Author: Kristen Ashley
Publication Date: February 26, 2013
My Rating: 4.25 out of 5
Hanna Boudreaux has lived in the small town of Willow, Colorado all her life. The great-granddaughter of the town matriarch, she's sweet, cute and quiet.
Hanna has a moment of epiphany when she realizes her crush for forever, Raiden Ulysses Miller, is not ever going to be hers. She sees her life as narrow and decides to do something about it.
Raiden Miller is the town of Willow's local hero. An ex-marine with the medal to prove his hero status, he comes home, shrouded in mystery. It takes a while but, eventually, Hanna catches his eye.
But after all these years of Raid and Hanna living in the same town, the question is, why? Is Raid interested in Hanna because she's sweet and cute? Or does Raid have something else going on?
This has some BDSM.
Okay, a couple things. First, everyone knows I love Kristen Ashley's books. But even though I await each release with breathless anticipation I try to stay objective when I review books, even hers, cause I know not everyone is a huge fan like me. So, that being said, let's get into the book. (And beware, possible spoilers ahead).
I love Hanna. She is quiet, shy, a book worm, and just the sweetest heroine ever. Some see her as weak, but not me. I think because I am quiet, shy and a bookworm I really related to her. I don't think I'm the sweetest anything though since I have a mouth on me. Anyways, Hanna was strong for the people she needed to be strong for-her friends, her family and of course, Raid. She had an unusual profession but this too I loved. It fit her well. Hanna was not someone who would fit in an office and she certainly wasn't a social butterfly. So her crocheting business was perfect. (Though I would have loved to see KA dive more into this aspect of Hanna's life. And did I mention my heart did a total flip-flop when she gave Raid one and he slept underneath it.)
Raid was amazing. He was hot, alpha, sexy and he liked to play as in play. And he did this with Hanna. And when things didn't go right (i.e. she did something she didn't really want to do), like a good dom Raid sensed it and stopped it. He then reminded Hanna she had to speak up, that she had the power and he wanted her to have it to say no. This was awesome. KC, Hanna's bff, had a similar conversation, though it was centered around alphas in general and not sex. This was good. Hanna was naive when it came to knowing how to handle a hot alpha. So the talk with Raid and KC made a world of difference.
Some have mentioned the fact that Raid called Hanna a bitch during a fight and did some other things that this behavior was abusive. No. This was not abuse. Did he act like an ass? Sure. But that is not dv. (If it is, then I've abused one of my exes when I called him a name during a fight. It was a stupid thing to do and I regretted it almost immediately. But I never saw it as abuse since we weren't, well abusing each other, emotionally or otherwise. We said what we said in the heat of the moment and then got over it after apologizing, which is what happened in Raid.) In addition to that, in the case of Raid, the whole fight started when Hanna brought up a topic he did not want to talk about. (His buddies who were killed in the war and his issues with PTSD resulting from that). Did he handle it well? Nope. Did he deserve her walking out when he acted like a dick? Yup. Was she weak for forgiving him? Nope. Not in my opinion. She loved him. He loved her. She wasn't going to give up on him because he called her a name. If he hadn't apologized (and if he doesn't eventually deal with his PTSD) my opinion would be otherwise. But he not only said sorry (which I gotta say is a hella lot more than Tate ever did in Sweet Dreams) but he also started dealing with his condition. Was it handled perfect? Did we see him going to counseling and all that? No. We're told he talked to a friend which helped. Would it have been cool to see how all this played you? Sure, but it wouldn't necessarily be practical or what I wanted. I wanted to read about Hanna and Raid, their romance. So yeah, Raid was an unmitigated ass but most of KA's heroes mess up at some point in her books and all work on redemption. Raid for me was redeemed at the end. (And let's not forget the fight between Ty and Lexi in Lady Luck. Or rather Ty's screaming rampage at Lexi, since she didn't get a word in edgewise. And what about what Chase said to Faith in the beginning of Breathe? Another asshole comment. I could go on, but I won't. I think my point has been made! :D )
So why wasn't this a 5 star read? It was shorter than most, but then I knew that going in since the Unfinished Heroes series is always shorter than her other books. So this wasn't so much a factor. I would have liked to see more of Hanna and her friend KC, and more of Hanna and Raid's sister and mom. Also, one of things I love most about Kristen Ashley's book is the descriptive writing (though I know some people don't like this) and I did feel Raid was missing this. Lastly, I would have liked to see what happened at and after the hospital from Raid's point of view. But, these were in no way deal breakers for me nor anything that would drop this rating below the 4.25 I gave it.
I can't wait to see more of these characters in Deacon's story. There is some D/s in the book but it is not anywhere near Knight levels. (And for me, Knight wasn't even that kinky.) The steamy scenes are just that and KA once again hits them out of the park. One thing I really appreciated was how the issue between Knight, Nair and Nick has weaved throughout these stories. I love going back and re-reading to see what clues Kristen has left for us and trying to speculate about what might happen. (I love me a mystery!)
So check out Raid, and if you haven't met Knight and Creed, I suggest reading those first since Raid gives us a glimpse into their lives as well. (Creed! Yay!!!!)
Here are the purchase links: Amazon / Barnes and Noble
*This book was a self-purchase and I was not in any way compensated for, or even asked, to review this book. All opinions are my own*