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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Just finished...and smiling so huge right now. I finally feel lighter after a few days of a heavy heart. The epilogue took the darkness away and I finally felt their happiness & peace. Simply beautiful.

This is the first KA novel that I have read where it didn't take me to my happy place until the very end. I didn't feel moments of glee or find myself grinning/chuckling; for me, this book was heavier than any other KA book I have read.

I am a wimpy, emotional reader. Often I find myself getting so drawn into the story that I have a hard time separating fiction from reality (silly, I know). I get so engrossed in the story and attached to the characters that it is as if their emotions start leaking into my own. Stories and characters stick with me long after I have finished an amazing and/or upsetting book. Because of this, I tend to veer away from sad, heartbreaking and/or books with dark themes. I simply can't handle it; I prefer my HEA high over a heavy heart (so does my husband since he has to pick up the pieces when I suffer from a fiction based meltdown).

From the very beginning of Creed, I felt anxious. The intensity of the story was constant. I found myself feeling on edge each time I started the next chapter; the story gripped me to the point of needing to take breaks just to process what had been revealed (I usually whip through KA books and cannot put them down) . I woke in the middle of the night thinking of Creed & Sylvie's painful history. The flashbacks of their past and Sylvie's dreams left me heartbroken and breathless. The amount of cruelness Creed & Sylvie suffered and what was TAKEN from them in the most deplorable ways was devastating. As difficult as I found to read about their past and the scars they both carried with them every day, I never stopped rooting for them, loving them and felt the need to push through to the end of their emotional journey right along with them.

Because of the feelings this book evoked (even if they were mostly painful), I must give it a 5 star rating. The way KA wrote this story by weaving the past and the future together through flashbacks and dreams was brilliant. I felt like I was watching a relationship rebuild from an incredible foundation that was laid down 16 years earlier. Because of the way she pieced it together, the bond/connection Sylvie & Creed shared was so pure that they could not be anything other than soul mates...and as the reader I could never give up on them and this story. For me, in the end, Sylvie & Creed's future finally overshadowed their painful/devastating past and I found my KA happy place.

I have now read 26 KA novels and 99% of them I have read twice (sometimes 3 or 4 times...no judging please). That said, I will not reread Creed. I will leave Creed & Sylvie on their pier in peace and not look back at the long painful journey it took for them to finally get the happiness they deserved. I will replay the beautiful epilogue in my head and remember the HEA they finally found.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I loved it! My introduction into the alpha- world of KA was months ago when I read Sweet Dreams. I really liked Tate and Laurie's story. Then I started Lady Luck, but it was a did not finish at 70%... Hmm... so why did I pick this one up. Well.. after all the mixed reviews of Knight and the whole anti-hero series KA has going, I thought I would give this a try. I am thrilled that I did. Can't beat a story of first love, done wrong, misunderstanding, badass alpha male and female-KA style. KA created two beautiful characters in Creed and Sylvie; their love and commitment to one another as children to young adult and then 16 years later as tortured souls was a delicious ride of emotions. Oh-and the epilogue rocked!
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Creed & Sylvie.. Just hot

But so much more...

Once again Ms. Ashley brought it home with the 2nd installment to this series. To say that we KA fans & fans of this series were losing our minds waiting for this book, would be an understatement. I mean we were all literally STALKING the internet waiting for this book to be released.

It was certainly well worth the wait I must say. I truly enjoyed this one and could not be moved from my laptop.

It took me a bit, but not too long to really become entralled with this story though. I was not sure how I was feeling about Sylvie. I like her. She's a strong cookie, but I wasn't sure how I was feeling overall about her purpose or place within this story. And Creed, I was blown away and conflicted and eager to know why he and Sylvie suffered and was ultimately torn apart for so many years. Once I admitted my eargerness to know the deal, shortly it was revealed thus began my sobbing, screaming, laughing, heart pumping into my throat reactions, concerning this book.

I was suprised that we got to see alot more of Knight in this one than I thought we would. And there were a few heartfelt, heartwarming just OMG! scenes involving he and Sylvie. I loved this. And I loved Anya in this as well. But ultimately Knight will always just leave me beside myself..

The reason why this one gets 4 instead of 5 stars from me is because I felt the issues that brought Sylvie & Creed's story to the forefront in the first place (their jobs) was glossed over and ended very anti-climatic to me.

