Review: JAGGED (Colorado Mountain #5) by Kristen Ashley


An old flame rekindled . . .

Zara Cinders always knew Ham Reece was the one, but he wasn't interested in settling down. When she found someone who was, Ham walked out of her life. Three years later, Zara's lost her business, her marriage, and she's barely getting by in a tiny apartment on the wrong side of the tracks. As soon as Ham hears about Zara's plight, he's on her doorstep offering her a lifeline. Now, it will take every ounce of will power she possesses to resist all that he offers.

Ham was always a traveling man, never one to settle down in one town, with one woman, for more time than absolutely necessary. But Ham's faced his own demons, and he's learned a lot. About himself, and about the life he knows he's meant to live. So when he hears that Zara's having a rough time, he wants to be the one to help. In fact, he wants to do more than that for Zara. A lot more. But first, he must prove to Zara that he's a changed man.
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Review:

3.5 stars for the story
4 stars for the Prologue and Epilogue


Kristen Ashley is one of my favorite authors. You always know what you are going to get with her books. The first thing you can expect is an alpha male, the second is lots of drama and action, the third being lots of hot sex, and finally, her heroine is usually an older woman, which I can definitely appreciate. I love romance novels but it gets old reading about college aged women and men all of the time.

Given that, I wish I could say that I loved Jagged, but I struggled with this one a little bit. The prologue immediately sucked me in and the story was sweet but I missed the action scenes that usually fill Kristen Ashley's books. I think that is why the book fell flat for me and dragged in certain parts. I kept waiting for all the drama to unfold but it never did. It was a much sweeter book than I am used to from this author. The plot centered on family drama instead of the usual "guns blazing" action present in her other books. One of my favorite things about her books is you really get to know the characters, and even once their book is finished, they usually find their way into the other stories. So, I was a little disappointed that a few of my favorite characters from other Mountain Series installments didn't make an appearance in this one.

The prologue and epilogue were my favorite parts of the book. Like usual, the characters in Jagged are complex and well developed, and you sense that immediately in the prologue. You are introduced to Zara as she struggles to end her relationship with Ham. The two have had a friends with benefits relationship over the last several years but she is ready to it off. Zara loves Ham but knows he will never be able to give her what she needs. My heart broke for her, and I instantly connected with her. It sucks to be in love with someone who can't reciprocate the same feelings. She was willing to allow him to walk away so she could look for what she needed elsewhere.

However, the problem was that she settled. Fast-forward three years and Zara is now divorced and has just lost everything she worked so hard for over the years. With her business and home gone, she is living in a dump of an apartment and working at a dead end job. She might be laid back and easy going, but she is proud and refuses help. Ham learns about her troubles and returns to Gnaw Bone, where she still lives.

Graham (Ham) Reece is a nomad of sorts. After being burned by a woman in the past, he has only been interested in a "no strings attached" relationship with women for most of his adult life. In this story, Ham has just gone through a life-changing event, and is starting to reevaluate his life and what he wants out of it. He realizes that he let go of the best thing he ever had without a fight. He makes his way back to Zara, determined to take care of her and make her see that he is finally ready to settle down. Like most males in Kristen Ashley's books, he is an alpha male with a soft side. His alpha male tendencies don’t make much of an appearance in this book, though. His behaviors are usually soft and sweet, and I think that is one of the things I disliked most about this book. I missed the bossy males that are usually present.

Overall, this one left me wanting a little more. It was a good story but at times, it made me sick with how sugary sweet it was. Kristen Ashley is one of my favorites, and I still plan to read everything else she writes, but I missed the gritty action and harshness I usually find in her books. Pick up Jagged and judge for yourself!

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