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There's nothing like the first time . . .

In Carnal, Colorado, Faye Goodknight is the town's quiet, shy librarian. She may also be Carnal's last remaining virgin. For years, Faye has had a crush on Chace Keaton, but the gorgeous cop has always been unattainable. She's resigned to live contentedly with only her books for company-until Faye suddenly meets Chace alone in the woods . . .

Chace doesn't think he's the good guy everyone believes him to be. He's made a lot of choices he regrets, including denying his feelings for Faye. Through his choices, he's come to believe the pretty librarian is too good for him, but after their time in the woods, Chace realizes that she may be his last chance for redemption. Soon, their long simmering desires grow to a burning passion. Yet always casting a shadow over their happiness is Chace's dark past . . .

554 pages, ebook

First published January 1, 2012

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About the author

Kristen Ashley

129 books37.4k followers
Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA. She nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorise and she hadn't taken her first breath!).

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana but has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write.

Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multi-generational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland and existed amongst the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.

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5 stars
19,564 (53%)
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11,738 (31%)
3 stars
4,190 (11%)
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390 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,399 reviews
Profile Image for Christy.
3,753 reviews31.9k followers
August 17, 2017
5 Fraking Fabulous stars!!!

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This was such a beautiful book! Laughter, tears, smiling from ear to ear, this book just had it all!

Faye Goodnight is Carnal’s librarian. She is twenty nine and always has her head in a book. Faye reads about love, but has yet to experience it. She doesn’t really put herself out there. The reason? She’s holding out for a hero. Chace Keaton is that hero to Faye. The man she has been crushing on for 13 years is now single. Faye is everything I love about a good heroine. Sweet, but has a backbone, loyal, loving, funny, and geeky (can’t tell you how much my inner nerd loved all the Firefly and StarWars references). And Chace Keaton is the perfect alpha male. Bossy, sexy, protective, and a little broken. The reason Chace is a little broken- he has family issues(his father) and his wife was murdered (even though there marriage was a joke- it still does something to him. He is a little fucked up. And just as Lexie, Laurie, and Krystal before her, it is her job to unfuck him ;)
“Well, I had to unfuck one and, I’ll remind you, so did you and Laurie, and it wasn’t much fun.”

“Mine was fun,”
“Mine was too, mostly because all the fucking we did while I was unfucking him.”

Chace keeps Faye at a distance no matter how close she tries to get. She can’t seem to break through. A little boy named Malichi brings the two of them together. His story, I won’t go into detail, will break your heart. Most of my tears shed were for this little boy. After bonding over him, Faye and Chace start spending more time together. Faye is nervous at first. She’s never really been with a man, especially a man like Chace.

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I loved watching Faye and Chace’s relationship develop. It was a truly beautiful thing. The two of them together melted my heart.
“Baby, you gave that to someone else, it wouldn’t be mine. Now it’s mine. No one can ever have it. It’ll always be mine. I love it.”

Chace had never had someone like Faye in his life. After everything he’s done, everything he’s been through, he doesn’t believe he deserves this kind of goodness. But he does. He has always been a good man, special. And Faye wants to prove that to him. He has always been that hero to her, the knight in shining armor she’s been waiting for.
“I'll let you in on a secret, honey. The knight who has serious chinks in his armor but never falls is the true hero. That means he's won battles and doesn't waste time polishing his armor so he can look good while he rides in parades that are tributes to his glory. He just drags himself back on his steed and keeps right on battling. And if he's the right kind of knight, he never rides alone. The best heroes inspire loyalty. The best heroes keep fighting the good fight, tirelessly, quietly. The best heroes always have scars. If they didn't, the heroine would have nothing to do. It's her job to help the hero let all that stuff go in order that her man can be strong enough to fight on but when he's with her he's free to just 'breathe'.”

Faye becomes everything to Chace. She is exactly what he needs in his life. His angel.

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Sweet, sexy, sassy, suspenseful, emotional and comical... this story was just wonderful! I couldn’t get enough Chace and Faye. I love the mountain men. I loved Faye’s relationship with her on-line friends (I can relate)
“You gonna jump on-line and tell your geek squad you landed me?”

The back and forth banter, especially when Faye gets worked up and goes into ‘geek mode’ (ie- Darth Vader convo). And ‘acting out’ the sexy scenes in Faye’s books ;). It was all good! Can’t get enough of these wonderful KA books- any time I am in a book slump, this is my go to author! I loved all the characters, what I am really hoping for is a book about Chace’s friend, Deck. Loved him!!! This book, and this series is a must read!

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♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
“I held out for a hero and I don’t give a frak if you don’t think you’re one. I know you are and even if you weren’t one to the whole town, you’re one to me and you can take that to the fraking bank.”

“After six fuckin’ years of feelin’ buried under shit, I see it through your eyes and finally feel clean. For the first time in six years, I feel free. I feel relief. I’m relieved to let that shit go. I’m relieved to know you got the strength to take it.”

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Profile Image for Jilly.
1,838 reviews6,226 followers
March 4, 2020
If there is one major talent that Kristen Ashley has, it is writing a great asshole lead character. She is famous for her 'alphas', and I'm famous for hating alpha-assholes. Don't get me wrong, I love a good sweet and kind alpha. Maybe we just have different ideas on what an alpha should be like. I think of a character who is strong, self-assured, a leader, and a protector. But, so often I read books where the guy is abusive - physically, emotionally, and sexually - and they get away with it because they are just an 'alpha'.

if you have to ask yourself that question then the answer is definitely B.

So, in this book, we have a douchebag named Chace who is a cop in a small town. He has always liked the town librarian, Faye, and runs into her one night at a park. Well, Chace doesn't think Faye should be out at night so he tells her to 'get her fat ass home'. Sorry, girls, he's taken now!

Faye is a librarian, a sexy librarian, a virgin because Chace needs his goods clean, and a book-loving geek. I'm down with the book-loving geek thing! But, just because we have our noses stuck in books, does that mean we are mousy doormats? Considering the fiery reviews we all leave, I'm thinking that we are major badasses, (at least in our minds). We put ourselves in the position of the kickass heroine who can take out the bad guys with our swords and still look amazing. Sure, we may not actually be able to do it, but we think we can! And, that means we can throw some major shade when we want to.

that's right, you go girl!!

Unfortunately, though, we bookworms are always put in the mousy category, and Faye is as mousy as can be. She doesn't even actually speak during most of the book. She whispers. That's right, she's so meek that she can't bring herself to use even her indoor voice.

Unengage it, Faye! We can't hear what you're bloody saying!

So, Faye, our mousy virgin librarian, still thinks that Chace is da bomb. He calls her names, insults her , screams in her face, throws her belongings across the room and breaks them, belittles her (because if she reads, she lives in a fantasy world), pushes her around, and makes major decisions for her without her input. But, no matter what he does, she puts up with it and looks at him like he's the last piece of pizza.

Which brings me to the most annoying part of this book: these two horrible human beings eat pizza with a knife and fork! If there is any evidence that Chace is a poor excuse for a man, it is this. You know who else ate pizza with a knife and fork? Hitler. That's right, I'm saying Chace is just like Hitler. That is in no way an overstatement.

Other than the guy being Hitler, I liked the book.
Profile Image for Baba  .
859 reviews3,807 followers
September 21, 2013
UPDATE: Rating edited September 21, 2013. From 5 stars downgraded to 4 stars.


5+++ stars.

"You in my life, me livin' in hell, feels like I've been touched by an angel."

Wow. Breathe is all kinds of awesome! Breathe, Baba.


Chace is sitting alone in Harker's Wood. It's the place where his wife, Misty, was shot. It's freezing cold. Her death was purposefully not investigated by detailed police protocol. While sitting in the cold, Chace hears a stumble and a female voice. It's the shy Faye. Faye doesn't date. She is the town's librarian and Chace has had a serious crush on her for a very long time. However, he had to give up on that dream when his life turned upside down. Faye went out there for a certain reason. They have a chat and Faye offers to listen if he wants to talk about his problems. Chace is far from being pleased though, and he acts like a true jerk by being mean. Fay is running away.

Well done, Chace (I'm being ironic). I'm happy to tell you that Chace did apologize. Well done too, Chace. And then he's a d*ck again. Chace, if you don't want Faye's inexperienced bulls*it fumbling, then think again.

Faye is a virgin by choice--sort of. She is a sweet little romantic and waiting for the right man. The man who will sweep her off her feet; the one who was larger than life. When Chace showed up in her town thirteen years ago, Faye fell in love. But then he ended up marrying Misty, the town slut. And Faye ended up living in her books--sort of. Now she is twenty-nine years old and still a virgin. And Chace is unattached again and free for Faye.

Breathe is another brand of sweet. It's not a sweet that will hurt your teeth though. It's the kind of sweet that will warm your heart. I found myself smiling all the time. Who'd have guessed, huh? I totally loved it! Breathe is an excellent installment in the Colorado Mountains series. Beautiful. Gorgeous. Thoughtful. Sad . Funny. Sweet. Cute. A perfect blend of everything and anything. Chace and Faye are very lovable. I adored to see all the former main protagonists of The Gamble, Sweet Dreams and Lady Luck. Furthermore, I'm always so delighted to see the great cast of secondary characters as well.

Faye. She is adorable. She is cute, sweet, and pure. Then again, make no mistake, she's got backbone too. She's…just Faye. "Breathe, Faye." I totally loved her panties interlude with Krys and Twyla--freakin' hilarious! And her cyclone phone call with her mom was so funny. Time and again, our lovely Faye made me laugh out loud. Frak, anyone? LOL Faye was the perfect woman for Chace. She helped him heal his wounds; she got past his scars.

Chace. OMG, I'm in a puddle at your feet! I know KA's heroes have their jerk-ish tendencies. So, this was the same here with Chace. However, once he got past his "bad" moments, and believe me this happened very quickly, he was a great and very memorable hero. Yes, he truly deserved the term hero. I want to go back in time and I'd love to have a Chace of my own who'd take my virginity. So romantic. So sweet and yet steamy and sensual at the same time. It was all I could ever wish for! Simply perfect and beautiful, and Chace was such a sweetheart. Ahhhh, his dark, husky voice is exquisite, that's for sure. Oh, yes, my mind is working. *grin* Chace, please don't be cross with me, however, I have to make a choice eventually. And Tate is the man. Tate forever. When I met him again while reading your fantastic epilogue I was just melting away. Again. That said, I will shamelessly admit that I was in a bigger puddle at his feet. I'm sorry, Chace. I'd like to dedicate this gif to the whole bunch of KA hotness and to Kristen Ashley as well. You are my perfect.


Loved the context between Misty not getting Chace and Faye getting Chace. It was cleverly done.

Throughout the whole book I was absorbed by the characters and I was flooded (as always) by many, many emotions. Kristen's stories make me smile, pensive and cry. As expected the epilogue is another life-altering experience and a real tear-jerker. What a gem. *dreamy sigh*

Kristen, you have done it again. Your books are soul-rocking, intense and thoroughly entertaining. You're in a league of your own. Honestly, there are not enough words to express myself how much I adore your work. With your wonderful stories you're creating beauty in every sense of the word. And I don't speak about physical beauty but I'm sure you know what I mean. I'm already looking forward to reading Graham Reece's story. Thanks so much, Kristen, for what was and what will be!

Faye, tell everyone out there that you landed your larger than life hero. I'm truly happy for you.

Chace loves country music. Here's a beautiful song. Let's make love all night long...


