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Kiss My Ash

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Ash Jenkins was the typical boy next door. Wait, who am I kidding? There was nothing typical about that boy.

He was tall, ripped, and had the voice of a man twice his age. Intelligent, sexy as sin, and barely legal.

Sent to live with his dad after getting in some trouble with the law, he was definitely someone I needed to stay away from.

But he had his sights set on me, and he didn’t try to hide it.

Did it still make me a cougar if I was the prey?

282 pages, Paperback

First published August 8, 2018

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About the author

Leddy Harper

37 books1,305 followers
Leddy Harper had to use her imagination often as a child. She grew up the only girl in a house full of boys. At the age of fourteen, she decided to use that imagination and wrote her first book, and never stopped.

She often calls writing her therapy, using it as a way to deal with issues through the eyes of her characters.
The decision to publish her first book was made as a way of showing her children to go after whatever it is they want to. Love what you do and do it well. Most importantly Leddy wanted to teach them what it means to overcome their fears.

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Profile Image for Dilek VT.
1,544 reviews1,445 followers
March 2, 2021
Awful title, amazing book!

“Every event in life is based on what could happen. You can either drown in the fears and what-ifs, disregard what you know in your gut is right, and move on…or you can give it a chance and see where it goes.”



In this book, the hero is a high-school student at the age of 17 when he meets the heroine, who is a bank manager at the age of 32 with a daughter at the age of 16.

Although the age of consent is 17 in the state they live in, he waits till he is 18 before getting physical so everything stays platonic until he is 18.

And by the way, he misleads her about his age and lets her believe that he is 21 when she tries to guess it. He is scared that she will run away if she knows the truth.

This book is definitely not for readers who like their hero older than the heroine or for readers who prefer both of them at the same age. If even the idea of a guy that young falling in love with a woman who is 15 years older than him terrifies you, you shouldn’t touch this book.

Well, if it is the case, then I feel sad that you will miss one hell of an epic love story, but I know a lot about judgements (I have some of myself) so if you feel you will judge this kind of a love story, you will most probably judge and this is a book you need to avoid for this reason.


An epic love story

This is most certainly not a dirty book that is written for fun and some sexy times. It is intended to be an epic love story that knows no boundaries and it succeeds in being one. It has its passionate and hot moments, don't worry, but the whole story is mainly emotional!


Plot & characters:

Asher is a mature person compared to the other guys at his age. If you – for one moment – forget about his age, he is everyone’s dream guy – HE IS MORE THAN PERFECT as a boyfriend and a partner. I would fall in love with him no matter his age even if I were 70.


Kristy has never lived her teenage years. She got pregnant when she was too young and then she raised her daughter as a single parent. She never got married. She had a few boyfriends but none of them saw themselves with her in the long run because she and her daughter was the package deal they had to accept as a whole and they wanted to build their own family from scratch. So she never got the love she deserved…until she met Asher.


When she meets Asher, she understands he is younger than her but she thinks he must be 21-22- or 25 tops. While trying to guess his age, Asher, who is smitten by her already, lets her believe that he is 21 when she says so.


Kristy believes that a relationship with a guy that young will not last so she thinks a few hot nights with him will make her feel good and sexy for a short while. That’s why she pursues a physical relationship with him but Asher, who knows how old he is, tries to make both of them wait till he is at least 18. He doesn’t even kiss her before he is 18.


Sadly, Kristy learns his age before he is 18 and she is horrified to learn that he is a student at the same school that her daughter attends. She pushes him away immediately. However, what they have built so far is more than some simple physical attraction so they suffer immensely when they try to stay away from each other. So when he is 18, their physical relationship starts inevitably but they decide to keep it secret – at least until he graduates.


Unfortunately, her daughter learns their relationship in the worst possible way and she treats her mother in a disgusting way. She is horrified by the idea of a relationship between them so she insults her, humiliates her and it is clear that Kristy will either lose Asher or her daughter so she chooses her daughter.


