Romancing the Weekends: Fire Inside by Kristen Ashley
PJV Quickie:Kristen Ashley has done it again!! I wasn’t sure I was going to get into these character’s story, but I shouldn’t have doubted. I really, really enjoyed Hop and Lanie’s story: I was sneaking reading time in wherever and whenever I could!
Author: Kristen Ashley
Type: Contemporary Romance
Published: June 4, 2013 by Forever
Lanie Heron is beautiful and always looks her best; everything about her says “Class”. Looking at her, you’d never know she was almost killed by the Russian mob a few years ago. She’s still got the scars from where she jumped in front of bullets to save her fiancé (He died anyway). Now she’s focused on running her own ad agency, avoiding her dysfunctional parents, and hanging out with her long-time BFF, Tyra, who also happens to be the wife of the leader of a bad-ass Motorcycle Club, Chaos.
Hopper “Hop” Kincaid is one of Chaos’ enforcers, all bad-ass biker, solid muscle and tattoos. He can have his pick of women, but Lanie is not his usual ‘type’: she’s classy and special, a woman to be treasured and protected. AND she’s the BFF of his boss’ wife; everyone in the Club knows she’s Off Limits.
When Lanie approaches Hop at a pig roast the Club is throwing, he’s curious. Of course he’s noticed how beautiful she is, but he knows she’s got a lot of baggage. When she asks Hop for a 1-night stand, he’s floored. He tells her no, out of respect for her and the Club, but she convinces him it’s what she needs and promises it’s only for one night: after the way her last relationship ended, she doesn’t want another one – ever.
By the next morning, though, they both know it’s more than either of them expected; like a drug, they just can’t quit each other and keep coming back for their next ‘fix’. Lanie wants to keep their relationship a secret, not because she’s ashamed of Hop, but because of decisions she’s made in the past. Hop knows he’s going to have to work hard to make her understand he’s hers – but can Lanie be convinced to take a chance in love again?
I am a huge fan of Kristen Ashley’s books. I was telling a coworker yesterday that so many of her heroes start off as jerks but then by the end of the story you’re in love (or lust!). I cannot tell you how many times I read the blurb for a Kristen Ashley book and thought “eh, I don’t know…” and ended up loving it. And that’s exactly what happened with Fire Inside: We met Hop in Motorcycle Man (Dream Man series book 4), and a few events led me to believe he was a total asshole. So, while I was excited Lanie was getting a story, I was not excited Hop was the hero. I should know by now not to doubt – Hop was wonderful!
Lanie and Hop had great chemistry; not only the ‘opposites attract’ aspect, but he was aware of what he was getting into and knew what a treasure he had in Lanie. I love that he helped her find her inner strength and beauty; she was so full of self-doubt and unable to forgive herself for decisions she had made in the past that she couldn’t see her own self-worth. I loved that he called her “Lady” – every time he did I just swooned. *insert eye flutter and breathy sigh*
Don’t think Fire Inside was all rainbows and motorcycles – there was plenty of angst, and I loved every page of it. Lanie and Hop had a lot of back-and-forth: I absolutely LOVE stories where the main couple breaks up and both parties are soooo miserable before they work things out. Ms. Ashley does a great job of showing how their individual histories have worked into their present dramas, which makes their characters more sympathetic and makes us want their HEA that much more.
The epilogue was one of the best I’ve read – totally wrapped up loose ends and made me so happy! I sighed and smiled as I turned the last page.
On a personal note – I was thrilled that Lanie started visiting a therapist for some of her issues and that it was depicted in a matter-of-fact way with no shame or secrecy involved. I absolutely hate when books feature characters who ‘self-treat’ and so I applaud Ms. Ashley for including this positive and healthy action by one of her characters.
If you like hot, alpha men and stories about motorcycle clubs, you will enjoy Fire Inside (It reminds me a bit of the FX television show ‘Sons of Anarchy‘, so if you enjoy that I’d recommend this series).
Other books you might like, similar to ‘Fire Inside’:
Motorcycle Man by Kristen Ashley (This is book 4 of the ‘Dream Man’ series – I recommend the whole series!)
Reaper’s Property by Joanna Wylde
Edited to add: Hop’s mustache was mentioned several times in Fire Inside. Every time it was, I thought of my daughter’s t-shirt:
(Mustaches make everything better)