Review: Ride Steady – Kristen Ashley

Posted 23 July, 2015 by Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms in Reviews / 15 Comments

*I received a free copy of Ride Steady from Forever via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *

Warning: This book includes mature content such as: sexual content, and/or drug and/or alcohol use, and/or violence.
Review: Ride Steady – Kristen AshleyRide Steady by Kristen Ashley
Series: Chaos #3
Published by Forever on 30 June 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 640
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
5 Stars

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 . . .

Ride Steady was an amazing story! Ashley took me on a tender, tough, sweet, sad, funny, happy and very hot ride along with Carissa and Carson.

My Ride Steady review:

Ashley certainly has a knack for writing stories in which my emotions are fully invested, with characters that might be strong, but that are also utterly vulnerable. Where there has been (or still is) a lot of heartache, but hope is still important. Ride Steady gave me all I expected and more! Chaos is a series in which the characters seem very hard and unmoving, but underneath that tough exterior, there is so much love, loyalty and strong ties to family, friends and the club. Carissa and Joker both had that air of toughness about them, but they had both had some very hard times in their lives; in Carissa’s case, the hardest might even still be in the future. When he was younger, Carson ‘Joker’ was a punchingball for his father, both physically and emotionally, and when he finally decided enough was enough, he hit back, took what money he could get, and disappeared. But only after going to the hospital to see his favorite teacher, Mr. Robinson, who had just lost a baby. Carissa on the other hand had a good family life, but tinged with sadness nonetheless, as her sister had died in an accident when they were small, and later her mother succumbed to cancer. Hanging on to the one person she thought would always be there – her high-school sweetheart – she got married while still young, only to be left for a younger and more stylish model while she was still pregnant with their son.

I’m sure you understand how come my feelings were ever-present while reading Ride Steady now! Carissa and Joker both touched my heart, but so did all the brothers at Chaos! And Carissa’s son was such a cutie, with a mother who would do anything to make sure he had everything he needed, and did her best to keep him happy, safe and content. Carissa’s ex was like a plague! He was slimy, untrustworthy, and a true ass. Leaving Carissa with no child-support, living in a bad neighborhood and not doing anything at all to help her, he made my skin crawl, while I was kind of screaming at him (or actually, at my kindle) to try to get him to wake up. Then came Joker. And wow! With all his outer bad-assery, the tattoos, the big bike, the long hair an beard, he was such a strong loyal man I fell for him instantly! Stopping to help Carissa with a flat tire, he didn’t really let her recognize him – even if there was a tiny glimmer of something in her eyes when she first laid eyes on him.

Once Carissa went to Chaos’ garage Ride, she was instantly adopted by all the brothers and their ladies, and suddenly, she had people who wanted to help her. Whom she could lean on. And who completely had her back! The only one she wanted, though, was Joker, and he was acting a bit distant. Until he didn’t anymore. Ride Steady then became even more full of feelings, because there was so much chemistry between Carissa and Joker I had to wipe the dampness off my kindle screen to be able to read! There was lust, friendship and even love. And it was beautiful to see these two characters open up and feel like they actually deserved to be happy for once. Of course, nothing was easy even after they started seeing each other, but fighting their demons together made them all the stronger.

Written mostly in either Carissa’s point of view, first person past tense, and Jokers, third person past tense, but peppered with dialogues and a few peeks from Aarons perspective, Ride Steady was so well done I felt like I actually knew all the characters well by the time the story ended. And even the side-characters who had very little page-time were well fleshed out and made to seem real. A wizard of words, Ashley kept me engrossed, entertained and emotional for the duration.

Some of my favorite Ride Steady quotes:

She laughed a lot. He was glad she did. Pretty girls like her who could be bitches but weren’t deserved to laugh.

The empty pie plate. So he had liked my pie. And last, there was that kiss. Truthfully, the rest could go away and the kiss could remain and it was so good, I’d still want more.

It looked biker babe. But biker babe chic. I stared at myself wondering if I’d ever have the nerve to wear such a top.

#COYER Scavenger Hunt item #53: Read a book with just half a face on the cover (4 points)

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

About Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

Linda is an English as foreign language teacher and has a Master's degree in English Language and Literature. She's an avid reader, blogger, compulsive one-clicker and a genre omnivore. Ever since she learnt how to read she has been seen with a book or two in her hands everywhere she goes.

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15 responses to “Review: Ride Steady – Kristen Ashley

  1. I like the sound of Carissa. I do want my heroine to have a rich history like a marriage or kids or something like that. Maybe I’m getting old, but I can relate to characters like that more than the YA/NA ones now.

    Fab review and it’s good that she didn’t disaapoint you. I have yet to try her, I think I’ll start with Rock Chick, I heard that series is very funny (and sexy too).

    • The Rock Chick series is both funny and sexy, Braine! And Ashley is a very good writer. I agree about enjoying heroines who have a little more life experience, and if you’d like some recommendations about stories with heroines who are well into their thirties (or even older) let me know 😉
      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I never thought biker romances were something for me, but I decided I am gogin to give this series a try. After Sophia on Delighted Reader reviewed this book I decided to ad dit to my to-read list. And I am glad to hear you love this series as well, another reason why I should pick up my copy of the first book soon. This sounds like an emotional and well written book! And I love vulnerable characters, it makes them more realistic. Great review Lexxie!

  3. Great review! I´d love to read this series 🙂 Håper du har hatt en fin sommer! Jeg har hatt bloggefri en stund, og nå klør det i fingrene etter å starte opp igjen. Har lest masse i ferien, så det kommer nok noen omtaler etter hvert. Klem fra Anette 🙂

    • You should, Anette! It’s really good!
      Ja, jeg koser meg i sommer. Første gang jeg har hele skoleferien fri, så jeg har vært i Spania siden 30. juni, og skal ikke hjem før i midten av august. Det er deilig 🙂 Jeg har både lest en del, og hørt på noen lydbøker. Gleder meg til omtalene dine! Klem 🙂

  4. *SQUEE* I just finished Fire Inside and plan to read Ride Steady in a couple of weeks! I completely agree with you that KA always gives you a story in which you are so totally emotionally invested in the characters. And I love how family, loyalty, friendship are such important themes. I’m glad you enjoyed this story, Lex. It makes me even more excited to get to start it. **BIG HUGS**

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