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May 25, 2017
5 Geek Fraking Chic Stars

“I wouldn’t. You know it. I held out for a hero and I don’t give a frak if you don’t think you’re one. I know you are and even if you weren’t one to the whole town, you’re one to me and you can take that to the fraking bank.”-Faye

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“No offense, Faye, but the person I pick to lay the fucked up shit in my head on is not gonna be a woman who breathes and eats and works but lives in a fantasy world. You can’t handle your own life, which is a good life, far’s I can see, without escaping. No fuckin’ way you can handle the shit I got in my head.”-Chace


Move over Max and Ty, This book is now my favorite book of the series to date! I Fraking loved this book!!!!! Faye was Fan-Fraking-Tastic. She made this book for me. I have a total nerd girl crush on her. Faye was this awesome book nerd, sci fi geek, virginal librarian. She loved her books, her Battlestar Galactica, her Firefly, her Star Wars and she doesn't hide it. She seen Chace 13 years ago when she was 16 and she fell in love with him. She has been holding out for her Hero ever since. She was shy, but she wasn't a doormat. Sweet, but she had some sass. She was smart and soft spoken but she had a temper. It was so funny when she lost her temper and started poppin' off her sci-fi geek speak. What I loved about Faye was she had so much personality. She was unique, and hilarious and she stole my heart.

"Just so you know, I'm angry, but still, if I found you were an unknown model of Cylon, I wouldn't kill you because you're my Mom. But I would find you a habitable planet and dump you there. I'm also angry enough to dump Gaius there with you. He's brilliant but he's annoyingly arrogant, smug, a total jerk, completely self-serving and unpredictable. You'd hate him. So that tells you just how angry I am at you for not letting me speak my mind to Dad. Enjoy church and I'll see you next Saturday."-Faye

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“we got that down. Now we’ll get this straight and not mixed. You know my shit’s fucked up. I’m workin’ on that. You popped up with bad timing once and surprised me another time. I didn’t handle either of those well. The shit I’m workin’ through, I cannot promise I’ll do any better. What I can promise is I like the way you dress. I like the sound of your voice. I like the way you smell. I like that your hair feels the way it looks, like silk. I like the way you taste. I like that you got a backbone. I like it when you get scared of me. I like it when you stand up to me. I like it that you care as much as you do for a kid you don’t know jack about. I like it that you have no clue how to kiss but still, the two kisses I’ve shared with you are the best I’ve ever had. By far. I like all of that more than is healthy for me but especially for you. But I like it so much, I’m gonna ignore that and hope like fuck this doesn’t get jacked like everything else in my life has a tendency to do. I like it so much I’m willin’ to take that risk. I like it so much that I’ve decided you’re gonna take that risk with me. And I’ll make that straight too. I’m not asking you to take that risk, I’m tellin’ you you’re doin’ it. That means I’ll be at your place at seven with pizza, beer, a sleeping bag and food for our kid.”-Chace

Chace was sexy, broody, and all alpha, but other then a little frak up in the beginning he wasn't a asshole. Chace had a ton of demons and no small amount of guilt that he was drowning in. Chace reminded me a lot of Max, and I adored Max. Chace was a great man and did what was right even when it was hard. A yummy protective cop Chace was a true hero. Chace didn't feel he deserved Faye. See Chace also wanted Faye for years, but he wasn't ready to settle down and Faye was very young. So he thought he would sow his wild oats and later make her his wife. Problem was he got caught up in his father's dirt and was blackmailed into marrying an evil woman to protect his mentally ill mom. Even thought his wife was a horrible person he felt guilt that she was murdered and not only did he not protect her, he treated her bad because he wanted nothing to do with her or the fake marriage she forced him into. Then being undercover for the IA to take down all the dirty cops on his force he felt dirty and tainted.

I went to the kitchen bin, hit the top, it slid open and I spit out my gum. A knock came at the door while I was engaged in this activity therefore I sucked in a breath that was part air, part gum saliva and instantly started choking. Oh God! I was going to die of choking while Chace stood outside with food for the boy, a sleeping bag, pizza, beer and wine and I’d never get my first date! I rushed to the cabinet, grabbed a glass, filled it with water from the tap and sucked it back, calming the choking when another knock came at the door. I slammed the glass down, ran to the door, pulled off the chain, flipped the deadbolt and threw it open to a narrow-eyed Chace who took one look at me and asked, “Heard you choking, are you all right?” “You’re beautiful, a good kisser, this is our first date, my bed is in the room, I’m nervous as all heck and I just thought I was going to die choking after spitting out gum so no, I’m not all right.”-Faye and Chace

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“When I was sixteen, I saw you and when I did, I was young, romantic, and it might sound stupid but the minute I saw you, I knew I wanted to give that to you. I knew it was only you. I waited thirteen years, honey. It was worth the wait.”-Faye

I loved that Faye was able to break through all Chace's guilt and walls and show him it wasn't his fault and that he was in fact a hero. I love that she gave him peace. Chace was great for Faye too. He made her feel safe and sexy. His full love and acceptance helped her come out of her shell. He gave her support, romance and of course great sex! They both had a lot of passion and you could feel the intensity of their connection like they were real. This book was lower on the angst scale and I got to enjoy Faye and Chace falling in love and the build up of their relationship. The whole Miah story line was so heartbreaking and sweet. I teared up a few times. I was really enjoying Deck in this book and now I'm kinda looking forward to his book. I will say that I almost took off a star because Faye got kidnapped. I am kinda getting tired of ever single heroine getting kidnapped that plot has gotten old. I wasn't even worried about her. I just rolled my eyes. But in the end I loved Faye and Chace so much that I over looked that 2% of the book and and went with the other 98% that I was madly in love with and gave it a five star. That being said I hope the next heroine doesn't get jacked just sayin'!

“Seriously, Faye, honey, that… was… hot. I came within minutes of gettin’ inside you and I made love to you before I fell asleep. I love makin’ love to you, baby, fuckin’ love it. But we just fucked and I gotta tell you, I love that too. I like takin’ you sweet. I like takin’ you slow. I like fuckin’ you hard. And I like thinkin’ of you touchin’ yourself. I like knowin’ all that wild was layin’ in wait for me and you kept it under control by takin’ care of yourself. That’s hot too. Unbelievably hot. Everything about you is hot, honey. You got nothin’ to be embarrassed, ashamed or worried about because you’re the best I ever had. All of you. All we share. The best kiss. The best orgasm. The best lovemaking. And seriously the best fuck.”-Chace

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“You love her. I’ll love her because I love you and not a crush love like I was feeling for thirteen years. A real love for a good man who teases me and makes me laugh and makes me feel safe and holds me close at night and watches way too much sports and not enough geek TV and gives me amazing orgasms, one of which I had before walking out of my house this very night.” I paused, he said not a word, I struggled against having a heart attack and then finished lamely, “And you can take that to the bank.”-Faye about meeting Chace's mom for the first time
Profile Image for Kristen.
830 reviews4,716 followers
July 28, 2012
Review posted at:Swept Away By Romance

4 1/2 to 5 stars

My goodness, what an emotional book Breathe turned out to be. I haven't read a book by Kristen Ashley that had me in tears as much as this book did. Mostly, that was due to the heartbreaking and deeply moving side story of a young boy named Malachi. The story of Malachi was captivating, intriguing, and heartbreaking while uplifting. I loved the way his story shed additional light on Chace's and Faye's inner characters. The romance that developed between them was beautifully woven to include Malachi's story, making Breathe a very emotional and touching read. 

I can't gush enough over Chace and Faye as a couple. I adored them together. Chace proved he was a true hero in every sense of the word, and Faye proved to be a shy but darling Sci-Fi geek with an inner strength that was awe-inspiring. In my opinion, Faye is one of the best heroines Kristen Ashley has written to date. While I loved them individually, together is where this couple truly shines. Their relationships centered on the theme that love, forgiveness, acceptance, and friendship can heal and conquer all. They brought out the best in each other and were a true joy to spend time with.

I can't end this review without sharing my favorite scene of the book, which involves a simple hug between Chace and Faye. It takes place early in the story and is simple in nature but huge in substance. It crystallizes Chace's deep-rooted need for love, acceptance, and loyalty; virtues he's given to others but rarely, if ever, experienced himself. In this simple but poignant hug, and without saying word, Faye gives Chace all that he yearns for–and more. 

The epilogue was touching and heartwarming in a way only Kristen Ashley can achieve. Breathe has much to offer it's readers. Great humor, a steamy romance, intriguing suspense, fabulous characters, a superb plot, and an amazing epilogue. Kristen Ashley is truly a gifted storyteller. I highly recommend this book to all Kristen Ashley fans. 

Song Note: Demons, by Imagine Dragon, reminds me of Chace. In fact, when I listened to the words I got chills. The song seems to sum up his initial feelings about himself, his view of the world, and Faye. Not to mention, it's one FRAKING fantastic song (I couldn't resist use the word just once in my review. Lol).

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Profile Image for Rachael*Caribbean*girl*bibliophile.
1,599 reviews326 followers
February 24, 2021
Someone played At last today and I remembered this book, the hate is still ongoing 😂

Spoilers ahead

Having reread Lady Luck today and coming upon the moment where Chace wished Lexie wasn't pregnant or taken just reinvigorated my fires of hatred for this man........ The fires are still burning strong and show no signs of abating any time soon......I hate you Keaton!!!( I may need counselling by this point 😂)


If this review once again shows in your feed then I'm sorry but every now and then I recheck it to keep the fires of the hate burning 😂 especially since KA's last H brought memories of Chace

I just read a book that reminded me of this one and I realize I'm still so angry at Chace 🤦😂 I may need therapy!

Spoilers, possible rants and some obscenities ahead

-10000000* but since gr doesn't allow that 1* just for Miah's grad speech but Chace and Faye? Fuck both y'all!!!!!!!!!!

1)“Yeah,” he fired back. “I have and you’ll know I have when I say, Miz Goodknight, I do not want your concern. I don’t want your listening ear. I don’t want your company. What I want is for you to walk your fat ass up the trail and leave me the fuck alone.”

2)“Don’t do that shit again, Faye,” he growled, took a step toward her and pointed in her face. “Do not do that shit again.” He dropped his hand but put his face where his hand had been and kept growling. “I don’t know what bullshit game you’re playin’, following me around, suddenly everywhere I am. But straight up, I’m not playin’ it. You got some romantic idea I’m a wounded soul you can heal with…” he shook his head and flipped out a hand, “your limited charms, think again. I already told you, I do not want your concern. I do not want your company. And I do not want your inexperienced bullshit fumbling. Trust me, I had in my bed the master at that shit and she got nowhere. And you, just now, got as much as you’ll ever get. Get this in your head, Faye, all I want from you is for you to leave me the fuck alone.”

3)“The last time I kissed –”
Chace cut her off, “This time I kissed you.”
“Is there a distinction?” she asked.
“I told you I didn’t like surprises. You surprised me. I didn’t react very well.”

4)Before and during Misty, he had an active sex life with a variety of partners. He was not a player. He was straight up with the women in his life and many of the women in his life were just that, women in his life. Prior to Misty, he dated, he had relationships, he worked at them if he thought they held promise but none of them felt right.
Mostly, this had to do with the fact that the first time Faye caught his attention she did it in a big way he couldn’t ignore. He hadn’t known, until seeing Faye, the kind of woman he was looking for but one look at that auburn hair, those crystal blue eyes, the curves she didn’t hide but also didn’t display, her skittish behavior, shy smile and the dreamy look on her face made a lasting impression he couldn’t shake.
But he wasn’t done enjoying variety and, at the time, she was very young, clearly inexperienced and would require time and care that he had every intention would lead to commitment so he held off on approaching Faye.
Too long it would turn out.
But hopefully not too late.
After Misty, the possible fruition of his relationships for obvious reasons was curtailed and although he had them, the women who took him to their bed knew there’d be an end. He enjoyed it, they enjoyed it but they both kept distant because both knew there was no future.

5)That meant he’d not had a woman in six weeks.
This was a record.

