up for Christmas and she doesn't have a cabin open, Cassie offers to let Deacon stay in a guest room and share Christmas with her and he does. Even though nothing happens between them then, it opens more up between them even though Deacon still tries to act cold.
Eventually, after Deacon has been renting a cabin from Cassie off and on for around 6 years, they come together in a night of passion. Cassie thinks Deacon will take off after allowing her to get so close but is surprised to find that he's decided to stick around. They decide to try to make something work between them. Deacon still works but when he's not working he comes home to Cassie. Cassie knows he's in to some bad stuff but trusts him enough not to push and trust what he's willing to give her. And what he gives her is good...Cassie is a strong woman that is self-reliant but Deacon goes out of his way to do things to help her out and Cassie really appreciates the help even if they squabble about money contributions at times (Deacon being an alpha male and all wants to do more than Cassie's willing to allow). Things go pretty well for them and to be honest I was kind of expecting some drama before this so I wasn't surprised when some hit. When Cassie finds something that makes her question her blind trust in Deacon she confronts him and, instead of telling her the truth, he suffers from a bout of extreme relationship stupidity and it causes him and Cassie to be apart for a time. Thankfully he comes to his senses and goes to make things right with Cassie. She forgives him and they get to start their HEA together.
I enjoyed this story very much. I liked both Cassie and Deacon. Cassie was a great heroine and I had no complaints about her. Deacon, well my main complaint would be that he should have grovelled more when he came back to make things right with Cassie (of course he did make things clear in other ways...). Overall the story very good but it was mostly a romance and lacked some of the action/suspense of some other books from this series. That came mostly at the end when the action plot kicked in with things starting that (I'm guessing) will take place in the next book (which I can't wait to read!). I'd recommend this book. Thumbs up. :)
7/13/15 - I just reread this (trying the audio version) and I still really like this book. I'm so happy that Cassie and Deacon were able to find each other. :D
"sexy and sweet surprises were nice too"
love the "chaos" series, and rock chick series, so thought I would give this one a try.. I am sure glad I did.
"4.2 Happy Smiling Stars!"
« My first audiobook narrated by Stella Bloom and she did it GREAT. »
She is perfect for a KA audio. Looking forward to hear her lovely voice again. She is very good doing male characters too. ~ Applause!!
« Sweet story, great narrator and just the right length. »
This one has it all (...more or less). Some freaking sweeeeet tender moments, hot steaming bedrooms adventures, friends and family stuff, food and cake baking, heartbreaking scenes, grand lovely "speaks", a tough manly grunting KA-man and a super über nice talkative KA-woman.
We get the usual as interior details, girls talk, guys talk, dirty talking, slightly strange words to give affection to the woman you love (this time 'Woman'), and a extremely sensitive but strong sexy alpha male (three-words) hero. All in all another yummy sweet and heartwarming cozy Kristen Ashley take. This time in the more (kinky) explicit erotic romances genre (as this "Unfinished Hero" series is expected to be).
There are parts with BDSM like kink, toys and playing. Not my favorite topic in romances but Ms Ashley tells it in a beautiful tender way. It never went to far —for me— it just felt like love making and ended as a romantic way of showing deep trust. For them both. I liked that. Jippie, for equality ...everywhere!
Sometimes it becomes slightly tedious with this a cave-man talk, and very strange monosyllabic communication, but whatever, you can not but be charmed and enamored. ...As always. LoL! ~ Simply awesome!
I LIKE - swoon-worthy men and sweet grand love!!!
Loved the story, loved the narrator, and everything to do with this book. This book and series has become a favorite.
"A Miss for me!"
It just didn't make since to me the story something didn't add up. Her other books I listen to in a day two at the most but this one I go days without listening to. Deacon was in the Colorado mountain series when he watched out for Lauren in Sweet Dreams for Tate, yet in this book he doesn't know anyone in Carnell..
I started with Deacon in the series because I heard about him in Sweet Dreams, so I am not going to listen to the other books in the series.
She was strong but as Deacon just didn't make him seem man enough.
The part when she puts the butt plug in him, I think it went to far and I fast forwarded when I heard that part.
