Joint Review: Raid by Kristen Ashley + Giveaway

Raid by Kristen AshleyBlurb: 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.

Too 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?

Raiden Ulysses Miller

Sophia: Raid is bossy, protective, and aggressive, much like most of Kristen Ashley’s heroes. Even though he has many of the same qualities as other KA heroes, he still stood out for me. I really lived the he was a beloved hometown hero and already had the approval of Hanna’s grandmother. He’s obviously dangerous, but well loved by his community.

Angela: Classic KA hero material, strong, fierce and unbelievably handsome, trying to escape the demons from his past. I liked that Raid was the bad-ass hometown hero who also suffered from PTSD and didn’t confront his nightmares until he needed to do it for love.

Jen:  Typical KA hero with a bit of a twist.  He is handsome, but a little bad.

His entire, unbelievably handsome face and his thick, overlong hair seemed to exist in order to be a frame for those magnificent eyes.

It did a good job.

Excellent

Hanna Boudreaux

Sophia: Hann is described as a Mary Sue and she totally was but in a really fun way. She’s quirky, a little naive, and has been in love with Raid since she was a little girl. It was fun seeing her dream of being Raid’s girl become a reality.

Angela: Hanna was one of my favorite KA heroines. She starts out a little shy, a little frumpy and completely gone for Raid. She’s that girl in school in love with the popular boy who just knows she is never going to have a chance, but can’t help but dream about getting a chance anyway. I loved that she changed her life all on her own before Raid finally noticed her. I can respect a girl who does things to make her life better because it makes her happy. She’s the light to Raid’s dark and by being herself she gave him a reason to work to being who she needed him to be.

His body pressed into mine and his face, partly shadowed, came to within an inch of mine. “You’re my reward, Hanna.”

Sophia: I have several quotes highlighted on my Kindle where Raid calls Hanna his reward. I loved that.

Jen:  I was sucked into Hanna’s story from the very first pages.  She was someone that everyone can easily identify with and root for.  When she realized it wasn’t to be with her and Raid she picked herself up and made a great life.  That life provided the catalyst for her future with Raid.

Spot the cat

Jen:  Spot was the best but I liked him for the moments he provided between Hanna and Raid.

“You named a fat cat Spot,” Raiden stated.

“Yes,” I whispered.

His amazing eyes dropped my mouth.

I forgot my name.

“He wasn’t a fat cat then,” I stupidly went on. “Seeing as, back then, he was just a little kitty.”

His eyes came back to mine.

“You name a dog Spot,” he informed me.

“Okay,” I agreed (again, stupidly).

“Unless you’re cute. Then you name a cat Spot.”

Angela: For me Spot represented Hanna’s home life with Gram. Hanna loves and takes care of them and they love her. Their acceptance of Raid was important to Hanna and her feelings for him.

Sophia: I love it when a pet becomes a secondary character. Everyone with any sense is weary of Raid. He’s a dangerous man. But not Spot; being a typical cat he’s in charge, even of Raid. Spot provides a bit of comic relief and like Angela said, he’s part of Hanna’s family.

Gram

Angela: Gram! Wise, loving, sweet Gram who respected Hanna enough to warn her how hard it would be to love a man like Raid. One of the best parts of any KA novel is her wonderful secondary characters who give support and advice to the lead characters. Gram accepted Raid right from the start, I think she really wanted him for her beloved granddaughter.

I looked at her and smiled. “Love you, Grams.”

“I know, child. What do you think’s keepin’ me on this earth? Not easy to let go that kind of love. That kind of love’s got the power to hold you tethered to a world you should have left a long time ago.”

Jen:  How fabulous are KA’s secondary characters?  They make the books.  Gram was another perfect example of that.  And she was a hoot.

She waved a hand at me. “Don’t take away my fun.” Then she smiled and leaned my way. “Every Friday, him, in my yard, sweatin’ and mowin’ my lawn. Even old women need a thrill.” She settled back and closed her eyes. “That right there’s gonna be mine.”

Sophia: One of the things I love about KA’s books is how she writes supportive relationships between women. Well, except for the ex-wives and ex-girlfriends. :) Usually it’s the heroine’s best friend or group of good friends who provide support and a shoulder to cry on. Hanna has a BFF but it’s really Gram who is her rock. They are there for each other in different ways and I loved that Gram supported and trusted Hanna. Such a wonderful relationship there.

The Conflict

Sophia: I have to say, the conflict involving the drugs seemed a little weak at first until it got real toward the end. I found myself thinking we could have done without it for most of the story. Things really come to head at some point the action kicks into gear, but I could have taken it or left it.

Angela: The drug conflict seemed almost like background noise for most of the book, until everything comes to a head and then I almost wished it had been a little more prevalent  throughout the story. The climax scene kind of took me by surprise when it happened. The only complaint I had with this story was what happened after that scene. I wanted to see Raid get justice for Hanna, I wanted to follow his footsteps as he tracked down the men he was looking for and I didn’t want to see anyone else do what I thought was his right to do.