Which was a bummer for me cos this is what dominated the story for the 1st 11 or so chapters. And Knight's brother Nick??? WTHeck happened there? And Why? And of course the build up to what led to Creed being Sylvie's first was great, but when it actually happened I was like "Really? That's it?" Yeah, that left me wanting big time.
But yeah there were things in there that I felt needed to be a bit tighter within the story to give a little more balanced feel to it.

But I do love their story. It was beautiful, it was frightening at times. Heartbreaking. But over all just a beautiful, spiritual journey. And I loved it. The growth that you see happening with Sylvie as an individual and a woman in love was done superbly I think. And the responsibility you see on Creed's shoulders, how he handles and tackles their demons and not just on his own I thought shown through beautifully. Another great installment.

So.. READ IT!!
I HIGHLY recommend this read.
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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I've read the majority of KA's books with the exception of a few in her fantasy series. With that said, it's hard to critique her in an unbiased POV. However, I have to go by what genre she was targeting here, erotica. Usually, I don't end up liking these types of books because there isn't much of a plot and it's constant sex scene after sex scene without any building of chemistry or that sexual tension. BUT, the reality is, people who read that genre want just that. Quick and dirty. Well, I just don't think KA met the mark of what those genre of readers would want, and at that, I'm a fan of her and would still rate this at the very bottom of my list.

As an erotica novel, it was too long and took too much time to get through. At first, I was trucking along great and thought okay, this is going to actually be erotica with a plot. Wow. BUT THEN, it coasted. Another reviewer wrote that the book "ended" halfway through. I have to agree. The problem they were working to solve, was solved with half of the book to go. Afterward, it kind of became a "I love you/love you back" dialogue between Creed and Sylvie. That got old pretty fast. I personally, got to a point and thought "so...why should I keep reading?" If you can read something just for the sex scenes, more power to you, but even those became few and far between and were still somewhat repetitive, so it's like there's no goal in mind and you keep reading the same scene over and over. I got REALLY tired from reading this book. With the exception of Knight, I've never wanted to stop reading and not finish a KA book like I did with Creed.

I had a major problem in Knight with not liking the characters. I just couldn't stand them. (Side note: Some reviewers had an issue with the whole profession thing with Knight in his book, as well as in Creed, but the author basically says this isn't a normal kind of hero so you have to be open-minded. If you can't broaden your thinking, then don't read this book or series. That's just being realistic.) IN CREED, the characters were pretty well-developed and likable. Sylvie gets some getting used to because SHE's the one, not Creed, that is more of the "unlikely hero." She's crass, blunt, and may come off a little more slutty in the beginning but KA eventually shows her softer side.

I always love KA's alpha-male-philosophical-gut-wrenching-one-liners but unfortunately, she was beating a dead horse after so many "talks" between Creed and Sylvie. KA, I know you have an amazing talent with words but you don't need to use everything in your arsenal in one book.

OVERALL, the dialogue was great and the flashbacks were sewn in expertly but she drug out unnecessary details and points that you become too exhausted by the halfway mark. I can forgive an occasional detail-overload but it went straight to overkill mid-book. There were plenty of chapters that could be taken completely out and it would have been like you didn't blink. Editing goes a long way.
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35 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I have read at least 15 of Kristen Ashley's books and I have to admit I was very disappointed with this one. I usually love her books. She is a great story teller and I love her characters. I loved the characters in this book but I felt like it was really redundant. The story basically comes to a conclusion about 1/3 rd of the way throught the book and the rest is a repeat of the same theme. If you're a Kristen Ashley fan and have read a lot of her other books this might satisfy, but if this is your first I suggest you start with one of the Dream Man series or Colorado Mountain Series. Even the Rock Chik Series. I did love Knight. I wish this was as good. Perhaps the next will be better. I still love your book Kristen :)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 17, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Read more of my reviews and ramblings at Ana's Attic Sexy Tales

Kristen Ashley can do no wrong. I love the crap out of every freaking book she writes. Creed is no different. I loved the s**t out of it! It was bada**, sexy, romantic, funny, suspenseful and emotional all-in-one. Creed is the second in the Unfinished Hero Series, the first being Knight. (See my review here)

Told in alternating present day and flashback, we meet Sylvie and Creed when she is 6 and he is 11. Sylvie lives with her wealthy dad and stepmonster and escapes the house to get away from `the words' of her daddy and stepmom, fighting, often violently. She runs into the woods, right into Tucker Creed. 11 year old Tucker lost his dad and his mom is the town drunk/slut. Tucker may be from the wrong side of the tracks, but they immediately bond, and he vows to protect Sylvie forever. Throughout the next decade or so of growing up, Tucker is there for her, her best friend, her protector, and eventually her boyfriend, but they keep their relationship a secret from the world. They make plans to run away together as soon as she is legal, on her 18th birthday. Tucker has always been there for her. Always. But he never showed, and they never saw each other again.