6) “Jesus fucking Christ!” he yelled, turning, he swiped my perfume bottle off my dresser, shifted and with a scary, powerful sidearm throw he threw it across the room so it shattered against the bricks at the other side of the apartment.
I blindly took quick steps back, going at a diagonal and slammed my side into the kitchen counter. My body registered the pain so I stopped.

7) “Decided with one look at you, I’d put up with it, all the shit that was gettin’ worse at work ‘cause my end game would be you.”
Was he saying what I thought he was saying?
“The town’s sweet, cute, quiet, pretty librarian in my bed, my ring on her finger, enjoyin’ it as I taught her how to enjoy it, plantin’ my babies in her, building a family.”
Holy fraking frak!
He was saying what I thought he was saying!
No, he was saying more.
I stopped breathing.
He continued talking.
“One look, at the grocery store, you in the aisle, your nose in a book. Stared at you, so fuckin’ cute, but I had no clue how you could shop and keep your nose in a book. But there you were, doin’ it. You looked up, saw someone you knew, smiled at them and I knew eatin’ all that shit at work would be worth it when I was ready to make my play. That cute in my bed. That hair. Those eyes. That smile. Definitely worth it. So I ate it, bidin’ my time, gettin’ the wild out of me so all I’d give you was sweet. You’d move to Gnaw Bone, Chantelle, I knew you would so I could kiss that bullshit good-bye, get myself out of it without takin’ you away from the folks you loved when I claimed you.”

8)“Fell in love with you in a grocery store aisle and you didn’t even know I was there.”
“I probably did,” I confessed and his lips tipped up but it wasn’t teasing and sweet, it was strangely sad.
“Then you did but I didn’t know. You wanted me, I wanted you, I sat on what I wanted and fucked up my life.”
“You didn’t fuck up your life, Chace.”
“If I moved on you when I wanted to, you’d have been in my bed the last seven years and Misty wouldn’t have seen it. Ty wouldn’t have –”

With all that ☝☝☝☝☝☝☝☝how by all that's holy could this low life lousy piece of shit be considered a romance hero.???????? How???? He actually told her that he was getting the wild out to give her the sweet! He saw her,years ago,knew he wanted her but he wasn't done enjoying variety so this motherfucker then spent years fucking multiple women including his dearly departed bitch wife who was so desperate for his ring she participated in some seriously fucked up shit all to get this worthless pile of crap as her husband!!!!!! He didn't claim Faye because he wanted to get the wild out?wtf???? I loathed,hated,despised this motherfucker with everything in me! His only saving Grace was that he helped Miah and Becca but considering he's a cop that really doesn't improve him much. This was one of the worst H's that KA ever delivered. Not only did he do all that shit before Faye, he was controlling and too bossy with Faye for my liking.

And then there's Faye. The town's sweet virgin librarian who's head is always buried in a book. That alone made Faye relateable to me. In every way concerning Chace she was a spineless,weak excuse for a woman. I was ashamed that we shared the same damn gender that's how bad she was. And the fraking throughout the book has to be the most annoying thing I've ever read. The one time Faye had my respect in regard to Chace was when he tried to pull back after the visit to his parents and she called him on it but then again as is a KA usual that argument turned all the way around in his favor 🤦

Although I didn’t like them together (as in, really), either “together” or together in the married way, it didn’t faze me. Everyone knew the hero in any good romance had to have his fair share of experience. If he didn’t, how was he going to be a good teacher, showing his lady love how to give him pleasure at the same time giving her more than she’d ever dreamed? So I didn’t mind that Chace played the field, including with Misty.

“When I was sixteen, I saw you and when I did, I was young, romantic, and it might sound stupid but the minute I saw you, I knew I wanted to give that to you. I knew it was only you. I waited thirteen years, honey. It was worth the wait.”

☝☝☝☝☝☝ That's all Faye,can you spell dumbass doormat? It's pretty simple FAYE! This woman was above and beyond ridiculous, she's one of the weakest h's I've ever read (but I read Bounty so she's got company over in the spineless corner) Faye in her regular life was pretty ok but when it came to anything concerning Chace she was allllllllll about Chace.

I've been on a series reread this week but I hope that I remember to never ever ever open this book again. My Kindle won't survive a 3rd read!
Profile Image for Kristina.
552 reviews109 followers
March 17, 2023
The idea that you can ‘unfuck’ a man by fucking him is so problematic, I don’t even know where to begin.
Everything about this book is problematic -see below for my list of content warnings- however it’s still a very entertaining and wacky read.
Kristen Ashley’s writing ‘style’ is its own language and takes some getting used to. Her men speak in grunts and unformed sentences, they don’t use pronouns or articles, and often make sweeping chauvinistic statements. They are often assholes and hard to take. Her prose is extremely repetitive and overly descriptive and often a lot of rereading and deciphering is required by the reader. This can be exhausting.
I don’t read her stuff anymore but decided to revisit this book as I saw many of my gr friends shelve it as ‘avoid’ and yet I had five starred it many moons ago. This reread was an exploratory mission to delve into 2020 Kristina’s brain.
Ultimately what I found was that those who want to avoid this book are completely valid in their reasons. Every trigger is there and it is a pretty unsafe book, at least in the first 30% or so. The heroine IS a dumb 29 year old virgin who saw the hero at 16, fell in love from afar and waited for him, avoiding relationships, sex, friendships and fun in the process. It was sad and unnecessary imo. I was not a fan of Faye’s idealistic, idiotic ways. She grew a backbone though and put Chace in his place a few times and that redeemed her to me slightly.
Chace was an asshole, chauvinist who also saw Faye early on and wanted her, but he waited to ‘make his play’ because he needed to ‘get his wild out’ (code for he wanted to bang many women). The double standards in this book are aggravating. While he was getting his wild out 🙄, he was blackmailed into marrying the ‘town slut’ (lots of slut shaming in this) and since he didn’t love her, he cheated on her publicly. The town forgave this because they knew her to be a slut who conned him 🙄. So ya. The premise of this book is incredibly problematic and you can poke many holes in it.
So my final verdict is this: this book is pretty much trash, but it’s VERY entertaining trash. It has romantic moments and sweet moments and satisfying moments. But it needs edited down by at least 350 pages (it’s over 700 pages long) and we definitely don’t need 80% of the description of every little thing. I don’t need to know full details on every outfit Faye wears, I don’t need to know the pattern on her bedspread and couch pillows, I don’t need to know the kind of flowers planted in the library urns each spring, her entire detailed workout routine, his entire detailed sexual history etc etc. There is a thing in fiction where you let the readers fill in gaps with their imagination, good writers know how to do this. Kristen Ashley isn’t a good technical writer. She overwrites everything. She doesn’t trust her readers to get it without bogging them down in description and too much description saps the story of subtext. Also this book ended about six long-assed chapters before Ashley actually wrote ‘the end’. It kept going and going as if it were the ending of an epic series, when in actuality it’s book 4 of 7 or so. My gawd, Kristen, learn when enough is enough! We don’t need scenes of them eating carrot cake and buying kittens into perpetuity!!
However, all that being said (or ranted), her stuff is fun, her plots are wacky and original, but they are also repetitive and formulaic. So most people I know (those who can make it through an entire book of hers) read a few of her series and then usually abandon her because enough is enough. That is where I am. It was nice to revisit this for nostalgia, my original read of this was a great escape for me during my gruelling pandemic life of homeschooling my kids, working my full time, demanding job from home and watching the world fall apart on the news. So I am grateful to this book for that. But I can’t go back there, my reading choices and standards have changed and I am much more discerning with how I spend my reading time (not including my Orc smut, that’s just pure goodness). I can’t waste it on a 24 hour audiobook that I had to listen to at 2.5x speed and skip forward over large chunks of descriptive, shitty prose. Now after finishing this book and writing this review, I can put KA aside forever and take a long nap.

Content Warnings
Kink shaming
Slut shaming
Kink and slut shaming together
Ow (even though she’s dead)
Woman on woman hate
Mental illness shaming
Virginal pining (13 years)
Man whoring (13 years)
Male grunting
Overuse of the endearment ‘baby’
Child abuse
Being buried alive
LGBTQ stereotypes (a lesbian with a mullet and a flaming hairdresser for diversity sake)
Overly abundant use of the word ‘Frak’ instead of fuck
Overly abundant use of the work ‘fuck’ instead of any other word.
Repetitive writing
Weird dialogue
Pages and pages of useless descriptions
An ending that kept going for two hours followed by a long ass epilogue.
Profile Image for Lady Heather .
1,290 reviews700 followers
October 17, 2022

7th re-read cause... this book gives me light and such good feels

5 ++ stars to start... and then for the re-read,...and for the re-read after that.. and so on, and so on ...

I would just like to start off by saying that this is one of my favourite Kristen Ashley books (to date)... I have to say 'to date' because each time I read a 'new' KA book, well that one then becomes my new favourite.
I would also like to further say that my 'inner geek' was jumping-for-joy the whole time I was reading this story! The fact that I 'totally got' the Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars, Star Trek, Firefly, and Supernatural quips was AWESOME and AMAZING!

I can't emphasize how much I ADORED Faye! I loved her shyness, intellect, wisdom, integrity, loyalty, geekiness, and of course her temper...when she loses her temper, watch out!

My two favorite 'Faye rants' are:

The first: When she calls her parent's house to talk to her dad, and her mom refuses to put him on the phone. Had me in stitches!

Faye: "Okay, and just so you know, I'm angry but still, if I found you were an unknown model of Cylon, I wouldn't kill you because you're my Mom. But I would find you a habitable planet and dump you there. I'm so angry enough to dump Gaius there with you (personally I would have dumped her with Balthazar, but hey to each his own)... So that tells you just how angry I am at you for not letting me speak my mind to Dad."

The second: When Chace share's his 'dark' with Faye and she gets pissed off at Chace's father on his behalf and compares the situation to Darth Vader and Luke's relationship

 photo luke-i-am-your-father.jpg

She then goes on to say,
"And let's just say it's good I'm not a trained Jedi because I'd get my light sabre, jump in my T-65 X-wing Starfighter and hightail my ass to Aspen and 'call him out if I was."

I was literally laughing out loud reading this! PRICELESS!!

And then there's Chace.
Chace's character is tortured and broken. He carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. His whole life he's associated, love
= protection. He sacrifices his life, and his career to protect his mother's fragile mind from his father's discrepancies.. until he gets to the point where He can't 'breathe'.. then he takes a stand for what's right and decides NO MORE!
The town makes him out as a hero, but inside all he sees are his faults, failures, and his weakness for not doing right from the very start.

Faye offers him love, healing, understanding, compassion, acceptance, and most importantly redemption. She sees Chace as a 'hero' and a 'knight in shining armour' and She knew when she was 16 years old that Chace would make her heart race, and she saved herself for him and never let go of that feeling... at the same time Chace knew when he first saw her in the grocery store shopping with a book in her nose that she was who he wanted. Circumstances prevented them from getting together then, but now is their time.

Favourite quote:
"I'll let you in on a secret, honey. The knight who has serious chinks in his armor but never falls is the true hero. That means he's won battles and doesn't waste time polishing his armor so he can good while he rides in parades that are tributes to his glory. He just drags himself back on his steed and keeps right on battling. And if he's the right kind of knight, he never rides alone. The best heroes inspire loyalty. The best heroes keep fighting the good fight, tirelessly, quietly. The best heroes always have scars. If they didn't, the heroine would have nothing to do. It's her job to help the hero let all that stuff go in order that her man can be strong enough to fight on but when he's with her he's free to just 'breathe'."



I LOVED this story, the writing, the characters, and of course the epilogue!

If your a Kristen Ashley fan or even a fan of kick-ass-alpha males YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED in this story, and You can take that to the bank!

Second read: April 13-15, 2013

...better than the first time!!
I paid more attention to Chase's character (which is TOTALLY amazing!), as well as Deck's... and I gotta say, Deck's story is going to be friggn HAWT!! CANNOT. WAIT!!

