Gifts by Brynne Asher
Series: The Killers #3
Also in this series: Vines, Paths
Published by Self-published on October 24th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy on Amazon
No one would say Keelie Lockhart isn’t determined. Taking on the role of both mom and dad to her two young kids, she’s managing life the best she can. Saddled with a century-old dilapidated farmhouse she can’t afford, a bevy of goats, two dogs, and a geriatric donkey, the last thing she has time for is a man—even if that man is a knight whose shining armor comes in the form of worn-in jeans and work boots.
Controlled, methodical, and focused—Asa Hollingsworth takes charge of everything in life. Working close to home after years away, he finally has the time to focus on his kids. Little does he know, a chance meeting with a petite, strawberry-blonde stranded on the side of the road, would intertwine their lives in a way he’d never want to untangle.
But when school bullies turn into something much worse, Asa starts to dig around. He never dreams the troubles lurking in the hallways of the local high school would shake his family to its core. With drug dealers lurking, bullets flying, and threats coming from every angle, Asa must do everything he can to protect the ones he loves.
Because in the end, there’s nothing more precious than the gift of life.
Warning: Oh, I’m sorry, that’s a fake ID. If you’re not eighteen, consider yourself bounced and walk away from my books. I’ll gladly welcome you back when you become a legit adult. That is, unless you’re my parents or my children. If so, walk away and don’t come back. You don’t need to know what’s in my head.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
Sometimes when a book has blown you away it’s very hard to start a review. Nothing you come up with can convey the level of awesomeness you just experienced, and every expression seems lacking somehow.
So, lamely all I can say is: Mother Forking WOW. This book, Gifts, is without a doubt Ms. Asher’s best yet. And as her previous books didn’t suck in the least, this one is just totally amazing. Does it sound like I’m fangirling? Well, I’m not actually, this book is just that good.
We’ve met Asa in the previous books, and to say he came off as a grumpy, aloof kind of badass is putting it mildly. Here we learn that he might be stingy with his words, but he is not so to his loved ones. Either way, he tends to speak with his actions. Sexy, surprisingly funny, bossy and deadly he is a dreamy H. His devotion to making up the time he lost with his two grown kids just amped up his hotness factor.
Keelie has been having a rough couple of years. A widow with two little kids, a ginormous fixer-upper farmhouse and a gazillion animals, she’s been struggling with her high-school counselor salary. When the first date she goes on after years goes from bad to OMG-I’m-never-going-out-on-a-date-ever-again, a knight in scruffy work boots saves the night. And when he turns out to be the father of one of the students assigned to her, she is either the luckiest woman alive or the complete opposite.
Riddled with issues after a less than perfect marriage that ended tragically, Asa has his work cut out for him convincing Keelie there’s something between them worth pursuing. But not only does he have to fight her every step of the way (not that she fights that hard, mind you), he needs to figure out what’s going on at school when his daughter’s bully problems turn into something way worse and bullets start flying.
Needless to say, I enjoyed Gifts so much I want to start a re-read like, right now. It is funny, sexy, and sweet. Watching Asa fall in love with Keelie’s kids was totally awesome, and witnessing all of them becoming a family was fabulous. Keelie and Asa’s chemistry is off the charts and their sexy shenanigans are scorching. I loved everything about this book. I’ve never laughed so much with a book from Ms. Asher before, there’s lots of action and suspense. Also, babies galore to keep everyone happy and super cute goats to top it all. I really liked how all their kids were fully fledged characters and were an important part of the story.
I LOVED IT ALL, and I don’t care if it sounds like I’m fangirling. I just can’t wait to see what comes next!
Sparkles’ rating: 5 “Let’s go straight to the good stuff” Stars
I was immediately drawn into Keelie’s world. She’s a widow with two young children who has allowed work and family life to consume her time. Her sister is determined to get her back a bit of time for herself and sets her up with a blind date. The only good thing to come out of that date was meeting a Good Samaritan by the name of Asa.
“We’re adults. I don’t need to date to know what I want.”
Asa was the main man who was armed with alpha-hotness and determined to not miss an opportunity to get to know Keelie better. He’s a fast worker and in less than a week the story goes from them just meeting to Keelie trying to determine the status of their relationship. They have hurdles to get through with both being single parents yet Asa had no issues eradicating any barriers that get between him and Keelie.
I loved the way their children and of course the menagerie of animals (mainly goats LOL) became the glue that held them together during the tough times. The dynamics of introducing the mixed ages of the children worked well for them all. The younger ones provided a healthy distraction to the teenagers while the teenagers showered the little ones with attention giving Keelie a much needed break.
Keelie was understandably hesitant in getting into a new relationship and she faltered at times halting the momentum. I wanted to shout out “Wake Up!” while at the same time wondering what the heck she was getting herself mixed up in.Her insecurities impacted on my appreciation of their steamy moments. They had chemistry, but I was still stuck wanting her to get her head straight first. It led me to start skimming some of the between the sheets action.
She has a good excuse to be cautious with her deceased husband not being a husband of the year candidate. Then she had the added conundrum of being a counsellor at the school Asa’s children attends. It was easier not to dwell on the complications with her work, so I filed that fact deep in the don’t-go-there section of my brain. Good move, because it worked out well with the romance/getting together aspect of the story I enjoyed.
The suspense was drummed up by the mystery slowly emerging in the background. I wanted to get deeper into this part of the story but while it was all covered, I longed for the build up to the action. The drama is all there, but the suspense was underplayed by not getting further into the mindset of the person who knew a lot more than they let on.
While I wanted more from the mystery surrounding the suspense I got a lot more than I wanted in the romance thought process Asa and Keelie shared throughout the story. I got that she was the one, I knew she was hesitant and I just wanted them to get on with it, LOL, They had drama to attend to outside of the bedroom.
I enjoyed reading Gifts. It has a bit of suspense, lots of family time mixed into a romance between two mature adults that blended well together. The goats and cameos from past characters were an added bonus!
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