A period of immense pain and suffering begins when they give up each other. If not before then, now, you believe in their love when they are apart. They feel so lost, so unhappy and so hollow without each other.

The rest is the story of how they manage to get their HEA despite all the odds. I am happy that not everyone condemned them as her daughter did. I loved how Asher's mother reacted when she met her.

This was a realistic love story of two people who would never get an easy HEA. But in the end, their HEA was a well-deserved one.


Every feeling, the love, the lust, the fear, the passion, the pain, the suffering, all the hesitations, worries and all the dilemma feel so very real - bravo, Ms Harper; that was one real story of love between two people with an age-gap. You have made it feel so good; kudos to you!


And the way the hero is written most definitely makes you forget that he is the younger one. He is so incredibly mature and he is perfect in every way possible, so very swoon-worthy. And I personally thank Ms Harper for not making him a man-wh*re just to make us believe that he is an experienced young guy that can be a suitable match for a woman at that age. No, Ms Harper chooses the hard way to prove that Asher is the right guy for Kristy. Ms Harper creates a hero that emotionally and intellectually fits Kristy. Writing a hero at this age that will sound suitable for a woman 15 years older than him and doing it "character-based" is a challenge but Ms Harper has achieved it and done it perfectly.

Give Asher to me at any age, no complaints :)))

And really, some writers should read about this "Asher" character to learn how a guy loves when he really loves. Yummy!


As you can guess, I believed in their love, I craved for their happy end and I believe theirs is a long-lasting relationship.

And, who can say that the relationships of people at the same age are guaranteed to last, anyways?

In this case, Asher and Kristy most definitely fit and complemented each other in many ways despite the huge age-gap between them and thus, I believe in their relationship to be a long-lasting one.

There is LOVE in this world that is beyond the society’s accepted norms regarding age/race/gender etc so theirs was certainly not the most common one that we see around but it being an uncommon one doesn’t diminish the reality or the beauty of their love. IT WAS REAL and IT WAS BEAUTIFUL.


Personally, I hate it when people find it sexy when the girl is 10 or 15 years younger than the guy but find it repulsive when she is 10 or 15 years older. Double standards it is and it is so sad that women do it more often than men… So sad. No matter how much I hate the double standards, they are always there and it’s us – the women – who can change it, so I am telling to those people with double standards: "Why don’t you try to be more gentle and compassionate to your own kind? Please… pretty please…"


Writing & Safety issues:

This is a “Leddy Harper” book so naturally, it makes you feel. And you feel a lot!

It is written in dual point of view and it is beautifully written with good enough dialogues, character-depth and a reasonable length and pace.


IT IS SAFE as far as cheating etc is concerned. No OW/OM drama at all!

As of their past, the heroine had a few relationships but the hero was a virgin.


The hero stays 18 until the epilogue. The Epilogue is for 3 years later when he is 21.



Recommended only to readers who do not judge the age difference when it is the woman who is older.



The moment she opened the door and stood in front of me, my breathing stopped. She was so damn beautiful I couldn’t admire her and remember to suck in air at the same time. It was like every brain cell stopped and focused on just how stunning she was…


“Is that your master plan? To mention our age difference enough so that I feel inadequate or unworthy and eventually give up on the idea of us being together?”

Her eyes became so dull I wondered if all the color was gone; ironically, it matched her lackluster tone. “Is it working?”


“I was learning algebraic equations while you were in diapers. You weren’t even two when I gave birth to my daughter. Do you not see anything wrong with that? At all ?”

“Trust me , Kristy, I haven’t forgotten for one second that a significant age gap exists between us. But let me be very clear about something. I don’t care if you were performing open-heart surgery when I was born, or if your kid was in high school when I started daycare. It doesn’t matter what you were doing eighteen years ago. The only thing I care about is that from now on, I'M WHAT YOU ARE DOING. I don’t give a shit about where you used to be, as long as you’re with me now.”


