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Jagged cover art

Jagged

By: Kristen Ashley
Narrated by: Emma Taylor
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Summary

The next novel in Kristen Ashley's sizzling Colorado Mountain series introduces a new electrifying relationship that turns Carnal, Colorado into a hotbed of action, romance, and suspense.

An old flame rekindled . . .

Zara Cinders always knew Ham Reece was the one, but he wasn't interested in settling down. When she found someone who was, Ham walked out of her life. Three years later, Zara's lost her business, her marriage, and she's barely getting by in a tiny apartment on the wrong side of the tracks. As soon as Ham hears about Zara's plight, he's on her doorstep offering her a lifeline. Now, it will take every ounce of will power she possesses to resist all that he offers.

Ham was always a traveling man, never one to settle down in one town, with one woman, for more time than absolutely necessary. But Ham's faced his own demons, and he's learned a lot. About himself, and about the life he knows he's meant to live. So when he hears that Zara's having a rough time, he wants to be the one to help. In fact, he wants to do more than that for Zara. A lot more. But first, he must prove to Zara that he's a changed man.

©2014 Kristen Ashley (P)2014 Hachette Audio

Critic reviews

"Kristen Ashley's books are addicting!" (Jill Shalvis, New York Times best-selling author)
"I adore Kristen Ashley's books!" (Maya Banks, New York Times best-selling author)
"There is something about them [Ashley's books] that I find crackalicious." (Kati Brown, Dear Author.com)

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Worth a credit

It says a lot for the quality of Kristen Ashley writing that I can dislike the overall plotline of a book and yet still enjoy listening to it.

I am a big Ashley fan but I had avoided this book because I did not like the synopsis. The h had been in an on-again, off-again non exclusive relationship with the H for five years. He breezed into her life occasionally; they hooked up for a while, and then he would move on to other places and other women. The h loved the H. He did not love her. So after five years of this lifestyle, the h, wanting stability and a family with a future, “settles” for marriage with a really nice guy who, unfortunately, she does not really love. The marriage lasts three years, she hurts a good man in the process and her divorce coincides with her business failing and her house being repossessed.

Back in town comes the H who, at the age of 43 has had something of an epiphany (due to an axe murderer obsessed with one of his other “on-again, off-again” girlfriends trying to kill him) and decides that he does, after all, want to settle down, and have a proper relationship with h.

So what was wrong with this book? Well, nothing really. I actually enjoyed listening to it, enjoyed the quality of the narration, and enjoyed the story of their developing relationship. I just prefer my romances to be exclusive from the start, as in, once the H and h meet, there is no one else involved because they are not attracted to anyone else once they have met each other. I found it hard to deal with the fact that the H spent four months living with the h when they first met, and then happily walked away to other women. I would have felt better if the h had also gone on to have other relationships but it seemed she was in love from the start and happy to take the crumbs of time the H offered. Even before she got married she told him that he was “the one” and yet he still walked away and let her marry someone else.

So after all this moaning, do I recommend this book? Surprisingly, I do. I enjoyed it, even if the romance was not fairytale enough for me, and there was just a bit too much fabulous sex, which does gets tedious after a while (or maybe I’m just getting old?). Strangely enough I do think they have a good chance at a HEA, mainly because the H had played around, and moved around, enough to know what he really wants – finally. I just wish he had to work a little bit harder to get the h to fall in with his plans. Once they were a couple, I have to admit that he did redeem himself, and he did acknowledge that his past behaviour had not been good, and that he had been so obsessed with his own “issues” he had missed out on years of happiness with the right woman.

The epilogue is a Kristen Ashley classic. Emotional, moving and romantic, but avoiding the cliché mushy stuff, it was a wonderful end to a book that is worth listening to.

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Just didn’t work

I agree, with the other reviewer, this story has a very strange set up with FIVE YEARS of her wanting more and him wanting less. The story may still have worked with a better narrator, but the lack lustre style just doesn’t sell the characters. Can’t help wishing Stella Bloom had done this one. Couldn’t finish.

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