Book Review – At Peace by Kristen Ashley

by Maryse on December 4, 2011 · 15 comments

in Bad Boys & Rock Stars, Kristen Ashley

At Peace (The ‘Burg Series)
At Peace was everything I was hoping it would be. It had the gorgeous, hulking, protective SUPER-Alpha male. Super Alpha (aka Uber-alpha). You know the kind… master of his universe. The exact type of Alpha that we’ve come to expect from Kristen’s novels. The reason we’ve mostly become obsessed with these books are simply because her alphas are equal parts arrogant jerk and perfect hero.

A little bit of a “player” (’cause every woman wants them, and they know it),  bossy ’cause he’s skilled in all aspects of life, seemingly emotionally disconnected (maybe a bit broken… and fixable?), and yet, when he finally let’s his heart go, there is no one better. You can BARELY choose one of her heroes as the perfect one, ’cause each one, is the perfect one. Each one has something special, beautiful, intense, flawed yet flawless.

But this one had a slight twist. While he too, had a past that haunted his current life, his fear of his past completely nixed the idea of love in his future. And while he too, made the heroine feel safe (Joe was a high-end security specialist and body guard to the stars) and treasured (Kristen’s Alphas aren’t capable of being completely emotionless, they always let a little love shine through for “the one”)…

… she was unbelievable and she was his. His. All of her, his.

But most of all, he knew it the first time she smiled at him.

He knew this was a mistake.

… this one one sort of played her. He had to. It was the only way he could protect her from him and all that came with “him”.

So here’s a little hint at what you’re in for:

Violet is now living in a small town, on a wonderful street, in a quaint little house with her two young teenage daughters. She is rebuilding her life since she’s had to accept the end of her old one. She was once married to her high school sweet heart. A good man who stood by her when they had a child at a young age, and one who eventually became a valiant cop. Violet did not suffer from the typical “bad guy” past. He was her one and only, and he was wonderful. But she lost it all when he was shot down by a mob member (and one who was currently obsessed with her and stalking her).

So sort of “in hiding” far from her old life, they are adapting to their new surroundings, and luckily, they are surrounded by loving and protective neighbors. One who is also a cop, and her neighbor, Joe, a high-end security specialist, who feels an intense attraction to her.

But her introduction to him is less then positive. Seemingly more of a recluse then a protector, she has barely even noticed her neighbor for the last four months, and when she finally does meet him, the circumstances are less then stellar. He is in the process of evicting his own “sort-of” stalker, and his no-nonsense, angry manner towards this famous celebrity instantly gives Violet a “stay-away” instinct. This is not a friendly neighbor.

He seemed to be pretty unhappy currently but I’d just met him, maybe he could get more unhappy which meant I never wanted to be near him again.

But he insists on changing her first impression of him, and his insistence becomes (in his own mind) his downfall.

He shoveled my snow. He saw me outside shoveling me snow and he knew I’d given up the chore to see to Kate and Dane and he’d finished it for me, making it safe for me and my girls to pull out of our drive.

And they struggle with what they are to each other. BIG time. Joe is intense, aggressive and just soooo…. intense. I already said that, didn’t I? There is no other word for him. Steamy-hot, and just burning with intensity, and a little crude, but somehow that makes him hotter. Couple that along with the looming danger that is still stalking her… and HIS own past that you get to experience up front and center… and you get an exciting, action packed (but not over-the-top) book.

And the emotional connections, the ones that include all of the characters in each of her books, is prevalent here too. It’s not just about the two main characters. This book is about all of them, past, present and future. I Loved his family. Loved hers. Loved the town. I even loved the darned lawn!!! This book was heartwarming… especially one (of many) very sad scenes where Joe finds himself under a pile of understandably distraught females, HIS girls, a moment that would usually have him scrambling, and yet… he holds them all together. Literally. *sigh*

And here’s an “extra” oomph! While the heroes in Kristen’s Colorado series pretty much decided “she was his” even before she had figured it out, Joe from the ‘Burg resisted. Failed. Resisted again (bad boy!!). Failed. Resisted again (badder boy!!!)… and so on. But his insistent attempts at resisting his heroine were perfectly placed, perfectly timed to make us soooo angry at him, and feel so terribly for the heroine.

‘Cause ya know what? THIS heroine (as opposed to the usual “falling in love” heroine) DID NOT resist her feelings for him when things got going, and she did NOT second guess how he felt for her. It was obvious in his demeanor towards her. His over-protective stance, his attentiveness, his delicate comportment, his passionate intensity whenever she was near. She was a refreshing heroine, because, she didn’t bother questioning his motives.

I wasn’t stupid. A man like Joe Callahan didn’t wait up for a woman until two o’clock in the morning; he didn’t throw her on his bed and have sex with her for four straight hours; he didn’t react that way, reflexively especially, when she told him she had to leave; and he didn’t want her to come back unless he wanted her.

Which, I told myself, all meant he wanted me.

Sure he never said he loved her (yet). Sure, they had not defined their relationship, exactly (yet). Sure, he leaned towards his independent, loner tendencies… but the more they hung out, the more they bonded. Why question that. She was going to let things grow, and do what they had to do, and not worry herself sick over usual “what if’s”. Go with the flow, cause the flow was good.

And I liked that sometimes he looked at me and there was something working in his eyes, something I didn’t quite get but whatever it was, it was about me.

