Ride Steady by Kristen Ashley
Series: Chaos #3
Also in this series: , Rough Ride, Wild Like The Wind
Published by Forever on June 30th 2015
Genres: Biker / MC
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The ride of her life . . .
Once upon a time, Carissa Teodoro believed in happy endings. Money, marriage, motherhood: everything came easy---until she woke up to the ugly truth about her Prince Charming. Now a struggling, single mom and stranded by a flat tire, Carissa's pondering her mistakes when a vaguely familiar knight rides to her rescue on a ton of horsepower.
Climb on and hold tight . . .
In high school, Carson Steele was a bad boy loner who put Carissa on a pedestal where she stayed far beyond his reach. Today, he's the hard-bodied biker known only as Joker, and from the way Carissa's acting, it's clear she's falling fast. While catching her is irresistible, knowing what to do with her is a different story. A good girl like Carissa is the least likely fit with the Chaos Motorcycle Club. Too bad holding back is so damned hard. Now, as Joker's secrets are revealed and an outside threat endangers the club, Joker must decide whether to ride steady with Carissa---or ride away forever . . .
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
Spice here. I cannot tell you how excited we were when three of us got ARC’s for KA’s Ride Steady. The past few books KA has released, though mostly good, haven’t lived up to what we’ve come to expect from our all-time favorite author. But this was Chaos, one of our favorite series with some of our most beloved characters, so we couldn’t help ourselves.
We didn’t read it when we first got our ARC’s. Instead, we reread all the Dream Man books and the Chaos books first. Re-reading Motorcycle Man and Chaos was a good idea that reacquainted us with old friends and enhanced the experience.
Reading Ride Steady along with my girls was a blast. Having them fall for Joker and Carissa along with me made this book even better. We obviously don’t read books page for page together, being in different time zones and all, so seeing all the “I am loving this!” and “OMG, that was RAD!!!!” posts was a treat. When Carissa found her inner biker bitch and got back at a bad guy, Sparkles was giving out cyber high-fives. When we realized Carissa wasn’t going to have a TSTL moment (it was close, but our girl had it in hand) we were all jumping for joy (in our heads, of course).
My favorite exchange of all during the buddy read sums it up well.
Sparkles: @65% this whole dirty laundry conversation is bloody brilliant
Lily: The whole book was bloody brilliant IMO!
Well done, Ms. Ashley. Well done.
1. What made this book stand out for you? I loved how spot on KA was with Carissa’s emotions when her ex would pull something with the baby.
2. Use one word to describe the h – Selfless
3. Use one word to describe the H – Worthy
4. How would you rate this book on steam alone? 4 Stars
5. Favorite character and why – Carissa. I loved her “never give up” attitude.
Holy Crap!!! I smiled the entire time I read this book, sometimes through my tears since some of this book hit way to close to home for me, but I smiled just the same. Why? Because KA is back. Although it could use some tightening up in a couple places, I loved this book. I laughed, I choked up, I wanted to kill someone. I loved seeing the gang back, plus the surprise visits. I also fell in love with the Chaos MC (and Tack) all over again.
Carissa makes the perfect good girl biker bitch. Her struggles could resonate with every single mother out there who’s had to deal with an SOB for an ex. I loved her openness. I loved her attitude, and I loved her willingness to put so many others needs ahead of hers.
Joker didn’t supplant Tack in my biker book boyfriend list, but he got close. It takes a special man to be willing to take on another man’s child as his own, especially when that child comes with a sperm donor with a vendetta. Joker truly won me over with the way he fell in love with that baby. The emotional journey he made while he learned some things about what family meant and what he had all along was beautiful to behold and I am so glad KA took us along for that ride.
I loved that Ride Steady showcased people who step in when a child is struggling. From HS teachers to caring neighbors, this book was rich with characters who showed us how much showing you care even in the smallest (or biggest) of ways can make a huge difference to a child who’s in a bad way. I also loved that this book showcased situations where someone wants something so bad yet completely miss the fact that they already have it.
There was one thing that was a little off for me. I thought the whole thing with the ex was built up, then just fizzled out. I was not happy with how things ended up. It felt rushed, hard to swallow, and ultimately unfinished to me. Of course, I’m a bloodthirsty bitch, especially when it comes to kids being used as pawns, and it may be just me but I wanted rivers of blood and I didn’t get it. Overall though, this is beyond a 5 star book for me. I can’t wait to see what else KA has in store for Chaos.
Spice’s Rating: 5 absolutely thrilled Stars
1. What made this book stand out for you? Well, this one had a lot of good things going on, but I really loved how both main characters where mature and had taken all of the hard stuff they had to go through to become better persons, and not let their circumstances make them bitter.
2. Use one word to describe the h – Genuinely Caring (I know it’s not one word, can’t do it, sorry :P)
3. Use one word to describe the H – Amazing
4. How would you rate this book on steam alone? 4 Stars
5. Favorite character and why – Ok, this is a tough one, this book had several great characters, and then there’s Tack. But if I have to choose only one, I’d go with Joker. He overcomes a really bad childhood and still becomes a great human being, he could have gone really wrong but still managed to let his light shine through. I’m impressed with this character really.
This time I didn’t read the teaser chapters, I was going to wait until release day and then dive in into this new installment of the Chaos series. Imagine my joy and surprise when a friend told me this was available on Netgalley. And when I got approved? You would have thought I won the lottery! This was huge.
