Zara Cinders always knew Ham Reece was the one, but he wasn't interested in settling down. When she found someone who was, Ham walked out of her life. Three years later, Zara's lost her business, her marriage, and she's barely getting by in a tiny apartment on the wrong side of the tracks. As soon as Ham hears about Zara's plight, he's on her doorstep offering her a lifeline. Now, it will take every ounce of will power she possesses to resist all that he offers.
Ham was always a traveling man, never one to settle down in one town, with one woman, for more time than absolutely necessary. But Ham's faced his own demons, and he's learned a lot. About himself, and about the life he knows he's meant to live. So when he hears that Zara's having a rough time, he wants to be the one to help. In fact, he wants to do more than that for Zara. A lot more. But first, he must prove to Zara that he's a changed man
Zara was an awesome heroine, she had backbone, a sharp wit and real strength of character. Despite what life threw at her she always managed to maintain some form of control, she never bitched and always looked towards the positive or tried to find it. There was a lot to like about her character, and her romance with Ham was pretty sweet. They start off with a 'Friends with Benefits' relationship which falls apart when both the hero and heroine take a step back and reevaluate what they want in life. I admired Zara for finding the strength to walk away, she knew she deserved better than what Ham gave her and even though it really bloody killed she let go. It sucked huge Ham let her get away, but I found myself thinking ahead and was sure Ham would come back and fight for her...I was wrong...sort of. I think what let Zara's character down for me was she settled. I mean you walk away from what you believe is the love of your life, now I would assume she would search for something close if not better. But instead she settled and ended up screwing anothers life as well as her own.
When Reece blows back into her life, I can understand her hesitancy and I like how KA illustrated that. She's been burned before, by him, and her life has derailed pretty bad so of course she took stock of the situation and proceeded accordingly. I can't stand heroines who jump in, I mean I'm all for the spontaneous but a girls got to be careful. So naturally Zara tries to stick with their new 'friends' relationship, and KA did a good job on getting across how hard that was for her and I totally felt for her, lord knows I really wanted to kick the man in the shin so Zara getting through those incidents without causing bodily harm is a small miracle. What's more it was a way tough relationship, so much had and was going down but they stuck it out and together they managed to make it work.
"It's always been you."
I smiled back before I asked, “You whistled, mein herr?”
His smiling lips twitched before he informed me, “I prefer Bruiser.”
“Bruiser Ham drags me into his bed and shows me an alternate universe I want to move to forever. Mein herr whistles at me to get my ass to the bar,” I explained, then went on. “So, you whistled?”
“Yes. I really liked it. I didn’t see it but just knowin’ you did it is beyond cool. But it’s knowin’ why that’s what I really liked. Got a lot of good people in my life, people who were there always but who kicked in when it mattered. But when it really mattered, when the hurt could get extreme, only two people put themselves between me and it. One, two days ago, got laid in the ground. The other is lyin’ in this bed with me right now.”
That being said, Reece had his redeeming qualities. I'm a sucker for guy who acts like a douche, yeah I wanna kick them in the shin but a the same time I get happy tingles. And you just know the chemistry is gonna be that much more explosive when they get with the heroine, KA did not disappoint there minions. They say actions speak louder than words, and Reece's actions were loud and clear but when he gave words I swear I was a puddle of freaking mush. I wanted to leap through my Kindle and attack hug the man. Despite his and Zara's past he works hard to show he's in it for the long haul, he's aware of her past and he knows to handle her with care. So how could I not like him.
"Drove away from you nine years ago, knew it was wrong then, didn't know that it was the biggest mistake I'd make in my life."
“I’m here, Zara, as in, I intend to stay here. I own a TV. A bed. Bought fuckin’ nightstands, a dresser, and lamps. This is it. This is where I wanna be. It’s where I wanna be because I like the people, I like the work, I like the bar where I work, all in God’s country. But this is mostly where I wanna be because you’re here.”
"Cookie, pay attention. I'm gonna give you everything."
So what's my problem with this book? That unique blend of KA magic was lacking. I've seen numerous reviews and comments and the majority blame the publishers, saying she was better when self-published and that may or may not hold merit. I don't know what it is, but there was definitely something missing. It would have been nice to see their relationship when they began, rather than running headlong into the end of their relationship, having years pass and they just reconnect. It was also way short, no where near as long as the others and I would have loved more of Reece's POV. Not to mention would have loved more insight into Zara's relationship with her family, would have been able to connect with her a lot more if we had.
All that being said my rating stands at 4 satisfying stars. Because when all's said and done, no one writes like Kristen. Her writing style is completely her own and her dialogue is 100% original, it has the ability to move you, speak to you, make you laugh, cry, swoon, scream and pretty much have one serious book orgasm. Yeah I've got issues with a few things, but in the grand scheme of things I did enjoy it. Heck I finished it in under two days, if I really wasn't enjoying it I would have left it and may or may not have come back later. So minions if you're in need of some alpha male stubborn hotness and witty heroines, get your copy now. And if you haven't already got on board the KA stalker train.