Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “You’re my reward.“
Hanna Boudreaux lives in the small town of Willow, Colorado and has spent her life crushing on the gorgeous larger than life hometown hero, Raiden Ulysses Miller. Raid left Willow at age eighteen, joining the Marines and returned a little quieter and a lot more dangerous.
When Hanna finally decides to stop “stalking” Raid and begins to live her own life to the fullest, the changes are instantly noticed by all…especially Raid. But Hanna can’t figure out Raid’s sudden interest. Is it her new look? Her new outlook on life? Or does Raid have more sinister motives?
I’ll tell you all right now, before I go any further, I am a HUGE Kristen Ashley fan. When a blogger friend told me I had to read Sweet Dreams and read it RIGHT NOW, I balked at first but eventually broke down and a crazy stalker fan girl was made. I glommed her entire back list in about one week. I emerged stinky but triumphant. Regardless of the overblown, drawn out descriptions, and larger than life premises and characters, Kristen Ashley has a gift for storytelling. Her books are a cracktacular beautiful addictive hot mess adventure that suck you in, hold you hostage, and leave you feeling rueful when the journey is over.
Raid is the third book in Ashley’s Unfinished Hero series. Even though it’s shorter than her previous books, you still get Ashley’s trademark alpha hero, somewhat naive heroine, and a smoking hot romance.
Hanna Boudreaux is a self proclaimed Peggy Sue. She is sweet, cute, and nice. The town loves her and she loves the town. She is everything Raiden is not and she draws him in like a moth to a flame. She has loved him all her life, but it’s not until she decides to stop living her life around “Raid sightings” and actually start living for herself, does he finally see her.
“Home. Warmth. Comfort. Nurture. Love.”
So begins their love affair. Raid takes control and Hanna begins the ride of her life. Raid is an alpha male with a slight caveman mentality.
She deserved a spanking for this shit. But they were new. He had to break her into that.
He is a healthy mixture of some of Ashley’s more dominant heroes. Yet, he isn’t so alpha that he doesn’t listen. He has come back from war, suffering from PTSD and it makes for some tense times in his and Hanna’s relationship. He takes what he wants and he wants Hanna. Her happiness is his happiness. He has a dark side to him that reveals itself in some delish ways. I liked that he was always upfront with Hanna and pushes for the same from her. No going to bed angry with this couple. (nom nom) He reminded me of Ty from Lady Luck. Crude, hard, and temperamental. And, like Ty, Raid knows when he screws up and has no problem owning up to it and saying he’s sorry.
Hanna is the perfect match for him. She grounds Raid. She bathes him in pure light and allows him to see the goodness in life through her eyes. She’s not a doormat though. She gets upset by his cave mannish ways at times and when they have an epic fight, she doesn’t bow her head and accept his cruel words. She gives as good as she gets. Like many of Ashley’s heroines, she knows when to let her man have his way…and when to get up in his face and let him have it.
“I’m a dick,” he whispered into my skin.
Men thought they could get away with a lot if they admitted that.
Sometimes it worked.
Sometimes, like this time, it didn’t.
“I crawled across a floor for you and I said one thing out of kindness and concern and you walked out on me, came back, called me a bitch and kicked me out.”
“No one calls me a bitch, Raiden. You need to go.”
The story is told in increments, skipping a few days and weeks at a time. Fast paced with a solid storyline and well plotted scenes. Unlike her other stories though, this one doesn’t describe every little detail about external factors. The focus remains solely on Hanna and Raid’s romance. I admit, I missed some of the additional sub stories. There were also some scenes that didn’t quite pan out that way I hoped. The “other woman” scenario that Ashley’s famous for was a small two page scene that was addressed, handled right then and there, and never heard from again. Also, the climatic heroine in danger scene. We didn’t get to see Raid hunt down or extract his revenge. It’s all fade to black.
The secondary characters in here are as vivid and personable as her protagonists. Hanna’s grandma and Spot (Hanna’s grandma’s fat, sadistic cat) play pivotal roles throughout the story. I did like that for once, the heroine has someone at her back at all times. Grandma rocks it in here and so does Spot.
“There’ll be good times, Hanna. Fill yourself up with them, hold onto them tight, ‘cause when the bad times come,
You’ll need them.”
We also get scenes with Knight, Creed, Sylvia, and OMG… Marcus!!! If you’ve read Ashley’s Rock Chick series, then you know who I am talking about. Even though Ashley has said Marcus and Daisy’s story will not be told, I continue to hope she changes her mind. I love those two.
The ending assures us of our happily ever after and also gives us a lovely look into Hanna and Raid’s future.
Overall Rating: B-
Kristen Ashley is also hosting a big giveaway – see more details in the Rafflecopter below!