Review: Ride Steady by Kristen Ashley

23341855 Synopsis: 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 . . .

Review: I have a love/hate relationship with motorcycle club books. I have a love/hate relationship with Kristen Ashley books and even this series. I read the first Chaos book and gave it 3 stars, which for me usually means meh and that I won’t continue on with reading any more of that series either. In this case it meant I didn’t read the second book at all. I’ve read other MC books and some I love and some I hate. This book is strongly in the love category. This is a large book and I ripped through it pretty quickly and wanted to read it again as soon as I could.

A big overarching problem I have with these kind of books are how they deal with the male and female dynamics. While this book has its’ share of issues that can be seen in that category, the hero of the book, Carson Steel was abused as a child so he would be the last person to physically hurt a woman. The heroine, Carissa, has her fair share of issues to deal with in her personal life and doesn’t want to embroil Carson in her ugly life right now. What I liked about their relationship and how ti developed is that Carson tried to let Carissa be a strong woman on her own, even while it was difficult for him to sit back and watch her struggle – which seemed like a very realistic relationship issue to me.

Butterfly, I need you to get this,” he interrupted me firmly. “I’ve been in love with you since high school. I’ll be in love with you when you walk down the aisle to me, push out our first kid, our second, our third, cry when they go off to college, nag at them to give you grandbabies, and sit next to me on our couch in our pad in assisted living. I got that. I got my family. I got my brothers. I’m healed. You do not have to go off keyin’ my dad’s car. I’m good. Stop tryin’ to make me that way. You already got me there.

The secondary relationships here simply made me so happy from beginning to end. Carson’s, or Joker (his MC name), neighbors who watched over him as much as they could when he was young and being abused return later on in the story. Carissa’s friends in the club cracked me up throughout the book and there were a few scenes that were incredibly touching to me. For such a motorcycle club book with hardcore alpha men and tough old ladies there were some really sweet scenes. I love messages like this that include your family of choice is pretty much more important than blood family.

This was a great book from start to finish and I’d highly recommend it!

ARC received via Netgalley on behalf of the publisher in return for an honest review.

5 Stars

~Melinda

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3 thoughts on “Review: Ride Steady by Kristen Ashley

  1. I never actually put my finger on WHAT I don’t really like with MC clubs. I think it’s the Alpha prospect but not solely. I don’t like the “criminal” vibe even when there is nothing really illegal if it makes any sense ? I gotta say, it sound MUCH better than the “regular” MC book but I’m still reluctant.

    • I completely understand your POV – the criminal vibe bothers me with a lot of MC books. I actually just finished an ARC of the next book in this series and what I like in this series is that they’re cleaning up this particular club in terms of the criminal aspect. But the vibe is definitely still there…

      • thing is, cleaning up the vibe is one of the main THINGS in those MCs.. which I mostly find tedious. I don’t find the appeal in criminals or EX criminals.. you know? 🙂 I don’t need my man (real or fictional) to be “dangerous”. It just doesn’t appeal to me at all..

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