Present day, 16 years later. Sylvie is a bada** chick, working as a protector for Knight. With no boyfriend or family, a home she hasn't made into her own, Sylvie is missing something in her life. She's fairly happy, has very loyal and devoted friends, but has never really been in a relationship. She works alone, but when some issues crop up in Knight's organization, he brings in a partner for Sylvie. Guess who it is? Tucker Creed, 16 years later, after abandoning her on that pier, waiting for him, on her 18th birthday.

"Tucker Creed, my first love, my protector, my savior. My betrayer."

All of this is revealed going back and forth between present and past tense, and I enjoyed the way it unfolded. Tucker Creed was an amazing boy, that turned into an even more amazing man. Try as she might to avoid getting involved again with Creed, there was no way to avoid it. How can you not give in to this?

-"Born to love you, baby," he repeated. "Die lovin' you, my Sylvie."

-"I'll never let you go but I'll let you leave...for now."
-"You're my world, Sylvie. Always have been. Always will be."

-"You need me. You won't stay away and you won't let me go because, baby, you can't breathe without me."

As the story progresses and they are back together, it is so clear that these two were made for each other. They are so alike in so many ways, it's like they share a soul. Though Sylvie has changed a lot in 16 years, she has turned into an even better partner for Creed.

-"Then and now, beautiful, I'll take you any way you come to me ... Any way. I love this Sylvie, I loved that Sylvie. I just love you, baby."

-"You love me?" he asked quietly. I dipped my face close and answered quietly, "On a cold night, a long time ago, you put your hands almost exactly where they are right now and, I might have been six years old, but I fell hard. So, yeah. For over twenty-seven years, every day, every minute, every second, I've loved you, Tucker Creed."

I did, however, find myself a little confused when, at about 75%, I felt like I missed something. My buddy over at Scandalicious told me to HANG ON! I did. Holy Crap. Now I get it. I see why he left. I even see why he stayed away for years. But not 16 years. Creed is a full-fledged bada**. If he spent his life pining away for the love of his life, tattooing her name on his back and other things (no spoiler), why didn't he try to find her? OK, I see that perhaps he couldn't deal with seeing her happy with someone else. But 16 years is a LONG time, especially with 50% of marriages ending in divorce. If he couldn't handle seeing her, at least look her up or have her investigated! Find out if she is married. I don't know, but that really upset me. He is SO PERFECT for her, he is absolutely and totally devoted, but that just felt off to me.

Of course, this did not really detract from the story. Creed was definitely more character driven than previous Kristen Ashley books. More focus was on Sylvie and Creed than the action that usually takes place in her books. And I must say, I really loved both of them. Sylvie was interesting. Her personality changed from the beginning of the story where she was a female alpha bada** to the end where she was more of a typical awesome KA heroine. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it worked. Once she found the other half that she lost, she was able to come into her own.

The sex was very hot, but I still wouldn't call this erotic. I would have liked a little more buildup in those scenes. Last, another AMAZING epilogue by Kristen. She never lets you down with her epilogues!

Likes:

-I loved Sylvie. I understand a lot of people didn't. I thought it was cool she was a bada** who got mani-pedis.
-Creed was awesome as a kid, even more awesome as an adult.
-Creed's kids were great, and I loved his ex, which was a real departure from Kristen's nasty ex-wives club.
-Sylvie's super close relationship with Knight.

Dislikes:

-There was no discussion as to why he never looked for her.
-This may be petty, but there was one really hot sex scene with oil and anal. They were on the couch, and Kristen, who writes great detail, described the scene. I could not figure it out for the life of me, and it kept taking me out of what was the hottest scene in the book.