Fuck holding back.
Fuck keeping my hands to myself.
Damn the rules and what was appropriate and what wasn’t.
I let go of the counter and eliminated every ounce of space between us. When I slid my palm along her cheek, she met my gaze without a single attempt to move away. And when I opened my mouth to speak, she held her breath, as if she worried that the sound of her exhales might prevent her from hearing my every word.
“You have no clue, do you? No idea how much I want you—Every. Piece. Of. You. How badly I need you.”


“Between your desire to feel young, and my need to remain level-headed and responsible, we balance each other out. The parts of us that have been in limbo connect to each other.”


I wasn’t stupid enough to believe this was a choice she’d made lightly. It wasn’t something she wanted to do. She had to. Begging her to change her mind would be selfish…and pointless. Giving some heartfelt speech would’ve only made her feel worse.

And just like she’d done for Emma, I chose to put Kristy first. If that meant I had to lock my feelings away, never to utter them aloud, then so be it. Because that was what I had to do for her. Much like this was what she had to do for herself. For her daughter. In the end… no one would win.

With my head down, I walked away. I didn’t tell her goodbye, didn’t offer a smile or wave, not even a muttered, “I’ll see you later.” She’d never see my heart bleed from my eyes, never witness exactly what her dismissal did to me.


“One of these days, when Emma’s out of the house with a family of her own, you’re going to look back at this moment…at me and what we had together. You’ll ask yourself if you made the right choice, if you gave me up for the right reasons.”
“Please know that you did. I don’t blame you—if anything, I respect the hell out of you for doing the right thing. As hard as it is, and as much as it hurts, I can’t help but love you even more for choosing your daughter. Hopefully, you’ll think of me and understand that all I wanted was to give you everything. I wanted to love you the way you were meant to be loved. I wanted to cherish you and put you first, exactly where you deserve to be in someone else’s life.”


“I’ll always come when you call. Don’t you get that? Don’t you see how much you mean to me? Being here kills me, knowing we can’t be together. But I’ll spend every day knocking on your door if you ask me to. There’s nothing I won’t do for you, Kris.”


“Have you thought about what being with me actually means? Let’s just say we get married…that would make you her stepdad. And when she has children, that would mean you’d be their grandfather. Think about it, Ash. I doubt you’ve even considered all that…That doesn’t freak you out?”

“Babe…” I grabbed her hands and held them between us. “The only thing that freaks me out is living without you. Other than that, I can deal with anything. I’m ready to jump those hurdles with you by my side. As long as we’re together, it doesn’t matter what obstacles are thrown our way—I’ll knock them all down and then carry you over the wreckage.”

“This is what you really want?”

“No.” I lowered my mouth to hers. “You are what I really want.”

Some RECOMMENDED REVIEWS that I completely agree with:






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Profile Image for ~**Anna**~ A Romance Reader.
598 reviews325 followers
January 7, 2019
Loved it!!! What a beautiful love story.

This is my first book by Leddy Harper and I am blown away! I couldn’t stop reading!

This is the story of Asher (Ash) and Kristy. Ash is 17 and Kristy 33 when they first meet. Ash is very mature for his age so during that first meeting Kristy thinks he’s 22 and he doesn’t correct her. They are attracted to each other but really start out as friends. I loved their conversations and how Ash was always there for Kristy. They start a relationship when he turns 18 (Kristy by then knows his true age) and although there’s a big age gap you can tell from the beginning that they are soul mates. For Kristy is not easy to accept she wants to be with an 18 year old and fights her feelings but in the end love prevails. I know some people will find the age difference between them disturbing but to me I only see 2 people that love each other deeply.

