Justice Lonesome has enjoyed a life of bounty.
Even so, she’s inherited the curse of the Lonesome. A poet’s soul. Which means she’s still searching for something. Searching for peace. Searching for the less…that’s more.
And when the foundation of her life is pulled out from under her, grieving, she goes to the mountains to find her oasis. She hits Carnal, Colorado and decides to stay.
Deke Hightower lost everything at the age of two. He lost it again at fifteen. His life has not been about bounty. It’s been about learning to live with less, because there’s no way to get more.
Deke’s also watched all his friends go down to the women who gave them what they needed. He wants that for himself. But he knows that search isn’t going to be easy because he’s a rider. His home is the road. That’s the only place he can breathe. And the woman who takes her place at his side has to do it sitting on the back of his bike.
When Deke meets Justice, he knows she’s not that woman. She’s cute. She’s sweet. And she’s into him, but she’s got it all and Deke knows he won’t fit into that. So he holds her at arm’s length. Establishes boundaries. And Justice will take it because she wants Deke any way he’ll let her have him.
But when Justice finds herself a pawn in a dangerous game, Deke makes a decision.
When he does, he has no idea he’s just opened himself up to bounty.
"Close your eyes, gypsy, and I swear to God, you'll be safe in your dreams"
There's almost nothing better than sitting down to read a brand-spanking-new Kristen Ashley book. Seriously. It's like I'm a drug addict and reading Kristen Ashley get me high. I'm obsessed. And I shamelessly begged for an early copy of this book because after reading the teaser chapters on Kristen's website I was hooked.
The Colorado Mountain Series is a favorite of mine. A lot of her books are set in Colorado and the way she describes the landscapes in this series—I get serious wanderlust.
Some might think that after 6 books set in the same general area that the story would get stale. Well, they would be wrong. KA may write a lot of books in the same setting but the thing that sets them apart is the characters she writes. Every single one is so unique and while the men are all alpha they are all so different. Like Deke. We first met him way back in Sweet Dreams where he watched over Lauren while she worked at Bubba's and he was so mysterious! In the following books we still didn't learn much about him so I was so excited he was finally getting his story told.
"Mostly because, with one look, I knew he was that nut a girl itched to crack. Just watching him laugh, he made you be the girl who wanted to make him laugh like that. Who wanted to pull out the teddy bear cuddler within from the rough exterior that was without. Who wanted to live her life knowing no one would harm her because he’d sweat and bleed to make that so. Who wanted to strip that, “take me as I am, I don’t give a shit, my life is mine and I’m gonna live it,” clean away—not in everything, only in the sense you wanted him as he was, but he did give a shit about what you thought, and more importantly, his life was yours."
The story starts out where Deke and Justice aka Jussy meet at a bar and he asks her out on a date to which he doesn't show up. Justice moves to Carnal 7 years later and runs into Deke at Bubba's and he doesn't recognize her even though her style has changed from biker bitch to hippy gypsy). He's someone she's never forgotten so the fact that he doesn't recognize her—cuts—and totally broke my heart! Justice buys a fixer-upper and calls Max (from The Gamble!) to do the re-model but he's booked and Deke, who is back for a few months, steps in.
Justice Lonesome (seriously amazing name) comes from a family of musicians, and is one herself. After a death in the family she needs to step out of the spotlight and find a place to relax, to just breathe. She's loaded and because of some shit that went down in his past, is completely opposite of the kind of woman Deke goes for. Deke tries to keep Justice at arms length—and it seems to be working if you don't count the meals she insists on bringing him—until something horrible happens and Deke realizes that Justice is someone he doesn't want to live without.
“Deke Hightower liked me.He so totally liked me.”
Something else that KA does so well is writing her secondary characters. Because Bounty is set in Carnal we get to see some of our favorites from previous books in this series. I loved Justice's mom Joss and even her husband Rod. I loved that we got to go to The Rooster with Max and Nina once again. I was shocked (but probably shouldn't have been) about how much I loved Krystal and Justice's relationship. I also got the urge to sell everything I own, go buy and Airstream and travel the country.
Bounty is an amazing addition to the Colorado Mountain series. It will make you laugh, it will most definitely make you cry, and it will remind you why you love reading books by Kristen Ashley. Wood and Maggie are up next (and I think last) in this series and I can't wait to see what kind of story they get!
*I received an ARC of this book from the author (thank you, thank you, thank you!) in exchange for an honest review.
Once I had it in, the air of his trailer, the air Deke breathed, I let it out saying, “You know how you told me I was one of the best women you’ve ever met?”
He again didn’t answer immediately, then his deep voice sounded.
“You’re one of the best men I’ve ever met.”
“That’s it, Deke. I’m a lucky girl. Blessed. Given so much bounty, it’s almost embarrassing how much God likes me. But He really must like me because I have all I have and He also gave me you.”
“You’re gonna be shutting up now,” Deke declared, I could hear the gruff in his voice, the buried emotion.
That was beautiful too.
I grinned down the hall.
“You’re also gonna be shuttin’ your eyes and goin’ to sleep,” he commanded.
“You and Mr. T might have had a taking-care-of-Justice-meeting-of-the-minds but this is plain bossing me, Deke.”
“Yeah, it is. And you keep talkin’, you’ll be talkin’ to nothin’ ’cause I’ll be putting my earphones in.”
It was my turn to boss.
“You listen to Dad, I want to hear it.”
“You’re talking,” Deke noted.
“No, seriously. I want to hear it.”
“Don’t got one of those speaker things. And sound is shit through the phone.”
“First chance, mall for Deke Hightower. Coffeemaker and speaker dock.”
“You buy me that shit, I’ll tan your hide.”
Deke spanking me.
A quiver slithered down my spine, the small of my back, through the crease of my ass to settle in between my legs.
I rolled to my back and stared at the ceiling, knowing I should shut up.
Even knowing that, I still wasn’t going to let it go.
“You’ll have to catch me first. Though, that might happen as you’ll be caffeinated by decent coffee.”
I rolled back to my side as I heard and felt the movement of Deke making his way down the hall. I watched his big body hit the small space I was in, filling it up. I also watched as his phone illuminated that space and in a couple of seconds, I heard Dad singing.
He set the phone on the built-in nightstand next to his bed.
Then I watched as he bent deep and after that, all I could do was feel.
Feel his hand cupping the back of my head. Feel his lips touch my temple. Feel the rumble in his voice as he whispered in my ear.
“You’re safe here, Jussy. Got me lookin’ after you. Got Twyla outside lookin’ out for both of us. Got your dad watchin’ over you. So stop yammerin’ to keep sleep away. Close your eyes, gypsy, and I swear to God, you’ll be safe in your dreams.”
God, he could also talk sexy, sweet and protective, like a verbal cuddle.
“Okay, Deke,” I whispered back.
I felt his fingers press into my scalp before I again felt his lips brush my temple.
“Night, Jussy. Catch you in the morning.”
One thing I’d learned that day in a way I knew it was for certain.
And it was something that would forever feed my poet’s soul having it in the way I did, which I treasured, and in the way I never would, which I longed for.
That being knowing without a doubt that no matter what…
Deke would catch me.
Grand Prize winner will receive a $100 Gift Card to the winner’s favorite bookseller.
First prize winner will receive all the books in The Colorado Mountain series signed by Kristen plus tons of KA swag.
Second prize winner will receive a signed copy of BOUNTY plus tons of KA swag.