Walk Through Fire

Walk Through Fire (Chaos #4) by Kristen Ashley

4.25 Chipotle stars

“Never give up. Never quit dreaming. Because dreams had a way of being. You just had to keep hold.”

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So so thrilled I was gifted with an arc. Ever since I read the blurb about this couple in the last book I have been dying to read their story, and Kristen Ashley does not disappoint.

On a regular day Millie decides to get a meal from Chipotle. While there she sees her ex Logan “High” in line ahead of her, precedes to freak out, run away and falls apart. Twenty years ago Millie and Logan had been in love, before she sent him away citing the Chaos motorcycle gang as the reason breaking both of their hearts.

For the last twenty years Millie hasn’t been living, she’s been going through the motions and merely existing. Millie’s real reason for sending Logan away is one that has haunted her the entire time, and now Millie decides she wants to tell this to Logan. Crashing a biker party, things do not go the way Millie intended, and she and Logan end up having explosive hate sex. But Logan has held onto his anger all these years for what Millie had ruined between them, and he wants nothing to do with her. At least, that’s what his head says. His body says otherwise.

“Nothing wrong with dreaming. But you got it right. Best way to dream is to do it, then earn it, no matter how that happens.”

Now we all know Kristen Ashley, what I just described above is only the tip of the iceberg of the story told here in this book. But because I don’t want to give away any SPOILERS (evil) I will not be saying anymore plot wise. I will say from this point on, the two go through some seriously hot hate fucking and Kristen Ashley decides to play tug of war with our heart strings. Simply brilliant, my favorite part of the book.

I did have a few moments like this:

—> especially when I found out how long it had been since Millie had had sex. Too long in my opinion, but you’ll have to read the book to find out and come to your own conclusions.

After the halfway point new issues and hurdles are tossed the couple’s way leaving them to navigate new territory for both of the MCs. This is also where the book gets a bit sweeter and mushier which I also like. But the second half of the book also turned into a stepping stone for the next book/conclusion of the series? and with that lost a bit of the charm that I loved in the beginning. To be honest I don’t give a hoot about the big bad they’ve been building up to and I tend to skim those parts.

I loved the cameos of the cats in the book. It’s obvious they were inspired by Ashley’s real life kitten duo (she’s got pictures on Facebook, look it up) and it made me even like cats for a little bit. But I don’t like cats I’m a dog person so let’s move on.

Millie and Logan are what I would call a timeless Kristen Ashley couple. Logan is a dominant man but not as much as KA hero’s in the past. He’s a man who lets things go when he needs to and it made him an amazing partner and father to his girls. Now while Logan is 44 and a little bit too old for me, I wouldn’t kick him out of bed.

And Millie was someone who suffered silently for years, I loved watching her come alive again when the love of her life came back to her. She’s one of those kind hearted people that would be irreplaceable if she was in your life. She’s devoted, loving and selfless and not one bit annoying (at least to me).

Also, I think this book is a great example of the power of Chipotle. One trip to that restaurant and it changed the course of a couple’s lives forever. So I say we all treat ourselves and get aburrito bowl from Chipotle. I’ll be sitting there getting fat and waiting for my dream biker man to come in.

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Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

“Never, Millie, don’t you ever hide or feel ashamed of the emotion you have for me, for us, for what we lost, for all we got back. Don’t ever do that. All a’ this is gonna be pain right along with pleasure. That is, until we work through the pain and got nothin’ but the good left over. And I swear to you, fuckin swear I’ll get us there.”

“We didn’t walk through fire only to get to the end of that and not get our reward. If we can walk through fire, baby, we can do anything.”

“Everyone’s got an endless capacity for love. Which means everyone’s got the shot at receiving an endless supply of love. Don’t matter who you give it to or get it from. Just matters you got a heart big enough to give it and a heart open enough to get it back.”

“I’d do it again for another moment like this. And again for a moment like I had over French toast with you and your babies. And again and again and again, for each night I get to sleep with you. No joke. No lie. I’d do it every day it was so worth it to walk through fire for you.”

ARC kindly provided by the publisher via Netgalley

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It Ain’t Me, Babe

It Ain’t Me, Babe (Hades Hangmen #1) by Tillie Cole

2.75-3 stars

“We were always fated to be together. He is my everything. He is my entire world…Styx is my salvation.”

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Welp, I am in the minority. Yet again. I wanted to love this one, I did. Like, I even love the premise still. Because cults versus motorcycle clubs? Hell yeah! The end result just wasn’t what I wanted. Too high of expectations I think.