I know many will be hesitant to read this book due to the age difference between the MC’s but truly their love story is so beautiful and goes beyond age. I hope you do give this book a chance cause its one of the most beautiful love stories I’ve read in the past several months.
Profile Image for Carol.
1,326 reviews235 followers
January 22, 2021
5 stars.⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Age gap romance. Older woman/younger man.
Wonderful read. Emotional and so engaging. I loved everything about this book.
It really touched my heart. The journey might have been challenging for Asher and Kristy with many obstacles to overcome but it was also beautiful, hopeful and inspirational.

cary elwes GIF by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Thank you my dear friend Dilek, for your fabulous review and putting this book squarely at the top of my reading list.
Profile Image for NMmomof4.
1,548 reviews3,975 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
February 21, 2021
DNF @ 43%

I hate being in the minority and I find myself there yet again. I couldn’t do this one.

First there is the

But I barreled through thinking it’ll get better...


A pretty understandable reaction, right? But then

I also didn’t connect with either of the characters and I didn’t really find them all that likable...

Dang it.
Profile Image for A Book Lover's Emporium Book Blog.
2,814 reviews157 followers
August 2, 2018
The Boy next door never looked so good on paper. I honestly have to admit, this book left me absolutely shocked by the story I never saw coming. You see at the start all you consider is a tale of horny, young, immature desires between a young boy and his cougar neighbour. But what unfolds has left me smiling for days and hoping Ash Jenkins can be a great teacher for all men going down the path of finding love.

What can I say about the hero in this story? Ash Jenkins, he is a sight for sore eyes, a young, talented lad who knows exactly want he wants and isn’t afraid to stick by his morals to get them. In this case, it’s Kristy, his hot single 32year old neighbour who has caught this young mans heart. From their initial encounter, their chemistry is hilarious and sweet.

The challenges these two lovebirds will face is definitely what makes this book endearing and worth reading. I don’t want to go into the layers of this book but I highly recommend it especially when you're looking for a different spin on a forbidden romance.
Profile Image for Rebeka.
204 reviews233 followers
June 29, 2020
Meu Deus, eu nunca vou namorar se continuar lendo livros com esses protagonistas perfeitos.

H is an 18 years old virgin and I love it even though she was 33 and only had sex with four people before him and was celibate for a couple years, I guess I love that the author didn’t make him as a teen whore.

A older woman who is in fact more experienced than the younger hero, fucking finally, thanks author

Ash starts the book as a seventeen year old guy, but Kristy didn’t know that and assumed he was like 22 and he never denied. She wants sex almost right away but knowing he is still a minor, Ash secretly wants to wait until his birthday.
Profile Image for Nerdy Dirty & Flirty.
3,985 reviews327 followers
August 10, 2018
Kiss My Ash is the newest story by Leddy Harper and it once again reminded me why she is a must read author for me. She can take taboo plot lines like an older woman with a younger man and turn it in to this amazing romance that I was completely enthralled by.

From beginning to end, this story kept my attention, it had my emotions constantly churning, and it had me falling in love with these characters. Especially Ash.

Ash was the kind of guy whose charm and intelligence and alpha male tendencies transcend age. I especially loved the dual POV of the story because seeing things from his side made me ache for him and the things he was going through, but it also helped build the foundation of what a mature guy he really was.

Kristy was also such a loveable character. She was always trying to do the right thing for everyone around her. Even to the detriment of herself. She is a giver. And she was so deserving of getting a HEA.

If you're looking for a story where the writing is fantastic, where the characters are well developed and overall it has a flow and pace that keeps you hooked, then that's what you'll find in Kiss My Ash.
Profile Image for Stephie Walls.
Author 53 books1,686 followers
July 28, 2018
All the licks go to Ash Jenkins. Holy hotness, Batman. If only every man were the epitome of perfection...I'd consider becoming a cougar myself. This is a Leddy Harper book you won't want to miss. It's fun, it's flirty, and it's all kinds of steamy.
Profile Image for Somia.
2,061 reviews134 followers
May 10, 2020
Yay a older women younger man romance that works. A good blend of romance, heat, heartache and tension. The emotional depth in Kristy and Asher's relationship was a really lovely surprise and made this read that more enjoyable. Asher definitely feels far more mature than his age of 18, seriously loved him.

