Customer Reviews


216 Reviews
5 star:
 (172)
4 star:
 (33)
3 star:
 (6)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars At Peace
Kristen Ashley is probably my favorite new author that I've found in 2011. She is a wonderful story teller and fills each story with great characters.

Violet is a strong and independent woman trying to raise her 2 teenage daughters by herself after she lost her beloved husband just over a year ago. She wasn't looking for a man, any man, when she stomped...
Published on November 27, 2011 by Amazon Customer

versus
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice story but struggling with some issues.
As with most Kristen Ashley novels, I devoured At Peace within a couple of days but unlike her other novels this one left me feeling very frustrated. It's a nice typical Kristen Ashley book and you will get what you expect in her books (independent but lonely heroine, alpha male hero, crazy ex, spunky and vibrant secondary characters etc.) but this book had many aspects...
Published 20 months ago by Nahnee


‹ Previous | 1 222 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars At Peace, November 27, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: At Peace (The 'Burg Series Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
Kristen Ashley is probably my favorite new author that I've found in 2011. She is a wonderful story teller and fills each story with great characters.

Violet is a strong and independent woman trying to raise her 2 teenage daughters by herself after she lost her beloved husband just over a year ago. She wasn't looking for a man, any man, when she stomped through the snow to yell at her next door neighbor for playing his music too loud in the middle of night. She didn't intend for it to happen, but Joe "Cal" Calahan was just too much to resist.

At Peace is my third Kristen Ashley book. And though it didn't rate even close to the adoration I have for Sweet Dreams, it was a quality, well written story, which is what I've come to expect from this author. The things I enjoyed about At Peace were the characteristic draws that make what I've come to see as Kristen Ashley's signature. We have an independent yet lonely heroine who is fine on her own but when the strong alpha male swoops in she can't help but relinquish her control and let someone else take over for a change. Then there's the ultra alpha male who stakes his claim when HE is ready to, takes care of his woman and doesn't take crap from anyone. I also loved the children. Kristen Ashley brings her characters to life and Kate and Kiera, Violet's daughters were no exception. Their personalities and typical teenage girl behavior made me smile and think how lucky a person would be to have daughters just like these two girls.

What knocked At Peace down for me and made it not measure up to 5 star material was the character of Joe. I love myself a good alpha male (at least I do in my books), a strong man who will take care of his woman to the point of laying down his life for her. But Joe was just too much for me. And in return for Joe just being too over the top "alpha", Violet turned spineless and in the end wasn't the heroine I would have in a 5 star read. Joe made all the decisions in the relationship, including the ones that involved Violet's daughters. Vi would start to argue then some internal monologue would tell her Joe was right and she'd concede to his demands. I just couldn't love a character who just about NEVER took into consideration what the woman he loved wanted. Especially those decisions being made for her own children.

I feel any strong, independent woman who makes decisions all day long regarding work, the house, the family and all the way down to things as simple as "what's for dinner" wants a break from it once and a while. An uber alpha male whose genetic make up tells him it is his job to make these decisions is a warranted relief MOST OF THE TIME. But a man like Joe, even as my fictional book fantasy man was just TOO alpha. Even with my take charge man, I still want to make the decisions or at least take part in the making of the decisions that affect my own children.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice story but struggling with some issues., January 22, 2013
By 
Nahnee (New Zealand) - See all my reviews
This review is from: At Peace (The 'Burg Series Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
As with most Kristen Ashley novels, I devoured At Peace within a couple of days but unlike her other novels this one left me feeling very frustrated. It's a nice typical Kristen Ashley book and you will get what you expect in her books (independent but lonely heroine, alpha male hero, crazy ex, spunky and vibrant secondary characters etc.) but this book had many aspects that left more to be desired after the last page has been flipped.

