Review: Fighting The Pull by Kristen Ashley

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: River Rain #5
Author: Kristen Ashley
Release Date: September 12, 2023

From New York Times bestselling author Kristen Ashley comes the new book in her River Rain Series, Fighting the Pull.

Hale Wheeler inherited billions from his father. He’s decided to take those resources and change the world for the better. He’s married to his mission, so he doesn’t have time for love.

There’s more lurking behind this decision. He hasn’t faced the tragic loss of his father, or the bitterness of his parents’ divorce. He doesn’t intend to follow in his father’s footsteps, breaking a woman’s heart in a way it will never mend. So he vows he’ll never marry.

But Hale is intrigued when he meets Elsa Cohen, the ambitious celebrity news journalist who has been reporting on his famous family. He warns her off, but she makes him a deal. She’ll pull back in exchange for an exclusive interview.

Elsa Cohen is married to her career, but she wants love, marriage, children. She also wants the impossibly handsome, fiercely loyal, tenderhearted Hale Wheeler.

They go head-to-head, both denying why there are fireworks every time they meet. But once they understand their undeniable attraction, Elsa can’t help but fall for the dynamic do-gooder.

As for Hale, he knows he needs to fight the pull of the beautiful, bold, loving Elsa Cohen, because breaking her would crush him.


I think you missed the part where I don’t want the interview anymore, Mr. Wheeler.”
“Call me Mr. Wheeler one more time, baby.”
I went perfectly still.

It’s been a hot minute since I read a KA book and I’m not even sure why. She’s pure comfort read for me. Sassy heroines, protective and possessive uber alphas, family dynamics and drama, and all the steam. And this book definitely packed all of that in.

Now admittedly, in my usual way of doing things back a$$wards, I read this book first before reading the rest of the series. And while I’ll definitely be going back to rectify that, you can certainly enjoy this as a standalone. However, I can’t help but feel I did myself a disservice by not reading at least After the Climb first. It did take a me a minute to wrap my mind around all the mixed family dynamics, but Ashley does a fantastic job summarizing the main details so I never felt lost.

I really loved Hale and Elsa. Hale is your typical KA alpha. He’s a touch tortured, a splash broken, dirty talking, possessive and protective. His first impression of Elsa is not great but boy do sparks fly between them when they come face to face. Hale quickly comes to see that Elsa is not quite the vapid gossip news that he assumed she was. This is a woman with passion, drive, and clear morals.

Elsa was such a wonderful heroine. She is a driven career woman herself and doesn’t take any $hit, even from Hale. Her family is one crazy ride and watching that crazy ride out was certainly entertain and frustrating at the same time.

The romance was satisfying as always, but I do wish we got to see Hale’s dominant side a bit more. There was more alluding to it and this dirty bird just wished for more. It was still deliciously spicy, but the promise was more than the reality in parts. We do get the third act breakup, which had me wanting to punch Hale in all the painful places. And while he sees the error of his ways quickly enough, I also can’t help but wish that Elsa made him grovel a bit more for her forgiveness.

There is a bit of suspense added in with a stalker that made it that much more entertaining and I enjoyed it so much! I will definitely now be reading the rest of the series!


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