Friday, May 20, 2016

Review: Rock Chick Reckoning by Kristen Ashley

Rock Chick Reckoning by Kristen Ashley
Series: Rock Chick, Book 6
Publisher: Kristen Ashley
Genre: Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 9780615781600
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N | Audible

Stella’s the lead singer and lead guitarist of The Blue Moon Gypsies and Stella used to be Mace’s girl. Mace broke up with her, though, and the loss of him rocked her world. But Stella gets a call, late at night (again) from one of the members of her crazy band. She has to go play clean up (again) and runs into Mace and a shed load of police, and ends up getting shot.

Mace finds he doesn’t like it much that his ex-girlfriend got shot right in front of him but it’s worse. A very bad man has thrown down the gauntlet and all the Rock Chicks are in the firing line. Stella doesn’t want Mace to be the one to keep her alive, but she has no choice. Mainly because Mace isn’t giving her one.

I. Loved. This. Book. I loved it so much, I’m pretty sure miniature hearts and flowers were popping up around my head as I listened to it. Rock Chick Reckoning is not only my favorite Rock Chick book to date (not an easy feat considering my love for Rock Chick and Rock Chick Redemption), it’s my favorite out of all the Kristen Ashley books I’ve read so far. Rock Chick Reckoning has absolutely everything I’ve come to love about the Rock Chick series – a sassy heroine, a hot, protective hero, a compelling romance, danger, humor, and a boatload of fun moments with the Rock Chicks – and it’s all wrapped up in a fast-paced, vibrant, emotional, highly addictive story.

Stella is the premier Rock Chick. She’s the lead singer and guitarist for the Blue Moon Gypsies and she has the pure talent and stage presence to make it big. However, she mostly spends her time trying to keep her band members out of trouble, something that could be a full-time occupation in and of itself. Keeping busy prevents Stella from thinking too much the broken heart she has courtesy of Kai “Mace” Mason. Mace made her world shine, but when he walked away from her, it crushed her. She’s moved on in the year since the breakup, but when she gets a panicked call from one of her band members in the middle of the night, Stella winds up running into Mace…right before she’s shot. Mace, the police, and the entire Nightingale Investigations team are out to bring down a drug dealer, and the bad guy isn’t about to go quietly into the night. He has targeted the Rock Chicks, and even though she and Mace are no longer together, Stella is in the line of fire. Stella doesn’t want to let Mace back in her life, but if she wants to keep breathing, she has no choice. Close quarters and an undeniable attraction mean it’s not long before Stella and Mace hook up. But if they want to make things work, they’re both going to have to open up, listen, and face the past in order to have a future.

I absolutely loved Mace and Stella together. The two of them have excellent chemistry in bed and out, and it’s easy to see they’re made for one another. But loving each other isn’t their problem. Stella has been hurt badly in the past and Mace… Mace has suffered a loss so devastating that it changed his life forever. Both of them guard their hearts and don’t like to let their shields down. It takes a lot of strength for them to open up, and Stella really has to fight for Mace. I loved that she stepped up to the plate and did so with a vengeance. Their love story isn’t an easy one. Both Mace and Stella accidentally hurt one another in an effort to protect themselves, but they own up to their mistakes, learn from them, and grow stronger because of it. Ms. Ashley puts them through the emotional wringer, but every demon they fight, every battle they face is worth it, because their relationship isn’t just sexy, sassy, and sweet. It’s strong. I absolutely loved watching them heal each other and find the rockin’ happily ever after they so deserved.

While Rock Chick Reckoning has darker elements than a lot of the Rock Chick books, that doesn’t mean the story itself is dark. The Rock Chicks, Hot Bunch, and their friends are all strong supporting players in this book. The fact that all the Rock Chicks are in danger in this story makes the book all the more compelling and really brings everyone together in an organic way. This is one of the rare Rock Chick books with multiple points of view, and readers get updates on all the previous heroes and heroines. I won’t spoil the story by revealing what happens, but trust me, fans of the series are in for one heck of a treat. Ms. Ashley lets each of her characters shine in Rock Chick Reckoning, but Mace and Stella are still the heart and soul of the book.

Rock Chick Reckoning is truly an exciting story with heart, depth, steam, and sass. I listened to the story on audiobook and Susannah Jones does an absolutely fantastic job. Usually I find that narrators detract a bit from a story, but Ms. Jones is the rare exception of a narrator who makes a great book come even more fully life. I loved every minute of Rock Chick Reckoning and I cannot wait to listen to Mace and Stella’s story again!

FTC Disclosure: This book was purchased by me. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.