Jen:  There was conflict?  LOL My one complaint with the main conflict was that I saw it coming a mile away.  As soon as Marcus warned Raid about keeping Hanna safe there were neon signs flashing at me.  It was pretty obvious what was going to happen after.  I very much agree with Angela that I wanted to see Raid beat down the bad guy.  I thought that was too glossed over.  I needed some blood on the pages that wasn’t Hanna’s.

The Romance

Jen:  I was on the fence with the romance, at first.  When they went out on their first date and Hanna overheard a damning conversation I immediately got that sick feeling in my stomach.  I wasn’t Raiden Ulysses Miller’s bff at that point.  I thought that Raid had some serious making up to do but then we found out that Hanna missed about half of the conversation.  I eased back a little after that but there were still  a couple of times where I gave Raid some side looks.  As was mentioned above, he has a bit of a temper and he used it on Hanna.  It made me a little hesitant to buy into Raid as our hero but I guess that is the purpose of the Unfinished Heroes series.

Angela: There were several times I was a little disgruntled with Raid, the overheard phone conversation scene, the scene where she asks about his military buddies. But then again, one of the reasons I read KA is FOR the scenes that leave me with that knot in my throat and pain in my chest. I wish Hanna would have made him grovel a little more during the times he was an ass, I think that she forgave him too soon after some of the things that happen between them. I know he was working through his issues, but I didn’t think that gave him the right to be a dick to her.  At least he does everything he can after that to try and be a better man.

Sophia: Since I’ve read other books by KA I’ve come to know and expect that she will redeem her heroes when it comes to their asshole behavior. It doesn’t always work for me but I can appreciate the effort. I really liked Raid and I loved that Hanna finally got her man. I’m am such a sucker for stories where the hero or heroine fall in love very young. But, and this is a very big but, Raid crossed the line with his temper and how he directed it toward Hanna at one point. He grovels and apologizes, but maybe I needed more groveling? The scene took me out of the romance temporarily and I wish it never happened. Overall, I was invested in their romance and loved their love story.

The Sex

Jen:  I adore KA sex.  It was hot and sweet.  What more can I say about it?  Did you guys feel the same?

Angela: And dirty. KA can write some dirty sexy scenes. I almost think it seems so dirty because Hanna was such a good girl and Riad gets her to do some bad, bad things in bed. Things I don’t think she would have done for anyone else. For a minute there I thought we might be venturing into light bdsmland … but then, I realized it was just good old KA down and dirty loving.

Sophia: KA always brings with the sex scenes. Always. She didn’t let us down this time either.

To Sum Up:

Jen:  KA’s Unfinished Hero’s series is probably my least favorite of hers.  Of course, that wouldn’t stop me from buying them on release day but I don’t get as excited about them.  I am happy to say though that Raid has been my favorite so far.  Knight was a little over the top, Creed was more about Sylvie but, for me, Raid finally hit the right balance.  I loved Hanna and I thought Raid was a worthy match.  Two minor issues- I do not like the cover and I missed about 100 more pages.  Where was my KA length??  Can I make a request for Deacon and Rachelle as a couple?  Final grade- B+

Angela: I wanted more page time! I think the extra 100 pages could have been spent on Raid’s tracking down and punishing the people who hurt Hanna. This great story would have been amazing if we would have had an extra 100 pages of Raid’s vengeance for the woman he loves.The epilogue made up for it though. How great are KA’s epilogues?  By the end I did feel that this Unfinished Hero had redeemed himself. Final Grade: B+

Sophia: I didn’t miss the pages. Yes, perhaps there could have been a little more vengeance on Raid’s part in tracking down the bad guys therefore giving a bit more page time, but I appreciated that this book was more polished and most importantly edited. One of my complaints in the past has been the sometimes KA is too wordy and descriptive. I didn’t feel like that was the case this time and I felt like I could focus on the story without skimming. I loved the romance between Hanna and Raid, and I loved the familial relationships as well. The external conflict was a bit weak, but overall, I really enjoyed this installment of The Unfinished Hero series. Final Grade: B


Rating: B/B+
Raid by Kristen Ashley
February 28th 2013
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Knight and Creed, the first two books in the series are currently on sale for .99 cents each.

Giveaway

As part of the Raid Tour, Kristen Ashley is giving away some really great prizes. Leave a comment and checkout what’s being given away and enter with the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!

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This giveaway is sponsored by Kristen Ashley. Fiction Vixen will not be choosing the winners.

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Comments

  1. says

    Knight wasn’t my favorite KA read, and I was on the fence about Creed, but I really wanted to read Raid, and I hate to read out of order, so when Creed when to $.99 I went for it…am about halfway through and glad I bought it…I’ve got Raid up next as soon as I’m done :)

  2. Linda says

    Love this! =) I´m reading Knight at the moment and can´t wait for my chance to read this!
    Thanks for the giveaway & Happy Monday!
    //Linda

  3. KathyB says

    I loooved Knight, and I really didn’t think I would. I wasn’t sure this was the type of main character I could like. Oh boy was I wrong.

    Thanks for the review.

  4. Susan T. says

    Haven’t read this series yet, but am looking forward. Thanks for the great posting.