****There will be SPOILERS in this review****

The main problems I had were with the main characters. Violet started off as an independent and strong heroine and we could see this as she works hard to raise her two daughters and give them a happy life. This Vi was dealing with her husband's tragic death and pulled herself together for her kids. I would happily read about this Vi for 100 chapters but after the first couple of chapters, my beloved strong Vi was gone. She practically lost her backbone the minute she met Joe and it bothered me that Vi let Joe control so much of her life. Joe was even making decisions that included her children and she did not, could not, say anything about it other than the usual interrupted one worded sentences like 'Joe-'. After a chapter full of this I had to avoid ripping my hair out. Another thing was that Vi was easily swayed with a kiss. It's nice when my heroines and heroes are weak only for each other but Violet instantly relents and submits to Joe the minute he touches her and this happens in almost every chapter of the book. It got really tiring. At one time, after she spends the night fooling around with Mike in Mike's house, she comes home and Joe confronts her. I was excited because I thought this would be the time where Vi would call out on Joe's behaviour and begin the steps to move but this did not happen. Joe practically throws himself on her and she ends up having sex with him because she can't resist him! I was so disappointed in Violet that I had to stop reading and put this book down because of that scene. By the end I didn't recognise Violet as the same woman when the book started as she even starts talking in chopped sentences just like Joe.

Even after that I would have given this book 4 stars but Joe completely knocked this book down to 2.5 stars. He was a jerk. Plain and simple. Hearing his sob story explained why he was a jerk but did not excuse the fact that he was the ultimate jerk in the history of Kristen Ashley books that I've read. Everything had to be his way and Vi usually had no say in the relationship. What's more is that Violet always ends up convincing herself that Joe is right so she never confronts Joe about his behaviour. Another thing that annoyed me was that Joe could hurt Violet so much and expect her to get over it. The love scenes in this book was smoking hot but what made it sizzling was the intimacy that Joe and Violet shared. And after the intimacy that Violet and Joe shared it was unbelievable that he could break the relationship in a cruel way not once, but twice. That's just not hero material. But what bothered me the most was that he never apologised for hurting them. Not even once had he said sorry. When Vi was hurting I was hurting along with her and Joe never made himself up in my eyes so I can not love Joe when he does not take into consideration how Violet feels. He didn't think about the hurt he inflicted to not just Violet, but her kids as well when he broke their relationship off publicly the second time. Call me heartless but this made it hard for me to swallow anything he said after they got back together. I even skimmed his speech about family and kids and balancing the scales because I really didn't believe him as a worthy hero. Which was a shame because after they got together Joe took a 180 turn into the loving signature KA alpha male.

Also, I didn't like how KA used the death of a closed one to push Joe and Violet together. I enjoyed this person's character and this also meant that there was 0 grovel from Joe before Violet took him back. It would've been more interesting to read how Joe wins Violet over under normal circumstances.

Despite all these things, I thought this was a nicely thought out story. I also enjoyed the stalker sub-plot and liked how it did not dominate the book. Violet's daughters, Kate and Keirra, absolutely stole my heart. They had two completely different, conflicting personalities but it was easy to fall in love with both of them and their bickering. The segments with Francesca and Benny were interesting and I can't wait for their book to come out. I'll admit that when Joe and Violet's relationship was good, it was really good. Still, a part of me didn't buy it.

After all my issues with the book would I re-read it? Maybe if I'm feeling forgiving. If you need a Kristen Ashley fix this book will probably do but my personal warning is that Joe is not as yummy or as heroic as Tate or Chace.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 ... I laughed. I cried. Joe did not become a part of me!, October 19, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: At Peace (The 'Burg Series Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
At Peace has sweet, touching, and steamy moments in the story. Joe and Violet have chemistry. Of the three and a half Kristen Ashley books I have read, this story has the best written suspense of all. The secondary characters feel like people I would meet in real life. A couple of those characters have me interested in their upcoming stories, but I am conflicted about the rating for this particular novel. The conflict lies not with the typical KA style of rambling narrative or love of describing insignificant details, but with the characterization of Joe.

