Social Icons

Monday, September 29, 2014

Deacon (Unfinished Hero #4) By Kristen Ashley

A Review By Wendy
4- 4.5 Cabin 11 Stars 
* * * * 1/2

Relationships; loving another do we do it? Sometimes it can be so clear... so easy to just connect and know... he is for you, you for him and the both of you figure it out from there. 

Other is much more complicated. You see there is something... a hidden sweetness or strength that will call to you... something so strong, it defies logic and you will commit whether you should or not; whether it will be returned with the same response... it just is your calling to love this person.... and you do.

This is a very difficult type love to experience. You will sometimes receive equal or greater love back... but many times it is not felt day in and day out... it can disappear even when the other person is standing right next to you... they mentally go other places. They need to do this ... you will either decide to cut your losses or if you are in it for the long haul; giving them the space to work things out and come back to you. Both choices are valid and real...and both choices can take place at any given moment in these types of loves/relationships.

But make no mistake... these types of loves are very powerful and strong... and when they are supportive at their core for each other... they find a way to work through everything...they come out stronger and freer in the end.

This was what I took away from reading Deacon by Kristen Ashley. This was the fourth part of her Unfinished Hero series. This series is her darker erotic storytelling. It also has taken the same tone she has done in many of her more recent book; she focuses on the relationships rather than her trademark action.

Many of her long time fans have commented on missing these parts of her stories... feeling without them, the reading can drag. As a huge KA fan, I see both sides of this. If you are looking for KA's suspense, chases and kidnappings then this book could be a disappointment for you. This is a snapshot of love between two people which developed over years. It finally is brought out into the open and then the two have to figure out how to compromise, learn each other and truly commit equally.

We have met Deacon in past books- he is that dark, hulk of a man- fearless, wearing pain and the acceptance of it like the thermal on his back. He doesn't talk much, his presence is enough... he's not a poser- he is the real deal. He is also a dead man walking; there is no light in his eyes...He may be a vision in maleness.. handsome with a face companies would want to pitch their products in magazine ads but there is no acknowledgement of it. He is a man off the grid... his life led him to his current calling; he works in a world which must be dealt with... so everyday people can live clean. To the government, he does not exist; no home, bank account, or job. He calls himself John Priest and when needing downtime, he has gone to a group of cabins off the beaten path in a small town in Colorado.

This time he goes to register and interrupts the new owner fighting with what looks like her man. He stands there taking it all in... not missing anything... the charged atmosphere, the attitude of the guy and most of all, the beauty of the woman before him... he sees it all but none is reflected through his face or body. With brief words, the transaction is done... revealing he is a cash only/not with the rules kind of guy. He asks for cabin 11- it being the most secluded on the property, takes his key and leaves.

The new owner, Cassidy, has been hit by the moment. She saw it all in the brief look between Deacon and her. The existing not living in his eyes; the mask he wears and the possibility of what those eyes could offer if there was happiness and warmth behind them. He is a frightening man but she senses she has no need to fear him. She files this away and then needs to deal with her relationship with Grant.

Cassidy is a woman with a plan; with goals and isn't afraid to work for them. She was raised in a very functional family; it gave her a strong supportive mother and a father who was everything a girl could wish for. He taught her the worth of a day's hard work, the feeling of accomplishment. He was a man others looked up to in their community. But the best was he believed in her dream of owning and creating a place to live and work in Colorado.

When she was 13, the family did a trip there and she fell in love with the beauty of the mountains, streams and nature. She held onto the dream and as she went through school, later college, she worked to make the dream a reality. She also fell in love with a man, one who told her he believed in her dream, too. He encouraged her to find the place to make home. He committed to doing all of the construction and renovation with her as his contribution to her purchase of the cabins she found on the market. She was buying them with her capital and her father's loan and  he was going to contribute with sweat equity. They left Oklahoma together and embarked on this quest. But what Cassidy thought would be the dream; working side by side making these cabins into something of beauty... quickly became a nightmare. Grant was more interested playing, snowboarding and meeting new drinking buddies in town than doing the necessities of getting the cabins ready for the season. Light fixtures needed installing, rooms painted and floors sanded. Grant never understood doing these things together was the pleasure, the dream.

This is how the story is set... and what happens is a slow burn and build for both Deacon and Cassidy. We live through the final straw with Grant and Cassidy kicking him out; we experience Deacon coming in and out of Cassidy's life over the years... her thoughts of him and her reaching out without scaring him off. Because between the two of them, unspoken rules have been established... and as long as Cassidy plays by them... Deacon will keep coming back.

A few specifics happen over the years bringing them closer but not as lovers... just as two people who have an undercurrent which both are aware of but don't dare address. A final occurrence takes place at the cabin with a group of teenagers there unsupervised by their parents. Deacon is staying in his cabin 11 but not there in the evening when Cassidy must address crazy music and underage partying in one of her cabins. She has her baseball bat and flashlight; marches, raps on the door and confronts 4 teenage boys in the midst of a possible assault on the teenage girls. The situation progresses to ugly quick and Cassidy is about the call the cops when the atmosphere changes in an instant... Deacon is standing behind her and from there he gives her the lead but also has her back. Things are handled...done right by the girls and the boys are taken to task with choice words from Cassidy and presence of Deacon.

Once things are settled... Deacon and Cassidy have their life changing confrontation...what takes place from there is the bulk of the story. It is a study of these people; their strengths, humor, their way of reacting to uncertainty and the realization of what is needed by each in order to be in this relationship.  

This has all of the flavor of KA; the same phrases, the same alpha male quirks and the same way of being in the gal's head. KA has a way of using words... stringing them together in a way where most of the time... they would make no sense... but she has trained us, her readers, to learn her language. We accept the sentence structure; we get the thought processes of the characters... we get it all and it actually gives us comfort. For it is unique to her- others have tried to create similar ways of writing... and without the same success.

She has also created IMO a very special type of woman for Deacon. No weeping willow- a strong mighty oak... a woman who is clear in all she wants- from her dream to reality to her sexual wants. Cassidy is a very  strong woman... she does not rollover and just become passive when Deacon is set in what he has decided... she holds true to herself and has the intelligence to know when to pick her battles- and the very best- no baby talk, no nick names for body parts and a sex drive equal to Deacon's. There is a running banter of what is appropriate for being a Badass... it is done throughout the book... I got it, understood the use but at times it could wear a little.

Deacon is developed as an every man who experienced a life changing event ripping him apart in ways which cannot heal. He is a man who has found a level of hell to live in on this earth. He has made his way; done what has been necessary and knows at some point, he will be able to walk away from what he is is doing now. Cassidy stirs a want in him which had been dormant... he had set needs aside. Who she is; what he sees in her... he cannot turn away.

The attraction and chemistry between they is natural and flows. There is humor- and cutting. There is stubbornness and then there is a level of Sweet...

I really don't know if men like this exist. Sometimes I think the classification of these stories should be fantasy/romance. Because with the dialogue, the level of honesty, the authentic love between the characters with them actually communicating this openly....and then to add the sexual freedom they have with each other...

it just makes me go hmmmmm, where do I find that... sign me up, please!

This is a love story with an end... but with also a cliffy for the the entire series. KA has set us up for the next book and every one of the characters from Unfinished Heroes will be front and center. I will have my click click finger poised and ready.

Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA. She nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorise and she hadn't taken her first breath!).

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana but has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write.

Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multi-generational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland and existed amongst the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).
Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.
And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better

No comments :

Post a Comment