Friday, August 7, 2015

REVIEW: Ride Steady by Kristen Ashley

The ride of her life . . . Once upon a time, Carissa Teodoro believed in happy endings. Money, marriage, motherhood: everything came easy---until she woke up to the ugly truth about her Prince Charming. Now a struggling, single mom and stranded by a flat tire, Carissa's pondering her mistakes when a vaguely familiar knight rides to her rescue on a ton of horsepower.
Climb on and hold tight . . .

In high school, Carson Steele was a bad boy loner who put Carissa on a pedestal where she stayed far beyond his reach. Today, he's the hard-bodied biker known only as Joker, and from the way Carissa's acting, it's clear she's falling fast. While catching her is irresistible, knowing what to do with her is a different story. A good girl like Carissa is the least likely fit with the Chaos Motorcycle Club. Too bad holding back is so damned hard. Now, as Joker's secrets are revealed and an outside threat endangers the club, Joker must decide whether to ride steady with Carissa---or ride away forever . .

Paperback, 640 pages
Published June 30th 2015 by Forever
Source: Netgalley
Purchase: Goodreads | Amazon

Shel: You guys. Seriously. I know it must get incredibly old for me to say how much I love Kristen Ashley but I can't help it, I love this woman. Every time I see that she has a new book coming out or available for pre-order I practically trip over myself getting to Court to tell her so that we can get all excited together. And then, strangely, once the newest book is out I use my will power to try to not read it for as long as I can. Why? Somehow I've convinced myself if I can hold out I will enjoy it more? I don't know. It's weird logic and I can't explain just go with it?

Court: Right. We savor them, I think, because we're about caught up...and going to soon be chewing our fingers off to keep from typing harrassing e-mails to the queen, to tell her to write faster (she writes damn fast, y'all, so that would be insulting!) But, I had to say that same thing...I get so damn giddy from Kristen coming out with a new book. 

Shel: Anyway.

Shel: As I was driving around with my two daughters to pick out uniforms and school supplies, because this is where I am, currently, in my summer, I was thinking about Ride Steady and what made it different, for me, than some of her other novels. Two words kept floating around in my head: "determined" and "gentle". Both Carissa and Joker were determined to have the 'beautiful life' and it may have taken them a little longer to find it, and each other, but neither of them gave up, even when things must've seemed impossible. They both continued to look forward, to find the good, to let themselves be liked and loved and cared for--even when it must have been as scary as hell to let someone in enough that s/he could possibly hurt you, they did. Both of them. 

Court: I loved Carissa and Joker, and I loved how they met. I loved how they "met" again, and just everything in between. I agree with the gentleness...Joker was his own man, and maybe I relate so much more to this one because these two are exactly my age...and things I go through in life and have been figuring out are things that might be important to them that was cool. And getting the beautiful life, and having a family you deserve is always a beautiful story for me. Kristen Ashley writes that better than anyone I know and love.

Shel: I'm sure it must be a little perplexing to think of the word "gentle" in the context of a motorcycle club, alpha males, a jerk ex, etc, etc. But I think it works. First, Joker seemed like a gentle giant. He never even seemed to raise his voice. I mean there were a few times that he got pissed but those were totally called for and understandable..other than that, he just seemed so easy, so patient and kind, and willing. Second, Carissa was Joker's soft place to fall (or in this case to live with). She was gentle and sweet and open and willing.  So there's that. But there was also this gentle pace--it never got too angsty. These characters did not play games nor did they appreciate people who did. The tone was softer, funny, a little rough around the edges but not edgy--it made me feel warm inside. Court: It is. When I crawled inside of Ride Steady because that is what KA novels make me do, I was warm, at peace...ready to face whatever my day brought me, because this is exactly the kind of book that makes me settled, and able to face my day. My escape, if you will, and I am so grateful to Kristen for helping bring that sort of thing to my life. Her writing is so strong, and this book is one of my favorites of the year...This series is my favorite of several years, and Chaos is a world I don't ever want to escape from. 

Shel: All of that to say that I love the world that I inhabit when I flip to the first page of a Kristen Ashley book. I know that I'm going to smile and laugh and be completely sucked in to the lives and plights and stories of the characters. I know that the world will shrink until the only thing I see are the words on the page and the characters in my head and I know that when I put it down, I'll feel satisfied. She never fails me. Court: I can't say that any better, but yes. We smile on the same page sometimes as we cry, and things turn around, and are quick just like life...and it works. And is epic. And I can't explain fully how much I loved this book! 

Shel: If you feel the same way about Kristen Ashley, we think you'll love Ride Steady and, like us, will be eager for her next book in this series. Court: This one is going some heavy places I am just sure...and I am EXCITED! 

Shel: BONUS POINTS TO K.A.: including characters from other series was a series WIN! and it amused the hell out of me. Kudos to you, Kristen Ashley. Court: OMG Right! Even Knight got some airplay, and holy shit, anything that could make me like that guy a little more is a win.


  1. I love this review. This was my first Kristen Ashley book and although I got a little lost in all the characters in the book, its a great read. You feel these two from the very first page - I mean, I was in from the second that tire blew. She's remarkable that way. I didnt need the first ones in the series to read this, but I did find I wanted to go back and read their stories - I'm guessing Tack and the rest are in the first books. It's all very well done. :) Great review.

    1. Thank you so much!
      Yes, Tack and the others are in the previous books--a fun series.

    2. I'll get them today. :) I'll also look for your review.


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