And it was good.

I just knew it.

Ahhhhh refreshing. She’s GOING with it!!! No game playing. No stupid moves ’cause she doesn’t wanna get hurt. She’s all in.

And then… STUPID JOE!!!! Went and did the exact thing that makes all of these heroines second guess their “love interest” in practically every one of these novels. Because, opposite of Kristen’s Colorado alphas, THIS one did not decide his girl was gonna just live with him, and start on their future. THIS hero did exactly the opposite. When things got good, when the nightly sexcapades started becoming more, and the twinges in his chest became overwhelming and that soft look in her eyes was suddenly permanent…

“Do you want to come for dinner tonight?”

There it was.

“I’m done,” he said and watched her blink.


“Done,” he repeated and her head pressed into the pillow as she tilted it to it to the side in confusion.

“Sorry, I don’t – ”

“With this, it was good, buddy, but I’m done.”

There’s more of that. Oh yes… SO much more. And then, more. Oh I loved every minute of it (loved my anger at him, my crush on him, all of it). HE didn’t come easy. Uhhh… *blush*

So there you have it. Another HUGE winner, and Joe threatened to knock Tate off of my “top heroes” list, but come on. NOBODY can knock Tate off. They might be able to match him… so Joe. Welcome to the top. Now. Learn to share. ;)

4.5 stars!

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

patricia December 4, 2011 at 10:36 AM

Squeak.,…..(I am sick….) I just got done this morning and now that I can catch my breathe from laughing so hard from the last part of your review…I can tell you…I was worried that with all of these books that I wont fall in love with the characters that there is no way I could love the next one like I loved the first one…eitttttttt wrong………I loved this one…as soon as Joe would role me up to unleash on him I would swoon al over Jim again then when I so wanted Vi to kick him to the curb I began to yell for to ho to him..,it was awesome

Em December 4, 2011 at 5:12 PM

GAH!!!!!! I read Sweet Dreams (thanks for the rec) and it was so so so so so so GOOOOOOOD!!! I was thinking Kristen might not be able to suck me in again but I LOOOOOOOVED At Peace!!!

Both of the books I’ve read so far have been absolute page turners, I’ve really struggled to put them down and get some sleep at night.

Now, big question is…..Which one do I read next!!??!?!

Em :)
Patiently waiting for your answer!!

Maryse December 4, 2011 at 10:23 PM

Em! Next should be Ty’s book (in the Colorado series – book #3 called Lady Luck).

Just as good, in fact the one that had me reacting the most, emotionally. I’ll be writing that review soon. :)

Doris L December 5, 2011 at 9:53 AM

I’ve read the first two in the burg series and Colt was omg great but Joe was OMG WOW!! He’s a definate keeper!! I can’t wait to read the third in the series and keep going on the rest of her books.

Maryse December 5, 2011 at 12:45 PM

Doris… you ‘n me both!!! LOVE this stuff. Even with the bit of repitition, I always connect with them.

Em December 5, 2011 at 11:42 PM

Thanks Maryse!! Toodled off to Amazon and got Lady Luck (I love that her books are so reasonably priced). I’m not far in but it’s just starting to warm up!!

Is it wrong that I’m probably going to read all her books at once!! Bahahahaha!

Em ;)

Carrie December 6, 2011 at 1:04 AM

I’m so glad you loved it!

Your review was spot on.. right when I wanted to chase him down and smack him in the back of the head HARD… he made me swoon. And I will never look at a classic mustang the same again! Lordy Mawsy but that was H.O.T. ;)

rachel December 6, 2011 at 4:23 PM

The Gamble – Max is a great Alpha!!! LOved him the start….*swoon*

Tina December 7, 2011 at 8:34 AM

Reading this one now, Maryse. What’s freaking me out about it is that “Tina and Cory” are the whacked neighbors. Did I mention that my husband’s name is Cory? Figures we’d be the loud ones :-)

Maryse December 7, 2011 at 9:23 AM

LOL!!!! And Tina, you get to be a real pain in this one ;)

Mariel December 10, 2011 at 4:56 PM

Ok.. I loved me some Joe!!!! This book was great!! I have yet to be disappointed by any of Kristen’s books …. Awesome review Maryse :) I have to agree though, my favorite is Tate ^_^

Ivie Sparaco December 12, 2011 at 9:45 PM

My fourth Kristen Ashley book in a row. I have gotten NOTHING done over the past week or two! These books don’t let up and they are so long that I can’t come up for air! My reading addiction is starting to scare me. I’m blaming you Maryse, for always recommending good ones! :-) Now, back to Joe……

Angie December 28, 2011 at 11:31 AM

ok, i am still hung up on tate! Back of my bike, dude but JOE wow!
and wow! my daughter is hooked as well she just read tates book after many warning of him being mine, she is readin max’s book now and i told her a tiny little bit about joe and she is telling me that her husband is giving her dirty looks too. LOLOL oh well guys what can i say. Maryse thanks for the recommendation. This stuff is GREAT!

Maryse December 29, 2011 at 1:18 PM

So glad to help Angie! And I’m thrilled I found her too!!

angie January 1, 2012 at 10:30 PM

If i can match a song to something I am reading you best believe i am listening to it. Brian Adams: Heaven is how I think it is for the both of them.

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