***"Little suitcase like a brick, kinda makes it hard to get a good grip."***

Joe has major baggage - lots and lots of baggage! In fact, he has seventeen years of living under the cloud of his crazy first love. Joe's the kind of hero destined to meet the one woman who will heal his pain. She will shine her bright light onto his soul and he will be whole again. I can embrace the dark, tortured hero. (They are usually my favorite.) So, what's wrong with Joe? There are times when his behavior is cruel to Violet. He plans. He executes. He twists the knife. Darn you, Joe! An attempt is made to pardon him. I partially shook it off to enjoy the remainder of the story, but the damage was done.

***"Lover man, oh, where can you be?***

When I read romance I expect a hero to be the stuff of dreams. He can be the bad boy set on fire by a shy woman; a scarred and bitter lord matching wits with an iron lady; or he can be a kind, tormented, and lonely man brought to life by a cynical mistress. Joe is not the stuff of dreams. If a friend showed interest in a man like Joe then observed her receiving the poor treatment Violet did, I would advise this friend to let Joe go.

So what's the conflict? It's obvious I didn't like Joe "Cal" Callahan. Well, I didn't until the second half of the book. The first half of At Peace we have kick-him-to-the-curb Joe. The second half, Joe is the dream alpha hero. He is everything Violet and her daughters need and want. Accepting the transition is ultimately dependent on the reader's ability to realize this is only a book and Joe is obviously the `One' for Vi. His cruel actions will either be forgiven or a romance reader (like me) will mark him with a scarlet "A" (for a@@hat).

Joe's point-of-view helped me as a romance reader. The glimpses into his head enlightened me. His past explained his negative patterns. Later, Joe proves he can be compassionate and wise. He can be a family man. Joe has redeeming qualities. Violet is able to rationalize and forgive Joe's transgressions. She follows her heart.

***"If this is communication, I disconnect"***

Does miscommunication have to be a constant source for conflict? It is a common issue between men and women. In At Peace, Joe mystified me (and Vi). Why did he play mind games? This behavior is followed up with Joe's irrational answers and deflections. My enjoyment dimmed. Joe required effort and mind tricks for me to move past his mistakes.

***"Gonna wallow in your dang good stuff!"***

The best thing about Ms. Ashley's storytelling is she knows how to pack an emotional punch. There are scenes that brought tears to my eyes. It happened so many times I lost count. Whether I like all the characters, they have vivid personalities. They convey passion, anger, joy, bravery, despair, fear, and jealousy. The hero and heroine's friendships with secondary characters are compelling. One unlikable character had unexpected depth to her. Kate and Keira's (Violet's daughters) distinct personalities shine. Joe's Chicago family intrigued me. I genuinely cared for these characters. I want Mike's story! I also want Frankie and Benny's story! Despite my Joe troubles I am invested.

Another positive is the way Violet's stalker problem unfolds. Feeling that I knew KA, I assumed events would play out in a predictable manner. Fortunately, the solution involves many unexpected players and unforeseen twists. The `Burg police act appropriately. Joe stays true to his nature. I really enjoyed watching the stalker subplot reach its climax!

Kristen Ashley heroines tend to thrive with domineering men. They are sassy, nurturing, and somewhat independent. Yet there is a continuous theme amongst the heroines: A need for a man take control. Their men make them feel safe and cherished. There's almost a Dom/sub dynamic in the way the women are handled.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I'll continue to read Ms. Ashley's work with long periods in between books. I am taking a star and a half off the rating because of Joe's characterization, but I am rounding my rating up to 4 stars. This story can stand alone and I will skip book 3 to read Mike's story in Games of the Heart, followed later by Frankie and Benny, which should release within a few months.

[***Lyrics in Quotes: "Baggage Claim" by Miranda Lambert, "Lover Man" by Billie Holiday, "Communication" by The Cranberries, " Good Stuff" by The B-52s]
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Please read this book!!! In my top 3 of Kristen Ashley books!, March 24, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: At Peace (The 'Burg Series Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
I can not believe it only has 60 reviews. This is such a good book! KA is one of my favorite authors and this is one of my top three of her books. The others being Motorcyle Man and Mystery Man. This is in no order, I love all three the same.

