Deacon was a slow burn romance story, centered on second chances at love in life. This book, as the other in this series, is a bit different from others Kristen Ashley’s books. It’s has more grit and depth. The heroes often led a hard life, and seize their chance to finally settle down and find happiness. Deacon was mysterious, emotional and scorching hot with its own level of kinky.
Deacon has an ugly history, a history that broke him, leaving him a ghost of a man. Out of necessity, he left the normal world to descend into the criminal world and found he fit. So he stayed. Cold as ice and living off the grid, Deacon has no intention to connect, not with anyone.
Then he returns to some remote cabins in the Colorado Mountains and finds they have new owners. One of them is Cassidy Swallow, a young woman willing to work hard to live her quiet dream in a house by a river surrounded by aspen and pine.
Suddenly, Deacon finds he’s at war. Cassidy’s pull for him to connect is strong. He fights it, but he loses, always coming back for more. But when he does, he gives her nothing.
From the first time she sees him, Cassidy knows Deacon is dead inside. She knows he’s the kind of man who could destroy a woman. But one night when Deacon’s control slips, Cassidy takes a chance.
He might break her. He also might be her dream come true.
(A warning, you may be on your way to the longest review, ever, so bear with me!)
“Dream come true, seated deep inside you in this bed.
Six years, laid in this bed, you up at the house, wantin’ this.
Dream come true.”
I did not expect the level of emotions I felt reading Deacon and Cassie’ story. I thought I’d signed —wrongly— for a gritty and action packed adventure, cleverly entwined with romance, a dark and broken man and woman finding their reason to be, as it was the case in this series’ previous books. I couldn’t have been more wrong. This book was so much more than the usual action/love story. I didn’t even check the blurb before diving in, I figured it was unnecessary as I loved all the previous Unfinished Heroes, and I’m glad I did so, the surprise was all the more welcomed!
Deacon is the fourth book in Kristen Ashley’s Unfinished Heroes series. We met Deacon briefly in Raid’s book, maybe even Creed…? Damn memory, I guess this calls for a re-read of this series soon! All I remembered was him being kind of a lone wolf.
Cassidy Swallow is an ambitious, self made woman, with her dream all laid out for her, she left her home in Oklahoma with her eyes set on her dream since she’s a teenager. Living her life in the beauty that are Colorado mountains, owning her own business, and enjoying a peaceful and happy life with the man of her heart, Grant. (Come on, she is not the only woman whose dream is going to live in Colorado. That’s where all the Alpha badasses are. Keep a cabin open for me, Cassie!)
Yes, as we enter this story today, Cassidy is 24, and she is just setting up her Rental Cabins business with her boyfriend, Grant. Everything is going according to plan, well, for Cassidy at least.
Grant is just not settling to the business owner’s life, having to prioritize work over play time doesn’t work for him.
Cassidy is becoming more and more conscious of Grant’s moody temper and non support. She doesn’t recognize the man she fell in love back in Oklahoma,
Enters the picture a man, a customer more precisely, interrupting yet another argument between Grant and Cassidy.
“Tall. Dark-haired. Rugged-featured. His large frame built tough and solid.
…he was terrifying.
Huge. Dark. His face a cold, emotionlessness mask.
He did not live. He did not feel. He did not smile. He did not laugh.”
Ladies, meet John Priest :
As Cassidy and Grant’s relationship is slowly sinking down the drain, we are spectators to Cassidy slow and steady life as the owner of Glacier Lily Cottages, with glimpses of this mysterious John Priest (our Deacon), returning customer, who continues year after year to rent his secluded cabin 11.
From the moment she laid eyes on him, Cassidy felt an irresistible pull toward her most mysterious customer.
“The other part, the bigger part, was even feeling all that, I had a near-overwhelming urge to go to him and wrap my arms around him.
And maybe never let go.
I know. Insta lust. Love. But not quite. And you know what? I don’t care, she wasn’t declaring her love and having his babies right this minute. She just knew this was the kind of man whom if he decided to give himself, would be a dream of a man.
For years, their relation will stay purely professional, observing a gradual yearning, wanting, and I loved every aspect of this scarcely slow burn.
Deacon’s not a man she could easily covet anyway, he is closed off, cold, distant and shares only the utter minimum. He doesn’t talk. He mutters. He growls. His words are clipped. And he made sure to give her NO reason to get attached, he made sure to keep her safe.
Until one night, everything is going to finally change, an unfortunate accident in her establishment is forcing Deacon to stay close to Cassie. To show her he cares. That he cared for years.
“Every time I show, I pray to God there’ll be another truck outside your house, a man in your bed. Every time I show, nothin’. You’re alone. No fuckin’ clue why. You the way you are. Goofy. Sweet. Hard-workin’. Happy to sit outside on a porch and sit quiet, doin’ nothin’ but bein’ and listenin’ to a river rush by. The way you look. No man?
It makes no fuckin’ sense. Then you rent a cabin to me knowin’ you should show me the road and that makes even less sense.”
Once again, Kristen Ashley provided steam in spades! From the moment Deacon and Cassie “change”, the level of hotness is hitting high, the chemistry between them is explosive, rendering carnal their every touch. The sex scenes that are offered here… I have no words.
Cassidy has an unfulfilled curiosity regarding bondage, and well, Deacon being a man of many talents, demonstrates his skills, and be prepared : Deacon vanilla style is hot, but throw in a little kink and it becomes sizzling hot!!! I saw an update here 2 days ago : “HOSE ME DOWN” (Maura, was it you?)
KA accomplished to enhance my pleasure reading this book even more, by giving me A DIRTY TALKER!!!
I loved Creed for that, but seriously Deacon plays in his own league.
“Baby, that pussy on my mouth, your ass in my hands, the noises you make fillin’ the room, knowin’ I get to drive deep in your wet, tight cunt while you’re still moanin’ for me. Then after I give it to you, and you give it to me, I get to bed down with you tucked tight. You don’t think that makes me happy, you’re fuckin’ crazy.”
“I didn’t just ride you until your pussy exploded. You did that to my dick. Fuck, watchin’ all that beauty go wild, takin’ my cock, enough to undo a man. Add that cunt so wet and tight…Jesus.”
Somehow along the way, Cassidy is breaking this ruthless man’s walls.
With her kindness, her smartass-ness, her Christmas kisses, her eyes and all the little things that makes Cassie who she is. She is giving him a real shot at something genuine, a good life, with an honest and hard working woman.
But Deacon being a shell of a man, a broken man, a man whose dreams have been ripped apart… Well this man is not ready to give it all to Cassie yet. Something’s still having a hold on him, and we can just hope for Deacon to work his shit out. For Cassie’s sake.
“Say something,” I begged on a whisper.
He said nothing.
“Say something,” I repeated, my eyes burning now for a different reason, tears fighting to be unleashed.”
“You need to say something, Deacon. You need to give me something, anything.”
He didn’t speak.
“You said you’d give me anything,” I accused.
“Say something,” I snapped. “You have to. You don’t get that, Deacon.” I jabbed a finger to the picture on the floor. “You don’t get that from me. You don’t bring that in my house. To my cabins. To my bed.” I sucked in breath and screeched, “Say something!”
The story is slow paced, so very so. At one point I felt like this was going nowhere to be honest, I was pondering what was so awesome about this rugged man being domesticated… Still enjoying the characteristic KA touch, but wondering when this “Unfinished Hero” business was going to burst in.
I should have known something was building, something I wasn’t aware of, something beautiful, but before getting “it”, I had to know who was behind “Deacon Deacon”.
Trust me when I say that Deacon was as “Unfinished” as the others, Knight, Raid, Creed…
From this moment on, with all the music references, knowing all too well the songs KA referred to… It gave me the chills. This gave a whole new meaning to the story. All the little moment and the descriptiveness KA is well known for… Those moments were golden. Even more so after reading the book. I spent 2 days thinking about it all, I’m currently writing this review, listening to Kings of Leon’s Beautiful War.
Make yourself a favor, and when mentioned in the book, play the songs, it’ll enhance the experience, feels, tears guaranteed! (Playlist Youtube : clic)
“Want ’em, woman. Two, definitely, maybe three.”
“Yeah?” I whispered.
“Yeah,” he whispered back.
“I want two, maybe three, too.”
His eyes lit and he pressed closer. “Miracle.”
That confused me.
“Somethin’ my Cassie Boss isn’t gonna fight about.”
I loved Cassidy, she was smart, sassy, always a retort on the tip of her tongue, that made her a really top of the class KA heroine! I loved her cataloguing of every Badass Behavior, she was hilarious. Witty and sweet, caring and loving. Everything Deacon’s needed to heal.
“Not stupid enough to know I’d win every fight, but you taught me I could take care of a woman again. You taught me I could be trusted with her. You taught me I could make her laugh and smile and you gave me back what it feels like, doin’ that for a woman you love.
…You taught me a lot of things, Cassidy.”
The banter in this book was to die for!!! Kristen Ashley delivered banter at its finest! And it was all the more hilarious to witness this cold man goofing around with Cassie.
“Those two, three babies?”
My body tensed. “Yeah?”
“This stays good, woman, wanna make ’em with you.”
I closed my eyes tight.
“I know that’s too soon. I also don’t give a fuck,” he continued.
“It is not too soon,” I replied firmly.
“Fuck, my Cassie.”
“That’s me, your Cassie. And you’re my Deacon.”
His hand started sliding up my side as his lips ordered, “Quiet.”
“You should know, I’m claiming you.”
“Woman, quiet,” he growled.
“Too much too soon?” I asked, like it was a dare.
“Okay, then quit your bitching.”
He glowered at me. Then he grinned.
“A girl has to be when her man’s a badass.”
“Like you weren’t one before.”
“She was one before,” he muttered.
“Jesus, you’re so much of a woman, you’re more woman than any woman I’ve met.”
I started getting peeved again.
“You say that like it’s bad,” I replied sharply.
“Hang on, Cassidy, I’m still adjusting to your last mood swing.”
I glared at him and saw the crinkles by his eyes.
He was teasing.
“Don’t be playful when I’m feeling emotional,” I ordered.
To this, he strangely replied, “You get I’m a badass.”
“Hard to miss, Deacon,” I returned.
“Then don’t tell me when to be playful. Badasses don’t like that shit.”
As much as he was dark and aloof, Deacon was sweet! The things he said to Cassie throughout the book… Lovely things, I was literally swooning every time. For a man who cut ties, a man supposedly rusty, he was at the top of his game!
“Woman, if you don’t already know that you’ve been on my mind every day for the last six years, I got no clue how to communicate that to you. Now that I’ve had you, that shit has not changed. It’s just got worse. Now it’s not every day. It’s every hour. I don’t fight it, every minute. Fuck, every second, I don’t keep it in check. Every second, I’m thinkin’ of you, thinkin’ of gettin’ shit done, but only so I can get back to you.”
The book already won me over, but it was without counting the cameos! Raid, Knight, Creed, Marcus and their woman are making appearances, even Maxwell and Nina are mentioned. I loved it! Kristen Ashley weaved in the Colorado series, the Rock Chick series, The Unfinished Heroes series all in one book!
Deacon was definitely not built the same as the previous books in this series, but this worked really well, in my opinion, the slow built, the gradual emotional pull, the trigger and then the burst of feelings.