What can I say that I haven't already said in the past, about Kristen Ashley?? I know that I have at least mentioned this one before- but she is a FREAKING GENIUS!!!! I love, love, love anything and everything to come out of that wonderful blonde head of hers!!! And this most definitely includes her newest piece- Jagged. This is the story of Graham (Ham) Reece, whom we met in an earlier work from the 'Burg Series- For You. In that book, Ham was a former lover of our gal February, and ultimately ended up being a survivor of a viscious attack from an axe murdering psycho, all because of his past with Feb. Once Ham learned that Feb had found love again with Colt, her high school sweetheart, he lamented that he didn't get his head out sooner and scoop up such a good woman- forcing him to do nothing but move on. So, he did so by going back and rekindling a flame with Zara Cinders, a woman he had met while bartending back in Gnaw Bone, Colorado- which we know is one of the places in our beloved Colorado Mountain Series. After his attack, Ham realizes what is really important in life- and what's important is Zara- and he knows that he is ready to settle down and be with just her. Too bad for Ham that Zara realizes this a bit sooner than he does, and thinking that Ham is never going to be the man to offer her the stability she wants- decides to seek it with another man. So, she decides to do the hardest thing she ever thought possible and send Ham on with his life, and move on to Greg- the man she ultimately marries and starts a life with, even though she knows that with Ham is where he heart really lies. Fast forward three years, and we find Zara recently divorced, having recently lost her beloved retail shop, and losing her home that she simply adores. So, just like fate to intervene- Ham comes back into her life, and he comes in like a wrecking ball- refusing to walk away from her when he sees how desperate and alone she truly is. Even though he really came back to Gnaw Bone to settle permanently, he decides that he is going to help Zara get back on her feet- even when she insists she doesn't need it. Luckily for us, Ham is every bit the alpha male that KA's men always are, and refuses to leave her, doing everything to bring her completely back into his life-- permanently.
What I loved so much is that just like all of KA's gals- Zara really thinks that she is going to get away unscathed! She really thinks that Ham isn't going to affect her, and that she isn't going to let him back in, that she is going to be able to just stay "friends"...... oh silly Zara. I could not get enough of the love that these two have for each other- it is awesome, and has truly withstood the test of time. With many of Kristen's books, the couples don't know each other any time at all before falling head over heels- but Ham and Zara have been back and forth for YEARS!! They kept going back to each other, time and time again. It kinda sucked that they wasted so much time not being together, but any of us that knew Ham's story, we knew that he was not a man to stay put for long- regardless of how much the woman there made him want to. And you can tell that leaving Zara each time was the hardest thing that he ever had to do- it made my heart break for him.... So I was overwhelmed with emotion when he finally laid claim to her again, for the final time, making sure that she understood that he returned to Gnaw Bone for her. She was his home, his heart, his everything- so freaking beautiful!!
Now, her family- that is another damn story..... Those people- they made me want to vomit. The way her father treated her- the things he did, pure evil. To know that he kept something so precious from Zara for so long, I wanted to rip his nuts off and shove them down his throat! So, when he finally got what he deserved, in the form of some good ole Ham justice- I was beyond thrilled!! I really wanted bad things for her mother too, but I almost felt like she wasn't even worth the saliva to spit on. Regardless that she didn't actually commit the heinous acts, she allowed them to happen- which is just as bad. So, I was glad to see her end the story outside of Zara's life too.
I love that, like all other KA stories, Ham and Zara got their HEA. It was well deserved and was beautifully written. I can only hope to see more of them in Deck's book whenever we get it too!!! Not that it should be any kind of surprise when I review a Kristen Ashley book, but.........
5 tremendously outstanding big ole fat stars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!