Saturday, July 13, 2019

Loose Ends: Volume One by Kristen Ashley ~ Review

Loose Ends: Volume OneSource: Purchased.

Loose Ends: Volume One by Kristen Ashley

In Kristen Ashley’s first anthology, readers will find three short stories and two novellas taking them back to characters and series in the Kristen Ashley universe.

No Clue , a short story – Visit with Joe and Vi from At Peace of The ’Burg series and learn how Joe breaks up a fight between his sons, what Ryker’s up to and why, exactly, his wife Violet has no clue.

The Stars Aligned , a novella – The long-awaited love story of Hap and Luci. Introduced in Heaven and Hell , readers learned, after a heartbreaking journey through grief, Luci was ready to take another chance at love. But Hap was adhering to “the code” between brothers, unwilling to betray his dead friend Travis by falling for Travis’s widow. Further, Hap can’t quite believe a beauty like Luci could fall for a normal guy like Hap. But for Luci and Hap the heart can’t be denied. Especially when the stars align.

The Favor , a short story – Deacon and Cassidy from Deacon of the Unfinished Hero series go back to their favorite cabin at Glacier Lily, and there, Cassie asks her husband a favor. He’ll give her anything she wants. Including this.

More Than Everything , a novella – Readers left Diesel, Maddox and Molly at a crossroads at the end of The Greatest Risk of the Honey series. Maddox and Molly were all in with their commitment to their unconventional love triangle. But Diesel was letting the pressures and prejudice of family and society sink under his skin, making him hold himself distant from the man he loved. Can Maddox and Molly lead Diesel fully into their lives and give him more than everything?

Rock Chick Renewal , a short story – Tod has been planning Rock Chick weddings for years. He’s got a new one on his hands. And it’s not what he expected.

Story #1: No Clue 
This is a quick little peek into the lives of Joe & Vi. They're done having kids (and end up with 5: Kate & Keira, Angie, and 2 sons Sam & Ben). They're settled into their lives. Nothing extraordinary or riveting happens, it's just a little check in to see Joe & Vi happy and settled into their family. Which, honestly, I LOVED. I love the love Joe has for his kids, his family. I love the respect his boys have for their mother. I love how sweet Vi is. As for the little dose of Ryker, though, I'm so-so on that. It felt like a forced situation just so SOMETHING could happen. Which I'm not mad at, but just... *shrugs* Since I adore Joe & Vi, and this story was sweet, I'm giving this one 4 stars.

Story #2: The Stars Aligned 
Hap & Luci’s story. It’s been a while since I read Heaven & Hell so I wasn’t sure how this novella would work for me, but I found it super easy to get into and ended up loving it! Their story is sweet and beautiful and full of emotion. I’m mostly just really glad they got a novella instead of a full book because this was exactly what they needed. It was honestly perfect for them. 5 stars.

Story #3: The Favor 
A little Deacon & his Cassie. Deacon was my favorite of the Unfinished Heroes series, so I was SO EXCITED when I saw he was getting a scene in this anthology. And now that I've read that little short, I'm glad it's here. It's a small glimpse into their lives after they settled in together. He's still giving her everything she wants and it warms my heart. They have a cute little bicker. Overall, this one is short and sweet. 3.5 stars. (maybe I'll bump it up to 4 later?)

Story #4: More Than Everything 
I have been WAITING for this one! It's the novella for Maddox, Diesel, and Molly from KA's Honey series. I enjoyed meeting them in The Greatest Risk, and I'm so glad we got a story to see them work their stuff out. I ADORE their relationship. The romance is top notch, well built and just plain beautiful. I also love the characters. Their personalities, the way they care, the way they operate as individuals and together. Loved it. However, I wish there was more Molly involved in working things out-both in considering her along the way and in stepping in to work things out. She wasn't entirely disconnected from the conflict (obviously, she's part of the relationship too and what affects one affects them all), but I just wanted more. Or maybe I just wanted more time of them three together, the guys with Molly. There was a lot of Mad & D time, so I guess I wanted more of the whole package. That said, it was lovely watching this story play out. This romance is absolutely sigh-worthy. 4.5 stars. (I think on re-reads this story may go up to 5 stars...)

Story #5: "Tell Me What You Want" 
This one isn't connected to any of KA series, it's just a little disconnected short she wrote and decided to include here. And I liked it. It was a cute, quick read. I wasn't super into it, though. The story is told from an outside perspective, so we're just watching a couple with their meet cute instead of being IN it and experiencing it. Plus, it was super short with characters we don't know. Not really the kind of thing that's easy to get swept away in. Not bad, but not great either. 3 stars.

Story #6: Rock Chick Renewal 
A short story for Tod & Stevie from the Rock Chick series. While the idea of this was sweet and cute, the actual story was not my favorite. It didn’t pull me in and I ended up just reading it so I could complete the anthology. It’s a happy story, and I’m always a fan of the Rock Chick world, but this one didn’t really work for me. 2.5 stars.

Overall, this was a solid anthology with LOTS of content. I definitely enjoyed some parts more than others, but I’m glad I took the time to wade through them all. The novellas were my favorite, then No Clue, then The Favor. I’m seriously looking forward to the next volume whenever KA gets around to writing it!

4 stars - Such a great anthology, full of sweetness and characters I love!

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