Review: Fire Inside by Kristen Ashley

Review: Fire Inside by Kristen AshleyFire Inside by Kristen Ashley

Series: Chaos,
Genres: Motorcycle Club Romance
Published by Forever on June 4, 2013
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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four-stars  

Lately, I have really enjoyed motorcycle romances by this author. They have the right amount of yummy bad boy and sassy gal against the gritty Motorcycle Club backdrop. This story chronologically takes place at the same time as ‘Own the Wind’, but with a different Chaos associated couple. The hero is one of the members of Chaos and the heroine the best friend of the heroine of ‘Motorcycle Man’ and it should be read after that one and ‘Own the Wind’ to make sense since the storyline is a continuation of these other books.

The story opens when Lanie, a gal who has taken some pretty hard knocks recently, approaches Hop for a one night stand. He is uncomfortable with the idea thinking he doesn’t need complications, but takes her at her word since he’s far from indifferent to her.

What begins with an understanding to keep it to the physical and walk away after the one night, gets complicated when the night reveals they have a true attraction. Lanie denies the obvious, but Hop won’t let her brush him off. He fights for what they can have together. Eventually, he batters down her wall and they slip into the habit of getting into bed together each night keeping things from their friends and the rest of the club. The merely physical slowly becomes something more all the while she works her advertising job and he goes about Chaos assignments. They weather a weekend with her dysfunctional parents which takes things to a new level. Lanie resists each little step trying to protect herself from the gamble that feelings will lead to more pain. Hop is taking as big of a risk in opening himself to a new relationship as Lanie, but she’s too mix-up to see it. She’s a drama llama and she is quick to assume the worst about Hop, but Hop has his own pre-conceived notions about her too. Their fragile relationship of two opposites may not survive the scars of their pasts or when it comes to light amongst their friends.

The plot of this one is more character-driven than action-driven story. It required a great deal of patience for me to read through much of it because Lanie’s ability to jump to the wrong conclusions and fan the flames of angst just annoyed the heck out of me. That being said, I still very much enjoyed the story. The pacing ambles along and its a bit of an adjustment after reading the author’s other books.

As to the characters themselves, its great that the characters introduced in previous books still get significant page time since Kristen Ashley’s characters are the best part of her stories to me. I liked Hop’s character from the other books and felt sorry for him with all that went down between him and Mitzy. I was happy he wanted something with Lanie and that he was strong enough to deal with her issues until she could heal. He’s as upfront, brutally honest, alpha male as the rest of the brothers in Chaos. I find it humorous when the ‘this is how it’s going to be’ speeches happen and the explosive reaction from their women to this bit of highhandedness. Have to say, my favorite part of each of these books is getting the background on each new motorcycle club member and how they came to be a part of the club and I enjoy seeing what woman will be paired with them. Even though I was nearly out of patience with Lanie in this one, she and Hop were good for each other too. They certainly heated up the bedroom and they had some sweet moments especially with his kids (I adored Hop’s kids).

The plotline involving Benito the drug pusher guy trying to hone in on Chaos territory doesn’t advance much, but more details are given as Hop has a big role in patrolling Chaos territory and driving back Benito’s people.

In the end, I found it a good installment in the series though it probably won’t be my favorite. I recommend this series to those who enjoy Contemporary Romance with Biker heroes and their sassy ladies where the romance is on the spicier side.

Thanks to Net Galley for provide a copy of the book for review purposes.

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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 have this book hanging out on my shelf. I want to read it but I am slightly hesitant. I don’t dig the drama llama thing. Kristen Ashley rarely fails to deliver a great story though. Kind of torn.

    • Sophia Rose

      I know what you mean about the issue with too much drama, Persephone. I don’t mind an ‘acceptable’ amount, but when it seems the character is almost searching for reasons then I get irritated. Half of the original series, Dream Man, was relatively drama-free IMHO and it looks like this one is about half and half too.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • Elizabeth

    I know what you mean about this one. I love Kristen Ashley books but this one was a bit different and I too still liked it. I think that maybe I just wasn’t a big fan of Lanie’s and I wasn’t real sure about she and Hop together, but there was just something about it that I finished it in no time at all. LOL I look forward to the next in the series. Great review Sophia Rose…right on the money!!

    • Sophia Rose

      Yay! Thanks for the kind words, Elizabeth! Her books do leave one with the ability to enjoy the story even if a character causes irritation. I’m sticking with the series too.