CURSE YOU, *Name Redacted.* CURSE YOU. This is all you’re frakkin’ fault. So, Friday I get this message: “I’m loaning you DEACON by Kristen Ashley. It’s actually okay. You may even enjoy it.” See? *Name Redacted* gets me. She knows that this train wreck of a writer is like crack to me and that I can’t stay away even though I pretty much hate her books. STOP PUSHING MY BUTTONS, DAMN IT.
DEACON is actually the fourth book in the Unfinished Heroes series. It’s the one I’ve linked to because it’s actually kinda decent and the only one worth reading. Deacon, the hero, actually uses multi-syllable words and has an interesting back story, and Cassidy, the heroine, is a scrappy and determined small business owner. They have an unusual courtship, some challenges to work through because of baggage both are carrying, and they both love dogs. They also have a taste for BDSM, so their sex scenes are a little more extreme than you often find in romance novels. [side note: I’ve since learned that Ms. Ashley self-publishes much of her work. It makes me wonder if the better novels are the ones she publishes, and the terrible ones are the ones published by the publisher and they’ve made too many revisions or something. (or vice versa)].
In fact, DEACON was such an improvement over the other Ashleys that I’ve read, that I felt the need to read the others in the series and see if they were as much of an improvement. The answer to that is not only no, but HELL NO. DEACON appears to be an anomaly. KNIGHT, CREED, and RAID are down right cringe inducing. The heroes are back to being monosyllabic, the heroines needy and cuddly, and the sex to reading like bad porn. (I’m sorry, having a woman crawl 40 feet across the floor to give you a bj even after she’s made it clear she doesn’t like this IS NOT SEXY.) What is even harder to stomach is that some of these “heroes” are down right criminals (and not in a fun Scarlet Pimpernel kind of way). Knight is in fact the “owner” of a prostitution ring. The others either work for him directly or are contract employees. How am I supposed to find a crime boss sympathetic or interesting? TRAFFICKING IN HUMANS IS NOT OKAY.
BONUS: If you want to read great romance with an awesome “alpha male,” try LORD OF SCOUNDRELS by Loretta Chase. That, dear readers, is how it’s done, AND it’s only $1.99 on kindle right now. Get thee to Amazon.com.
Finally, it is with this review that I take my leave. I committed to a quarter cannonball, and this fulfills my obligation for the year. I’ll be back in 2016, ready to try a full cannonball…