Blog Tour, Review, Author Q&A & Giveaway: ★Walk Through Fire★ by Kristen Ashley

Walk-Through-Fire-Blog-TourWalk Through Fire
Series: Chaos, #4
Genre: Contemporary Romance, MC
Author: Kristen Ashley
Release Date: October 27, 2015add-to-goodreads-button3

Ashley_WalkThroughFire_MM

The flame never dies . . . 

Millie Cross knows what it’s like to burn for someone. She was young and wild and he was fierce and even wilder-a Chaos biker who made her heart pound. They fell in love at first sight and life was good, until she learned she couldn’t be the woman he needed and made it so he had no choice but to walk away. Twenty years later, Millie’s chance run-in with her old flame sparks a desire she just can’t ignore. And this time, she won’t let him ride off . . .

Bad boy Logan “High” Judd has seen his share of troubles with the law. Yet it was a beautiful woman who broke him. After ending a loveless marriage, High is shocked when his true love walks back into his life. Millie is still gorgeous, but she’s just a ghost of her former self. High’s intrigued at the change, but her betrayal cut him deep-and he doesn’t want to get burned again. As High sinks into meting out vengeance for Millie’s betrayal, he’ll break all over again when he realizes just how Millie walked through fire for her man . . .

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Excerpt

I beeped the locks and had a hand to the handle when I heard, “Lookin’ for me?”When that deep, coarse voice came at me through the dark, my body became paralyzed, my eyes glued to my hand on the handle.

Then it kept coming at me.

“Bitch, followed you the last forty-five minutes. Reb got in touch. Told me you hit Scruff’s.” On the next, the voice was nearer. “You’re lookin’ for me. So tell me what the fuck you want so you can quit lookin’ and I can quit lookin’ at you.” Slowly, I turned, my head going back automatically because I felt him close and I knew what close to Logan meant.

I was five-seven.
He was six-one.

He towered over me, or at least that’s what it always felt like because he wasn’t only tall, he was also a big guy with a big presence.

And right then, it felt like that, especially since his big presence was an angry one.
His face was in shadows, I could barely see it
.

But I could feel him.
And I could smell him.
God, I could smell him.

He didn’t wear cologne or aftershave. His scent was all his. And I remembered lying in our bed holding his pillow to me, my face shoved into the sheets, taking him in after I’d made him walk away.
His scent hadn’t changed. Not even a nuance.

Smelling it without warning felt like walking unsuspecting into the street and having a truck slam into you. And that feeling was so strong it was a wonder my body didn’t go careening through the trucks and bikes, slamming into them, shattering every bone.

He moved forward so he was in my space, the smell strengthened and my body tightened to guard against it.
“Woman, after all this time, whatever shit you gotta hand me, fuckin’ do it,” he ordered irately. “You got two seconds to spit it the fuck out. You don’t, you won’t get another chance, and you know I’ll make it that way. So this is your only shot. Take it or get in your fuckin’ car and get your ass outta my world.”

I stared into the shadows of his face, wishing with everything that I could see it.
Apparently, I did this for two seconds because Logan bit out, “Right. See nothin’s changed. Weak. Now get your ass . . .” he dipped his face to mine, “gone.”

And when he did, I got up on my toes and kissed him.

It was totally crazy.

But I also totally couldn’t help it.

He smelled so fucking good.

And he was Logan.

Close. Right there. His face in mine.

He jerked away, muttering a disgusted, “What the fuck?”

But the words or their tone didn’t penetrate.

I smelled him and I’d had a taste.

I was gone.

I lifted both hands to either side of his head, yanked him down to me, and went back in, going for it, giving it my all. Even when his fingers clenched painfully into my hips pushing them back to set me away,

I held on tighter and shoved my tongue between his lips.

It touched his, just that, just a touch, and then I cried out into his mouth when I found my back slammed into my SUV.

But it wasn’t his way to get me to let him go.

No.

His head slanted and he forced my tongue out of his mouth when his invaded mine.
And that was when I was gone.

I was already gone but right then there was nothing to me.

Nothing at all.

Except my hands on Logan’s head, his body pressing mine into my car, his smell all around us, his tongue plundering my mouth, all this exploding fire everywhere.

He drove a hand into my hair, twisting it, the pain bristling over my scalp and I cried out into his mouth again even as I arched deeper, pressed closer, willing, like it had always been, to give it all because he was Logan, he got it all.

But also because I knew I’d get it back a hundredfold.

He swayed us forward so his other arm could lock across my back and he kept at my mouth as I rolled way up on my toes, pushing deep, wrapping my arms around his neck, consumed by the kiss and not giving that first fuck.

I was ready to ride it out.

No, I needed to ride it out.

No matter where it went.

He broke away and that was when my hand went into his hair, fisting tight in protest.

“That what you want?” he growled, his voice lower, the abrasion physical, and I shivered with delight.

I wasn’t entirely certain of the question but I answered a breathy, “Yes.”

“That’s what you want,” he repeated, a statement this time, seeking confirmation.

“Yes, Logan.”

He let me go but took my hand, his skin rough against my fingers. The feel of it back after all these years washed through me and I fancied I remembered every time, in quick succession, from the first night we met to the night before I broke it off when he’d taken my hand and guided me somewhere.

Lost in it like I’d always been lost in it, I followed blindly.

Attached to Logan, I’d go anywhere.

Even if we were walking through fire.

Q&A with KA1.    What scene from WALK THROUGH FIRE was the hardest to write?

High yelling at Zadie. I understood his emotion. It hurt for me, how he had to struggle to keep his cool in front of his girls…and how he failed. I felt his panic, his impatience, his frustration.

