Title: Ride Steady
Series: Chaos #3
Author: Kristen Ashley
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: June 30, 2015
Publisher: Forever (Grand Central Publishing)
My Rating: 5+ stars
The ride of her life . . .
Once upon a time, Carissa Teodoro believed in happy endings. Money, marriage, motherhood: everything came easy—until she woke up to the ugly truth about her Prince Charming. Now a struggling, single mom and stranded by a flat tire, Carissa’s pondering her mistakes when a vaguely familiar knight rides to her rescue on a ton of horsepower.
Climb on and hold tight . . .
In high school, Carson Steele was a bad boy loner who put Carissa on a pedestal where she stayed far beyond his reach. Today, he’s the hard-bodied biker known only as Joker, and from the way Carissa’s acting, it’s clear she’s falling fast. While catching her is irresistible, knowing what to do with her is a different story. A good girl like Carissa is the least likely fit with the Chaos Motorcycle Club. Too bad holding back is so damned hard. Now, as Joker’s secrets are revealed and an outside threat endangers the club, Joker must decide whether to ride steady with Carissa—or ride away forever.
Read on for my thoughts on Ride Steady. No true spoilers, promise.
I mean it as the highest compliment to the author when I simply say – I have no words at this moment to explain how Ride Steady touched me, how much I loved Joker and Carissa’s story. Tack and Tyra will always be my ultimate favorite couple in this series – but these two people who tore my heart out and put it back together again are a very close second.
To say that Carson “Joker” Steele’s life had been crappy, almost from his birth would be an understatement. The abuse that his father showered upon him is beyond words, but he survived… until he couldn’t stay any longer.
Carissa had been the golden girl in high school, but she had a soft spot for and a huge crush on Carson. If he had only taken her hints back then so much of their lives might have been different. Or not, who knows. Carson was attracted to Carissa back then, but he was the bad boy with the reputation, deserved or not, and she was the beautiful cheerleader leading a charmed life. He could not bring himself to dirty her world with him, so he watched from a distance.
Life and time moves on and now about a decade past their high school days Carissa is standing at the side of the road with a flat tire, a fussy baby and a demanding scumbag ex-husband refusing to listen to her reason for being late to turn over their son for his visitation time.
Joker roared his bike to the shoulder of the road. He knew what he looked like to the pretty lady with a baby in her arms. His attitude alone, if not his cut showing the Chaos Motorcycle Club would have told her. As he walked closer he recognized her – Carrie. But it was obvious that she didn’t recognize him and was perhaps just a bit scared of him. That didn’t stop him as he calmly held her baby while she dug out her keys and set about changing her tire. That stop at the side of the road would change his life forever.
Ride Steady is such a heartfelt, heartbreaking, intense and super hot ‘n sexy story. What Carrie and Joker have been through in their lives is harsh, painful yet each, in their own ways, are survivors. Which makes their discovery of what life can be with each other now so much sweeter.
This is a novel that must be read, felt and experienced to understand why I find myself speechless to explain why you should pick this one up and own it completely. You will be furious, you will cry (or want to), you will smile, you will cheer, you will most definitely sneer and hate certain characters and you will fall in love with three people who together make a family – and several men and women who simply make that family so much larger, so much more.
I don’t do spoilers – but pay attention to the scenes at the fence, they are so powerful, so emotional and just one of the many reasons that I love and adore Chaos – always have and always will.
If I could give this one a 10+ rating I would, simply because it resonated with me on so many levels – I’ll have to settle for a 5+ and hope that conveys how good this story is. You could definitely say that I highly recommend Ride Steady for simply anyone who believes in love.
*I received an e-ARC of Ride Steady from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. That does not change what I think of this novel.*
Ride Steady and all of the Chaos novels are available for the Kindle