January 14, 2016

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Ride Steady (Chaos #3)

Ride Steady (Chaos #3), by Kristen Ashley
Publish Date:
June 30, 2015
Publisher: Forever Romance
Format: audiobook, purchased
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating: 5 STARS

(Synopsis) The ride of her life . . . 

Once upon a time, Carissa Teodoro believed in happy endings. Money, marriage, motherhood: everything came easy---until she woke up to the ugly truth about her Prince Charming. Now a struggling, single mom and stranded by a flat tire, Carissa's pondering her mistakes when a vaguely familiar knight rides to her rescue on a ton of horsepower.

Climb on and hold tight . . .

In high school, Carson Steele was a bad boy loner who put Carissa on a pedestal where she stayed far beyond his reach. Today, he's the hard-bodied biker known only as Joker, and from the way Carissa's acting, it's clear she's falling fast. While catching her is irresistible, knowing what to do with her is a different story. A good girl like Carissa is the least likely fit with the Chaos Motorcycle Club. Too bad holding back is so damned hard. Now, as Joker's secrets are revealed and an outside threat endangers the club, Joker must decide whether to ride steady with Carissa---or ride away forever . . .

How do I begin to tell you how much I loved this book? Where do you start with something like that? You know, after I finished reading Own the Wind (Chaos #1), I thought there couldn't be anyone more amazing than Shy. Then I read Fire Inside (Chaos #2), and didn't think it could get any better than Hop. But, Joker... seriously. He. Is. The. Best. 

This is a classic story with a modern face. The misunderstood bad boy in school who liked the prom queen, but never got noticed by her finally gets his shot years later when both of them are in a different place in their lives. But, in this case, the bad boy is a bad ass biker and the prom queen has fallen so far from grace that she can't even recognize herself. 

When Carson "Joker" Steele ran into his high school crush, Carissa Teodoro, years after the last time he'd seen her, he was thrown for a loop. Despite the fact that she is now unattached, albeit with an 8-month old baby, Joker is stuck in the belief that she's too good for him, so despite her obvious interest in him, he rebuffs her again and again. 

While I don't think I've ever met a biker I liked more thank Joker, I can honestly say that I've never met an old lady that I liked more than Carissa. This poor woman has been kicked while she was down again and again and again. And yet, she sees something in Joker that she hasn't seen in awhile - honesty, kindness, and someone pure of heart. And she wants that. So badly. So, she goes after it. I was completely on team Carissa. 

Carissa doesn't recognize Joker at first as the boy she knew in high school. Which makes her instant acceptance of him and his brothers and his club and his lifestyle even more special. After she realizes who he is, it was like the final sign that these two were meant to be together all along. Carissa is given multiple chances to question Joker, to turn away from him when things get hard or complicated, and she never once makes the wrong choice. 

From the very beginning, I was captivated by Carissa's and Joker's star crossed lovers story. I couldn't wait for Carissa's horrible ex to get what was coming to him. I ate up the moments when Joker played "daddy" to Carissa's baby son. And the moments between Carissa and Joker were so completely perfect. I loved how Joker always seemed to know what Carissa needed from him, and he gave it to her. And vice versa. 

About the Audio Version
Once again Kate Russell did a phenomenal job narrating Ride Steady. She is the same narrator that did Fire Inside, and she was brilliant in that as well. She voiced Joker and Carissa and all the supporting characters with the best intensity and inflection. I am absolutely loving the audio versions of this series, and can't wait for the next one. 

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