Deacon by Kristen Ashley
Series: Unfinished Hero #4
Also in this series: Knight, Creed, Raid
Published by Self-published on September 23, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Deacon has an ugly history, a history that broke him, leaving him a ghost of a man. Out of necessity, he left the normal world to descend into the criminal world and found he fit. So he stayed. Cold as ice and living off the grid, Deacon has no intention to connect, not with anyone.
Then he returns to some remote cabins in the Colorado Mountains and finds they have new owners. One of them is Cassidy Swallow, a young woman willing to work hard to live her quiet dream in a house by a river surrounded by aspen and pine.
Suddenly, Deacon finds he’s at war. Cassidy’s pull for him to connect is strong. He fights it, but he loses, always coming back for more. But when he does, he gives her nothing.
From the first time she sees him, Cassidy knows Deacon is dead inside. She knows he’s the kind of man who could destroy a woman. But one night when Deacon’s control slips, Cassidy takes a chance.
He might break her. He also might be her dream come true.
Well, what a ride that was. First I have to say that Kristen Ashley is one of the few authors that every single Dirty Girl adores. We have vastly differing opinions on which book is the best, who is our favorite KA hero, and which female lead we love the most or gets on our nerves the most for that matter, but we all agree that even the worst Kristen Ashley book is still a 4 or 5 star read. She’s just that talented. To say we were excited to finally get Deacon’s story is putting it mildly. A couple of us even took the day off work to get maximum reading time in. Those of us that are married warned our Dear Husbands that they would be in charge of kids, chores etc. because it was a Kristen Ashley release day. Our guys know what to expect and they know they will be rewarded very well for taking up our slack on those all important book release days.
The first half of this book was classic KA brilliance. I loved the characters she crafted. I loved the setting. I loved everything. I was all-out fangirling. Cassie was a great heroine. She knew what she wanted in life, and she went after it. She could function on her own and did not need a man to be complete. Deacon was a classic KA alpha male. He could get any point across with one word, or sometimes even a look. I was in KA alpha heaven.
Around the 54% mark, I was ready for some action. I mean, come on, this was an Unfinished Hero book, and I figured with Deacon constantly being touted as the baddest of the badasses, I was going to get some killer action in this book. Alas, I was destined to be disappointed. No action was to be found unless you counted Mr. Badass scaring people by looking mean.
Although I missed the head-cracking action, the other kind of action somewhat made up for it. This is hands down, the most erotic book KA has written to date and most of it was pure, panty-drenching goodness. Once Cassie and Deacon finally got together, the sex was hot. Toward the end, things took a turn that didn’t quite work for me.
As with all KA alphas, at some point they are going to have a serious alpha-asshole moment, Deacon definitely had his, and it was epic. Unfortunately, the resolution of this perfect example of alpha assholery was anything but epic. My comment after reading this – I feel cheated. Drag that shit out. Make us feel it, make me cry big crocodile tears and want to throw things. I even had to google two songs so I could figure out what the heck Cassie and Deacon were feeling because, instead of talking, they traded songs. I have to say, that was not KA’s finest moment. Deacon was losing man-card points every time he opened his mouth. I had several WTF moments, and a few “OMG, she really went there” ones too.
I enjoyed cameos from some of my favorite characters, and the set up for the next book was pretty ingenious, if not a little cliffhangerish. I will definitely be up at midnight cussing my East Coast Dirty Girls when they get their copies before me.
Was this book a little disappointing – yeah, but here’s the thing. A somewhat disappointing Kristen Ashley book is still a great book. My main problem was that I was expecting a true Unfinished Hero book with lots of baddest-of-the-badass bounty hunter action, and I got a Danielle Steel emotional saga instead. My rating – 4 stars. Next time I read it (Yes, there will be a next time. It has lots of KA goodness to keep coming back to.), I will be expecting an emotional drama, and I bet I give it 5 stars.
Spice’s Rating: 4 Stars
There is a lot of good and a lot that could have been better for me in this book. I’m a forever-and-ever fan of KA. I’m sure so far every one of her books has been a 5-star read for me, and this is, too. Even when I finished it feeling it could have been a whole lot better, I still loved it. She just has a voice that gets to me.
Now, I don’t feel that there has to be action in a KA book because, for example, Knight doesn’t have any action (though it does have lots of a different kind of action and no, I do not have a problem with the Daddy thing), but in this instance, the last bit fell flat enough for me that it could have used a little bit of action (let’s say a kidnapping, a drive-by, or some crazy-ass-psycho-murderer-admirer).
I enjoyed very much the slow build to their relationship, the getting to know each other, and the sharing of everyday stuff. This book is clearly about the romance between them, and nothing else.
When the drama unfolds, I was expecting it to be just that way. What I did not enjoy was the resolution of it. Cassidy was by no means a doormat, and I get that she knew Deacon was the only guy for her and that actions speak more than words but, come on! Make him work a little harder for it. He did have to overcome a lot of heavy shit, but he still should have grovelled at Cassidy’s feet, which he didn’t.
Deacon worked for me in a lot of ways, but I have to say this, if you’re a badass, you do not, under any circumstance, call yourself a badass.
What I was incredibly disappointed by was the epilogue. KA’s epilogues are the shit. I always think authors should learn to write epilogues from her, but this time it left me wanting for more, I mean, they didn’t even get married! I guess that we are just spoiled by all her great work.
Even after all that, it is still a 5-star read. Ms. Ashley, I know we readers want as many books as we can get in a year, but don’t stress about it. We can always do re-reads; so take your time, enjoy the process, and please, don’t stop writing kick-ass secondary characters and baby epilogues.
Sparkle’s Rating: 5 Stars
There is nothing better than spending time with KA and her characters. Sometimes they have me on edge. Other times they’re just good company. Deacon was the latter.
Deacon and Cassie’s story was one of reaching out to make a difference to people because you care about them. Although Deacon and Cassie had their struggles, overall they worked well together with their story, an easy one on the surface. Amongst the serenity, there was always something close and waiting to unsettle the beauty. Deacon was not one for a long yarn, and he had his reasons for keeping it all under wrap. He was a little quick to scarper and she a little quick to move on. Strangely, not within a time span, but rather in the coming to terms with a situation. The dramatics in their world was not the focus of the story, and I kind of wished that that had been included.
What I did find was a lot of leaps in time, and I found myself flicking back to check if I missed something. This happened again in the epilogue. That epilogue had the bones to what I was looking for in the rest of the story. I Understood that it wouldn’t have fit in until all was revealed, but if there was any way we could have had Daisy drop in a bit more and maybe the rest of that crew, that would have taken it from easy to awesome!
As usual, KA gave me another book that I’ve enjoyed. The Unfinished Hero series blew me away with Knight and Creed, not so much with Raid. Deacon was no Knight or Raid as far as stories go, but a good one all the same. Special mention with the choices of music, make sure you check them out as they are mentioned within the book!
Lily’s Rating: 3.5 Stars
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