Fire Inside (Chaos #2), by Kristen Ashley
Publish Date: June 4, 2013
Publisher: Forever Romance
Format: audiobook, purchased
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble
Rating: 5 STARS
(From Goodreads) Lanie Heron isn't looking for love-no surprise, considering her last serious relationship nearly got her killed. So when Lanie propositions Hop Kincaid, all she wants is one wild night with the hot-as-hell biker who patrols with the Chaos Motorcycle Club . . .
For Hop, Lanie has always been untouchable. She's too polished and too classy for his taste. But when she gives Hop the once-over with her bedroom eyes and offers him a night in paradise, he can't say no. And he doesn't regret it when he finds that Lanie is the best thing that's ever happened to him-in or out of bed. Now the trick will be to convince her of that.
There was one main element to Fire Inside that absolutely MADE this book for me. And his name is Hopper Kincaid. At first, I wasn't sure I would like Hop. By his description, he doesn't sound like the typical guys that do it for me. First off, he has a mustache. Not my thing. Secondly, he wears lots of jewelry - rings, chains around his neck - that sort of thing. Also, not my idea of a hot biker. But... I don't know. I guess it was the essence that was Hopper Kincaid that turned me into a huge fan of his and made me fall in love again with the Chaos MC series.
Lanie was a bit harder for me to get on board with. I was all for her plan in the beginning. It had been seven years since she and her fiance were caught in a hail of bullets. He died; she didn't. Lanie didn't want another relationship, but a round of hot sex with a biker she's had her eye on for a really long time? Yes please. And, initially, Hop was on board too. A hot chick who wouldn't press for a second date is a dream come true, especially for a man with relationship baggage of his own. But, for both Lanie and Hopper, that first night stayed with them long after it ended.
Hop got used to the idea of a relationship LONG before Lanie did. It was one of the reasons it took me longer to warm up to Lanie. How could she NOT want to be with such an amazing man? Here was this guy who was a great dad, a loyal brother to his club mates, a man completely devoted to her and to taking care of her, and a pro at the sexy times. And yet, Lanie balked at something real with him again and again.
And, Hopper was absolutely determined. He was never pushy in that he made her do things she didn't want to do. No - he made her do things she DID want to do, and he knew it. She was just scared, and understandably so. Hop saw through all that, and it became his mission to pull her out of her self-imposed darkness and into the light with him.
There was less drama in Fire Inside than there was in Own The Wind. This was mostly a relationship book. There was very little danger and action. It was more about Lanie overcoming the demons of her past and her present in order to have a future with the man who is absolutely perfect for her. And it was about Hop learning that sometimes capitulation is okay and even healthy.
What I'm coming to see as the hallmarks of the Chaos series was still there, though, despite the lack of drama and angst. The terms of endearment, the clipped language (particularly on Hop's part) the almost babbling inner monologues (particularly on Lanie's part) - they all blend uniquely together to make this interesting story set in a captivating world with intriguing characters.
Lanie's and Hop's story takes place at the same time as Shy and Tabby's story from Own The Wind, so some of the events, as told from Tabby's or Shy's POV that involved Lanie and Hop were now fleshed out, and that was a lot of fun to read. But, because both stories were taking place at the same time, we saw very little from Shy and Tabby in this book.
Once again, I listened to the audio version of this book, and although it was a different narrator, I still loved it. At first I thought I loved the original narrator more, but as I got used to Kate Russell's higher pitch and slightly different delivery, I grew to love her as much as Angela Starling from Own The Wind.
I can't wait to continue the series, and intend to do so with my next Audible credit. I love how different this series is from most other MC books I've read. I love the relationships that form and how the men stand by their women no matter what.