★BOOK REVIEW + EXCERPT + GIVEAWAY★ Bounty by Kristen Ashley

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My rating

A gypsy rock star heroine ready to take roots, a lonesome brooding alpha loving the road too much to settle down… Will Justice and Deke ever meet in the middle? Bounty was a nice second chance at love / unrequited loved story. In true KA form, you’ll get what you’re expecting here, a enjoyable ride through Carnal, Colorado and the chance to meet all your favorite characters from the previous books.

Book Infos

27335087Justice Lonesome has enjoyed a life of bounty. 
Even so, she’s inherited the curse of the Lonesome. A poet’s soul. Which means she’s still searching for something. Searching for peace. Searching for the less…that’s more. 
And when the foundation of her life is pulled out from under her, grieving, she goes to the mountains to find her oasis. She hits Carnal, Colorado and decides to stay. 

Deke Hightower lost everything at the age of two. He lost it again at fifteen. His life has not been about bounty. It’s been about learning to live with less, because there’s no way to get more. 
Deke’s also watched all his friends go down to the women who gave them what they needed. He wants that for himself. But he knows that search isn’t going to be easy because he’s a rider. His home is the road. That’s the only place he can breathe. And the woman who takes her place at his side has to do it sitting on the back of his bike. 

When Deke meets Justice, he knows she’s not that woman. She’s cute. She’s sweet. And she’s into him, but she’s got it all and Deke knows he won’t fit into that. So he holds her at arm’s length. Establishes boundaries. And Justice will take it because she wants Deke any way he’ll let her have him.
But when Justice finds herself a pawn in a dangerous game, Deke makes a decision. 

When he does, he has no idea he’s just opened himself up to bounty.

Author : Kristen Ashley
Title : Bounty
Series : Colorado Mountain #7

Number of pages : 638
Publisher : 
Release Date :  April 18, 2016
Genre : Contemporary.

My Review

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There are many things making me choose the KA road every now and then, the first one would probably be my complete addition to her story-telling. It puts you right into the heroine’s shoes and that’s what I enjoy the most in romance book. To be able to immerse myself for a day or two (or three, we all know how lengthy Kristen Ashley’s books are ! ) someplace in Colorado with the assurance of spending this precious time with a caring alpha man, endearing secondary characters and a mature heroine.

That’s exactly what Bounty promised and delivered. I truly felt hooked within the first pages, realizing I was dealing with a second chances at love story and unrequited love.

First, I loved the heroine’s name. How more badass could her name have been? Justice Lonesome. How perfect for this 40 something woman, daughter of a renown musician, herself a singer / songwriter.

Freshly moved to Colorado after years of leaving the gypsy rock star life, Justice is ready to finally set her suitcases down and settle.

Kismet, destiny or just life? How much a coincidence can it be that life brings seven years later the man that inspired her most famous song right into her home? Except life is not that grateful, Deke has no recollection of who Justice is at all. That blows.

Deke Hightower is the epitome of brooding silent alpha. He keeps to himself, doesn’t share much but after years of being alone and seeing all his friends tied down with great women, he can’t help but wish the very same for himself.

Except his dream is not of the white picket fence kind. He likes the road too much to just settle down in one place. Justice sure got his interest but she’s not the right woman for him… Too high maintenance,  Or so he thinks. He’s here to do his job, and will make his possible to stay clear off Justice Lonesome.

If you are fairly new to Kristen Ashley, I think you’ll really enjoy this one, it has all the elements for a great romance story : the unrequited love, the second chance at love, an empowered and strong heroine, a lonesome hero, and all of it is set in the beautiful Colorado Mountains. You’ll get to meet all the Carnal crew, Lauren, Tate, Bubba and Krystal, Shambles and Sunny, Nina and Max… 

The pace was definitely slow here, there’s a gradual and almost passive build-up between these two, as both have their own reasons for staying away from each other despite the obvious pull between them.

To those who are well accustomed to KA… I’ll say that this book was not the strongest of the series, in the sense that the story has been told a few times already and it felt a little repetitive, not to say stereotyped, to me, anyway. I’ve felt this way since Kaleidoscope.

I had some real trouble reading the heroine inner ramblings at times. In french we have a say for this, “alambiqué” , which I guess would be best translated by convoluted. Her inner thoughts were overcomplicated. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy the over descriptiveness KA is known for, the inner ramblings of her heroines, but Justice head was a mess! I’ve found myself re-reading some sentences twice to be sure I’ve had it right.

