Tag Archives: Jackie Ashenden

Motor City Romance

10 Apr

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

In February, I had surgery and spent six weeks on short-term disability from the day job. Mostly, this time was spent staring lifelessly at the T.V. screen or buying needless crap online to off-set my ennui. I also did a helluva lot of reading, some of which was spurred by .99 offers here and there. So writers, if you’re wondering if those discount sales do you any good, as a reader, I’m here to tell you they do.

A couple of these offers led me to new-to-me series by authors not new to me but not on my auto buy list either. One is the Motor City Royals series by Jackie Ashenden.

Look! Three Blurbs!

Dirty for Me

Click image to buy!

Ezekiel “Zee” Chase has a complicated past. Born into a family whose wealth grew from the seedy world of big-time crime, he ran away as a teenager and made a home for himself on the streets of Detroit. By day, the mechanic works at a local garage. But by night, he throws down with the best of them in Detroit’s gritty underground fighting scene. With all those muscles, he’s never had trouble with women–until he meets one who challenges him to the greatest fight of his life. . .

Tamara Eliot is a hardworking corporate high-flyer who appreciates the finer things in life, from her expensive perfume to her designer handbags. More than anything, though, she likes to be in control–and when Zee explodes into her life, she feels anything but. He’s the definition of a bad boy: brash, fiery, and of course, irresistibly hot. And there’s a darkness about him that keeps her coming back for more. As Zee takes Tamara deeper into a world she never knew existed, she just might prove to be the one opponent he won’t be able to dominate–at least not without some pleasurable convincing . . .

Wrong for Me

Click image to buy!

After eight years in prison, Levi Rush is finally out and back on the gritty streets of Detroit to claim the future he was owed. A future that includes the one woman he’s wanted for years—his former best friend Rachel. She’s the reason he went inside and if getting her to do what he wants means buying the building that houses her tattoo studio and using it as leverage, then that’s what he’ll do. Because if there’s one thing he’s learned inside it’s that if you want to win, you have to play dirty.

Rachel Hamilton is a tattoo artist and one hell of a tough girl. Detroit is her home, and she’s determined to make it a better place. But her plans are threatened when her old friend Levi reappears and gives her an ultimatum: she gives herself to him body and soul, or else she and her business are out on the street. Levi’s got no room in his heart for anything but anger and the lust he’s been carrying around for so long. But the only thing stronger than the secrets of their shared past is their fiery attraction to each other . . .

Sin for Me

Click image to buy!

It was anything but easy, but Gideon Black has finally managed to create a safe haven for himself on the gritty streets of Detroit. He worked hard to get on the straight and narrow, pulling himself up from an underground crime syndicate before it consumed him completely. But the past isn’t staying put, and now that it’s come calling, it’s not after him, but the woman he considers the closest thing he has to family . . .

Zoe James has always loved Gideon more than anything in the world. She knows he only wants to keep her safe, but his overprotectiveness has taken over her life and it’s got to stop. She’s sick of him treating her like a little girl, but is she woman enough to handle the truth when it finally comes out? As old enemies close in, a complicated but undeniable passion is growing between them. Gideon tries to hold on to Zoe and keep her safe, but he may have to let her go in order to save them both . . .

Okay, so there’s a lot going on in this series, that’s clear. And yeah, I inhaled the first two in as many days and paid full price for the third the day it was released (which, at agency pricing, is a BFD for me, but that’s a different post) and slurped it right up. This series has a couple of tropes that are serious catnip for me, but also a couple just slightly off the main path choices that intrigued me.

Here are the Top 5 things I dig about Motor City Royals:

#5 Those Covers:

Let’s talk about those covers for a minute. Ya know what? Let’s let ’em speak for themselves, because, holy hotness, are they saying a lot. Admittedly, in real life, they’re a little too young and a little too lean for my tastes, but as book covers, ya huh. Particularly digging that ink. Hard.

#4 Detroit

Perhaps given away by the series title, these books are set on the wrong side of Detroit. Now, pretty much the only thing I know about Detroit is from attending a wedding in the Detroit suburbs a gazillion years ago, Motown music, and news reports in recent years about the city’s dramatic decline. So my expertise is zilch. It’s definitely not a place I think of as a natural fit for a romance series, which is my bad, obviously. Ostensibly, there’s not a lot of flash and draw to that setting, but going by Ashenden’s series, that’s our loss for missing out. Ashenden stays away from easy Detroit stereotypes and shows the city through the love of its inhabitants, her characters, who are loyal to and incredibly protective of their turf.

#3 Super sexy times

Leading with those covers, it’s clear this is not a tame series when it comes to sexy times. But while those times are hot and drrrrty, there’s a whole lotta sweetness and charm deep down

#2 Family is what you make it

This series is rooted in the mechanics shop run by Gideon Black, the defacto Big Brother of the lot. Throughout all three books, everyone is rooted back to the garage, back to Gideon. For Gideon, for all six of them, each with a murky past and murkier blood families, this is the family that they’ve made together, and how their actions and decisions may or may not affect that family is a strong thread through all three books.