Rating: 5 stars, 4 for Heat

I loved this book. It isn't my favorite Kristen Ashley book, however. I loved the characters, and Creed is one of my favorite KA men. I just felt like it moved a little slower, I put it down a little more, and because of that, I felt like I missed something, since it took so long to find out what really happened. That, and the fact that I still can't see why it took 16 years for them to reunite, make it a book I absolutely loved, but not as much as many of her other books. Usually when I read her books I find myself "squeeing" all over twitter and goodreads and I read it in one sitting. I was busy, but still, it took me 3 days to read this, and I never went online about it. Again, this is a 5 star read, but compared to some others, like Sweet Dreams, Motorcycle Man and Games of The Heart, it is not as high on my 5 star list.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Creed was great! It started off strong, got a little choppy half way in, but finished with a bang thanks to Kristen Ashley's great epilogues.

Sylvie and Creed were friends growing up. They spend eleven years protecting each other from abusive and alcoholic parental figures growing closer as the years progress. As they mature their realtionship becomes a romantic one. On Sylvie's eighteenth birthday they are set to leave Kentucky, and their parents behind. The morning of their grand escape Creed never shows. Sylvie's left confused and heartbroken, but the worst doesn't come until she heads home to her abusive father to find out he has sold her to the local pimp/drug-dealer to pay his debts. Six years of abuse under the hand of her new 'boyfriend' come to pass until she's able to escape to Colorado where she begins a PI firm. While working on a case for Knight a partner is brought in and who else could it be but Tucker Creed. Sixteen years of separation hasn't put a damper on their explosive chemistry, but Sylvie's not the sweet debutant she once was and she's not afraid to come down hard on Creed for disappearing on her in her time of need.

Creed and Sylvia's relationship is filled with love, hate, turmoil, and lust. I'm not an overly emotional person, but I was bawling for the first half of this book. The heart-twisting moment that Creed made his debut back into Sylvie's life I didn't know whether I wanted her to jump his bones or shoot him. Yes, it's that angsty. And once things start to heat up it is nuclear! Talk about some fan worthy sex scenes. All I can say about that is, WOW!

Ashley has a writing style all her own. If you've never read one of her books you may be shocked at first. You get 1st person POV from Sylvie and Creed throughout (but mostly Sylvie's).Flashbacks are abundant in this one, but they flow so well. In fact, the flashback scenes were some of my favorite parts of the book :)

There were a couple of things that bugged me in Creed, hence, the 4 star rating. The reveal of WHY Creed disappeared without a word was VERY slow to be revealed. Even when he finally tells Sylvie what happened, we the reader, only get the story in short snippets by way of Sylvie having nightmares about what he told her. I would have enjoyed to read the the conversation between the two rather than finding out tediously for the next 200 pages. Also, Sylvie's story of what happened during her six years of captivity were never described in detail. I'm not trying to be morbid, but I would have liked to know why she stayed in the situation for that long before finally escaping. Was she locked in the house the whole time? Was she chained to the stove?

In all, Creed was a great book. Maybe not as angsty as some of Ashley's others, but there's no one that can hold a candle to her when it comes to pulling my heartstrings. I recommend reading her Colorado Mountain series, and THEN, when you're thoroughly hooked on KA (because you will be), and are in the mood for something a bit steamier than her normal fare check out Creed!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 29, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I have to agree with what some of the poster said regarding the story line not making sense. I read the reviews but since I have enjoyed this author's past work I thought I would give the book a try. I think that I would have enjoyed the book but there were too many things that just did not make sense at all which is weird for a KA book.

