Deacon (Unfinished Hero #4) by Kristen Ashley

3.5 Beautiful war stars

“Badasses know what they want, definitely know what they need, and don’t settle for anything less.”

At the age of twenty four Cassidy took out a loan and bought a small smattering of 11 run down cabins in the Colorado Mountains. This story takes place over the next 6-8 years and while Cassidy is slowly fixing up the place, she has one returning customer, and that’s the brooding and mysterious John Priest. He’s gruff, doesn’t speak much, and a little bit rude. But there’s a draw between John and Cassidy, and over the years as he keeps coming back to Glacier Lily (the name of the cabins), the two begin to give in.

Cassidy knew from the first moment she saw him he was dead inside, she just didn’t know how far gone he really was. Can Cassidy save him from himself? Or will he break her in the process?

“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.”

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I enjoyed this book I really did, but being The Queen of romance that Kristen Ashley is, this series is not my favorite by her. Yes, it’s a little darker and has a lot more kinky sex, but her usual depth was missing for me with this one. Maybe because the plot was so centralized around these two characters? All in all this book is a great example of same formula and different character names with more kinky sex.

Plus, those of you who know me well know my golden rule: You fuck up, then you’d better fucking grovel. And I’m sorry but in my honest opinion, Deacon was forgiven for his actions WAY too easily. I understand how messed up he was and why, and he did his best to mend fences, but I lose all respect for the main female characters when they just give in and take a dude back. To me it makes them a little bit more of a doormat.

“You’re a vulnerability,” he ground out. “My vulnerability. I have no vulnerabilities. I spent years shavin’ every last one away from me so there was nothin’ left. Now I got one, a big one, and I do not give one fuck.”

Not to go on about what I didn’t like so here are some positives: I love stories about messed up men. Cassidy didn’t fix Deacon all by herself but she led him on the path back to a good life and back to being the good man he once was. Cassidy worked her ass off to succeed and she earned every little bit of success that came her way. I find that admirable. We as readers got to see her grow over the years, she just wasn’t magically successful like some women in romance novels who pop out of college a ruthless business woman making millions. So nice to read about a hardworking woman.

So overall, I think KA fans who loved Knight would love this one. Being as Knight wasn’t my cup of tea, I wasn’t in love with this book either. But honestly, (in a not so eloquent phrasing) Kristen Ashley books are like chocolate, even if it’s not the best or the most gourmet, it’s still enjoyable and fun to consume.

“It’s a beautiful war, baby.” He dipped so close, the tips of our noses brushed but his eyes never left mine. “And I…just… won.”


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