Third read: September 6-9, 2013

..still one of my "favourite" contemporary romance - chick-lit stories EVER!

Fourth read: September 4-5, 2017
Gawd! I forgot how much I adored this book, especially the reference to Aslan.
LOVED Chase and Faye!
One of my favourite books by Kristen Ashley.
Profile Image for Blacky *Romance Addict*.
464 reviews6,222 followers
November 9, 2016
This one doesn't have 5 stars from me.

It has 5 hearts Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

One of the best KA-s I've read so far :)) Simply beautiful.

The story - Both Chase and Faye are investigating his wife's murder. He does it in his free time (as in - in the middle of the night on his own Photobucket ), she does it with her own geek squad over the internet Photobucket Faye is worried about a little boy who comes in her library and steals books, and after she sees him beaten, she goes to the police, and she and Chase begin working together to find the boy.

Faye - I loved her, I think she's my favorite KA character so far! Photobucket She's shy, loves her books, watches great TV shows, she's been in love with Chase ever since he moved into town (years and years) and she wants to help him move on. They were beautiful together Photobucket , and it was great the way she stood by him, making him realise he's not in the dark, and that he's a good man no matter what he thinks.

Chase - WOW. Photobucket I cannot say how much I loved him. He is one excellent character. He's convinced he's sullied by everything that went down, being a dirty cop and forced to marry a woman he despised. He has secretly pined for Faye for years, always thinking she's too good for him. And although he had 2 seriously wrong jerkish scenes with her (poor Faye), the rest of the book he was the epitome of swoony, loveable, sweet, vulnerable, but still of course macho badass type of guy :) LOVED his connection with Miah Photobucket

Overall - One of the best KA stories I've read. The journey they both took, Chase to find redemption he doesn't actually need, Faye to embrace his demons and help him heal, it was just beautiful :)
I noticed that this was a bit different concerning the love scenes. Different being - they were actually love scenes, not just the usuall sex in various poses XD Liked that very much, in a way it connected me more to the characters because it was something special :)
I remember when KA was answering questions here at her fan page, someone asked her why her heroes never, and I mean never ever cry. She said it would have to be something special. And I'm glad she did it here. Chase had his moment and I cried with him Photobucket It's nice to see that even the tough alpha male can be vulnerable at times, and that's why I love him even more.

Favorite scenes
- Chase and Faye dancing to "Drift Away" in her appartment <3
- Twyla giving relationship advice Photobucket
- their first date
- Faye ranting to her parents about cylons Photobucket
- the first time they made love (and this was seriously the most beautiful love scene KA has ever written) Photobucket
- Miah's farewell Photobucket (cried at that one)
- the Darth Vader talk hahahahahaha
- when Chase finds her in the end <3
- epilogue Photobucket (cried at that one too)
Profile Image for UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish.
1,166 reviews1,580 followers
September 11, 2013

Re-read Review - September 8-11, 2013

First, I want to thank the lovely ladies who joined me in my re-read: Dorsey, Tracie, and Suzanne! I know others commented, and thank you, too, for sharing your thoughts on the book.

Okay... I really don't know how I can make anyone understand just how amazing this story is. It's not often I ADORE a heroine, but I ADORE Faye. Chace? Oh, how I love him. They're easily one of my top 5 KA couples. I don't recall shedding any tears during my first read, but I definitely did during this re-read.

I hope that if you haven't already done so, you'll read this series. It's brilliant!

Original Review -

Breathe left me... breathless...

Amazing, awesome, wonderful, brilliant, poignant, hopeful, inspirational, passionate, sexy, funny, incredible and totally... totally perfect! Every chapter, every page, every word. Perfect!

And that's all I can say except to say that you must read this story. Clue in...you must read it.

If you're already a Kristen Ashley addict, or interested in checking out her books, be sure to stop by our Kristen Ashley Addict's Support Group here on Goodreads!

Profile Image for Aestas Book Blog.
1,059 reviews74.8k followers
August 13, 2012
"It was wild. Abandoned. Rough. Wet. Intense. Fiery. Thorough. Exquisite. Heart-pounding. Blood-singing. Soul-rocking. Life-altering.

6 swoony stars!!!

WOW! Holy. frak! That was an incredibly BEAUTIFUL book!! Love Love LOVED it!!!!! I have been reduced to a hyperventilating, tear-streaked, deliriously happy puddle of goo. It was just one swoon/drool/squee-worthy scene after another. An absolute GEM. Its going on the top-fav pile!

I read a large portion of this book with a huge mega-grin plastered on my face, my heart fluttering uncontrollably and barely able to contain my squees! BRILLIANT!!!

It was KA at her absolute best. This book was heart-meltingly awesome, off-the-charts HOT, beautifully emotional and totally PERFECT!!!!!! I wouldn't change one single thing about it. It left me breathless and in happy tears!

This book starts out grittier than the others in this series with the hero on the trail of his ex-wife's murderer/rapist. Regardless of the fact that theirs was a loveless marriage that he was forced into, the thought of what was done to her still makes him sick. And that is his general feeling towards life at this point. Everyone in it has screwed him over and dumped necessary cruelty on both him and the people around him. Then, he crosses paths with Faye, the town's virgin librarian who has had a crush on him since he first came to town when she was 16. She loves her books, her stories and their worlds and is holding out for a hero of her own. Over the years, she has seen all the pain and heart-ache that Chase has gone through and wants to help him move on.

Faye is totally one of us. She is not afraid to be herself. She loves to read and isn't afraid of showing that. She is shy and yet incredibly strong, talks back, is quick, witty and has a huge heart. She chats on forums with friends she is very close to but as never met (sound familiar anyone?? lol), she reads swoony books, loves her TV shows and movies (seriously, her first word is "Frak".. how can you not love her?!), and is an utter romantic to the core of her being. Definitely one of my top favorite heroines EVER!

I UTTERLY L.O.V.E.D Chase!!! What a gorgeous character! He was absolutely, heart-stoppingly incredible. Open, tortured, honest, forward, totally Alpha and swoony as all hell with a tender, gentle that that just melted my heart. But at the same time with a lot of demons, a lot of anger underneath a hugely strong sense of duty, protectiveness and caring.

" ... He bent his head towards hers and whispered, "Breathe, Faye."

At first, he was a bit of an ass, but he doesn't want to be and apologizes very quickly. He's totally enamored with her but also feels like his life was too screwed up and that he lost his shot at true happiness. And at the same time, he can't help himself being drawn to her and how quickly she is stealing his heart.

"What's happening?" Her question was quiet.
"Honey, cast your mind back," he urged gently. "Two minutes ago I was kissin' you, three days ago I was dancin' with you. You know whats happening."

And he calls her honey, darlin', baby... seriously, its impossible for it not to melt your heart.

I just loved that the book starts out from his POV. This is a first from any of the 17 KA books I've read. Getting into the hero's head right from the start and being able to understand him and see Faye the way he saw her was incredible.

And its clear very early on that they are perfect for each other and they don't really waste time with their relationship. They fight it a little at first, but its pretty evident its a battle they are both gonna lose. Watching them come together, work together, be together, deal with stuff together, balance each other out was so funtional, beautiful, swoony and HOT!! ... I mean really hot. Their sex is off-the-freaking-charts hot! Everything is very 'new' and extra uber passionate. Faye was inexperienced in physical love, and Chase was inexperienced in emotional love and watching them help each other learn and never give up on each other left me breathless.

"Do you love me?"
"Yes," I breathed...

And seeing such a refreshingly functional couple who may have been dealing with some very serious, painful things but one way or another never let anything come between them just warmed my heart to its core. BEAUTIFUL!!

He is so careful with her. He knows she's never been with anyone, never been in a relationship before, and he does everything in his power to make her feel safe, comfortable and loved.

"Faye, darlin', I want you to hear this and get it, what you just gave me was the most beautiful thing I've ever been given in...my...life...With me, anytime, anywhere, you're safe. But of the anytime and anyplace you're with me, the place you're safest is right here, in my bed...You can react how you want. You can be who you are. If I'm doin' something you don't like, you can stop me. Nothin' will ever happen in this bed that you'll be uncomfortable with. I swear to you, baby. You're safe here and you always will be."

And there is an amazing twist at the end. I don't want to say anything but HOLYYYYY!!! When I read it, it gave me chills, had me hyperventilating, crying, shaking, grinning, squeeing... I was a mess! And I LOVED it!!

Not to mention that this book was chock full of cameos! Seeing characters from the previous books all coming together and working, living, helping each other out has me in swoon and squee overload!
Definitely be sure to start your reading with the first book of this series: The Gamble.

Chase and Faye's journey was beautiful. One of the best I've read. I don't have the words to express properly express how much I loved this book.

“I'll let you in on a secret, honey. The knight who has serious chinks in his armor but never falls is the true hero. That means he's won battles and doesn't waste time polishing his armor so he can good while he rides in parades that are tributes to his glory. He just drags himself back on his steed and keeps right on battling.... The best heroes inspire loyalty. The best heroes keep fighting the good fight, tirelessly, quietly. The best heroes always have scars. If they didn't, the heroine would have nothing to do. It's her job to help the hero let all that stuff go in order that her man can be strong enough to fight on but when he's with her he's free to just 'breathe'.”

And what an epilogue!! Utterly beautiful and long. I love how at the end of these books, you feel 100% completely satisfied. The perfect HEA. A perfect book. Love. Love. LOVE!! :)

For more of my reviews, visit Aestas Book Blog

And come join the Aestas Book Blog Facebook Page
Profile Image for NMmomof4.
1,492 reviews3,605 followers
March 19, 2020
4 Stars (Originally Read 9/12/2016)

3.5 Stars (Re-Read 3/18/2020)

Overall Opinion: This was a lot better than I thought it'd be! I had written it off before, because lots of readers didn't like the fact that Chace slept around while Faye was crushing on him. While I understand where they're coming from, it really didn't bother me. I still felt like Faye was a strong character, and she never crossed that line into doormat status for me (which is what I was really worried about). To clarify -- we don't experience any this sleeping around happening, but it is mentioned towards the beginning. I was not expecting the side story with the kid at all. I really loved how they worked to get him help, and how we got to see him in the epilogue as a happy young man! It was fun to see all of our Carnal (and Gnaw Bone) characters again, and it just makes me want to read about them all over again. I just LOVED Faye! She has to be one of my absolute favorite KA heroines! I am so happy that I followed my gut and gave this one a shot, because if I didn't I'd miss out on Faye ;)

Re-Read Update: I got a little bored this time reading it if I'm completely honest. I didn't remember everything but I remembered a lot, so that might've contributed to my lack of attention to the story. I didn't, however, skim and I got all the way through it. It could be all the distractions going on and the craziness of the world right now that contributed to it too. Otherwise I still really liked Faye, liked the side character's roles in this, and liked the side story with the kid.

Brief Summary of the Storyline: This is Faye and Chace's story. Chace's is still struggling with his guilt over his wife's murder (that happened in Lady Luck), so when he bumps into Faye he isn't expecting it. Faye has been crushing hard on Chace for many years. She knows that something wasn't right about his marriage but never knew the exact details , so she knows that he didn't care for his wife but needs some help in getting out of his guilt. So when she bumps into him a few times, she decides to take the leap and expose her attraction towards him. Faye finds out that there is a child that is stealing books from her library and looks as if he is severely malnourished and has been beaten, so she takes it to policeman Chace because she is concerned. They work together to try to help the boy, and end up getting together and falling in love. There is a good bit of drama left over from Chace's past, some sexy times, some sweet and sad moments...and they get a HEA ending.

POV: This alternated between Faye and Chace's POV. I really liked that we got Chace's pov at times, as not all KA books give us that!