Now, I’m not gonna lie, the last few KA books, while good (because they’re still KA) weren’t as… KA as the old ones; so I went in to this one extremely cautious and with no expectations. All I can say now is that it seems our KA has gotten her groove back. I LOVED this book. Actually we re-read the whole series getting ready for this one and I have forgotten how good our Chaos Bikers are. Yummy, alpha, sweet…. I’ve been in KA Heaven.
So, Carson “Joker” Steele had a very rough upbringing, he was the brooding bad boy loner in school that all the girls wanted to get in the pants of, he didn’t exactly mind this attention but he had eyes for only one girl. Carrie.
Carissa Teodoro’s early life, while good, had some difficult times to get over too. And her adult life didn’t exactly start with a bang. Or well, it did, if divorced while pregnant and then have your lawyer ex-husband put in motion a very Machiavellian plan to get custody of your baby while you work your ass off to stay afloat can be considered a bang.
But true love will prevail, as fate puts this Darkish Knight on the right highway at the right time to save the delightful damsel in distress from a flat tire. Then these two lovely people, with all they had to learn in their short-ish life, will know exactly what to do when a good thing, and incidentally that thing you’ve always wanted, is right in front of you.
Ride Steady finally had that old feeling of goodness all the time. There are no home décor tributes, nor excessively repeated detailed minutiae of their every day routine. I mean, I don’t mind some, for me it builds to the real feel to a read, but there is such thing as TMI if we’ve talked about coffee 20 times in one chapter xD
For me this story had the perfect balance between relationship building, club business going on, action and (very hot) sexy times. We get to see all our previous book boyfriends, Tack (we get to see a lot of him, and let’s just say… come to mama!), Shy, Hop, Hawk, Slim, Mitch, and the whole club family.
This was great KA, a fantastic addition to the Chaos family and an absolutely lovely read of people getting what they deserve, because karma is a bitch only when you have been an asshole.
I have only one issue with this book, and it’s saddens me to say it, but I was crushed, CRUSHED by the epilogue. It threw me completely for a loop. Ms. Ashley, you know better than this. How could you give me an epilogue form Joker’s mother-effing dickwad of a father PoV?????!!! I wanted more babies, more Joker, more Carrie.
This one time I’ll let it slide, because I love you and have a shrine dedicated to you in my closet. But you better give me some love in the next installment. Yeah?
Sparkles Rating: 5 Stars
1. What made this book stand out for you? The people that were looking out for Carson Steele as a child and beyond
2. Use one word to describe the h – Independent
3. Use one word to describe the H – Hard
4. How would you rate this book on steam alone? 4 Stars
5. Favorite character and why – Joker – he had so much to overcome from his tragic childhood and yet he was still so caring and thoughtful. Sadly just not to himself.
I was so excited when my ARC for Ride Steady had been approved and immediately some of us girls decided that we would embark on an epic read of the Dream Men and Chaos Series in preparation for this book. Best decision ever! And that is saying something, I cleared my reading schedule to do so…
Joker begins life as Carson Steele, left to fend for himself through the poor excuses of parents he was landed with being a non-existent mother and an abusive father. Thankfully he has enough good people that manage to slip under his father’s radar and do what they could to ease his situation. Somehow he manages to survive, counting down the days to his independence. It’s a grim start to the story, but there’s also lots of beauty that Carson doesn’t miss. He sees that people care, he appreciates what they do and although he feels like he’s doing it on his own he takes those lessons of humanity with him into his adult life, including becoming a patched member of Chaos.
Carissa Teodora has a beauty that is deep, extending beyond the physical. She is kind and thoughtful. Joker and Carissa went to the same high school but they were worlds apart. Joker made sure that their paths didn’t cross. She was too good to be spoilt by his darkness that seemed to follow him. Doesn’t mean that he didn’t notice her and he had no idea whether she noticed him or not. Years later, fate brings them together but only one of them is aware of the card fate has dealt them.
Life hasn’t been as kind to Carissa aka Carrie as she dreamt it would be, she has ended up a stranded young mother fighting a cruel and uncaring ex-husband over the custody of their young son. Tack overhears her conversation about the latest cruel move her ex plays and seizes an opportunity to do right by a woman he deems worthy of the club’s support. Carrie is a proud woman, she needs to manage this mess on her own. All of a sudden her pride goes out the door and she begrudgingly accepts the help Chaos has put in place at the same time as feeling the weight of being a ‘charity case’.
With Joker consumed by the past and Carrie distracted by the immediate situation, it comes down to the matchmaking skills of cupid’s assistants aka Joker’s chosen family. When common sense prevails and they do join forces, her ex finally meets his match. Suddenly the one considering getting on their knees is not Carrie.
A wonderful story of love overcoming darkness in a way that all you are left with is the beauty of what is left. As in previous KA’s books, it’s the chosen family that comes through and acceptance is not reliant on a blood connection. The epilogue was a little short and slightly on the cryptic side, yet ‘hearing’ Louis Armstrong singing “What a Wonderful World” and Tack agreeing with Louis as he sung “Oh Yeah” left me in a happy space!
What I loved:
• The interaction of favourite characters from previous books, especially Tack
• How Carrie got her nickname ‘Butterfly’, he noticed!
• The story of the flag and why Mrs Heely kept it
• Tabby helping Carrie out with the low down on what to expect a Chaos gathering
• Angie – an Angel of the legal world
• Mr Robinson – The teacher who never gave up
• Linus – family time 🙂
What I struggled with:
• Jefferson Steele – Sad excuse for a father, the abuse and neglect
• The shortness of the epilogue, I always look forward to KA’s very generous endings, this one I read twice, it felt a little rushed but upon the second reading it was evident that the important details were answered
Lily’s Rating: 5 Stars
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