High’s a pushover daddy. He adores his girls (to a fault). Dealing with the issues of Millie being in their lives, he could control and strategize how he was going to finesse that situation even when something happened earlier in the book to spark his temper.

But must not forget, High is a member of a motorcycle club. They live in a different world. A member’s reaction to what happened to Millie will be primal…and roundly understood by everyone in their circle. Except two little girls. High had to leash that, an almost impossible task for him, thus some came through. I knew it pained him deeply because it pained me writing it. 

2.    What can you tell us about High and Millie that we won’t find in the book?

High’s fighting a losing battle. Millie might embrace a house where there are coasters in only one room, and the woman can make a mess, but in the end, she’s still tidy (and so is Cleo, Zadie…not so much).

3.    Finish this sentence: My hero will always…

Be nearly viciously protective, of his heroine, his children, his friends, his family.

4.    What’s next for you?

I actually haven’t quite decided. We’re getting my independently published books in print. There’s a lot of work involved around that and I’ve been traveling quite a bit this summer but home for a good stretch and nesting. It’s been a week since I finished SEBRING, the last in the Unfinished Heroes series (this book coming out in January). And now that week is done and I’m done with nesting! I’m itching to write another book.

I’m really feeling the pull of the mountains so I suspect it’ll be Deke, the next in the Colorado Mountain series. His heroine has hit me strong in the heart. So I’ll be wanting to deal with that!


Review4 starsWTF

I gave you up, walking through fire to do it but I did…
I did it in the end. I gave you everything.

It’s been a long while since I’ve read a book that touched me on such a visceral level. I don’t cry in books. Maybe I have a cold black heart, maybe I don’t have a soul, I dunno, it just doesn’t happen mkay. But here? I was a mess. A wreck. Absolutely and utterly pathetic. Sniveling, ugly crying, uncontrollably emotional wreck. In case you’re still not with me, basically I spent the first half of this book in this particular state:
My husband came home from work and caught me reading it, and after taking in my ugly crying state freaked out thinking someone died. True story. Basically, the moral of this story is do NOT read this book in public unless you want people to think there’s something seriously wrong with you. This book will tug at every heart string you have and rip it to smithereens. I’m not even kidding. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. I though it was just a fluke at first, so I went back to re-read a few key parts and nope! I was a wreck all over again.

My life had been interrupted and I’d never restarted it.

One of my favorite tropes is a second chance romance and Walk Through Fire delivers on the promise of it beautifully. While I had no recollection of High from the other books in this series, I have to say he’s probably one of the most memorable I’ve read from Chaos. The story of him and Millie was beautifully tragic. But twenty years apart changed them both. While Millie went on to live her life, she never truly lived it, not without High. And High has spent the last 20 years trying to forget she exists and hating her. Something that he reminds her of vividly when he does finally set his eyes on her again.

If you call me a bitch one more time, High, I swear to God, you’re regret it.”
“What you gonna do? Suck my dick clean off?”
“God, you’re an asshole.”
“Bet I get you on your knees and I get my cock in you, one end or the other, you’ll stop thinkin’ that.”

That gif basically sums up my feelings for High and the rest of Chaos for the first half of this book. High is a royal asshole to Millie when he sees her again. She broke his heart all those years ago and he’s not about to let her forget it. She walked out on him and Chaos, and now that she seems to want the chance to explain, he’ll use the opportunity to switch the roles from twenty years ago.

To say that the first half of this book was intense would be a major understatement. It was raw, painful, heart-wrenchingly good. I couldn’t set the book down for even a minute. I wanted to hate High and yet I couldn’t. I was going crazy trying to figure out the secret of why Millie did what she did those years ago. I wanted them to finally talk instead of lashing out at each other even though there was something utterly delicious in their viciousness.

I’m done walking through fire for you, High…
I’m done not because I’m done but because there’s nothing left of me to burn. You have it all. You’ve always had it all! I gave up everything so you can have it all! Please! God! Leave me to my nothing.

I was afraid that I wouldn’t like Millie when I originally read the first chapter of this book as a preview in Ride Steady. She came across as weak and slightly whiny. Boy was I pleasantly surprised by her in Walk Through Fire. This woman is a survivor and she certainly gave as good as she got, and let me tell you, she got plenty.

The first half of this book was easily a 5+ star. There’s a very clear change of pace between the first half and the second half, and for me, that transition was what ultimately brought my rating down slightly. As intense as the first half was, the second half was almost….boring compared to it. That’s not to say that it was boring, but it was just such a sudden change from one to the other, that I found myself wishing for something more. But it still all came together wonderfully.

All my favorite secondary characters make an appearance and there were plenty of great moments to go along with the emotional ones.

There were only a few words in the Vocabulary of Badass but each one had a number of meanings. They included beautiful, Christ, fuck, Jesus, and shit.
But the one used the most was babe.

I’d say this book divides into two halves, the first half finds Millie and High together after 20 years apart and dealing out pain to each other while attempting to deal with a love that clearly never died. The second half focuses on their rebuilding their lives together. While I had some quibbles with the book as a whole, anything that can put me through the emotional ringer like that is worthy of at least 4 stars. Quibbles or not. I haven’t had a reaction like this to a book in….ever. Seriously.

Kristen Ashley books and alphas are an addiction for me. This is probably one of the most emotional books I’ve read by her to date. So if you’re prepared for one hell of an ugly cry, step inside the world of Chaos and enjoy.


About the Author

Kristen AshleyKristen Ashley grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana, and 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 multigenerational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland, and Kristen grew up listening to the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon, and Whitesnake. Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music and love was a good way to grow up. And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.

Giveaway
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