09 September 2014

Chaste by Lydia Michaels

 Kelly McCullough has always gotten every woman he’s wanted. Of all the McCullough men, his charm and magnetism is unmatched. However, there is one woman he cannot have.

Ashlynn Fisher is everything Kelly McCullough is not. She is quiet, shy, and—above all—virginal. After losing her heart to Kelly in grade school, no other man compares. Paths cross and temperance is put to the test when Ashlynn decides it’s time for her to find love. Kelly offers Center County’s sweetest brown-eyed girl all the guidance he can, but finds himself in a situation he never expected to face. Through chaste kisses and stolen secrets, his virility is tested and he must learn what love truly means as his selfish ways are transformed in the face of a selfless need to give her everything she wants.

Since meeting Kelly in Sacred Waters and watching the way that he befriended Sammy, I have been anticipating his story as I adored his character. I no longer adore Kelly, I love him. I knew that Chaste was going to be a great book and I knew I would love it, but Ms. Michaels made it even better than I anticipated.

Even knowing that there was more to Kelly than the Irish rogue he showed the world, I was still surprised at the depth of his character, his accomplishments, his vulnerabilities, and his insecurities. Us introverts tend to forget that the confident extroverts of the world have insecurities too and Kelly definitely reminded me of this fact. Kelly tries so hard to do the right thing regarding Ashlynn that he kept the both confused at times. But it just highlighted how much he cared about her and, as they got closer, how much he loved her.

Ashlynn was an interesting character in her own right. Up until this book, all we knew about her was that she was a virgin and she had been crushing on Kelly for years. Losing her mother when she was an adolescent and being raised by a single father, she possesses an independent spirit not often seen in women her age. My heart ached for them both as they tried to navigate what they both considered a doomed relationship – with Kelly not thinking he was good enough for her and Ashlynn accepting that Kelly was never going to let her in.

Ms. Michaels has weaved a beautiful story for Kelly and Ashlynn. There were several times during my reading that I expected the end of the book to be just a few pages away, but the author refused to take the easy way out and gives Kelly and Ashlynn a full story that had me laughing and crying. There were moments that I was scared for them and their relationship, but those made the happy moments that much more meaningful. There is so much that occurs in Chaste that I cannot talk about because I refuse to shortchange potential readers of experiencing any of Kelly’s story for themselves. While this book can be read as a stand-alone I strongly recommend reading the prior books first, especially Sacred Waters as it will give you better insight into Kelly before reading his story … that, and the McCulloughs are a wonderful clan and you really don’t want to miss out on a minute with them.

1 comment:

  1. Once again, thank you! Kelly has a lot of secrets and I'm glad you enjoyed them!