ARC Review: Ride Steady by Kristen Ashley

20 Jun 2015

Book Title: Ride Steady
Author: Kristen Ashley
Series: Chaos #3
Release Date: June 30th, 2015
Genres: MC Biker Romance
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 . . .


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 Ride Steady, book three in the Chaos series, was not surprising, a highly anticipated book for me. Carson Steele, otherwise known as Joker, was nicknamed as such due to his broody inability to smile, laugh...joke. Well, now we know why and it's a truly sad story to hear.
“Warm, red blood flows in Chaos veins, brother,” Dog said quietly. “That boy’s got nothin’ but ice. Stone cold.”
Carson Steele has been in love with a honey-colored, curly-haired cheerleader and homecoming queen since grade school. She was popular, dating the high school wealthy jock, as he stood in the shadows and watched her. Going home to a life of disappointment, ridicule, and pain- no mother, and an abusive father. Only two things in his life spark his interest...Carissa Teodoro and Chaos MC, home to Ride, an automotive and motorcycle repair shop. He stands alone against their perimeter fence, dreaming of designing and building their custom cars. His dreams be damned. Life was just one disappointment after another. What he didn't know is dark biker eyes shined back at that boy...eyes that saw his insane need for something.

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Ride Steady is likely one of the most sentimental Kristen Ashley books I've ever read. It seems a bit of a contradiction to put sentimental with a biker book but KA, once again, pulled it off. She attaches us immediately to the boy that has nothing but ugly in his life. A boy filled with potential that everyone can see but him. A boy that looks on from the outside knowing he'll never get his chance for that happiness...happiness with a perfect Carissa or with feeling a part of a family, blood ties or not. 

 I love a story that takes a hero that's been shot down so much, they've essentially given up yet there's this tiny light still shining within him that sparks something good. Something he may not even see, but people standing by looking at him can see and take a chance on him. Tack Allen, president of the Chaos MC, being one - Carissa Teodoro being another.


Ride Steady is a story about second chances, about how tables can be turned where the person down on his/her luck within a blink of an eye becomes an unsung hero for someone who otherwise appears to have it all. It's about family outside of blood ties, about loyalty and a deep seated love that stands the test of time.

 Now, don't get me wrong. We definitely get the KA alpha dialogue and her biker crassness. Team that with a cute heroine that's a single mom and charges him 5-15 cents for every cuss word (depending on severity), and I'm hooked. Carissa was such a quirky cute goofball, Joker didn't stand a chance...nor did she.

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 I loved getting to see so many past KA characters in this book! It was chock full of all the KA alpha awesomeness- Mitch, Lee, Hawk, Tack, Shy, Hop, KNIGHT! HOMG, Knight Sebring in da house! His level of alpha hotness trumps all the rest for me so I'll take each and every cameo I can get!

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 My only issue with the book is, in true KA style, the length. Due to the length and it feeling a bit anti-clamatic, I found myself skimming towards the end. I love the insane details KA puts in her books, right down to every piece of clothing or style of furniture, but when the story isn't uber exciting, it can be a great cure for insomnia. I found myself dozing off...often. I kept thinking something is going to happen, some kind of climax within the craziness that's the life of an MC book but it never really came. Will that deter me from reading anything else KA writes? Heck no. She's my go-to whenever I'm in a book slump. Her writing style is so unique, it's like coming home when I've been away for awhile. Only KA can do that for me.

  Advanced copy received by Forever, Grand Central Publishing, via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

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