Acquired via KU.
Profile Image for Nadine Booklover.
786 reviews111 followers
August 6, 2018
3.5 Stars
"Between your desire to feel young, and my need to remain level-headed and responsible, we balance each other out. The parts of us that have been in limbo connect to each other."

To be honest, I almost stopped reading this book after about 20% in. I knew it was a taboo, about age gap, and usually this isn't my cup of tea. But I'm glad I didn't stop and give it a chance. Why I wanted to stop? At first I just couldn't connect to the characters and the story itself didn't hold my interest enough. Why I didn't stop? I just sensed there was something hidden in this book I'd likely to miss out if I didn't give it a real chance. And I was rewarded, Leddy delivered a wonderful age-gap love story.

"Promise me you'll see the value in our relationship, and then move forward knowing you're worth the sun and the moon and the stars...and everything in between."

Kiss My Ash made me second guess my stance on age-gap stories. Especially like the one in this story. I had a hard time getting my head around the fact that Ash wasn't even 18 when he met Kristy. But let me assure you, nothing happened until his birthday.

However, Ash behaves a lot older than most of his peers, and yes he's a wonderful caring guy, boyfriend material every girl dreams about. Sometimes it felt a little unreal that a guy his age behaves this way. And I wish Leddy would have found a way to make it more believable WHY he is so much superior. Why he feels and acts so much older than his actual age.

With Kristy's character Leddy did a perfect job. Her struggle is believable and even though she made decisions with her heart, she made a lot of decisions with her head. And from her point of view totally reliable. It's not hard to see and understand why Kristy fell for Ash and the other way around.

"Every event in life is based of what could happen. You can either drown in the fears and what-ifs, disregard what you know in your gut is right, and move on...or you can give it a chance and see where it goes."

Even though I had my objections and trouble getting into this story, I'm glad I got the chance to read it. It's touching and heartbreaking, it makes you second guess your stance about age-gaps. And it makes you smile a lot, either because it's funny or because it's so heart warming and at the same time it makes your heart ache.

If you are a friend of age-gap love stories, that makes the topic light but takes it more than seriously, this book will totally be your thing.

"He made my body sing the most beautiful ballad, harmonizing with his until we created a chorus worthy of the most powerful love song."

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Profile Image for Book Boyfriend Whoarder Mari.
634 reviews215 followers
August 17, 2018
Sorry Kristy, but you’ll find Ash in my book boyfriend dungeon.

Wow. That’s really all I can describe right away. Well first I want to apologize to my book club, because we were supposed to read this together and I jumped the gun. Sorry girls. I needed a much needed pick me up after some real life turmoil. That’s why I love reading. It gets me out of my head and immerses me in a whole new world. Leddy Harper did just that.

Let’s jump right in to this book. I’d never consider this taboo. Call me liberal but no laws were broken, unless you count public opinion, which I don’t. All there is, is a stigma about women’s reputations being seen differently compared to a guy. Yeah double standard. Which is what irks me about society. But I’m happy to be able to enjoy this story. What this book is, it’s a love story. Now if you got this far and don’t like spoilers or whatever, sorry, but even though I don’t usually do spoilers, I have to point out things that are great about this book.

Asher Jenkins is my new book boyfriend, he’s added to the dungeon. Swoonalicious in every fricken way possible. The age factor never even crosses my mind unless it was brought up by him or Kristy. That’s how well this book boyfriend was written. He was mature, insightful and very aware of his surroundings and circumstances. Yeah he also had that hot alpha approach. Wanting to take care of Kristy’s needs in any way possible. Letting her go but still fighting back for a second chance. He gave all his love without expecting it to be returned. Like I said, swoonalicious ladies!