I really was disappointed in this book, just not enough action are love story to me.
I kept hope that this series would get better. I love Kristen Ashley's books and series but this series fell flat for me.
"She is back"
This is the author I know and love. The story line was great. The narrator was much better than the one who was unable Raid. She spoke at the right tempo. I will, read this, along with Knight and Creed again.
absolutely fantastic aubile.we need more colorado mountain men Chaos we need tack Allen motel cycle man mystery man come on get them all out there!!@@@@
"Not one of KA's best"
I hate to criticise a Kristen Ashley book because some of her books are so good I have read them over and over again. But this one disappoints. The first half of this book is pure 5* Kristen Ashley, the second half, not so much.
This was a real slow burn romance – super slow. The h owns and runs some mountain cabins, and the H turns up now and then to stay – under an assumed name and paying cash. The h is sunny, friendly and pretty much an emotional open book. The H is unemotional, uninvolved and totally “closed down” emotionally.
I loved the unusual development of this romance. The h realised immediately that the H had problems with emotional attachment and, apart from an early attempt to start something (she turns up at his cabin with a slice of pie, he tells her to “go home” and slams the door in her face!) she pretty much lets him come and go without trying to push for more contact.
Another aspect I particularly loved, was than in the years of their occasional contact, the h did not stay home pining for someone she couldn’t have. She had a full and busy life, she dated, had sex, and made friends. In a wonderful departure from the “norm” it is the H who loses interest in all other women once he meets the h and, even though he makes no attempt at a relationship with her, does not get involved with anyone else. It takes an incident with unruly guests to break him out of his emotional “lock down” and things between the couple progress from there.
The middle of the book did seem to drag a bit. Endless fabulous sex does get boring to read about. There were also too many domestic squabbles about money matters. This often happens in KA books and I can see the relevance of a woman wanting to “pay her share”. However in this case the H was staying in the home belonging to the h, she was paying the household bills, was still in debt and working hard to keep her business afloat. So her continuous arguments with the H who wanted to contribute in some way just seemed a bit illogical. Would she have been happier if he just freeloaded?
The sex then goes into BDSM territory and that’s where I really lost interest. I fast-forwarded through entire chapters of sex. I have read and loved BDSM books in the past but they are a very particular niche market and here it did not work for me. Firstly, it annoyed me that a sensible, intelligent woman was portrayed as ashamed of her wish to explore this type of sex, But mainly because I felt a bit cheated to have any pretence at a storyline replaced with endless pages of graphically described sex.
It was, however, the final chapters in this book that knocked it from 5* to 2* for me. The h discovers an incriminating photo and, ignoring seven years of emotional knowledge of the H, jumps to the obviously wrong conclusion. The H could, of course, have cleared up this issue with one simple sentence of explanation but no, he refused to explain and left. He returns six months later (yeah, six months!) to fix the relationship not with an in-depth discussion, apology and explanation, but by a marathon BDSM sex session that was just weird, both in content and timing. In fact the extent of the H’s apology for six months absence is pretty much “listen to this song, then meet me in the bedroom.” Unfortunately I had stopped liking him by this stage, because when I found the reason for him going ‘off the grid’ I was just bemused. What happened to him was pretty awful, but his complete emotional shutdown seemed totally out of proportion to the facts. I like my H’s to have more of a backbone against the hard knocks of life and I thought his total withdrawal from normal life was just a bit selfish, because in doing so, he walked away from friends who cared about him and family who loved him. He let them spend ten years worrying, not knowing if he was alive or dead. For that alone, this H does not work for me. I will let other readers discuss the butt plugs …….!
In summary, I am starting to agree with other readers that KA books have changed significantly since her earlier works. Maybe publishing deadlines mean that she does not have the time to refine her books, or maybe it is pressure to appeal to a certain demographic (BDSM being the current trend). Maybe, as readers, we are just so in love with some of her earlier books that our expectations are unreasonably high? I have also knocked a star off the narration. The voice of the narrator just does not gel with me. Her portrayal of KA's men is pretty good, but somehow she makes the female characters sound very immature, and ever so slightly irritating.
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