Mae has lived with The Order her entire life carrying out their wishes. On the day she is to be married to the prophet, she flees, leaving her sisters behind. Mae finds a ride away from the hidden compound, but the driver pretty much dumps her, severely injured on the property of the local MC Hades Hangmen. The club Prez Styx, sees Mae bloodied up and dying behind a dumpster and immediately gets help. Once Mae wakes up, she and Styx realize they have met before….

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At this time, I really can’t do anything other than rant on the things I didn’t like, so I’m not really going to review this book. If you really want to talk to me about it, message me. Based on the fact that I gave it 3 stars, I did like the book, I just wasn’t overwhelmed with it’s amazingness. Again, I think it’s because I had higher expectations. The last 25-30% of the book redeemed itself for me, but the first 60-70% really pissed me off.

Will I read book 2? I think I’d like to give it a whirl.

Nine Minutes

Nine Minutes by Beth Flynn

Fuck it. I’m giving this 5 stars. This was the most morally conflicting book I’ve read in a long time. I basically had to throw almost every single one of my morals out the window for this book. And I can’t stop thinking about it.
I’m not an avid reader of all of the mindfuck books, but I know this isn’t the usual mindfuck that readers of that genre expect. (Btw sorry for the excessive use of the word “fuck” but it’s helping me process this book).

Ginny is 15 years old when a biker offers her a ride home. Instead of bringing her to her house, he drives her to the Satan’s Army compound, where she discovers that she’s being offered as a gift to the head honcho Griff. Ginny is given a new name, Kit and told to basically forget about her life before the MC.

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For my own poor brain, I’m going to have to break this review down by character.

Ginny/Kit: One thing I keep reading in other reviews is how surprised people are that she didn’t try to escape despite a few opportunities to do so. When you look at where she came from, with a mother and a stepfather who weren’t cruel, but didn’t really seem to care about her I can kind of understand how she decided to stay. At the club, she had people who cared about her (albeit in their own sick and twisted way) but she really wasn’t ignored or neglected like she had been at home.

Ginny without a doubt had Stockholm syndrome. There’s really no denying it, but what I thought was interesting was how she ignored all of the bad things in order to remain somewhat sane. Every time she saw something horrible or heard about it after the fact it was a huge emotional trauma. So I sort of don’t blame her for choosing to remain oblivious when it was a survival skill kicking in.

Grizz: This is the man who brought out all of my morally conflicted thoughts when reading this book. Was Grizz a bad guy, the villain? Yes. Did he treat Ginny horribly? NO. In fact, Grizz never really hurt Ginny directly. She ended up being hurt because of him, but he always treated her well and with respect (except for one instance but it was explained later). Grizz may not have been the hero of the story, but he could have been much much worse of a man to Ginny considering all of his other crimes.

I couldn’t help but compare him to other MC leaders in popular books. I don’t usually compare books to each other, but comparing these characters with Grizz really helped me make up my mind about whether or not I liked him.
Now don’t go and stab me with your pitchforks ladies, but I HATED Tack from Motorcycle Man. He was technically a “good” guy but he treated his woman like shit and ordered her around and she just took it. Did Griff do this to Ginny? No. The only orders he gave her were for her safety. And for almost all of their relationship, he put Ginny’s wellbeing ahead of his.

The other character I wanted to compare Grizz to was Deuce from Undeniable. Another MC guy that I fucking HATED because guess what? he treated his woman like shit and cheated on her all the time. In Undeniable the age difference is very much present, like 20 years or something and it was gross. I liked that in this book, we know the age difference is great, but it’s never explicitly stated. So for me, it wasn’t that gross because I could picture a guy 10 years older than Ginny instead of 20 or 30 years older (vomits).

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One of my favorite realizations when reading this book was the absolute devotion Grizz had for Ginny. He knew that he took her, and that legally he could be punished for it. Grizz lived every day knowing that he could lose Ginny. The police could come and take her, she could try to run away, someone would eventually recognize her. The worst being his actions could scare her away from him. But he loved her, so he did his best to treat her well and to show her how he felt. He knew he had to appreciate her while he had her.

I will warn that there are many triggers in this book. There is rape, murder, torture, and other difficult content. But I feel like if I could stomach it, you could because normally these issues are hard limits for me. Just know that this is a story like no other, so give it a chance.

Thanks Feifei for recommending this one to me!