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What else can I say about KA that I haven’t said before? Pretty much, nothing. The woman is amazing, and has proven that she can write anything, and with this book she has given us another beautiful addition to the Colorado Mountain series. It’s a gorgeously beautiful, slow burning romance that is full of intensity, sexual tension, laugh-out-loud moments, sweet and fun times, and a blisteringly passionate love story. And once again, I was completely wrapped up in her writing, and I loved every moment of Deke and Justice’s story.
Wither to dust, crumble like rust,
Only by your side.
We meet Justice when she is travelling America with her two best girlfriends. As the daughters of famous and wealthy parents, they live a privileged life, and they live it to its fullest, but Justice is starting to feel like she needs to settle her wandering and embrace a “less that’s more” lifestyle. It is while she is pondering this that she spies a man who literally takes her breath away. She shares an intense moment with the man who introduces himself as ‘Deke’, a life-changing moment where she knows deep down in her heart that this is the man for her, and he leaves with a promise to meet up the following day. But he never shows.
Seven years later and Justice’s life has changed dramatically. She has continued her family legacy by becoming a singer and releasing a hugely successful album which bought her fame, fortune and adoration, but she’s giving it all up for a simple life. And after the death of her beloved father only months before, she has escaped to the mountains of Colorado to start a new life of peace. And on her first night in Carnal, she heads to Bubba’s bar and who should she see, but Deke – the man who captivates her just as much as he did all those years ago, but who doesn’t seem to recognise her.
Justice has bought herself a secluded house that is only half-built, so contractor Max (squee) sets her up with a builder to get her building re-started until he can send a full team to her to finish the job. Of course, that builder is Deke. He appears cold, gruff, and anti-social, but Justice is all light and sunshine, and though she’s gutted that he doesn’t recognise her after he made such an impact on her life, she is her usual bright self, and Deke can’t help but be reluctantly drawn into her warmth and friendliness.
“Napkins,” she declared, waving some in the air. “No plates, dude. Sorry. And only plastic cutlery. So sorry again.”
“I look like a man who gives a shit about plastic forks?” he asked.
“Not really,” she answered.
“That’s ’cause I’m not.”
“That’s good, Deke, but I have no plates either.”
“You got some flesh-eating virus I’ll get from sharin’ a bag of chips and a tub of macaroni salad with you?” he asked.
“Not that I know of,” she answered.
“Then we’re good.” She said nothing and he didn’t look at her face because he could actually fucking feel she was smiling.
He squatted and reached into the bag. “Open a beer for me, yeah?”
“I live to serve.”
Deke wanted to test that but do it when they were both naked.
I love that we get Deke’s POV in this book. It’s mostly written from Justice’s perspective, but he has a few chapters which allow us to see what he is thinking and feeling, and it adds a wonderful intensity to the story to know that he is feelings things for her which, for his own reasons, he is trying hard to fight. So while you’re reading, you’re revelling in the chemistry, sexual tension and the building emotion between them, knowing that they want each other and watching them inch closer to it as he slowly starts to open up to her. It’s a slow burn, and each little grin, each word spoken means SO much, because it’s been hard fought for.
But Deke is determined to keep his distance. He’s a wanderer, and is only in town long enough to make some money so that he can take off again on his bike once the cold weather is over. He knows Justice is settling in for the long term, he knows she exists in a different life to him, and he knows that she deserves more than he can offer. Until one terrifying night changes everything and forces Deke to realise exactly what is in front of him.
He kept moving and she kept moving so when they hit, they slammed into each other.
He curled his arms around her and she wrapped hers around him, pushing… no, fucking burrowing into his body.
He lifted a hand and cupped her head … when she shoved out a fractured, “Deke.”
“I’m here. Right here, baby.”
OMG, the feeeeeeeeels!!!
From that moment on, Deke claims Justice as his, and when a KA alpha claims his woman, it’s a done deal, and he’s not afraid to let the whole world know it. He is protective and possessive, beautifully caring and understanding, gentle when he needs to be but firm and determined with what he is feeling and what they are creating together.
“My honor, Jussy, to be that man who’s there for you.”
“You so totally like me,” I declared.
…“Yeah, gypsy, I like you.”
As always, KA made me fall totally in love with this couple. Justice holds nothing back from Deke, and the way he adores his gypsy princess is just gorgeous! The two of them accept each other whole-heartedly and without question, they are all in with each other, completely open about the fact they want a future together and it is sensational! And we get to see it all! The sweet moments, the funny moments, the teasing and banter, the swoon, and the emotional intensity is just beautiful! But always with Deke being Deke, with all the KA alpha-ness that we love!
“Who we are might not fit but it can still work.”
More tears filled my eyes and I didn’t clear the hoarse from my voice when I said, “I hope that keeps going too.”
“I get that, Justice. You haven’t hidden you been into me from the start. Or, if you tried, you’re shit at it.”
And did I mention the hotness? Holy hell it’s hot, and it’s all kinds of awesome!
“Always wondered, he rough or can he be gentle?” Krystal asked.
“God, Krys!” Lauren snapped…
“Check and check,” I answered Krys before they could get into it.
“Best of both worlds,” Krystal muttered. “Surprising. Always figured Deke would fuck like a freight train.”
“And check,” I said, grinning at Krystal who grinned back at me.
If you’re a KA fangirl like me, then you will be in heaven with the cameos in this book! Not only do we get to see and know Krystal better (which I enjoyed), but all of the main characters from the Colorado series are a part of the story – significantly so. And as if having Max, Tate, Ty, Chase (aaaaah, Chase!), Ham, Deck and Wood all in the one room at the same time isn’t awesome enough, there’s also a very quick glimpse of one of my favourite Unfinished Heroes, Deacon Gates. Heaven!
But Justice and Deke aren’t free and clear for their HEA just yet. This wouldn’t be a Colorado Mountain book without some kind of drama, and this one is full on as Justice is under threat from more than one source, and Deke is determined to protect his girl at all costs.
But it’s all about the romance, and this is SUCH a beautiful love story. Justice and Deke’s story is easy and natural, with a fantastic intensity. It’s a beautiful slow burn between two people who are destined to be together, and finished off with a gorgeous epilogue. I loved every moment of it!
The Colorado Mountain series
Untitled (#8) (Wood & Maggie)
To be released
Fore more KA awesomeness, check out our Kristen Ashley Author Spotlight