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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Book Review: Jagged by Kristen Ashley

This is a very engaging, emotionally charged romance. It is a little raw in language but rich in love and happy ending!
by Kristen Ashley
  • File Size: 1149 KB
  • Print Length: 345 pages
  • Publisher: Forever (November 5, 2013)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • ASIN: B00BEK71Q6
Genre: Contemporary Romance
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0

Book Description
Publication Date: November 5, 2013
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.

I think any woman who has ever loved a ‘rolling stone’, non-committing man can relate to the emotional heart wrench of Zara’s experience of letting Ham go. It is kind of nice to suspect while reading that this is likely to have a Happy Ending even though real life doesn’t always work that way.

Zara is thirty-two and at a low stage in her life. She’d had a domineering and abusive father and a weak submissive mother. Both she and her older sister escaped the home as soon as they were old enough. Her sister Xenia fell into bad habits of alcohol, drugs and men, ending in a coma after a bad accident. Zara met Ham when she was twenty-four and he was the best thing in her life to that point. But Ham was a bartender and a traveling man. He took good care of her when he was there and he came to help her when she was distressed but he didn’t commit and he didn’t stay.

After five years of that relationship Zara was hungry for stability and a family. She let Ham go and married Greg who adored her. She thought she loved him but it wasn’t enough when her heart was already given elsewhere. Zara lost her marriage to guilt, her business to recession and her house to foreclosure.

Zara is struggling day to day when Ham returns to pull her out of her shabby apartment. He has taken the job as manager at a local bar and he gets her to waitress there where she will earn three times what she was making at a regular day job. Ham, at forty-three, knows now that he wants Zara but he realizes that she has to get on her feet a bit and he will have to show that he is ready to settle and stay this time...with only her.

At this point the story was a third in and I wondered how the author was going to stretch the rest of this without just dragging along the relationship. Fortunately there was more story to come! Zara and Ham learn that her sister has just died and the nephew born nine years earlier wasn’t given away for adoption but is being raised in a nearby town by an Aunt. This begins a whole new angle in an already engaging story.

"Jagged" is a perfect title for the emotional levels in this story. It applies at different times and under different circumstances to both Ham and Zara, although the author presents it more with the less verbal male expressions. I was completely pulled in by the depth of the emotions and a plot that could be real life. The characters might be stereotyped by their jobs and their loose language but to do so makes me feel I am being snobbish. Even though I might not be able to relate totally to the characters I could relate to the confusion, insecurities and courage it takes to risk in loving that are wonderfully portrayed through this relationship.

There is much more foul language and more detail in the sex area than I like. However the sexual scenes, in their passion, fun and intensity, reflect a strong, healthy, loving relationship. By the time the language began to bother me a bit I was too far engaged to want to stop. I can understand why many romance readers would enjoy Ms. Ashley’s stories if they don't mind the rough language and they like strong, life-like characters and true-grit emotions struggling to a happy ending.

This is another title I received from Forever/Hachette for launch day Blitz which posted Tuesday with Giveaway.

1 comment:

  1. In this story I like that the hero starts out as a "rolling stone" and later wants to settle down. But convincing Zara of this creates sparks and an interesting story. I think I'd really love to read this book!


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