***SOME SPOILERS***
First, and my biggest issue, I cannot believe that the author (or anyone for that matter) would believe that a female that was victimized as this h was for years would allow someone who had abandoned her to just walk right back into her life THE SAME DAY that he shows up... sixteen years later. SIXTEEN YEARS! That is just ridiculous; especially because the h is suppose to be this tough as nails h. The H says, "That tough skin, those sharp edges, both of them you had in a way a man could work a lifetime and not break through..." Umm....apparently the life time he was referring to was that of a fly because the h and him were having sex hours after he walks into her life and were together a day later after his explanation. Now I know, KA h's do not have very high standards. I like a lot of this authors books but the ones I have returned have been because of her h's. They forgive everything at the sight of a penis and have been known to apologize for the H's betrayals in more than one of her books. Having said that, even for a KA h, I thought the time line for the h opening herself up to the H was completely unrealistic. I felt it went completely against the character and all logic. The other thing that was never mentioned was that the H was a PI guy, yet never once did he go back to look for the h to make sure she was ok. He leaves her to a monster of a dad and never looks back. That does not say eternal love and devotion to me. Even though the H's leaving was understandable, him never looking for the h was not. Then knowing the reality of the situation, knowing he abandoned her, knowing he never went back to make sure she was ok, he really didn't come across as feeling all that guilty. I mean the guy never even apologizes for goodness sakes! It was the h who had to endure six years of hell and then when the H comes back to her life there is little resistance from the h, and a week later the h is leaving her life behind to go live with the H. I just didn't get why this guy was worth it if he would leave her entrusted to an evil person. Most KA H's love and protect the h's to the point of obsession and him wanting to do this when the h no longer needed it was just too little to late for me. Maybe if he had to actually had to work for the h, I would have believed his devotion but as it was, he didn't win me over.

All of these things just ruined the book for me. This is not the first KA book that I have not enjoyed but it is the first one that I would actually say that is not well written. Even when I do not like all of her books, I can acknowledge that they are well written. I don't think I can say the same for this book. There simply was too many things that did not make sense. I did enjoy Knight and hope that the next book in the series is better than this one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I love Kristen Ashley. I love her guys - so alpha, so devoted to their women. But this one? It dragged. I wanted more about character motivations. I felt the author used sex to fill the pages instead of plot development.

A rape was so bad the girl committed suicide. There is torture. Two children raised in abuse and neglect find comfort in each other. They are separated for sixteen years. Once they are together it’s a lot of happy and a lot of sex. But it’s a downer with all the flashbacks to bad things in the past. And it’s a downer to think about the separation, and why he didn’t do this, and why she didn’t do that. I’m glad I read it to satisfy my curiosity. And parts were good - in that Kristen Ashley way.

Sex includes tying, spanking, and back-door action.

This is book #2 in the Unfinished Hero series. It can be read as a stand alone.

DATA:
Narrative mode: most is 1st person Sylvie. There is a little 3rd person Creed. Kindle count length: 6,137 (360 pages). Swearing language: strong. Sexual language: strong. Number of sex scenes: at least 20, a few were a sentence or two long. Setting: current day Denver, Colorado, Phoenix, Arizona, and flashbacks to Kentucky 16 years earlier. Ebook published 2012. Copyright: 2013. Genre: erotic romance.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I know I've said this before, but right now I am wishing I was better at putting my thoughts and feelings into words. There is just no accurate way to describe how this book made me feel or how I feel about this book. I can say I love it! I just feel that's not the best description to use. I need something that means more... I am fairly new to the works of Kristen Ashley. So far I have only read the Colorado Mountain series, the Dream Man series, and now I've read both Unfinished Hero books. Out of all of these, I think the lowest rating was 4 stars. That is because I effing loved all these books! She is such a great writer and has an awesome imagination! I loved Knight. (I especially loved him in this book!) I loved Creed! This was such an emotional ride and, once again after finishing a KA book, I am unable to pick up another. The shit Sylvie and Creed had to go through to survive and get back to each other was freaking awful! The fact that they were meant to be together was apparent and the good parts of the story were so freaking sweet. Now, the characters... I am almost always all about a strong female lead! {Girl Power and all :)} Sylvie was definitely one of these, and for the most part, I loved it. There were a few times I felt it was a bit much but they were rare. The only time I really wanted to smack her was the first time her and Creed had sex. (I use that term loosely...) I was hoping for her to give him a good ass whooping but instead she f***s him. Ok, it was nice and all but still.... Now for Creed... Oh Creed. In the beginning I wasn't sure how I felt about him. I had a love / hate thing goin on for sure. He pissed me off one minute and the next my panties were on fire! This is true form for most of KA's heroes though so I should be used to it by now. The immediate chemistry between the two leads was seriously off the charts hot! As was the sex! WOW! This was such a great book. The story was intense and emotional and the action was pretty good. The short cameo of Hawk was nice. One of the best parts though, I have to say, was Adam! He seriously had my heart! And of course I have to mention the epilogue. What is a Kristen Ashley book without the most awesome epilogue, right! I absolutely loved it! My favorite was Creed's pov, and his visit to the graveyard had me tearing up! I highly recommend this book!!!
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