02 October 2014

Deacon by Kristen Ashley

 Deacon has an ugly history, a history that broke him, leaving him a ghost of a man. Out of necessity, he left the normal world to descend into the criminal world and found he fit. So he stayed. Cold as ice and living off the grid, Deacon has no intention to connect, not with anyone.

Then he returns to some remote cabins in the Colorado Mountains and finds they have new owners. One of them is Cassidy Swallow, a young woman willing to work hard to live her quiet dream in a house by a river surrounded by aspen and pine.

Suddenly, Deacon finds he’s at war. Cassidy’s pull for him to connect is strong. He fights it, but he loses, always coming back for more. But when he does, he gives her nothing.

From the first time she sees him, Cassidy knows Deacon is dead inside. She knows he’s the kind of man who could destroy a woman. But one night when Deacon’s control slips, Cassidy takes a chance.

He might break her. He also might be her dream come true.

OH! MY! GOD!!! I cannot believe that I forgot how much I enjoyed immersing myself into KA’s writing. The first KA book I ever read was Knight, the first book of this series. It was a book that should not have appealed to me – the idea of a woman calling her man “Daddy” during sex had never done anything for me. Yet somehow KA not only made it acceptable, she made it hot. Then she took it one step further and made me fall in love with a seriously flawed hero – a man who does not live in the world I live in yet lives by an honorable code, especially for the world in which he lives. Somehow she did it again with Creed and Raid. Despite this, she managed to surprise me by making me fall hard for probably the coldest mo-fo in her lineup … Deacon. I knew I would love the book, I just never expected to love Deacon so much.

Having met Deacon in Creed, I was already familiar with part of his story and knew he was damaged. But the depth of his damage still managed to shock me when his story was revealed. It was heartbreaking, so I was tickled pink with Cassie’s reaction when Deacon told her what his wife did to him. Had Cassie not already endeared herself to me by that point in the book that would have been the final nail in the coffin form my girl crush. As I find with all of KA’s books, witnessing the relationship as it developed between Deacon and Cassie was an intense roller coaster ride of emotions – happiness, sadness, laugh out loud moments, total devastation, sexy as sin, and extreme bliss when they finally find their way. The cathartic nature of a KA book, for me, is a ride I cannot wait to take and it is one that does not diminish with each read, even after a dozen times.

I have a short list of authors whose books I have read over and over and over again, yet have a difficult time writing a review because their books have that intangible factor that makes me love them so much that they render me nearly speechless. As I have written more and more reviews over the past several months, it has gotten easier to write reviews for such books – even though I know that no review I write will ever do them justice. Kristen Ashley is on this list and Deacon is just one of the many of her books that hit me so hard I know I will be reading it again and again and again and …. well, you get the idea. Thank you Ms. Ashley for making my reading experience that much richer and for reminding me why I love your writing so much.


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