Kristy was also another interesting surprise. She knew what she wanted and she went after it. Maybe with a little blind faith, but still she still took responsibility. What made me fall in love with her was her momma bear role. That spoke volumes to me. As a single mom I was able to connect that with her. I felt her fierceness to protect her child, even if it meant giving up love. Do I agree that she should of never let go? Nope I don’t. I commend her for putting her child’s feelings before her own. You don’t always see that in real life, and I know this is fictional but to have a mom being portrayed with strength for her child was so good read. That helped me justify how a lot of times Mother’s don’t always do what’s best. Or listen to their children’s cries for help. Kristy showed what being a mom is about in my opinion. She has so much love to give but is afraid how her daughter will process it all.

Their love was epic. It went beyond a physical attraction that’s hard to explain. Makes this hopeless romantic believe true love can be found. Their love showed no barriers in my eyes. Well maybe their stubbornness, but that’s it. Even with their relationship being frowned upon by some, their love didn’t waver. Sure they kept away for everyone’s statement. But I loved the way there were rational about their relationship. Still gave in to their chemistry and pull. Forget the world and what society thinks! These two belonged together. They balanced eachother out perfectly. It was wonderful to see their relationship play out. You couldn’t help to root for them since the beginning. They deserved their HEA and I’m a happy reader because they got it!

If you want to read something that brings you a little hope in love. A story that will help brighten your day some. This is it. It helped me that’s for sure. I’ve had some pretty emotional days and this was the perfect distraction and assurance in one. It definitely lifted my spirits and solidified my view on motherhood. So thank you Leddy Harper for creating this world and sharing it with us lovely folks.
Profile Image for Heidi.
105 reviews9 followers
July 28, 2018
Kiss My Ash started off in an anthology called A Secret Affair as The Boy Next Door. When I say “started off,” I mean that TBND grew and matured into something totally different than its humble beginnings. It became Kiss My Ash.

Asher Jenkins is the total package: gorgeous eyes; full lips; narrow hips; rock solid abs; muscular, taut arms; and a deep, gravelly voice. He’s the perfect man, all Alpha. There’s just one tiny problem. He’s 18 years old and too young for Kristy Richards’ taste. Or is he?

KMA is certainly a taboo book when it comes to ages: Ash is 18 and about to graduate high school, while Kristy is about 32 or 33 years old, with a 16 year old daughter. While there are some who find the age difference to be somewhat taboo, this was a well thought out age difference, and not once does it ever feel creepy or wrong. Leddy Harper definitely did a fantastic job with creating tension and passion when it came to how these two characters managed to figure out a way to navigate the age difference.

Ash has this brilliant idea of letting Kristy assume he’s older than he really is, by simply never telling her different when she wrongly assumes he’s 22 years old instead of 17. Let me say it for the people in the back to hear: NOTHING INAPPROPRIATE HAPPENS BETWEEN THE TWO UNTIL ASH IS 18 YEARS OLD!! Did you hear that? Great, let’s move on, shall we?

One of the things I loved the most was how much of an alpha Ash truly is. He takes charge of things without sounding super arrogant or cocky. And he’s willing to listen and be put in his place by Kristy when he needs to be.

Overall, this book was one of my favorite books that Leddy has written and is the biggest reason why I’m changing my last name to Taylor-Jenkins after Axel Taylor of Falling to Pieces (who’s my first book husband) and Asher Jenkins of Kiss My Ash (who’s my second husband.) sorry ladies, but I licked them both and they’re both mine now.

Do yourselves a favor and check out Kiss My Ash. You’ll thank me later after you’ve met my book husband. You’re welcome.
August 10, 2018
Rating: 3.5 stars
Yes, I feel weird about reading and reviewing this book, but I felt I needed to try it, especially after reading the reverse situation (older man/younger woman) in Wanting Mr. Cane .

Here were my reasons for taking an interest in a book about an adult woman falling for the boy next door...who is in high school:

1) It's so wrong, but that only made me more curious, and books are a safe place to explore ideas like this. I've already done the older man thing with Wanting Mr. Cane by Shanora Williams, but the older woman thing seemed even more out there. (Thanks, patriarchy, for making the weird factor uneven on this...)