Overall Pace of Story: Good for the most part. I never skimmed, but it did feel a little too long at times.

Instalove: No, but they had been crushing on each other for years.

H rating: 4 stars. Chace. I liked him. He was a typical KA alpha hero, so I'm not complaining! I appreciated that he listened to her and snapped out of his little funk (the 1 time he was ticking me off), and he acknowledged his mess up and apologized.

h rating: 5 stars. Faye. I had hesitated to read this one, because I had seen people saying that she is a doormat type h -- I didn't get that at all!! She was a total nerd, she was sweet, and she had a backbone! I loved her :)

Sadness level: Low/moderate. The kid killed me! The only times I teared up were with the kid, but I never needed any tissues.

Push/Pull: Yes

Heat level: Moderate. They have some hot chemistry and scenes, but not so much it takes away from the story.

Descriptive sex: Yes

Safe sex: Yes. Condoms are used until a birth control talk happens. I don't remember any mention of the H's past practices.

OW/OM drama: Mild

Sex scene with OW or OM: No

Cheating: No

Separation: No

Possible Triggers: Yes

Closure: This had great closure with many jump ahead moments in a HEA ending.

How I got it: I paid the $4.99 on Amazon.

Safety: I'd say that this should be Safe for most readers.
Profile Image for Arini.
696 reviews1,541 followers
December 5, 2020
#2 Sweet Dreams — 4.5 Stars
#4 Breathe — 3.5 Stars

Law Man lookalike, but the combination in this was just not right. There was too much romance and not enough drama and suspense, which was what I loved about KA books. I think she developed and distributed those parts well. However, there was too much nothingness in Breathe that I really felt the book was too long.

I loved the part about Chace and Faye helping out Jeremiah and wanted more of it. The other parts about Misty’s murder and Chace’s strained relationship with his father also didn’t get enough spotlight. I wanted to see both progression throughout the story but only got the resolution part of it in the last 20%.

Chace wasn’t the “I want it, I’ll get it” type of guy, which was what I loved about KA Hs. They were always relentless in their pursuit. Macho alpha male as all get out but not like too forceful. Chace on the other hand was TOO controlling and bossy, and Faye was TOO agreeable. I suppose they fit each other, but they didn’t fit me.

Do you understand what I’m saying? This was hard to explain. Idk guys, this time it was just different. There was no bitchy fights or crazy ex drama, and I missed those cause KA always gave them so good and fresh. This book falls flat compare to the other ones I’ve read so far, but it’s okay cause I still rounded it up to 4 stars (albeit begrudgingly). 🙈

(Read as an Audiobook)
Profile Image for Debra.
474 reviews2,412 followers
November 19, 2013

Kristen Ashley has done it again. Each time I've finished one of her books, I think I've found my new favorite and that the rest of them won't be able to live up to the ones I've read already; and (almost) each time I'm proven wrong. Breathe was different from most of her other books in the sense that the heroine was much different from most other KA heroines, and that's exactly why I loved this book so much. Other than that, the story consisted of the typical KA elements to make it a memorable read: hot alpha male with a kind heart, action, suspense, a bit of heartbreak and a suggary sweet happy ending.

Faye Goodknight is such a refreshing heroine. She's shy, introvert, kindhearted and a little nerdy (okay, maybe more than a little). She's the town's quiet, pretty librarian. She loves to read, listen to music and watch her favorite shows on TV. Ever since she first laid eyes on Chace Keaton when she was sixteen years old, she's been in love with him. But, with her being the shy person she is, she's never worked up the courage to approaching him. So, when he finally notices her and strikes up a conversation, it seems as if her "holding out for a hero" has finally paid off.

Chace Keaton has had a rough couple of years. In order to keep his father's secrets safe from his mother, he had to sacrifice a lot in his life. He had to become a dirty cop and was forced to marry Misty, a woman he despises. Now, he's finally freed from his loveless marriage, but he's still determined to find out who killed his wife. At the same time, his father and his associates still pester him about turning back to becoming a dirty cop. So, with a lot of darkness in his past and current life, the presence of the town's sweet librarian (who he's had his eyes on for a long time) feels like a breath of fresh air; and he's determined to do whatever it takes to keep her in his life.

"You in my life, me livin' in hell, feels like I've been touched by an angel."

Their romance is slowbuilding, sweet and heartwarming. Chace is a genuinely "good man", who still possesses the right amount of KA alpha male hotness. At first he's kind of a jerk to Faye, but that's only because of his past and because of the fact that he doesn't want her to get hurt. Still, he proved his true kindness by taking care of Malachi and by doing anything in his power to make Faye breathe easily and make her happy.

Kristen Ashley's books have become my "go to"-comfort books. So far, I've never been disappointed with any of the one's I've read and although each series has it's perks, I think the Colorado Mountain series is one of my favorites. After the amazing previous books of the series, Sweet Dreams and Lady Luck, I wasn't sure Breathe would be able to live up to this two, and even though I still loved those slightly more, safe to say Breathe was a worthy follow-up!

"I'll take you thinking I'm your angel, but you need to know you're my hero."
Profile Image for Choko.
1,175 reviews2,568 followers
March 20, 2016
*** 4 ***

A buddy read with the most awesome book addicts at BB&B!!!

She did it again! And every time I finish one of her books I am still stumped as to how do books so over the top and full of flaws keep on stealing all my attention for hours at a time, completely oblivious to the world around me... It gets so bad that I forget all things real, forget about food or loved ones, (the food thing is actually a positive side effect!), and I even forget that I don't live in Colorado... These books are so distracting, that we have to plan on times of the week void of other responsibilities so we don't screw them up... And it leaves me wander, what is it about KA that emersed us so fully in her stories???

Magic. There is no other reasonable explanation. How can such crazy stories with crazy situations, crazier characters in insane relationships and most irrational happily ever afters, formulaic but lovable, make us so addicted and jonezing for the next hit otherwise???? Magic, no other explanation....

In this book we are still in the mountains of Colorado and within the boundaries of the crooked police department which targeted Chase, his dad, his lait wife, and many more innocent people in the small town... This town has a small library and it has one full time employee - Faye, the redheaded, shy, introverted and sweet librarian. She has had a crush on the hero of taking down the corrupted Police Department, the brooding boy in blue, Chase, since she was 16. Her hopes had been diverted since Chase had gotten married 7 years ago, but close to an year ago he had lots his wife to a brutal murder and now Faye felt freer to watch and admire him, albeit from afar... But their first encounter is disastrous and the second convinces Faye Chase is not the Knight in shining armor she thought he was...

Chase was a total jack ass and a big jerk to one of the sweetest, most beautiful women in the county, and definitely the purest of any he had met. Yes, his life in the last 10 years has been full of disasters, betrayals, he has been set up for a lifetime of misery, and it is only by chance that he finds himself free at the moment... A horrible, gruesome chance...

As with all KA stories this is a romance. A crazy, making no sense at least in the beginning romance, a close to a caveman alpha with a woman who has issues romance, a "just because you know me your life will be in danger" type of romance, but I will promise you a happy ending kind of romance... We always have to suffer, put up with ridiculously pushy and dirty minded alphas, take kidnapping as a way to achieve a point for a given, and work through a multitude of spats and shootouts, all for the promise of that happy epilogue at the end. And it is worth it!!! Because she delivered on every point!

I have to say that I absolutely fell in love with Faye - she lives in her books and loves all the geeky shows on TV! She had me at Firefly and Battle Star Galactica!!!! I would love to get in the middle of one of her tantrums when she invokes Darth Vader and the Skywalker relatives:-) Favorite parts of the book!!!

The other favorite part, the side story of the two abused kids... Heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time... She had me ugly crying three times!!! That is just cruel!!!

I will recommend this series to KA fans and those who like contemporary romance in a bit of a lower, earthier type of writing style... It is NOT perfect, it is NOT gentle, and at times, it is not pretty.. But I will be awaiting the next buddy read of her books with the craving of an addict... which I obviously have became.... More brains!¡!! Ops, wrong addiction, More books!!!! Happy reading, y'all!!!
Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,586 reviews1,466 followers
March 23, 2016
4 Faye You Fracking Saved this Book For Me Stars

Read with my KA-loving girls at Buddies Books & Baubles

Faye Goodnight is one of the reasons I have a Chicks-I-Want-to-Hang-Out-With shelf. She is everything I’m looking for in a Book BFF. Reasons I loved her from the beginning….

① - She always has her head in a book or nook. She loves to read and read to others.
“Yes, I read. And yes, I do it a lot. And yes, I did it before you because life can suck and living in a fantasy world is a lot more fun than living in the real world sometimes. This was not a weak choice, it was an informed one.”

② - She has online friends that she chats with about different fandoms that they like and some of her real life bleeds into that.

③ - She watches some of the SCI-FI/Fantasy/Just Funny shows I love and will debate different aspects of them with you.
“Feed me. If you don’t, all the way to Rosalinda’s, I’m explaining the entirety of the history of Angel, the vampire with a soul given to him by gypsies as punishment for him killing one of their own. This history will range from Buffy the Vampire Slayer through to Angel, his own TV show. I’ll also add my opinions on why they should never have cancelled Angel. I’ll tell you now, this is multi-part and doesn’t all have to do with the fact that David Boreanaz is hot. And, if you delay, I might even have time to get into why I think Joss Whedon should be recommended for sainthood.”

④ - She swears using words from Battlestar Galactica….I LOVE IT!!! airsick lowlanders (not from battlestar galactica but something I love to say when appropriate)
“The best television show fraking ever.”
I disagreed. I loved Battlestar Galactica but Firefly was by far and away the best television show ever, which made its midseason cancellation an act (I thought) of sacrilege. Fortunately, they made a movie about it. And also fortunately, Nathan Fillion moved on to another awesome show, Castle.
But nothing topped Firefly


⑤ - When she argues with you she loves to throw in various characters from Sci-Fi movies or books to help make her point.
“You know, even Darth Vader had the good grace to ask Luke to join him on the dark side.”

So yeah Faye and I could totally hang out and be BFFs I’m sure of it. Chace on the other hand….*deep sigh* well he didn’t fare so well.

I normally read KA books for the uber alpha males that are great on paper, but seriously if my man said half of the stuff that they say to their women I would just giggle and walk the other way because who could take that seriously….#sorrynotsorry. But Chace is the first KA-alpha in forever that I just didn’t click with. I totally struggled with him as he kept digging his hole deeper and deeper and after Ty in the prior book being so awesome it was difficult to ever click with Chace. Really for the most part I tried to figure out why he deserved a girl as kickass as Faye totally was.

The rest of the story was pretty interesting though. Faye and Chace are trying to help a kid who looks like he keeps getting beat up and is probably underfed. As they try to work out who he is and how they can help him the story between the two of them starts to grow. The towns bad cops might be cleaned up but someone is still trying to pull a few strings in this small town and someone definitely wants those sex tapes that are being held in the town back and will go through some serious trouble to get them.

I like the storyline with Malachi (the kid they are trying to rescue) but I’m going to just say that KA went a smidgen over on the cheese factor there towards the end and I changed a little that she took it that far. But that said I did like most of the other stuff happening in the story.

As always there are some great side characters and we even get a cameo from one of the Rock Chicks…YAY. But Twyla by far stole the show for a minute when she was giving advice to our girl on how to let Chace know she was read for him to take her virginity (because yes of coarse she is a 29 year old virgin…because those are everywhere).


Faye completely and totally awesome - ✔

Chace needs some help in the KA-Alpha department - ✔

Great side characters as always & a cameo - ✔

Town I feel like I could live in - ✔

Set-up of our next potential Alpha male - ✔

Interesting plot line to supplement the romance - ✔

A KIDNAPPING (seriously wouldn’t be a KA book without at least one) - ✔

Standard Kristen Ashley Disclaimer: I totally love her books but she is a love it or hate it author and so I almost never recommend her to friends and family for this reason. But I always fall into her stories and don’t come up for air until they are done….even though she breaks all the rules that I usually have for loving or hating a story and I still generally fall on the side of love.
Profile Image for Stacey.
1,447 reviews1,158 followers
February 8, 2021
This one gets better with each re-read/listen...

