Carissa Teodoro once lived a happy, picture perfect life. Handsome, successful husband, gorgeous home and baby on the way. Now she’s a single mother raising her son on a supermarket salary and driving a beat up old car. She can’t pay her lawyer’s fees and is pretty sure her ex is trying to slowly take her child away. Being stuck on the side of the road with a flat just seems par for course in her life. Until a biker named Joker rolls up wearing a Chaos MC cut and offers to help.
Carson Steele immediately recognizes the young mother on the side of the road. Of course he does, she was once the brightest spot in his otherwise miserable childhood. Many years have past, but he will always remember the last face he saw before he busted out-of-town and left his father behind. Now a member of the Chaos MC whose skills as a mechanic and talented artist keep him busy, he thinks he has everything he needs in his life. But when he sees Carissa on the side of the road he can’t help but try to make it all better.
In the interest of full disclosure, I had absolutely no idea who Joker was when I read the blurb for the first time. Not that I cared, because I adore Ashley bikers and this seems to be the one series by this author that never lets me down. Joker is exactly what you think he might be… he’s hard-bodied, gruff and keeps his feelings to himself. Not even his brothers in the club know much about his past and he’s not one to share. When Clarissa walks back into his life he can’t help but try to make things a bit easier on her. Despite the fact that she doesn’t remember him. He takes over by having her broken down car fixed, arranges to have the Chaos lawyer help her and is basically a force of nature aiming to help his Butterfly get back on her feet. But at the same time he tries to keep her at arm’s length thinking he has nothing to offer her.
Carrie is the typical Ashley heroine. She might be down on her luck, but she’s tough, loving and kind. She doesn’t want pity. Joker is a mystery to her at first. She really doesn’t understand why he keeps helping her, but doesn’t seem to want anything else to do with her. That is until he does, then he is all in. All in. I can honestly tell you hard-bodied, gruff bikers make damn fine loving partners and surrogate fathers.
Carrie and Joker together are wonderful. Ashley builds the romance slowly at first and then lets it loose on the page to sweep readers into this story. Once Joker get’s his shit together and decides to be who Carrie needs he becomes an amazing hero. I especially loved that these two had open communication and once together did seem to resolve issues together, as a team. And there is a lot of conflict going on around them, most of it revolving around Carrie’s loser ex-husband. Joker is protective, but not controlling or overbearing. Carrie is smart and capable, knows when to accept help and when to stand her ground. Both have been dealt tough cards in their lives and it was a beautiful thing to watch them build something new and special together.
I won’t even get into how hot these two are. Because they are. So, so hot.
If you’ve missed any of the Chaos crew, they all make appearances. Tabby and Shy, Hop and Lanie, Tack and Tyra, even Rush and Elvira. The gang is all here and just as engaging and endearing as in previous installments. I truly do miss these guys while I’m waiting for the newest release. They provide unwavering support and reinforce the notion that Chaos MC is truly a family. The women will swallow you up and whisk you away for shopping trips and advice while the bikers will take care of any threats coming. These people are solidly behind each other and Kristen Ashley has always written these types of relationships very well.
This book hit all my buttons. I loved getting back to the old school Ashley and couldn’t have been more happy with the romance. I’m already looking forward to the next book in the series which is High’s story. Walk Through Fire is set for release in October of this year. Final Grade- B+
Fuck, he loved her.
Straight up, down to his gut, for the rest of his life, loved her.