2) If it did all work without being completely skeevy...how did Leddy manage to pull it off? I needed to know!

3) I'm a sucker for a good boy-next-door trope.

I think we should start off with one very important point: when they meet, Kristy is 32, and Ash is 17. BUT!!!!! Nothing happens between them until Ash is 18. And when Kristy guesses Ash's age as 22ish, he doesn't correct her. So 1) everything is legal when Things Happen, and 2) the older party did make an effort to check the legality of it all.

The dynamic between Kristy and Ash is really interesting. It never feels like Ash is 17/18, as he's had to fend for himself quite a bit over the past few years, what with his dad being very absent. Through his carpentry side hustle and taking care of himself, he's developed a lot of maturity and self-confidence. It's Ash who really drives the relationship, wanting to keep Kristy interested enough that she'll (unknowingly) wait until his 18th birthday. He appreciates that she'll eventually figure things out and be mad, but there's a chemistry between them, and he wants to build on that. So yeah, we all know he should have told her his age when she tried to guess, but at least he was decent enough to protect her from getting in trouble with the law??? And whatever drama happens between them, he pursues her without forcing himself on her. In fact, if we ignore his age and the situation, Ash is kinda...perfect. He's confident, attentive, caring, responsible... I'd love to have him for myself, just 10 years older.

As for Kristy, she's a single mother of a 16-year-old girl that she had when she was 16, which makes her 32/33. So not as old as I was expecting. She's worked hard to support herself and her child over the years, and she's clearly very capable. She knows she shouldn't pursue a relationship with Ash, but she is interested in a little bit of a summer fling while her daughter is away. What's the harm in having a little fun with a 20-something guy, she thinks. And yeah, why not? You go, Kristy! Get your fling on! (Except...he's not in his 20s...) But anyway, she clearly has enough self-confidence to go for it, and while Ash very much pushes forward the relationship, she has enough strength to guide it along and set her own rules and boundaries.

Now I know I said Ash is the driving force, but there is a lot of push and pull. Kristy isn't a passive participant, and she does get her shots in. The sexual tension is so thick, it's almost difficult to read. I couldn't help but wish that Ash would just hurry up and turn 18 ASAP so that something could break said tension. Through just words and glances and physical proximity, the heat emanated from my Kindle. Each person made it even more difficult for the other to stay in control, all the while I was mentally screaming for Ash to magically age 5+ years.

I read this amazed at how caught up I got in the story and the chemistry while also feeling uncomfortable the whole time. It was a weird experience. Also, as someone who did go on a date with a guy 5 years younger (26/21), I can tell you that younger guys are not my thing. That guy was a bit too eager and intense, a bit like Ash in fact, but not in a sexy way. (Oh god, it's so wrong referring to a 17-year-old as sexy in this context, even though he acts so much older...)

As well as it was written, I couldn't separate my anxiety from it all. When Emma, Kristy's daughter, finds out (and Emma was going to find out at some point, so don't through "spoiler" at me), I was completely on her side. I could easily imagine being just as freaked out. Plus, I've experienced having a parent put their own happiness in front of mine, and from a distance, I can understand that everyone deserves to be happy, it's still really fucking hard.

I don't know guys. I am holding my hands up in defeat. I can't figure out what to think about this book. It was engrossing and uncomfortable at the same time. The hero and heroine were great together, but I couldn't get out of my head enough. Ugh, I feel like I've failed this story...

There's an excerpt for you to try out on my romance blog, which you can read here.