It's hard to read/listen to Breathe, without feeling a wee bit judgy. I think with each re-read/listen, I find myself contemplating the decisions Chace makes and trying to decide what I would do in the same situation. Fortunately for me, my mother is of sound mind, and my dad is not a douchewaffle. I guess the deciding factor is that Chace is burdened with the guilt of the decision he made. If he had made the decision with no remorse, I'm not sure I would have liked Chace much.

I loved Faye in all her book reading, sci-fi watching nerdiness. The first time I met Faye, I wanted to go back to being 16 and emulate her. I wish I had the confidence at 16 to OWN my book reading, sci-fi watching nerdiness. But, I wanted to be cool... I just didn't realise at the time that being different is cool.

I love everything about this modern-day fairytale story. Faye Goodknight played the Fairy Princess. Chace Keaton played the broken Prince Charming. Chace's dad is the DOUCHEWAFFLE Evil King and Serenity played the fairy Godmother. Prince Chace swept in and saved the day and Princess Faye made their world sparkle and shine by bringing good books to the village.

I bloody loved it, the audio was friggin awesome and another KA audio goes on my WINNER shelf.

Profile Image for Wendy'sThoughts.
2,645 reviews3,215 followers
June 16, 2021
5 Her Hero Stars-Really Is The Ultimate Fantasy Romance HEA
* * * * * Spoiler Free
June 15, 2021- I have been playing "Hooky" in my Real Life. Going to the books I know will give me the comfort I am needing. Breathe has always been a favorite so continuing this KA journey of the Vintage series is a no-brainer.

I have been re-reading the Colorado series and Breathe has always been a true favorite. There was just something that drew me in… Faye Goodknight, this sweet, shy, smart librarian, who was a homegrown gal devoted to her town and family had the ability to see the good in Chace Keaton, a man tortured by his past actions which had been thrust upon him. Kristen Ashley coupled a sexually inexperienced woman with a pure, full-fledged, long-time, pining love for the confident, heroic, Alpha cop. It was a combination to set the heart aflutter.

Ashley layered this with so many variables; Faye may have been inexperienced in actions but had a vision of what “her man” should be. She had been reading romance for ages and knew what character traits she wanted.

She even had a personal theme song. The slower, countrified Ella Mae Bowen’s version of Holding Out For A Hero. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FnOY...

Where have all the good men gone
And where are all the gods?
Where's the street-wise Hercules
To fight the rising odds?
Isn't there a white knight upon a fiery steed?
Late at night I toss and turn and dream of what I need

I need a hero
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night
He's gotta be strong, he's gotta be fast
And he's gotta be fresh from the fight
I need a hero
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the morning light
He's gotta be sure, he's gotta be soon
And he's gotta be larger than life, larger than life

Somewhere after midnight
In my wildest fantasies
Somewhere just beyond my reach
There's someone reaching back for me
Racing on the thunder and rising with the heat
Isn't there a superman to sweep me off my feet?

Her family was loving and hardworking. She also had perfect role models with her mom and dad. This was a man who wouldn't watch and let a wrong go by without standing up and fighting against it. He taught her through his actions and words that to watch something unjust happen and not do something to right it was morally equal to the one doing the wrong.

Faye did not live in a vacuum, she was aware of all the corruption her town has gone through…watching the pain her personal hero had thrust on him. Now the town was lauding him as a savior and he wanted nothing of it….it was just an additional weight to carry.

Chace Keaton was living a nightmare.

From the first understanding of what his family was, Chace knew he needed to follow another path than the one expected of him. He came from Big Money... His father was a Mover and Shaker who had very clear ideas of what Chace should do and be... an extension of the corrupt power his father held. The only sweetness Chace experienced growing up was from his mother.... though she was what the moneyed would call Delicate. Chace learned what would set his mother off and it was mostly his father.

Chace decided early on to not be his father's puppet and left home at 18 never looking back. He became a cop of the small town of Carnal, a far cry from Aspen. There he was his own man and able to live a life where he knew he would be free to find what he wanted....

And what he wanted more than anything was the sweet, shy, smart librarian, Faye Goodknight. He saw her and thought, when he was ready... she was who he wanted for a lifetime...He just needed to make his play and everything would fall into place...

But life doesn't always follow our plans, and Chace got caught up in the web of corruption and deceit the Carnal police department was trapped under the charge of a dirty chief. Chace stood strong and balanced a line he drew in the sand...He tried to stay true to himself...but then things became so filthy... he had to make decisions that changed both his life and Faye's...

Now the town has been saved and thinks Chace's involvement makes him a hero...something he knows he doesn't deserve...It is a weight and feeling he cannot let go of...It also makes him feel he will never be clean enough to deserve a sweet woman like Faye.

But...Chace never expected Faye to stand, confront him and show him the way to her. He knows he shouldn't get involved with her...but the pull is just too much and he finally gives in to what his heart wants...

Ashley gives us a story with layers of learning to be who you are, what you are able to be, and the necessity of forgiving yourself for things that happened in the past...She shows there are other perspectives that may see things differently... and to be willing to share and be let things go...

She also takes a woman who has a vision of life...who has held out for a love she thought never would happen... and takes it with gusto...Faye is all in and Chace has a way with her that is sweet, strong, and sometimes manipulative...but when Faye feels it is time to dig in and say her piece, she is a wonder... Her strength and beliefs are everything. She is a woman to be proud of...

The romance elements with this is sweet and hot all at the same time. These two burn so hot for each other... and she is putty in his hands...As he is instinctively aware of her inexperience, he takes this responsibility seriously and makes baby steps along the way until both are more than ready to take the relationship forward. Sexy times are intense and we are in both Faye and Chace's heads as they are exploring their feelings...Yum.

As with all Ashley books, there is also a meaty plot of things involving our couple. More suspense and concern. We get to have all the other Carnal characters we love from past books interact with Faye and Chace. Everything fit and made me wish for more...

And since I am doing a re-read, I knew more was coming. Ashley proceeds to re-visit the Colorado Series with three more books, Jagged in 2013, Kaleidoscope in 2014, and Bounty in 2016. Although these last books each have their own charm...for me, the first four books have always been the heart of the series.

I went on a Kristen Ashley Binge in 2013. I recently re-read The Gamble and it put me in the mood to do all of the Colorado Mountain Series...one of my favorite of hers. Since I was very new to Goodreads, I never dreamt of reviewing.

When I finish, I will be reviewing this time.

The Gamble (Colorado Mountain, #1) by Kristen Ashley The Gamble (Colorado Mountain, #1)
Sweet Dreams (Colorado Mountain, #2) by Kristen Ashley Sweet Dreams (Colorado Mountain, #2)
Lady Luck (Colorado Mountain, #3) by Kristen Ashley Lady Luck (Colorado Mountain, #3)
Breathe (Colorado Mountain, #4) by Kristen Ashley Breathe (Colorado Mountain, #4)
Jagged (Colorado Mountain, #5) by Kristen Ashley Jagged (Colorado Mountain, #5)
Kaleidoscope (Colorado Mountain, #6) by Kristen Ashley Kaleidoscope (Colorado Mountain, #6)
Bounty (Colorado Mountain, #7) by Kristen Ashley Bounty (Colorado Mountain, #7)

For more Reviews, Free E-books and Giveaways

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Profile Image for Belle.
503 reviews515 followers
December 18, 2018
5 / 5 stars


only five KA books past Bella? HUH, try eighteen in the past three months. I think I am addicted to Kristen Ashely's super dramatic and over-the-top series, a guilty pleasure that I can't seem to stop.

I'm a little late into reviewing this book as I have gone on to read three more from this series and two more from Kristen Ashley and adored them all. But in saying that, I feel like Breathe will forever be my favourite.

This a romance centered around Faye Goodknight who is as pure and kindhearted as her name suggests, the local librarian in a small town situated in Colorado (where this whole particular series revolves) with her head stuck permanently in a book. The only times she pops back into reality is to ogle and continue to crush on Detective Chace Keaton, a crush that has lasted thirteen years.

They run into each other in the middle of the night when Faye is attempting to figure out the local murder mystery, the murder victim also being Chace's ex-wife, a woman who he had no affection for and let everybody know.

Slowly, their relationship begins to bloom but Chace hasn't lived an all that charmed life and is hell bent on keeping those secrets from Faye. As the two begin to be together, they also happen along a homeless child who shows signs of abuse and together they begin their mission to find and care for the young boy.

This story had everything I love in a novel; dimensional characters, a community feel, drama, angst and a whole boat load of romance and passion. This story (and series) is one of complete dramatics but the plot is woven together spectacularly and it's impossible not to relate to the characters, even if you have nothing in common.
Profile Image for Splage.
592 reviews371 followers
July 27, 2012
Review posted at: Swept Away By Romance

5 Fraking Fantastic Stars

Angels deserve heroes and heroes deserve angels. So true, so true... Faye and Chase were each other’s destinies and I loved reading their story!

I had big anticipation for Breathe because the Colorado Mountain series is what really started me on my Kristen Ashley crazy reading obsession. I had read Rock Chick years ago when it first came out. I loved it and KA’s style, but she didn’t have any other books published at the time. It seems now I can hardly get through a week with out reading or rereading a KA story to get my fix.

Her typical elements were all there. It started with a bang, Chace had his share of A-hole moments to get my juices flowing and it had a hot, stirring romance between a virgin and a broken cop. The courtship was very arousing because of Faye’s inexperience and Chace’s he-man qualities in the bedroom. I still blush occasionally when KA writes her sex descriptions and dialog. Sometimes Chace’s choice of words were shockingly direct and made me flinch…in a good way.

Faye has to be one of my favorite KA heroines. She was innocent, vulnerable and sweet; family oriented, dedicated and such a big, fat LIAR! I loved her backbone! Faye had a brand of quiet that was strong and fierce and boy, could she grandstand when she got pissed. A couple of scenes I was cheering her on, thinking you go girl! She went all Clint Eastwood, I could just hear, “Go ahead, make my day” coming from her sweet, little librarian mouth. All the girls were back from the previous stories helping Faye get her man. Also the best was a lesbian giving man dating advice, how profound. Let me say, Twyla’s advice was right on…”how to unf**k a man, f**k him.” Simple and (un)sweet, gotta love it.

There was a murder mystery to solve which was introduce in Lady Luck. This was my only slight criticism because I didn’t really care about it. There wasn’t a huge plot development or new information to make me overly concerned. I think mainly it lacked my interest because there was another side story that overshadowed it so greatly. Malachi/Miah was a homeless boy that totally stole the show. His story had me holding my breath with anticipation. His life was harsh and brutal and I was so into finding out about this fierce, broken boy that my focus was completely surrounding his circumstances. He brought out my emotions several times. It was heartbreaking, but yet beautiful in how Chace, Faye and her family took care of him.

The story was also about Chace’s evolution. He had a lot to overcome from the ending in Lady Luck, going from bad cop, worse husband to hero. I knew eventually all those wonderful attributes I have to have in my heroes; possessive, confident, protective, as well as, gorgeous, sexy, and all alpha, would reveal themselves in Chace.

So yes, the story structure was familiar, with amazing characters, mystery and violence, and at times the hero’s crude dialog was present, but “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” is my motto. You won’t be disappointed if you are a fan of Kristen Ashley, with her alpha heroes and her style of writing.

KA did a great job in tying everything together so perfectly from beginning to end. I don’t want to elaborate too much because I would have to reveal some big spoilers and connections, but lets just say they were big and they made all my insides warm and my smile huge.

