Review: Fire Inside (Chaos, #2) by Kristen Ashley

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Warning! KA-induced gush-fest ahead!!! 

This book seems to be getting a lot of mixed reviews, but I loved Lanie and Hop’s story!

We were first introduced to Lanie and Hop in Motorcycle Man. Lanie is the best friend of Tyra, and Hopper ‘Hop’ Kincaid is one of Tack’s biker brothers from the Chaos MC. Hop and Lanie also appear in Own the Wind, where we see that something is happening between them. The action in this book takes place within the same timeframe as Own the Wind, and there are some very brief glimpses of things going on with Tabby and Shy throughout the story. But, it’s very strongly focused on Lanie and Hop.

Lanie has been through hell ever since the horrific events of her past…

Determined to protect herself, she switches off and lives her life on her own, not interested in having a man in her life.

“I not only had nothing left to give, I just had nothing.
And I was going to keep it that way.
If you had nothing, you couldn’t feel more pain because you had nothing left to lose.”

But that doesn’t mean the woman doesn’t have needs. And, having spent years hanging out at the Chaos compound, she knows what she needs, and she wants it from Hop. So what’s a girl to do but be direct about it…

“Wanna fuck?”
At her question, his gaze sliced back to hers as he felt his body jerk in shock.
“Say again?” he asked.
She leaned in slightly, never looking away and repeated, “Wanna fuck?” 

Hahaha, you go, girl!!! But as much as Hop likes Lanie, and appreciates her for all that she has to offer, he knows that she has issues, and is hesitant to get involved with her – he doesn’t ‘do’ complicated. But he can’t resist her offer of one night, no strings.

Of course, one night turns out to be nowhere near enough for either of them, and HOLY HOTNESS things get STEAMY! There’s lots of sexy time, and fuck buddies turns into something a lot deeper as Lanie and Hop start to open up to each other, and slowly fall for each other. However Lanie is traumatised by her past and is still holding back, afraid of getting hurt again. But Hop is all kinds of awesome, and I love the way that he fights for her.

“Lady, look at me,” Hop ordered gently.
I opened my eyes.
“Take a chance on me,” he whispered.
“No,” I whispered back.
“Take a chance on me,” he repeated.
“No,” I repeated too.
“Baby,” his lips dropped to mine but his eyes didn’t let mine go, “Christ, I’m beggin’ you, let me in. Let me help. Let me in so I can untie that shit you got wound up inside you. 

Our introduction to Hop in Motorcycle Man is not exactly a positive one, but getting to know him in this book, I totally fell for him! Not everything is as it seems with him, and he has a lot going on behind a seemingly calm exterior. But it is his determination to be there for Lanie, and help her find her way again that had me swooning like an idiot. He is absolutely sensational.

“Are you real?” I asked his skin.
“Baby, you’re standing in my arms,” he answered.
“Please be real,” I whispered.
“Feel this.” He gave me a squeeze. “I’m real, Lanie.”

And, of course, his absolute faith in their future together, despite all of her protests, is hilarious and a wee bit swoony.

“You won’t let me in, I’ll break in, sneak in, blast in,” he promised.

“Let you in on a secret, babe, and you think on this … I’m already in. Just gotta wait for you to realize it.”

There are many ups and downs for Lanie and Hop – and a lot of it is self-inflicted and stupid. They both have demons in their pasts, and as frustrating as it was at times, I loved watching them both figure themselves out and find their way together, simply unable to be apart.

“You mean somethin’ to me in a way, for a man, he wants the world to know it. I’m proud you’re on my arm and in my bed and I want to share that with my family. Don’t keep takin’ that away from me.”

“Never, not in forty fuckin’ years of life, have I had a woman who I felt about like I feel about you.”

“You aren’t gonna lose me,” he promised.
“You can’t promise that,” I snapped.
“Yeah, I fuckin’ can,” he shot back.”

The language and character behavior is a little on the extreme end of the KA-spectrum with lots of Alpha-ness going on (including a scene featuring handcuffs that had me laughing out loud!), and the dialogue in written in a way that is pure KA…

“I’d like to request that you stop telling me my head’s fucked up.”
“Let me help you get it straight, I’ll quit tellin’ you that shit,” he retorted.
… “Hop, I keep telling you that isn’t going to happen.”
“And Lanie, clue in, I’m not 
not gonna let it happen.”

Aaaaahhh, the classic KA banter. Her guys are always so determined, and you’ve gotta love them for that! Yep, it’s the same sort of dialogue, and the same sort of story that is in most of her other books, but, for me, it’s the literary equivalent of comfort food. I know what to expect going in, I know how it’s going to make me feel, and I know I’m going to love it, so it’s just a matter of sitting back and basking in it.

Sure, it’s not got as much action as other KA books, it’s actually got very little storyline outside of the romance and the lives of the two main characters, but I totally don’t care! It absolutely worked for me, and I was lost in my own little KA-love-bubble, eagerly flipping pages. As always, we get a deeply emotional story with a sensational romance, featuring a strong, Alpha male determined to get his woman, giving us heaps of swoon along the way.

“Every step, every breath, every second I lived on this earth, I’m thankful for, no matter how fucked up or whacked or hard or good, ‘cause all that shit led me to you.”

“Honey,” I called and his head came up. “You have a monster too.”
“I did. My woman just slayed it.”

And my personal favourite…

“I don’t use you as a shield. I am the goddamn shield” 

I loved this story, and can’t wait for more from the Chaos boys, and the action that is hinted at for their future.

“I think I have a clue how much you love me now, Hop,” I told him when he broke the kiss.
“Good to know, baby,” he said through a grin.
“Thank you,” I whispered.
“So far from a hardship, it isn’t funny, lady, but you’re welcome.”

4.5 stars.


The Chaos series


Own The Wind (#1) (Shy & Tabby)
Buy:  Kindle Ebook  |  Paperback  |  Audio

Fire Inside (#2)  (Hop & Lanie)
Buy:  Kindle Ebook  |  Paperback  |  Audio

Ride Steady (#3) (Joker & Carissa)
Buy:  Kindle Ebook  |  Paperback  |  Audio

Walk Through Fire (#4) (High & Millie)
Buy:  Kindle Ebook  |  Paperback  | Audio

Rough Ride (#4.5) (Snapper & Rosie)
To be released 13 February 2018
Pre-order:  Kindle Ebook  |  Paperback


For more KA awesomeness, check out our Kristen Ashley Author Spotlight



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