Joe and Violet are such a pair that I read romance for. I went for about 20 years without reading romance novels but Kristen Ashley made me come back. This book is sooooo good. Please read it!!!

I was an English Lit Minor in college. Read Dickens, Hardy, Austen, etc. and loved them. Went on to Stephen King and mystery and suspense novels. Loved them. Now I have a major love for KA. You rock KA!!! Thanks for what you do for me.

One of the things that made this book so good is that I could, from word one, connect with Violet's character. She is an everyday person, a single Mom with two teenage girls and a job at a garden center. I was not reading Violet's story, I was living it (although I'm not a single Mom, don't have teenage girls and don't work in a garden center.)

Joe is KA's typical hot, macho, alpha male. He is more tortured than most and at times acts very badly. Watching his struggle to avoid falling in love and Violet's quiet (but with plenty of spunk) beauty is heartwarming. Oh yeah I almost forgot--the sex scenes? Swoon.

One theme seems to be prevalent in KA's work. Love and redemption. Very highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing KA Strikes gold again (but a little opposite from normal), May 1, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: At Peace (The 'Burg Series Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
Amazing, just like her other books. Joe was great, I loved the breakdown scene when he gets all cuddly. I'm glad he didn't mess up a third time although he should never have done it in the first place or at least the second, the first was kinda habit. SAM!!!! He was a really great guy. I liked when Joe was affectionate, he isn't as macho like as some of her others, especially not when it comes to the girls. The girls were great and funny. Dane was nice, the family members added nicely to the story and Joe's relatives were funny. The whole thing with Tim was sad and Mike was great, he just threw a wrench into things. Hart, like all her psychos, was not, surprisingly, an actual psycho, other than being a criminal. Creepy with the gifts thing. I love how in her books they always wait till the relationship issues get sorted before they walk in, very nice of them. After reading a bunch of her books, I can see the plot patterns. The issues, personality and everything changes, but there are consistent generalities, but that's ok. They are still great books, sweet, entertaining, well written, great relationships, well worth the money to buy the ebooks off of Amazon the way I do and most importantly, her distinctive catch, the best part of her books, her Mega-Alpha-Macho-Man. Always a little scary but always sweet on the inside, they make the books and are the reason we all come back for more. However for this book, it's interesting that the relationship attitudes swap male to female, often in KA's books it's the male that is all 'I know what I want, I like attitude, You're MINE' like and the females are the ones with insecurity and relationship issues. In this, that's not the case Joe was the scared one, understandable, and realistic, it's just an interesting change if you think about it. It's actually more like real life, or other books.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sigh..., October 8, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: At Peace (The 'Burg Series Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
I really have enjoyed the 6 Kristen Ashley novels that I have read, and At Peace was a good story (although long.)
My irritation has been building after reading Mystery Man, Law Man, Heaven & Hell, Knight, Sweet Dreams and At Peace because of the same general language (or lack therof) in all of these books. The repeated use of "bein' doin' havin' wantin' lovin' and needin'" is driving me crazy. In At Peace, Violet starts out with full sentences when communicating and after a few conversations with Joe, she drops all pronouns and talks like him. (and I loved Joe) All of the Heroes in the KA books I have read have had the same hottish grunty way of speaking with partial sentences and now the Heroines are speaking the same way. Not especially charming. It worked in Heaven & Hell, but after 6 books with the exactly same 'language,' I am frustrated.