The epilogue was so precious and just how I like my endings. It was like the energizer bunny…it kept going and going and giving and giving until my satisfaction was guaranteed. I mean let’s face it, I never want a KA book to end, I am too in love with the characters so it was perfect for me to have a gazillion happy endings.

Profile Image for ~ Becs ~.
709 reviews2,107 followers
July 31, 2012
Another sterling contemporary romance from Kristen Ashley – we’re back in Carnal for the story of Chace and Faye. This is one of my favourite plot lines – the tough, protective alpha hero with the sweet and really rather geeky heroine.

There’s a heartbreaking tale at the centre of this story about a homeless child, Malachi, living rough on the streets of Carnal and his plight is the driving force that brings Chace and Faye together. Malachi’s story will tug at your heart strings and helping him allows Chace and Faye’s caring natures to really shine through.

So, Chace. He’s absolutely typical KA hero material. He’s bossy, domineering, given to outbursts of jerk like behaviour, protective, caring and super hot – everything we’ve come to expect in a KA hero. He’s had a lot to contend with in his life so far – everyone who should have been there for him, has not been and people have taken advantage of his loyalty. He considers himself tainted by association with ‘dirty cops’, a storyline from Lady Luck, and is suffering from a serious dose of low self-esteem.

Enter stage left – Faye Goodknight. Never was a heroine more aptly named. She may be the heroine of the novel but she is the good knight in shining armour come to rescue Chace from his lack of self-worth and show him what he means to her and everyone else in Carnal. Faye is a sci-fi geek sweetheart – she’s a 29 year old virgin and, after reading her for a few pages, I realised she’s one of us!! Chances are, if you’re reading my review, that you’re a romance novel addict, always got your head in an e-reader and have a harem full to bursting of drop dead gorgeous fictional boyfriends at your disposal. This is Faye – she’s definitely one of us!!

I really don’t know how likely a very beautiful, well-educated 29 year old virgin actually is in modern day America, but KA writes Faye well and when she finally gives up that virginity to Chace, it’s really everything you could possibly hope it would be. Rather surprisingly painless, but deeply romantic and tender. Every girl should have a guy like Chace as her first!

Chace and Faye take a fabulous journey together – each of them growing with their love, becoming the person they always should have been. They complete each other. There is an absolutely thrilling and suspenseful climax to their story during which I could hardly breathe and, as always, a really great epilogue. Kristen Ashley really does give good epilogue! There are also several scenes with all the Colorado Mountain men together – truly a KA fangirl’s wet dream!

Things I loved

Faye reading a hot sex scene and wanting to try it out with Chace afterwards. Sound familiar girls??

Faye’s ‘righteous’ cyber-buddy Serenity.

All those mountain men together.

The promise of a Graham Reece novel.


So, why 4 stars and not 5?

This may be an unpopular opinion, but I felt I'd met Chace before - he's extremely similar and possibly interchangeable with several other KA heroes we've read before. Also, some of the sentences are overlong, especially speeches given by the central characters and I think some more stringent editing would probably improve these books.

But, it's still a fabulous KA romance, very much in her usual style.

4 stars contemporary romance.

If you enjoyed Breathe, don't forget to vote for it on the Best Kristen Ashley Books List.

Profile Image for Gitte TotallyBookedBlog.
1,945 reviews938 followers
July 24, 2012
For full review please go to: http://totallybookedblog.com/

"Love, Drama, Salvation, Suspense, it was Dark & Horrific at times"

I have to say that for me this book was about Chase...this journey was his. To find love and happiness and redemption.

I slowly fell in love with Chase...not instant but the one that simmers in the background and then blows up in your face and you realize what an amazing man this is. Yes he is a hot alpha, but I didn't get him as a person...that is until his relationship with Faye unravelled. In the end I felt for him how I feel for Lawson...this decent, honourable man who's all about what is right, respect, love and devotion. Protecting what's his what he sees as important. He doesn't see himself in the right light, he has had a lonely life, dictated by others but not in a positive way which means he paints himself with the same brush. He can't take himself out of the equation, believing he is like them not by actions but by default. In Faye it's almost like he sees redemption. He sees her as innocent, vulnerable and adorable and his attraction has been there years but it's almost like he is scared to taint her with his ugliness! To him she truly is an Angel; unspoilt.

"He’d been touched by the hand of an angel" - Chase

“You in my life, me livin’ in hell, feels like I’ve been touched by an angel.” - Chase

"Then he said quietly in my ear, “For a long time, a long fuckin’ time, Faye, nearly six years, I thought it was certain I’d never have anything as beautiful as the last three minutes. Thank you, honey, for giving that to me.”
- Chase

All he wants is a family, a wife he loves and loves him in return, kids. A happy home..he wants affection! Chace is in awe of Faye's family..it's his dream to be part of his own, by his making! He realises what he could have had, the regrets, the wasted years.

"He’d wanted her for years not having any fucking clue how much of her there was to get, how deep it ran or how sweet it was" - Chase .. I loved this sentence it says it ALL!!

He is so loving, and has this vulnerable side to him. He values Faye for who she is and what she has become to him and it shows when he safe guards Faye's 'innocence' and guides her with this amazing protective hand. At the same time he revels in the fact that this is a gift for him, one that has never been given to anyone else one he knows it is his alone.

"I’m falling for you... But you know that since you know I already did it thirteen years ago. I held out for a hero" - Faye

He isn't scared to show Faye his emotions a testament to how he feels about her and how she acts towards him...he feels safe in doing so. When she gave him her, he knew what this meant!

"A taste of sweet.
The touch of an angel.
A trace of a miracle"
- Chase

Chace is beyond a hero, although he doesn't see himself this way. His protection of Malachi, his fight for what's right. My heart melted... it broke me. The true amazing trait of any man....not only the kind of hero Faye meant but the ultimate hero by actions and the sense of right and his non questioning protection. He thinks he is lost, changed...soiled by the past wanting to redeem himself. He has no clue how amazing he is. He is given a test to save Faye and it was heart stopping. To him, I think this moment, he found his own salvation from the sins of others.

“Baby,” Chace whispered...... “Breathe.” - I forgot how to at times!

Now Faye. I absolutely loved Faye. I identified with so many aspects of her character. The quiet shy girl with her nose in a book. But really underneath the 'superficial' is a woman who knows who she is, she is fierce, strong, grounded, extremely funny, adorable and vulnerable. She knows life can deal you bad situation and she is not naive or ignorant to the fact of real life. She reads to escape for moments of dreams and fantasy. Yet she knows all that goes on and she is fully aware of Chace and his situation. She has been in love with Chase for 13 years, solid in her belief that he is the one for her. Such conviction, such perseverance. Her unwavering loyalty, devotion and love for this man means that she is adamant she will set him free, heal what is broken, seek justice for her man,. This despite the fact that he isn't so yet. And despite knowing he maybe never be she shows her true selflessness through pure emotion and adoration.
She is in awe of him, truly devoted, yet she does not stand down or let him intimidate her into a situation she does not agree with. I admired her for not letting him go. She stood firm, she didn't let the wanting of him overshadow what was ultimately right for her. This is also despite knowing that Chase has NEVER had anyone look out for him before with such love and protection, she took a gamble, a risk for him to understand what he was being given; what he has never had!!

Despite the pretty scary and heart breaking story line surrounding them, their journey was BEAUTIFUL!!!!

Be prepared for some pretty special surprises too ;0)
Profile Image for Maida»-(¯`v´¯)-».
1,673 reviews420 followers
June 10, 2016

RATING: 5 "Baby, breathe." Hearts!! :D <3

Breathe is another fantastic addition to this series. KA never fails to amaze me with her—albeit long as heck—stories, the admirable characters or the soulful, irrevocably beautiful love between them. Chase and Faye’s story was all that and more. Loved every word of this, and I really loved all the previous characters making an appearance. I simply adore KA and can’t wait to read the next one in the series!

Fave Quotes:

“Best thing I ever did, goin’ after you,” he whispered back. “Got my dance with you. Led to different kinda dances with you. Best thing I ever fuckin’ did.”

Touched by an angel.

“You love her. I’ll love her because I love you and not a crush love like I was feeling for thirteen years. A real love for a good man who teases me and makes me laugh and makes me feel safe and holds me close at night and watches way too much sports and not enough geek TV...” I paused, he said not a word, I struggled against having a heart attack and then finished lamely, “And you can take that to the bank.”

“That cute in my bed. That hair. Those eyes. That smile. Definitely worth it. So I ate it, bidin’ my time, gettin’ the wild out of me so all I’d give you was sweet.”

I held out for twenty-nine years. I held out for Chase. I held out for a hero.

“I'll let you in on a secret, honey. The knight who has serious chinks in his armor but never falls is the true hero. That means he's won battles and doesn't waste time polishing his armor so he can look good while he rides in parades that are tributes to his glory. He just drags himself back on his steed and keeps right on battling. And if he's the right kind of knight, he never rides alone. The best heroes inspire loyalty. The best heroes keep fighting the good fight, tirelessly, quietly. The best heroes always have scars. If they didn't, the heroine would have nothing to do. It's her job to help the hero let all that stuff go in order that her man can be strong enough to fight on but when he's with her he's free to just 'breathe'.”

“I held out for a hero and I don’t give a frak if you don’t think you’re one. I know you are and even if you weren’t one to the whole town, you’re one to me and you can take that to the fraking bank.”


Posted: June 10, 2016
Profile Image for Naksed.
2,983 reviews103 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
September 14, 2016
The heroine was molded out of the scattered remains of a lobotomy.

The hero was a giant chin, strolling around town, occasionally lifting itself in acknowledgment of its human inhabitants.

The story was ZZZzzzZZZzzz...oops, sorry, fell asleep there.

I attempted this against my better judgment and got EXACTLY what I deserved.

Profile Image for ♥Rachel♥.
1,822 reviews835 followers
May 18, 2018
Re-read for the 3rd time. Breathe kept me company during my first half-marathon!

4.5 Stars of Kristen Ashley awesome!

I loved Faye! She was a cute and funny librarian, science fiction aficionado, with a little bit of a temper to match her red hair. I cracked up every time she used that backbone and said "frak", even if she felt a little guilty saying it, like it was an actual curse word. Lol!

I swooned hard for Chace! What a complete and total sweetheart! He melted my heart with the way he treated Faye as the most precious thing ever to grace his life.

Favorite quotes:

"There's a temperament behind that hair, son. So, my advice, don't catch it from Faye."

He wanted her for years not having any f**king clue how much of her there was to get, how deep it ran or how sweet it was.

"Decided with one look at you, I'd put up with it, all the shit that was gettin' worse at work 'cause my end game would be you."
Was he saying what I thought he was saying?
"The town's sweet, cute, quiet, pretty librarian in my bed, my ring on her finger, enjoyin' it as I taught her how to enjoy it, plantin' my babies in her, building a family."
Holy fraking frak!

“You gonna jump on-line and tell your geek squad you landed me?”

"Christ, here we go. Backbone."

Love Kristen Ashley!
Profile Image for KatLynne.
547 reviews555 followers
August 2, 2012
4.5 Stars

I need a hero; I’m holding out for a hero till the end of the night. He’s gotta be strong, he’s gotta be fast, and he’s got to be fresh from the fight. I need a hero, I’m holding out for a hero till the morning light, he’s gotta be sure, and its gotta be soon, and he’s gotta be larger than life.
Faye Goodknight held out for a hero and what a remarkable one she got!
We first meet sexy Detective Chace Keaton in Lady Luck. While being an excellent detective, he had to get dirty in his battle to help clear Carnal of their crew of dirty cops. Life also had smacked him with a dish that was nearly unbearable to swallow as he is forced to marry a woman he despises in order to cover the sins of a father he can barely tolerate. And even though he spent five long years avoiding everything about her, he certainly didn’t want to see her life end by a brutal murder.
I don’t know how she does it but KA always gives me a hero I love to read about and by the end of the story, I have completely fallen for him. Chace Keaton is another sexy as sin beautiful alpha man who loves his woman, is possessive and protective. What I loved most about him was his willingness to turn his back on “everything he was” in order to protect those he loved most in this world. He was a man who would do anything to keep his loved ones safe.
“He’s a white knight on a fiery steed except his steed comes in the form of an SUV and it’s not fiery. It’s burgundy.”