#1 Rich Girl/Boy from Wrong-Side, Reunited Lovers With a Grudge, and Friends to Lovers…this series has three of my absolute favorite Romancelandia tropes. Ashenden hits my trifecta and does it hard and dirty. This series runs with high emotional stakes coasting alongside life-changing decisions and rife with secrets and lies that could wreck any family, even one that chose each other.

Do yourself a favor. Rev up your engines and get your groove on by checking out the Motor City Royals

Follow Lady Smut. We know how to rev all your engines.

Let the Confessional Games Begin!

Have you ever had mad monkey love on a motorcycle? A three-way in an alley? Been tied to a tree and made someone’s sex slave? Have you never, ever, never done any of this? Be rewarded for your naughty or sweet past and win crowns, fetish toys, books and more at the Ladysmut.com special reader event, May 3 at 1:30 p.m. at the RT Booklovers Convention. Link: https://www.rtconvention.com/event/never-have-you-ever-ever-ever

Now available exclusively from Kindle. Click image to buy!

Writer, singer, editor, traveler, tequila drinker, and cat herder, Kiersten Hallie Krum avoids pen names since keeping her multiple personalities straight is hard enough work. She writes smart, sharp, and sexy romantic suspense. Her debut romantic suspense novel, WILD ON THE ROCKS, is now available. Visit her website at www.kierstenkrum.com and find her regularly over sharing on various social media via @kierstenkrum
.

The Deacons of Bourbon Street Interview and Review of Make You Burn

3 Aug

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

Last year, at the 2013 RT Convention in New Orleans, the sultry setting of The Big Easy inspired four romance writers to create a new, erotic motorcycle club (MC) series.

Now The Deacons of Bourbon Street are ready to hit the road, burning rubber out of the gate with the debut of book one, Make You Burn by Megan Crane, tomorrow, Tuesday, August 4th.

Ladies, start your mothereffin’ engines.

I had the chance to sit down with all four Bitches of Bourbon Street–Megan Crane, Rachael Johns, Jackie Ashenden, and Maisey Yates–at this year’s Romance Writers of America national conference. What followed was a riotous, naughty, frank chat about the bad boys of Bourbon Street, the bad ass women in whom they meet their matches, and all the filthy goodness yet to come in the series.

Click below to hear the entire chat (headphone use is recommended for a better listening experience).

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE.

Scroll on down for my review of Make You Burn and then leave a comment to be eligible for not one, but TWO e-book copies graciously provided by Loveswept and Megan Crane. Be sure to check back for a review of each new release in The Deacons of Bourbon Street series in upcoming months.

 

Make You Burn: A Review

Meet the Deacons of Bourbon Street, bad boy bikers who are hell on wheels—and heaven between the sheets. Megan Crane revs up an irresistible new series co-written with Rachael Johns, Jackie Ashenden, and Maisey Yates.
 
Sean “Ajax” Harding’s oaths are inked into his skin. Once second-in-command of the Deacons of Bourbon Street motorcycle club, he left New Orleans to protect the brotherhood, and only the death of his beloved mentor, Priest Lombard, could lure him back. Walking into the old hangout gives him a familiar thrill—especially when he gets an eyeful of the bar’s delectable new owner. A wild ride with her is just the welcome Ajax needs. Then he realizes that she’s Priest’s daughter, all grown up and totally off-limits.

Sophie Lombard loved her father, not his lifestyle. She’s done with bikers . . . until Ajax roars into town—arrogant, tough, and sexy as ever. And although he treats her like the Catholic schoolgirl he once knew, Sophie’s daydreams tend to revolve around sin. With the very real possibility of heartbreak looming, Sophie knows better than to get too close to an outlaw. But every touch from Ajax is steamier than the Louisiana bayou—and heat like this may just be worth getting burned.

If you’re thinking, “say, that sounds like Sons of Anarchy!” you get a gold star! The Deacons of Bourbon Street is like the Sons of Anarchy spin off we wanted and never got with less blood, less objectionable behavior toward women (sorta), and more seriously sexy times flavored with emotional angst with a guaranteed happy ending.

I devoured Make You Burn in one sitting. And then I read it again. In the weeks since first receiving the galley, I think I’ve read it 15 times. Conservative estimate.

You want this book. You have no idea how much you want this book. But don’t worry. Ajax will show you.

Look, bad boys in leather on motorcycles in New Orleans? It’s like someone made a checklist titled “What Turns Kiersten On” and then wrote four heroes who fit the list. Starting with Ajax.

Especially, Ajax.