To conclude, as always with Kristen Ashley, I’ve enjoyed the ride, most definitely, but for having numerous re-reads of the first 4 books in this series, I can’t say that Bounty was of the same caliber and maybe I’m just biased. Not as strong in plot and character’s development but still a nice addition to a series I truly love.

Excerpt

“Jus.”

Deke’s voice carved into the perverse, bitter sick my brother and his mother stirred up in me and I lifted my gaze, twisted my neck and looked to his face.

He was not close.

But he was concerned.

And that concern undid me.

I turned fully to him, dropped my head and fell forward.

He was not near and then he was, right there for me to collide with as everything pressed into me. So much, I couldn’t hold it back, and the tears came.

He wrapped his arms around me as he stepped farther into me so he could hold me close.

That was when I started sobbing. My body shaking with it, automatically burrowing into his heat, his solidity, his bulk, all Deke.

His arms tightened.

“I miss him,” I whispered into Deke’s chest through a hitch.

The words with that hitch barely sounded before I felt Deke’s hand glide up my spine and tangle in my hair.

“Get it out, Jussy,” he murmured, his words stirring the strands at the top of my head so I knew he was bent to me.

Deke.

Fuck me, Deke.

“My brother’s a p-p-piece of shit,” I pushed out through the tears.

Deke’s arm around me got tighter and the tips of fingers started stroking the side of my ribs.

Even this did not make me feel better. In fact this—all that was Deke enveloping all that was me—made it better at the same time so much worse.

“He’s contesting the…the will,” I shared.

Deke said nothing.

I kept crying.

It came to me slowly that I was pressed hard to him and had my hands clenched into his tee at the back. I felt the damp material against my cheek and knew how many tears had leaked and that Deke took them from me.

I also knew he was being cool, a nice guy, because that was who he was.

But I couldn’t let this go on.

So I pulled my shit together, unclenched my hands and smoothed the shirt before I dropped them to his waist and tipped my head back.

“Sorry.”

Lamentably, he took my cue and let me go.

Incredibly, he didn’t do this completely. 

He put his hands on either side of my neck and bent close so his face was a couple of inches from mine.

“Think, from what you’ve told me, you get that times get bad. Hope, Jussy, you also get that those times pass. Whatever’s happening, this will pass.”

Jussy.

Shit.

I nodded because that was all I could do.

“Sorry, I…well, your shirt’s all wet,” I said, taking one hand from him to wipe my face.

“It’ll dry.”

I nodded again.

His fingers curled around my neck gave me a gentle squeeze.

“You good?”

I was not.

I gave him another nod anyway.

His eyes moved over my face and I knew he knew that nod was an inaudible lie but he didn’t call me on it.

He just said quietly, “Good,” gave me another squeeze and dropped his left hand.

But with his right, he lifted it up and I held my breath because I thought he was going to touch my face, dry a tear, something.

Instead, he raised it to the top of my head and tousled my hair before he gave me another close look, turned and walked away.

Shit, Deke comforted me then tousled my hair like I was his little sister.

Shit.

I didn’t like that.

But it was kind and it was sweet and it came from Deke.

So as was becoming my lot, I’d take it.

Author's Bio

kristen-aboutI was born a middle class white child in Gary, Indiana, USA. One of the last of a dying breed. I nearly killed my mother and myself making it into the world, seeing as I had the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck (already attempting to accessorize and I hadn’t taken my first breath!). Mom says they took me away, put her back in her room, she looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). She remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning.

Nothing’s changed.

All I’ve ever wanted to do was write (well, and be the Queen of the World, but you gotta start small) and I’ve published a gazillion books and counting (and a gazillion is a lot! shoo!).You can learn about my titles that have been released or that are soon to be released in the Titles section of the website.

Even though I jump genres, there is always a theme to my books…humor (hopefully), engaging characters (again, hopefully) and romance (definitely).

My loves are movies, music, food and fashion and I partake of all of them as often as I can (the middle two more than the others, the former, which takes time I don’t often have and the latter, which takes money I rarely have). In fact, I love food so much, I like to share my good fortune so I put my recipes on offer for you on this page (see top menu and don’t miss them, they’re awesome!).

I grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and have lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus I’m blessed to have friends and family around the globe. My family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write and growing up it was large and multi-generational. We all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. I grew up with 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 I keep growing up, it keeps getting better.

So here I am, thank goodness.

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