Another absolutely delicious, heart-warming and page-turning story in the Colorado Mountain series. In this book, we are again in Carnal, Colorado. We’ve met most of these characters already in the previous three books, but this is the story of Chase, a local policeman and town hero, and Faye, the town librarian. This is probably the sweetest love story that I’ve read so far in a KA book. Faye saw Chace for the first time when she was just a teenager – he was larger than life in her eyes, handsome, strong, brave, a truly good man. She fell in love at first sight and she kept loving him from afar for thirteen long years. During that time, Chace’s life had been anything but unevenful – he married a woman he didn’t love and stayed married to her for six years, became a dirty cop to protect his mother from pain and suffering, got clean, saved his town from corruption and then lost his wife to a murderer. Most of that was widely known about him – what no one knew, including Faye, was that he fell in love with the pretty local librarian the moment he set eyes on her many years ago in a supermarket, while she was wandering the aisles reading a book, completely oblivious to the fact that he was watching her. Once his life became complicated, he never dared to hope again that she could be his one day.
But life sometimes offers us second chances and that is exactly what Faye and Chace get in this beautiful story. Although everyone sees him as a hero, Chace still sees himself lost in the darkness that overtook his life for six years, dirty and unworthy of all that praise. He feels that nothing he did or will ever do could buy him redemption from his past sins. He soon discovers that Faye is his greatest fan. Her endless faith in him and her purity heal Chace’s wounds, helping to restore the man he once was. She helps him unload the burden of his guilt, teaching him how to forgive himself and accept what everyone else believes about him – that he is indeed a good man. Faye’s love “delivers” Chace, teaches him that he can’t “shoulder the world’s burdens” and that he needs to give himself a break.
Faye’s devotion to Chace went as far as saving herself for him, hoping that one day he would be her first and hopefully last. And he is.
“When I was sixteen, I saw you and when I did, I was young, romantic, and it might sound stupid but the minute I saw you, I knew I wanted to give that to you. I knew it was only you. I waited thirteen years, honey. It was worth the wait.”
They give themselves to each other completely, body and soul, quickly becoming inseparable and hopelessly in love. We get to enjoy a skillfully paced and overwhelmingly sweet progression of emotions between two people who have loved each other quietly for a long long time.
“I’d walk to the ends of the earth in hand with Chace Keaton and all he had to do to get me to do it was kiss me deep, smile at me, hold my hand and call me baby.” ~ Faye
“He’d wanted her for years not having any f*cking clue how much of her there was to get, how deep it ran or how sweet it was.” ~ Chace
One of my favourite things about this book is the fact that at the beginning our perception of these two characters is such that we see Chace as the strong knight in shining armour, while Faye appears to be the shy and gentle damsel that needs a knight to look after her and protect her from the ugly world around her. However, as their relationship develops and the events unfold, we see their dynamic changing – Chace becomes the reluctant hero who needs saving from himself and Faye becomes the one whose strength and fierce love help him achieve that. Faye might not be as strong as Chace physically but the strength of her emotional armour is unquestionable. I really loved that. Once more, Kristen Ashley’s characters are impeccably developed, making nothing about them far-fetched or dislikeable.
Now, one cannot conclude this review without mentioning the chemistry between Chace and Faye. I was afraid that the virginity theme in the story would be a ‘taming’ element that could potentially take away from the scorching hot love scenes that we are so accustomed to getting in KA’s books. I had no reason to worry. Ms Ashley is a master of tastefully written and sizzling hot loving’ – it’s never gratuitous and always used to enhance the character development and strengthen the bond between them. But, gosh, KA certainly has a way with words!
I loved loved loved this story just like I knew I would. It is so comforting starting a book knowing you will adore it even before reading the first page. I only have one question though – why haven’t I bought a plane ticket to Colorado yet?
"It was wild. Abandoned. Rough. Wet. Intense. Fiery. Thorough. Exquisite. Heart-pounding. Blood-singing. Soul-rocking. Life-altering. Luscious."