******Tanner Layne and Raquel Merrick fell in love young, hard and fast and both of them knew a beautiful life they thought would be forever.
Until Rocky left Layne, no explanation, no going back.
Layne escapes The ‘Burg only to come back years later because his ex-wife has hooked herself to the town jerk and Layne needs to make sure his sons get raised right. Layne manages to avoid Rocky but when Layne gets three bullets drilled into him while investigating a dirty cop, he can’t do that because Rocky stops avoiding Layne. They make a deal to work together to expose the dirty cop but they have no idea the strength of their enduring attraction or the sheer evil at work in The ‘Burg.
As Tanner Layne and Raquel Merrick play their game and dance around the pull that draws them together, Layne has to discover the dark secrets buried so deep in Rocky’s heart she doesn’t even know they’re there at the same time untangle a sinister web of crime so abhorrent it has to be stopped... at all costs.
And to do it, Layne has to enlist everyone, including his ex-CIA mentor, Rocky’s detective brother, the town’s unpredictable informant and Layne’s two teenage sons all the while stopping Rocky from doing something crazy and keeping their game secret so Layne won't get himself dead.
******Kindle Edition, 719 pages
Published July 5th 2011
Court: After the wild ride that we've been on with Feb + Colt, and then Joe + Vi...I didn't know what on Earth to expect from Layne + Rocky. Not unlike Feb + Colt, these two have a long, long history that we don't know why it fell apart, but even from the beginning it made me sad that it did. Tanner Layne wakes up in the hospital only to find that he's been shot investigating a dirty cop, and his long lost love is at his bedside, and he is none too pleased about it. Shel: It was a very interesting way to start--our protagonist being supremely pissed at having an old flame show up...at his HOSPITAL BED. Needless to say, I was hooked.
Court: Fast forward a few weeks, and we meet these two again. Raquel is once again crossing paths with him, and Layne doesn't know what to do about it. This time, our hero has two teenage sons, and has a pretty crazy ex-wife to deal with. His work as a big shot private investigator keeps him very, very busy and a bit part of the story is just how much this man has on his plate. He is busy, as in...busssyyyyy. So, how would he be able to fake a romance for the town to investigate yet something else with Rocky...shouldn't be hard work! Shel: I, too, noticed that Layne was juggling so many tasks, I have no idea how Kristen Ashley kept them all straight and did it in such a way that we weren't overwhelmed trying to follow it all, but amazingly, it was easy to follow. One thing that made Layne's story stand out to me is that is was solely his narrative (there is one very small paragraph of Roc's but that's it) and while part of me wished for Roc's pov, I was actually glad that she kept it all Layne's.
Court: This review would be as long as this book if I tried to explain all of the intricacies to you...and that wouldn't even be fair or do you or KA justice instead of letting you figure it out for yourself, but just know that these two have a rocky journey (hah, see what I did there...?!) and there is more going on in this 'burg...I mean, shee-it, y'all. The things going down in this 'burg are cray cray, but it is a harrowing journey with lots and lots of lessons... (I told Shel she would really enjoy the fact that Roc is a high school English teacher like her, and unconventionally teaches her students! English teachers rock!) Shel: Court's right on all of this: lots of questions about why Roc left, lots of evil trying to pervade the 'burg, some new characters thrown in the mix, and Roc as an English teacher? Perfection. She nailed it...all the way down to the grading papers at home. GAH!
Court: So, lessons to be had...Layne and Rocky's love story is a hard one...and if they will find their way back to each other even harder ... but we get even more people to love added to our posse in Ryker and Dev...and our usual players are lovely...Tripp and Jasper (Layne's sons) have some mega angst going on sometimes, but they have their heads on straight, and help Layne to be a kick ass Dad and on badass alpha dude. I want more 'Burg and I want it now, so I may just go get it! Stay tuned!!
I loved Layne and Roc and I loved the way Kristen Ashley tackled the issues of co-parenting with a difficult ex, the blending of families, the struggle of parenting teenagers, and the one issue that is THE issue of the novel was handled so well. I inhaled this novel in 3 days and my dirty dishes and laundry are proof of this, but it I don't regret ignoring those things for one second. I loved every second of Golden Trail and I hope you will too.
Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana but has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write.
Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multi-generational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland and existed amongst the strains of 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 she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.
Find her at http://www.kristenashley.net/