Jen | Before Midnight

A (hopefully) safe space for yet another GR refugee.

Fire Inside  - Kristen Ashley I received a copy of this book from the publisher via netgalley. All opinions herein are my own and were not influenced by the publisher or author in any way.

Well now. First, let me say that just because this book is a number two in a series, it can be read as a stand-alone. This series seems to be one of those where it’s all set in the same place, and deals with the same characters, but each book is its own story arc and stands alone. Second….

This book jumps right into it, doesn’t it? Kristen Ashley wastes no time, jumps right into the character introduction and the sex, all within the first chapter. Of course, while the sex continues throughout the book, it isn’t always detailed, sometimes referring to it in the past tense, soemtimes fading to black (so to speak).It’s a nice balance so the adult parts of the book don’t become monotonous, and readers don’t start skimming.

I really liked Lanie. A lot. She’s a little messed up because of her history, and her history comes to light over the course of the book, but she’s really trying to deal with her past, put it behind her, and generally become a more healthy person. Truthfully, I felt a little bad for her, too. She constantly has men talking over her, not letting her get a word in edge-wise until she blows up and finally tells them to shut the hell up already. I was totally rooting for her, all the way.

Hop is also an interesting character, with a solid backstory that also comes out over the course of the novel, and while sometimes I didn’t like Hop, I did have an appreciation for that story. Hop is overbearing, controlling, and sometimes a little too much for Lanie to handle. And I really just wanted her to tell him to sit down and shut up, but she never does. He just talks over her. And breaks into her secure office with the help of someone who knows how to disable the alarm.

So I had times where I didn’t like Hop, but he won me over with the little things he did. Like finding out what her favorite Chinese food is, and bringing it to her. And making sure she eats, even though she’s swamped with work. He takes care of her, which is appealing, but he doesn’t go about being too over-the-top with it. It’s just a nice balance of taking care of her, and letting her take care of herself. Of course, that last bit came only after a discussion wherein Lanie explains that she needs to handle her work issues by herself, so she doesn’t get the reputation that she can’t handle her own business.

There’s plenty of misunderstandings, arguments, and issues in this book. Some of those misunderstandings and arguments sometimes seem to be deliberate, with the characters not taking the time to really understand what the other means, and just jumping to conclusions. Of course, it’s only human, and forgiveable, at least to a point.

Overall, I really liked the book. It shows a nice give-and-take of relationships, and it shows the development. People don’t just fall in love and that’s it. It takes work, and I have such an appreciation for this book for showing that, and being honest about it.

Currently reading

The Husband's Secret
Liane Moriarty
How I Exiled My Inner Bitch
Miv Evans