For You by Kristen Ashley and narrated by Liz Thompson #AudioBookReview

For You by Kristen Ashley and narrated by Liz Thompson #AudioBookReviewFor You by Kristen Ashley

Series: #1 The Burbs
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Published by Audible Studios on May 12, 2015
Length: 18 hours 15 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
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four-stars  

I’m a fan of the author and when I got this chance to try one of her books in audio format, I jumped on it. I loved the blend of Anytown USA charm, average joe characters, sensual romance and intense suspense. The book got a bit long at times, but overall, I was into it.

The story opens with a horrific murder discovered at the back of J&J’s bar. Detective Alexander ‘Colt’ Colton is called in to investigate and it is soon obvious that the killer was making a statement to February Owens co-owner of the bar. The butchered body of long-time bar patron and slutty woman is the killer’s valentine to Feb. Unfortunately, this is just the beginning. Everyone who has ever wronged Feb is now on the killer’s list. The case is brutal, but the close contact with his one-time childhood sweetheart that he was ready to marry until she inexplicably broke it off, went wild, married a loser, divorced, and then ran off for a couple of decades before coming home and treating him to more distance, makes it even harder. He was hurt so badly by her actions and now she acts like he’s got the plague or the rare times when she acts like he did something to break them up. But, he was adopted into her family and against his own better judgment, he still loves Feb Owens.

Feb lost herself in the years since she broke things off with Colt, but she finally found her way home to run the family bar with her brother, Morrie. It’s a small town and its tough knowing that everyone thought she would end up with Colt just like she did and then she earned that wild reputation before stupidly marrying a guy who mistreated her with Colt being her rescuer. She couldn’t stand the whispers and looks so she ran. But now, someone watches from the shadows and has a sick fascination with her causing her to have to rely on Colt and his ability to both protect her and figure out who is doing all this. Her stupid heart still wants Colt even after what he did all those years ago. She’s held in a lot of hurt and thoughts for so long. Maybe its time to let it all go and start fresh? That is if a cunning killer will let her.

Alright, so this one has a lot going on. It leaps out the gates at the start with the intro of a murder. But then once that story line gets going, it takes a breather to establish the setting, the characters and the connections in the present and the past. Right away it is obvious that there is a BIG (with all caps) misunderstanding between Colt and Feb. She seems to think he did something awful enough back in the day that warranted breaking off their relationship and basically losing herself for a few decades staying silent about it even with her family while on the other hand, Colt never did know what caused her to break things off and start treating him the way she did. The story spends a long time going back and forth progressing both the suspense line and slowly bringing things steadily toward a head with this romance barrier.

This was a tough one for me to have patience because as the reader I was well aware that the way the author described the hero meant the heroine had it all wrong and she broke them both and hurt her family when she pulled the cord and bailed. I really don’t like it when someone has a problem and their solution is to cut the lines of communication. In this instance, she holds her grudge for over twenty years. It was utterly ridiculous and I really wanted to smack her good. The author realizes this so when the big reveal happens and the truth comes out, Feb gets to feel it all- the remorse, the guilt, and the pain of what she did to her own relationship, to Colt, to her family, and all the years that were lost. And Colt isn’t instantly forgiving and understanding when he realizes her part in his pain when she ditched him without checking things out better.

If that wasn’t enough, there was what I thought were unnecessary scenes when Feb’s past friends with benefits while she was out playing wanderer were thrown up in Colt’s face. One, Ham Reese, is actually the hero in one of the Colorado Mountain series books. This really didn’t have to be in the book to make it work so I would have been good to have missed it since it really didn’t do anything for my already iffy respect for the heroine. The book kept telling me that she’s special and I suppose she did have some good qualities, but all this stuff left me not really in the Feb Owens fan club.

So, that being said, this was still a really good romance and I loved these two together once they ironed out the issues. They were playful and hot and really worked.

The circle of friends and family was a big plus. I loved several of the secondary characters particularly Feb’s brother. These folks are so down to earth.

The suspense portion was horrific, but also pretty sad and pitiful. I shouldn’t feel that way about a villain who does what he does, but this person is sick of mind and not just in his actions. Lots of twists and exciting moments so that knowing who and why was only half the battle.

The narration was decent and I was pretty impressed considering this was a long one with lots of characters. Her voice is on the raspy side, but I thought she did well conveying emotion and personality for each character. Hearing a KA story in audio really brings out her writing style which as those familiar know can get choppy and not full sentences.

In the end, I enjoyed this one and enjoyed my time in The Burb world. I would definitely listen to more from the series and other books by this narrator. I would recommend the story for Romantic Suspense fans who don’t mind a long-developing story.

My thanks to Audible.com for the opportunity to listen to this story in exchange for an honest review.

Cliché Klatch #123 ‘Had to experience hell to understand heaven

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • I’ll soon be reading her Fantasyland series, then her Ghosts and reincarnation series (I own them all), then I’ll move on to their other books 🙂 Excellent review, Sophia, I need to read more about this author or I’ll think of myself as a klutz 😉

    • LOL! Yes KA is one of the romance reader milestones. I think we all have to take the plunge and get our romance cards punched. I started with her Dream Man series then Chaos and then one from Colorado Mountain. I have two more Colorado Mountain and one Rock Chick on the TBR pile. At one time, if you joined her newsletter, you got a code for a free book or at least big discounts. Maybe its still going on.

      I still want to read the Unfinished Hero and Magdalene series as well as more of this one.

  • RO

    I keep kicking myself because I really need to get into more audio books, but I love a good romantic suspense novel. Good review! Hugs…

    • My goal is to listen to at least one a month. This one was a really long book and the next one I have is long too so I might not make that goal. Audio does something different to the book experience when someone else is doing the reading. I like some and not others, but mostly it depends on how they interpret the characters manners and moods. Hope you get the chance soon, Ro!

  • Lindy Gomez

    I love Kristen Ashley, but have noticed that all of her stories are really long. For You sounds like a very intriguing and suspenseful read with a such, deranged, and twisted villain! You have my interest piqued on this one. Twists, excitement, romance, and great characters make me want to read it! Awesome Review Sophia 🙂

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

    • Yay! I did my job as your book temptress, Lindy.

      I have read several of her books, but this was the first time I listened to one. And with that change in dynamics I felt the story’s pace more I think. But yes, there is lots of good stuff going on in this one.

  • oh you know I haven’t read this author, but she has been on my list for quite some time now. I really loved your thoughts on this one, I am pretty sure I wouldn’t care for the heroine but i can be good to read a story that takes a while to get the couple work out their issues. But I do have to be in the right mood for it.

    • I know what you mean about being in the mood plus it helps to know what to expect. She wasn’t an awful person and I even liked her outside that big issue that she let go way to long and hurt so many people. I love how KA can write down to earth, ordinary people and make it all interesting and good. I started with her Mystery Man and the heroine drove me nuts, but it didn’t keep me from reading the other three books in that series and moving into the spin-off Chaos MC series.