I know this is not helpful as a review of the content of At Peace if you are a first or second time Kristen Ashley reader, but I needed to vent :)

That being said, I am about to start reading Breathe, and I can't wait to dive in.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beats sweet dreams, April 30, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: At Peace (The 'Burg Series Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
Wow...this is a book, so much drama, so much love, so so good....yes the hero is tough to take in the beginning but wow does he make up for it...you will not want this book to end....you will want it to continue with Francesca and benny.... This book is a full story ride like sweet dreams was.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bookwhisperer Favorite Author, June 4, 2013
This review is from: At Peace (The 'Burg Series Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
If I felt comfortable enough with videoing myself doing a "OMG, this book was so awesome that I just have to do a happy dance" then I would post it but instead I am just going to tell you how AMAZING, TERRIFIC, WONDERFUL, FANTASTIC, and BRILLIANT this book was. Everything that you could ever ask for in a KA novel was neatly wrapped up in this book and presented with a beautiful bow. At Peace kept me thoroughly entertained until the last page. In fact, I still wanted it to continue after I read the last sentence.

Violet is one awesome woman who has been through the wringer and is still stuck in the wringer because things just keep getting worse. As the reader, you just marveled at what she overcame and then wept when she was swept back into the undertow. Her pain is so present and it continues to add after the loss of Tim, Hart's obsession, Joe's on again off again attitude, and the tragedy that made me sit in my bed and cry. Oh man was that chapter painful to read.

I would say my favorite part about this book was Joe. Even though I hated him at some points, I really did deep down love him the whole time. He is the ultimate man; one of my favorite KA characters. But how he stole my heart was the way he interacted with Kate and Kierra.

The `Burg series just keep getting better and better and I cannot wait to start the third.

~BookWhisperer Reviewer MC~
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A KA Fave, May 3, 2013
This review is from: At Peace (The 'Burg Series Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
This story of Joe and Violet is one of my favorites from Kristen Ashley. I like all of her books, but this one just had a feel about it that broke my heart and warmed it at the same time. It is long, but I don't feel like it drags on. The emotions are so raw that you get sucked right in. I love the talk of balancing the scales and the way the girls are written and Joe's interaction with them. I don't love Violet's wishy-washy side, but in the end I can get over that because of what she and Joe have. The ending is great, as always!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes a book just speaks to you, At Peace is one of those books, February 8, 2014
This review is from: At Peace (The 'Burg Series Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
At Peace is book two in The Burg Series and my favorite one in the series so far. Book five (Frankie & Benny) is expected summer 2014 with great expectations! I have read At Peace three times now and since I haven’t reviewed this one yet, I figure it’s a good time for a re-read and review.

Sometimes a book just speaks to you, and for whatever reason you are drawn to it over and over again. At Peace is one of those books for me. Maybe it’s the vulnerability of Vi and her naiveté on the dating/flirting world. See, she’s a widow, once married to a cop whom she met in high school; she has never been with anyone else. Ever. Vi has just moved to a new town trying to escape the madman who is responsible for murdering her husband and who now has a romantic obsession with her.

Things are going pretty good until she meets her neighbor Joe, a security expert, who is rarely home. It’s when Vi is woken in the middle of the night to blaring music and a crazy celebrity trying to get her seduction on next door that she comes face to face with him. The sight of Violet in her nighty, a ratty old men’s robe, and wellies will change Joe forever.

It’s not a simple sweet story. Joe really is an ass and rips Vi apart more than once. Yes, we are dealing with a strong alpha man with a troubled and unhappy past, but it’s watching Vi take hit after hit and still she keeps getting up. Her strength is something that she really doesn’t see in herself but is proven over and over.

Joe is a good man at heart, and when his light bulb moment hits, he may be too late to fix things. Vi has been spending time with a local cop, and he stirs memories and feelings of security and stability - something she has craved and missed.

Then, tragedy hits and her world is altered yet again. The last twenty five percent of this book is amazing! It’s action-packed, heart racing, and I could not turn the pages fast enough. This is also when Frankie and Benny are introduced and I am instantly in love with the idea of their story. Even after so many reads, I am still breathless when Frankie says she has had enough.

The epilogue is perfection and her description of that house makes me want to head straight to the coast.

What else can I say, guys? This one just spoke to me. There have been three books written by Kristen Ashley that have done that to me. The other two were Golden Dynasty and Creed.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 222 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

At Peace (The 'Burg Series Book 2)
$3.99
Add to wishlist See buying options
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.