Ajax is a total alphahole, no question. Full stop. There are no limits with Ajax, no boundary he won’t cross, no extreme he won’t push over or push someone else over if he feels they need said pushing. He has a code, a fierce, unbreakable code, and that code literally is his life. He doesn’t take people’s concerns or objections into account. He says what is going to happen and expects people to make it happen and he’s big enough and mean enough to follow through on what he promises will be the fallout if what he wants doesn’t happen. He’s absurdly gorgeous and is obscenely filthy in every delicious way and is ridiculously gleeful about it. He’s often got shit attitudes toward women, at least on the surface, and sees no reason to change his mind any time soon. But he also has an out-sized mental and physical strength. He knows exactly who and what he is and makes zero apology for it, which is its own kind of sexy. His confidence is intoxicating and anyone who encounters him knows he’s good for whatever he says he’s going to do. He puts a capital A on Alphahole and you just want to thank him for it as you test the durability of the nearest flat surface while taking off your pants and that’s before you get to his dirty, dirty sex skillz.

Sophie is his match in every single way. She’s fierce and strong-minded with a sharp mouth and a steel spine. But she also has a wealth of compassion that is at odds with the harsh philosophy with which her father raised her single-handed. She confronts life head on, stepping up to whatever challenge is presented to her. She can hold her own with a cadre of bad ass bikers and navigate the complicated pathways of MC culture without a second thought. She is the princess of the MC, whether she likes it or not, and she really, really doesn’t like it. When Priest sent his chosen sons away, it was Sophie who picked up the pieces and kept the business going, kept her father living. Ajax rolls back into town the night her father dies and sets off all her brewing resentments about the club, wraps it up in outrageous sexual demand, and puts a bow on her soul-crushing grief. He is the shining example of everything her father denied Sophie: love, acceptance, pride, intimacy. And she meets Ajax toe-to-toe without fear and challenges his every command even knowing he’ll push her far beyond her comfort zone every time.

For both Ajax and Sophie, the lost of Priest is a cataclysmic event. From the day he was exiled from New Orleans, Ajax has been waiting to come home. He’s pictured it in minute detail and it only took the death of his father figure to make it happen. Ajax’s strong sense of duty is literally etched into his skin, a tome of obligation he willingly shoulders as he sets out to reclaim his club and his city. He takes one look at Sophie and knows he’s going to claim her too…eventually. Though he’s happy as a pig in slop to be back, the club and New Orleans are very different from when he left…and still neither as much as Sophie. But he now has to navigate without Priest there guiding the way and this new shape to his old life takes more than a few hits out on him. And Sophie is basically a solid, right hook.

Sophie has played second fiddle to the club in her father’s heart her whole life and dreamed of the day when Priest would place blood over brothers. A day that will never come now that her father is dead. Instead, she’s left to come to terms with the fallout and the dubious legacy Priest has left behind if not left to Sophie. Does she stay on the fringes of the Deacons as Ajax pulls the club back from the brink, a life she loathes but can never quite bring herself to leave? Or strike out on her own to find the life she should’ve made ten years ago? Ajax’s homecoming heralds the return of all Sophie has enjoyed 10 years doing without: the brotherhood, the biker bunnies, the blood. But from the moment he walks through the door, Ajax spins her world completely upside down. Even as he pisses her off and turns her on, he’s also the only solid thing she has to cling to in the upheaval that just erupted through her world. Every moment with him reminds her of what she’s lost but at the same time, he’s the epitome of what she can’t quite abandon. An addiction she can’t give up even if it kills her.

On the surface, Make You Burn is a smokin’ hot, MC erotic romance and holy crap, does it deliver on that promise. But it’s also a story about dealing with immense loss and struggling to find purpose and balance in the face of excruciating grief–and what happens when the life you thought you hated is the person you can’t possibly live without.

Jump on and take a ride with The Deacons of Bourbon Street.

DON’T FORGET to leave a comment to win a free copy of Make You Burn.

Get an extra taste of the sinful stuff with a trip through the Make You Burn Pinterest Board.

Add some boogie on the bayou with Megan Crane’s Make You Burn playlist below.

And follow Lady Smut. We’ll burn you right up.

Make You Burn Playlist
Do I Wanna Know?—Arctic Monkeys
Devils & Dust—Bruce Springsteen
Hey Hey, My My—Battleme
Sail—AWOL Nation
Little Black Submarines—The Black Keys
My Body is A Cage—Arcade Fire
Stronger Than Dirt—Tom McRae
Dry County—Bon Jovi
I Am the Highway—Audioslave
My Way—Limp Bizkit
Paint It Black—The Rolling Stones
Prophecy—Remy Zero
Storm Coming—Gnarls Barkley
The Way I Tend To Be—Frank Turner
What You Are—Dave Matthews
Releases August 4, 2015. Click the image to buy!

Releases August 4, 2015. Click the image to buy!

Fire Me Up

Releases September 1, 2015. Click image to preorder!

Hold Me Down

Releases December 5, 2015. Click image to preorder!

Strip You Bare

Releases January 8, 2016. Click image to preorder!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: