Sunday, August 23, 2015
More Kristen Ashley Love! Buddy read time with Fire Inside!
Fire Inside by Kristen Ashley rocked. Laney Heron decides it’s time to start living again, at least the hot steamy sex part of living, and chooses Hop Kincaid to volley her into this new world. Hop’s never touched class like Laney. She’s always been this untouchable beauty and then he touches her (and more). He’s upfront with her. She’s explosive with him. Honesty and drama. It’s an addictive combination once you throw in a motorcycle club and romance. Bookworm Brandee and I buddy read it, which means we ignored our family, holed up and went on a reading bender, and then tore ourselves away from the book long enough to gush about it with each other. Here’s our chat.
(Brandee) I've been waiting for you to start this conversation but I thought I throw a few of my thoughts your way. :)
Can you believe how Lanie just propositioned Hop? This woman...she has cajones. And she definitely bit off more than she thought she could chew. I liked that Hop really had to consider the ramifications of what would happen if they got together. I'm still waiting for the shit to hit the fan.
I don't remember how far I was into or what exactly Hop was saying, but I thought that I love how simplistically he looks at things. Not like everything is simple but that in his world, things are this way or they're not. I like his way of looking at the world and his place in it.
I adore Lanie's inner monologues. Getting to know her history, what went down that was alluded to in Own the Wind, I can see why she was fighting Hop. And I could see why her brain was "fucked up", as Hop said. So getting to hear her thoughts on how she saw herself and why she thought she had nothing to give...yeah, that was some good stuff.
Hop's kids are AWESOME! Sometimes when authors put kids in a story, it feels wrong or like it's a plot device. But seeing Hop with Molly and Cody, seeing how they all interact, seeing Lanie with them...it feels right. And it shows this whole other level to Hop. One that I like A. LOT. And I agreed with Lanie when she told him, "You're a good man, Hopper Kincaid."
I'm really liking that although Hop and Lanie come from different worlds, and kinda live in different ones, they just work. I know it's because they both don't give a shit what people think - and that's an attitude I'd love to adopt - but don't you think it's something that a badass biker, who's obviously all Alpha, can deal with the fact that his woman is a corporate success? That she can provide things for herself? Most men would be intimidated by that. But Hop is all "Anything you need, lady, I'm there for you one way or another."
Which reminds me about when he first started using "lady". I didn't quite know what to think and was thinking it was kinda derogatory. When he explained, I melted. MELTED.
Lanie has a backbone, which I really like. Her standing up to her Dad? That was excellent!
Oh, and getting Hop's life story was also excellent. I melted some more when he told Lanie he didn't learn from his parents...he'd learned from doing. But he *did* learn and knew what he wanted to keep forever. *swoon*
Okay, I don't want to go on and on...I hope you're enjoying this as much as me. I have a good feeling that you are. You're so right...KA just does *not* disappoint.
Two more things....
The mustache...you know I'm not a huge fan of facial hair. And I have to say that I didn't imagine Hop looking like he does after meeting him in OtW, but he's sex on a stick, even with the 'tache.
Aaand, he's my new book boyfriend. Because... "Music is poetry, babe. Each note is a word that's uniquely crafted to go with the next note. For me, the only way it gets better is if you put that to lyrics." Yep. Gotta love a man like that. ;)
(Rob) Oh, KA, I love you so much. Okay, now that the fangirling is out of the way...I could not believe Lanie's boldness when she walked up to Hop and propositioned him. And then the no strings attached bit was so convincing I was taking it one day at a time with them. Hop's reaction, his respect for her and ability to see trouble walking won me over immediately. When he walked through her place and told himself he didn't get to have a look around and get to know her that way, the gesture was generous in a way I wasn't expecting. He wasn't going to take what wasn't given to him. Book girl crush time.
It's a strange layout again with this one where we get bits and pieces of this big drama in Lanie's past but it worked even better in book two. The bits we were given we needed to understand the push and pull she was doing with Hop (and herself). Didn't you just love Hop's role as shield? He wasn't down with her losing all that beauty and life to the "monster." He was all about being part of a team in whatever way he could support her. And you are so right that her money didn't seem to play a factor with him just as much as him being a biker and member of an MC didn't bother her.