All he’d ever wanted was to be a good cop, have a wife, family and a home. Believing those dreams are gone forever there is a bone deep loneliness to him that is nearly tangible. He’s also a man battling demons from the residual filth of wallowing with dirty cops and feels he can never be clean again.

What he needed was one of the best heroines in this series, Faye Goodknight. Twenty-nine years old, she has loved him since a teenager. She’s the local librarian and while shy, this lady has backbone. She’s smart, warm, compassionate and somewhat geeky with her nose always in a book. She is perfect for Chace and without a doubt his knight! As this passionate love story unfolds, he soon learns for the first time in his life what it feels like to have someone at his back, loving him and teaching him he couldn’t shoulder the world’s burdens and he didn’t have to. She was his angel, He was her hero.
“Twenty-nine years, I held out for this. Then, half an hour later, you proved every one of these words true and every moment since then, you kept doing it. I’ll take you thinking I’m your angel but you need to know you’re my hero. Twenty-nine, honey, I held out for this. Twenty-nine years, I held out for you.”
This book was everything and more; a passionate, poignant love story that left me breathless many times. A man desperately needing deliverance and acceptance and quickly realizes he needs his angel in order to breathe. And a young woman who is so lonely for her hero, a true damsel in distress and one who’s knight certainly doesn’t fail!
“I'll let you in on a secret, honey. The knight who has serious chinks in his armor but never falls is the true hero. That means he's won battles and doesn't waste time polishing his armor so he can be good while he rides in parades that are tributes to his glory. He just drags himself back on his steed and keeps right on battling. And if he's the right kind of knight, he never rides alone. The best heroes inspire loyalty. The best heroes keep fighting the good fight, tirelessly, quietly. The best heroes always have scars. If they didn't, the heroine would have nothing to do. It's her job to help the hero let all that stuff go in order that her man can be strong enough to fight on but when he's with her he's free to just 'breathe'.”
Kristen Ashley is a captivating story teller who knows how to add all the right ingredients to create a page turner that you don’t want to put down. It pulled my heart in all the right places and is another favorite to add to my keeper shelf.

As always, she gives us a cast of secondary characters that enhances the enjoyment of the story along with villains you despise. From early on is the mystery of a young homeless boy, Malachi. Without giving anything away, all I will say is to have plenty of tissues on hand as this young child’s story is heartbreaking and will grab you and pull hard on your heartstrings.

An added highlight was visiting once again with those characters I have come to love in Carnal and Gnaw Bone and catching up on all their news! There is a pregnancy and birth along with a very delightful surprise. I really enjoyed how KA incorporated this well known character into the life of Faye! And let’s not forget her stellar Epilogue!

Breathe, so aptly named as I found myself quite breathless with many of the moving scenes and with one in particular holding my breath anxiously, almost forgetting to breathe myself!

I couldn’t help but include one of Faye’s songs in this review. It’s beautiful; it’s one of her favorites and plays an integral part in her life. Ella Mae Bowen’s “Holding Out for A Hero”


And for me, Jason Mraz’s “I Want Give Up” kept playing in my head and I gave this one to Chase:)

Profile Image for Auntee.
1,271 reviews1,372 followers
September 21, 2013
So....10,00+ ratings, 801 reviews(!), what can I add that hasn't already been said? In the words of 29-year-old virgin heroine Faye Goodnight... "Um..."

I loved this book. Probably my favorite (at least the characters were my favorites) of all the KA books I've read so far. I'll admit at first I thought 35-year-old police detective Chace Keaton was incredibly rude to our heroine Faye, especially when he told her to "move her fat ass". But I get it, all KA's heroes have to have at least one moment of asshat behavior, and he did make it up to her (*sigh*) many, many times. So all is forgiven.

 photo 68db3d24-1ce4-40c3-b4a5-1aa2180c91dc_zpsba7b3354.jpg

I loved that KA made Faye a "geek". A beautiful geek, but a geek nonetheless. Totally relatable. Town librarian, fan of geeky television, always with her nose in a book, geeky online friends, and a 29-year-old virgin who's been crushing on our hero (she's been "holding out for a hero") for 13 years! And she thinks he hasn't noticed her just because they've never spoken in all that time...

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I'm not going into the plot--the book blurb handles that well. I liked how Faye and Chace finally got together, how they bonded over their quest to help a little abused boy (Miah). We see that both Faye and Chace have kind hearts and work hard to correct a wrong that has been done.

I got completely immersed in this one. Everything about it was just fantastic. The leads, the plot, the touch of suspense, the sex scenes (and there were many), the supporting players--all perfect. Never was I tempted to skip a page (and KA provided many, many details that could've been edited for a faster moving story--but I really liked reading every single non-essential detail!) Chace and Faye's romance was red hot, romantic, and sinfully sensual. I truly believed that these two had fallen in love--and I loved it! Intensely romantic and erotic.:)

This book made me tear up at the oddest moments. When Miah called Chace his "Aslan"...I could feel the tears flowing...

Wise, compassionate, powerful Aslan...just like Chace
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I loved Chace.
I loved Faye.
I loved them together.
And I especially loved that awesome epilogue! Thank you KA for not leaving the reader hanging and wondering.

It's been a few days since I finished this one and I'm having a hard time moving on. I felt the same way about At Peace, Raid, and Creed. KA is a fantastic storyteller but her books take an emotional toll on me! 5 stars

Warning: This book contains explicit sex, including oral, and some heartbreaking subject matter about child abuse. Not for sensitive readers.
Profile Image for Becky .
195 reviews137 followers
March 1, 2015
I'm at 73% and not sure I can finish. Too annoyed to write a review so here is my rant from the grovel thread on another site. Don't read this is you don't want to read a rant!!!

2 stars because I love the story about the little boy, Malachi, and Faye's wonderful parents. I love KA's writing and will have to find others to read. I am going to stay away from her virgin heroines. I knew at the end of Lady Luck that I was not going to like Chaes too much...manwhores who think they are entitled to marry virgins disgust me. But what I found out about Chase and what he was willing to do, how unethical and immoral a cop he was willing to be, to be entitled to hang on to his promiscuity? I would rather read about a bad man who is clearly bad, than a bad man who is pretending to really be good and just want a family or a good woman. I hated Chase more than I hated Tack, and although I liked that book, I really hated Tack (my other big peeve is men like Tack who are dishonest with women with whom they have sex and pretend to like them as people to get them into bed, but then after sex degrade them and treat them like shit rather than graciously thank them for a nice evening...I don't think those are harmless, honest playboys, I think they are narcissistic sociopaths who get off on harming women).

Back to Breathe--my biggest problem with Faye is putting herself on ice for 13 years and wasting her youth away fantasizing about a man who is openly sleeping with other women and then gets married for 6 years, and she still waits. I think that's psychotic and not very admirable. And I think it's ridiculous that the narration of Chase is that all he's ever wanted was a home and family because that's a total lie, he saw Faye and liked her but knew it would mean commitment, and he wanted variety. Meaning he wanted to F a lot of different women, not to have a home and family. And it made me crazy that he expects to marry a virgin or near virgin, and Faye reflects that he didn't deserve to be married to the town slut-- because it seemed to me that was EXACTLY who he deserved to be stuck with (not necessarily a woman who had smex with his father, but for sure the slut he used for smex repeatedly...he was a slut, why shouldn't he be married to one?).

I did like how Faye stood up for herself and stood strong on his "space", but there were too many elements of the scene that turned me off, including:

1) that she asserts that her living in a fantasy world until she is 29 years old by reading books not just for pleasure but to escape life where bad things happen. She thinks that her decision to stay a virgin, immerse herself in a fake HEA world to the exclusion of any real relationship is a perfectly valid decision that a mentally healthy person might make. I just plain disagree...I read romance voraciously and have since I was a teen and planned to stay a virgin until married, but managed to date, find and marry a man who shared my family values, have children and a career. I do NOT think her decision is at all healthy and think she needed deep therapy. It is consistent with a pathology, not a healthy mental state. So this strong, well-loved character with decent self-esteem and a good family just does NOT jive for me at all.

2) I don't really care that Chase beat up an extortionist, but calling a police officer, who let a man go to prison for 5 years a crime he didn't commit so his mom wouldn't learn the truth about his dad's sick kink, a hero is a slap in the face to the many real heroes who have risked their lives, and sometimes ther family's lives. He was human and weak, but not admirable. Sorry for his mom's illness but I was NOT impressed with writing off this crime and shirking of his sworn duty. There are always choices, like moving his mom to a protective situation. The bad guys weren't even the mob with international reach.

3) Faye goes all soft at the "romance" of Chase noticing her in the supermarket, wanting her, planning to make a play when he was good and ready, and therefore deciding not to move on from turning a blind eye to a dirty police force (all this before he was blackmailed), because he was thinking Faye was his end game and imagined putting his ring on her finger, teaching her to enjoy smex and planting his babies in her and giving her a family. This was the thing that caused the book to Totally jump the shark for me. HE DID NOT ask her out because, while he thought all the CRIME AND DERILECTION OF DUTY of turning a blind eye to dirty cops would be worth it when he was ready to make his play for Faye, he was only going to do this after he was done getting the wild out of him...meaning sleeping with everything that moved, including the town slut who he considered dirt under his shoe but still slept with repeatedly and continued to do so while "liking" the dream of a future with Faye. (Of course, this is also inconsistent with his prior reflection about how he had relationships and went to meet some women's parents, so those must have been littered along the "wild" with women he used for sex, and sleeping repeatedly with Misty must have come after real relationships and close enough to his marriage to Misty that Misty wanted him enough to join in blackmail of him). So he went from looking at Faye and saying to himslef that she is his endgame, to sleeping with women HE views as sluts...not only is he a disgusting pig who thinks he deserves a virgin even though was enjoying himself "gettin' the wild out" of him for years, but it was so worthwhile and critical to him to be promiscuous that he permitted CRIME to be engaged in under his watch as a cop, betrayed every bit of honor and public trust that exists rather than report it. That's right, he continued to engage in DERILECTION of duty and turning his eye to rampant violations of the public trust because his top priority then was having sex with women like Misty, probably with Misty herself. And so that he could have wild smex with other women rather than ask Faye out because asking her out and cleaning up the town might mean he'd have to stop having smex with other women before he was ready. Needless to say, I did not find this romantic or honorable in the least. I also do not believe for a minute that such a man is going to be faithful to that virgin he thinks is worthy of his bed. So important to him to sleep around and have his "variety" that he stays in a dirty police force rather than walk away or protect the people he has a duty to protect???? He will be on Ashley Madison in 3 years tops.

People give their lives for duty. Police, soldiers, every day...think about what Miep Gies or Oskar Schindler risked. Those are heroes. Chase deserved Misty for good...I call that hoist by your own petard, if not justice. (He finally tries to do right by Ty and has enough decency to feel guilty, so not all evil...just a weak, selfish slut). Not a hero for me.

Also he never grovels at all for the two disgusting things he said to her after seeing her at the crime scene and after their first kiss. And I know of no woman, curvy or otherwise, who is falling for a man who calls her a fat-ass. Call a woman a slut, whore, b**tch, whatever, maybe. Not fat.
Did he even apologize? Hate him.
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