Rough Ride: A Chaos Novella by Kristen Ashley
Motorcycle Club Book. Marketed as a Standalone, I think it should be read in series order.
Most of you all know I am a Kristen Ashley freak. There is this feeling of coming home every time I read a Kristen Ashley book. It kind of soothes me to read them, they seriously bring me a stupid amount of joy. I felt this way throughout 87% of Rough Ride, loving every word. Then I was just completely lost.
1001 Dark Nights books are meant to be standalones that can introduce new readers to a series. Though Rough Ride is marketed as a standalone, I would say it is absolutely not, and I really wish I had re-read the Chaos Series before reading this, maybe I wouldn’t feel so lost at the end. I happened to have Ride Steady on audio, so I listened to that (and loved it) prior to Rough Ride, just to give me a little refresh on Chaos (I also listened to Motorcycle Man again a few months ago). It was not enough. Rosalie was introduced in Own the Wind, so maybe I should have started from the beginning. Now I want to! I read it FIVE years ago. I can’t remember yesterday, let alone side characters in a book from 5 years ago. If I hadn’t listened to Ride Steady, I would have been even more lost.
Now to get back to the meat of the story, which I absolutely LOVED. Rosalie has not had great luck in the man department. First she was with Shy who dumped her for Tabby in Own the Wind. Then she moved on to a guy in a rival club. But this club is not the good kind, and Rosalie wanted to pull her man out of the club that will surely get him killed or arrested—scare him straight. She did this by spying for Chaos and her contact was Snapper–until she got caught by Bounty and beat almost to death by her boyfriend and his club.
Snapper was a good guy, from a good family. He had no dark past that made him into an outlaw, he just liked the idea a family through thick and thin. Don’t get me wrong, he is completely alpha and tough, but kind of a boy next door at the same time. He would rather stay home with a book and his girl than go to a biker party, but he still loved his brothers.
“I fell for you when you were Shy’s and if you think that now, when you need me most, now, when I finally, fuckin’ finally got a clear shot, I’m givin’ up, think again, Rosie.”
Rosie was falling for Snapper all along, but she is done with men. After Shy dumped her and the next guy had her beaten up, she was DONE. I loved Rosie. Her background was great, her dad was a nomad biker who was a good guy, and she was always looking for a man like that and a love like he had with her mom (who was awesome too, I’d love to read her story!). You know the KA men though, they don’t give up.
Sigh….I just loved Snapper.
Rough Ride was a fun visit to Denver. We got to catch up with all of Chaos and even visit Fortnums for some Rock Chicks and Tex. We had the Nightingale boys as well. And of course all the Chaos Old Ladies took her right under their wing, and there wasn’t even any awkward between her and Tabby. It was a little bit cheesy at times, but I liked that cheese. It really focused on all the good that Chaos is, and how many wonderful family men there were in the club (Does this exist? Good-guy vigilante clubs who never cheat?)
“Life, Rosie,” he said gently, “is not about goin’ it alone. It’s about finding the right people to share it with who will make it better when it’s good and be there to hold you steady when it’s not.”
But there is a war brewing throughout the series, and towards the end we are reminded of it. There was a large scene with mention of a package which is niggling a memory in my mind from a previous book that I can’t put my finger on, so I started to get lost. Then there is some serious foreshadowing of the larger war to come leaving us with kind of a cliffy.
The epilogue especially had so many names and characters I felt completely lost. I just couldn’t remember half of them, plus KA was deliberately vague so she could set up Hound and Keely’s story. I re-read the epilogue 3 times and I’m still a little lost. I can’t imagine that someone entering the series for the first time would not be even more lost.
- I loved Snapper. He was a good guy through and through.
- It was impossible to not love Rosalie as well. And her mom.
- Even though it was short, KA’s signature descriptions made it feel like a movie in your head.
- Kristen Ashley’s writing sucks me in every time.
- A ton of amazing quotes, mostly by Snapper.
- Visiting with previous characters of Chaos, Dream Man and Rock Chick Series.
- Not quite a standalone.
- So many characters mentioned that I didn’t remember.
- Not enough explaining the background of what is going on.
- I felt like a series re-read was necessary to fully love this.
- The epilogue was more of a foreshadowing setup for the next book, Wild Like the Wind.
The Down and Dirty:
Rating: 4 stars, 4 heat