What about Hop's honesty? I was so shocked the first time he brought up a previous hookup and than even more shocked at her ultra grown up reaction. Do you think she could be like that because he made it so clear she's a lady to him and nothing less and he's never had anything but less? I'm thinking I'd tell the guy not to tell me about a bathroom stall bang. There is the age factor. He's 40, she's 38. Gotta say, that rocked! Plus he's a dad. You don't get that very often and the kids were awesome. There wasn't a forced parent makeover for a few pages in the book whenever Hop had his kids around.
Oh, the freaking tache! I'm so annoyed that KA has finally done it. I actually find it hot that Hop has a tache. Ugh! But he is so hot and man. I hated it on Luke and pretended to miss all facial hair references. Man!
Okay, I'm off to read more. Love being back with Chaos!
I finished! It feels like I went on a reading bender and read it in a single day, maybe it's just that the story is right there, taking over my thoughts.
The music is poetry business was huge! Epic! In book one I wasn't impressed with the tidbits we learned about Hop, which was through Shy's and Tabby's eyes. I remember Tabby hoping the best for Lanie and it's so cool at the same time Lanie was thinking the same thing. That's one of the neat things about KA and always has been, girl solidarity. I loved the part early on with Lanie doing that stupid thing going to that rough neck bar and being sold out by a fellow girl. She was mostly pissed about that. And then how Lanie didn't like Hop's early descriptions of Mitzy. What a piece of work that one. Even Lanie's mom who has a long way to go to redeem herself never lost her girls' support when she needed it. KA also gives men credit too, not just with the brotherhood, but she lets them be deep and shallow at the same time and she lets them be so over the top alpha they get what they want, but boy do they work/pay for it.
Did you catch the part about the song doesn't have to be eternal, but if you have a rhyme to share, a story to tell, it's worth it? That had to come out of the heart of an indie writer. Well, and Debbie Macomber because she says the same thing.
For whatever reason I got a Rock Chick Revolution vibe, Ally and Ren's story, not the action, but the push and pull of the relationship maybe. Not sure, but now I want to re-read that one.
(Brandee) So, I had to wait until you were done because there were things I wanted to say but I couldn't remember where these things were in the timeline and I didn't want to spoil anything. :)
I believed Lanie when she said 'one night' too. But that admission she makes towards the end. Damn! That and all the things Hop had to say had me tied up in knots. Oh, and the "I don't get this" that they both felt - I broke my heart, honestly, because we could see how much they both wanted all those things they didn't feel they 'got' because they didn't have *that* kind of relationship. Even though they totally did.
The layout was similar but I didn't get lost in the timeline this time. I think it was because it was usually 1 week or 2 weeks later. I did like how KA presented the backstory in bits and pieces. I liked that those bits were usually given when Lanie and Hop were sharing honest moments and were laying it all out. It was interesting that they both had monsters that needed slaying - and that they were both able to help one another slay those monsters...they gave each other that.
So I was wrong about Lanie's job not being mentioned because it did end up being mentioned but that they each accepted one another, respected one another, just how they came was something. I think we *all* look for that in our friendships and relationships. Those two could definitely jump into the deep end over words, but I admit to being irritated when Hop told Lanie she should know what kind of man he is. Yes, that's true and she did, in her heart. But her monster would of course raise it's head over the information she'd learned because of her history. And yes, she pulled a drama over it - but Hop knew her and her reactions, so even though her words were awful, it shouldn't have surprised him.
Hop and Lanie were very intense...and although they kept certain things from each other, at least initially, they were nothing if not honest. No, I wouldn't want all his honesty if it were me. But I like that you said Lanie reacted in a grown up way. Because she absolutely did. I'm not sure I could be that mature. *ha* His words about how he'd never do her in a stall because a lady shouldn't be treated that way...crude but sooo swoonworthy!
And I was absolutely tickled about their ages being so close to ours. It's nice to read hot romances with couples who are 'mature'. *winks* I loved watching both Hop and Lanie with his kids. And you're right - he was always just Hop whether he had his kids or not. I admired that about him. But with Hop, you got what you saw.
So KA won you over to the dark side, huh? I admit I kinda thought Luke rocked the stache but Hop...H.O.T. I have such a vivid image of him in my mind and he rocks a 'tache like no one else. Mm-mmm!! (not that I want my man to grow one!)
I'm still thinking about Lanie and Hop too and I've had to move on! But I gotta say I have a heckavu book hangover. KA always does that to me...
I'm glad you enjoyed the music element as well. I had to youtube You'll Accompany Me because I didn't recognize the title. And it must be said that after listening to the lyrics, it made that scene all the more poignant. I'd have been standing up in my chair yelling to Hop that he's the shit too! Man!! KA knows how to incorporate good music, doesn't she? It meant to much that Lanie was spending every night drinking wine and listening to Bob Seger when she and Hop were apart. Seger's lyrics really speak volumes about those two.
I have to tell you something...when I finished and I told my kindle to 'go to' the beginning, I realized that my copy of Fire Inside was an ARC from Netgalley. So those extra things you talked about with what Hop said about music? They weren't in my copy. And I'm thinking I'm going to have to buy a copy just so I can read it again - and see what changed. (yeah, that's totally the only reason why *winks*)
KA does have a way of conveying the importance of sisterhood - how did you say it? Oh, girl solidarity. Yeah. I do like how all her heroines have their girls at their backs. It is important. And girls should always back their girls - whether they know each other or not. You're right that she does the same for her Alphas. She stresses the loyalty factor between them and they do all have each others' backs...maybe more so than the girls, at times. I've not experienced a 'family' of friends having my back but I like the idea. And chickie, I've ALWAYS got YOUR back, distance be damned.
I didn't get the Rock Chick Revolution vibe while reading but I can see where it would have come from. There was a lot of push and pull between Lanie and Hop, just like with Ally and Ren, if for different reasons. I liked the push and pull between Lanie and Hop better because it wasn't just a matter of a misunderstanding or just being plain ornery. (sorry, Ally!) Lanie and Hop had been through a lot of shit. They had their monsters to contend with. But they had something special and I was so glad they fought for it. Although, I had my doubts a few times.
I'm thinking the second week of August for the next Chaos book. What do you think? My kids have band camp that week and it'll be a nice to lose myself in the Chaos world and not have to think about the fact that my kids will be scarce for the next 2 months. :)
(Rob) So you thought Luke rocked the tache? Luke. Mmm. Okay, back to Hop. When he went up on stage, weren't you right there with Lanie saying What? What? How could you add rock star to the already long list of awesomeness? I had to youtube the song too. You're right about KA knowing her music. She always seems to incorporate music into her books and in different ways.
One thing I'm still missing is the zaniness. I want some crazy and not just Lanie's brand of crazy that makes her break up with Hop a million times. But I get it, this is a motorcycle club and they can't all have a thing for fancy coffees and old bookstores. We did get a RC world cameo. Teeny cameo and it still made me grin.
Now we have book 3 calling out to us and this massive book hangover that is still hanging. So mid-August and we'll see who these two new characters are since they are both a mystery to us. Lexxie gave it 5 stars though. Oh, last thought, isn't it always a surprise how many pages KA's books are because we read them like they're novellas?
More KA. More buddy reads. I hope we get more of the Beneto storyline because I'd like to see his ass severely kicked. He is not nice.
(Brandee) I did think Luke rocked his 'stache. Man, he's all kinds of yum. Yet still not my favorite Hot Bunch guy. ;) I'm thinking Hop is my favorite Chaos guy though. But it is a close race because Shy...that is all. But Hop has so much going for him - his age, his kids, his honesty, his former rock star status, his knight in leather armor status...see what I mean? Totally my newest book boyfriend. :)
The zaniness is not there - I don't count Lanie's behavior - and I do miss it. I think KA tried to inject some of it with Elvira but since she's seen so little, it's not much zaniness. But I also like that there's a little more seriousness in this series. The Chaos brothers set a different tone than the Hot Bunch. They don't have a Tex or a Duke. But I'm thinking that's okay. I do really, really like that KA gives us glimpses of those characters though. ;)
Mid-August baby. We'll hit #3. I admit I'm kinda nervous since it's new characters but hey, I was nervous to start this series and it's been an amazing ride so far. I was glad to see Lexxie gave it 5-Stars because that means KA is *still* rocking. I don't know how I'll feel if she ever disappoints me. I don't even want to think about it, honestly. Oh, and yes I am always shocked at how long her books are. Because they absolutely do *not* feel long. I inhale and devour them and I know you do too. She's just that good. And I'm looking forward to a good ass kicking of Benito. He is not a good guy...