Profile Image for Sissy's Romance Book Review .
8,167 reviews16 followers
August 8, 2018
KISS MY ASH by LEDDY HARPER is the story of Ash and Kristy.
Ash is the 'boy' next door who at 17 is somewhat older in spirit takes a liking to the older next door neighbor, Kristy. This was such a great older women younger man story that you will want to read until you are finished...not one I could put down.
Really enjoyed their story!
Profile Image for Katie Jones.
183 reviews4 followers
August 4, 2018
Kiss My Ash is a fantastic book. Asher is my new BBF and the way Leddy writes him is amazing. I relate to Kristy in a way that I've only found myself relating to only a couple other characters in books, so its not often I feel that way. For some, this book may not be their cup of tea, but it was definitely mine..with all the sugar and cream I need for it to be sweet enough.
Profile Image for Annie Brewer.
Author 15 books764 followers
July 20, 2023
Damn!! I zipped through this book. I loved this taboo, forbidden older woman/younger man story. I wish it had another title though. Evenso, Asher and Kristy’s journey was a fun and sexy ride.

I needed something a little lighter but still steamy and angsty. It was all of those things and more. Leddy’s writing was gripping and flowed seamlessly. It was packed with heart and so much emotion, I could feel it through the words. And the characters were endearing, making me want to root for them, despite the obstacles that were in the way. And there was plenty. I probably shouldn’t have been cheering them on, but I did. I’ve read enough taboo that even if it was deemed wrong for these two to be together by what society deems acceptable, I didn’t care.

Ash and Kris were both mature in some ways and just the right age in other ways. If them being together was wrong, I didn’t wanna be right.

Also, there’s a note from the author how this story came to be and I’m glad how she wrote it. I really enjoyed it and hope others give it a chance.
266 reviews
July 31, 2018
Kiss My Ash by Leddy Harper is the story of Ash and Kristy. This is a taboo topic, as when they meet Ash is 17 y/o and Kristy is in her 30’s. I have been a big fan of Leddy’s books and have always enjoyed her writing, but I will say that I struggled with this topic and this storyline. I would have had the same issue if the ages of each gender was reversed, i.e., if the man was older.

I felt as if Ash was more of the adult in the relationship and I became frustrated with Kristy on more than one occasion.

Even though this was not my favorite of Leddy’s books, I look forward to her next release.

Profile Image for Lea ★.
520 reviews147 followers
July 27, 2018
ARC kindly provided by author.

I will not rate this book simply because Leddy Harper is one of my favourite authors. She is an amazing writer and storyteller, but Kiss my Ash was just... not my cup of tea.
Profile Image for Tiffany Readz.
1,881 reviews50 followers
August 8, 2018
3.5 Stars

While the age gap genre is usually right up my alley, there is something about the older woman, younger man that didn't interest me as much. Leddy Harper did a nice job at writing Ash wise beyond his years, however that didn't help.

Kristy is a young mother, finally settling her and her sixteen year old daughter in thier own home. Having her daughter a few days before turning seventeen, didn't make for an easy life for Kristy. She had to cut her teenage life short and grow up quickly. With her daughter almost out of the house, Kristy is trying to make some time for herself. Oh and the handsome young man next door, Asher.

Ash was hard for me to like. He was very forward and almost a nag. It was difficult to imagine a real seventeen year old boy saying the stuff to a woman like he did. I found myself rolling my eyes more than once at his cheese ball lines and the fact that he seemed to have more wisdom than her most of the time.

I did like the high angst of the story. Page after page waiting for that other shoe to drop and when it did, Leddy Harper couldn't have made it any better. Yikes! After that, it was kind of obvious what was going to happen.

The book was well written and call me bias, but I like the older guy, younger chick story more than the younger guy/older chick. Not sure why, but the creep factor felt pretty high for me this time around.

Reviewed for Renee Entress's Blog
Profile Image for Avidez Literaria.
534 reviews21 followers
August 10, 2018
“Lies Deceit. Pain. The boy next door who broke my heart.”

Kristy has just moved to her new home along with her sixteen year old daughter. Being a single mother, since she discovered that she was pregnant, at the age of seventeen, her life changed completely. Being so young and having to be responsible for the well-being and sustenance of her daughter, she did not finish school, nor did she go to college. Plans for the future have remained in the past. Not counting on the support of her family, and not having a relationship with the child's father, she had to work incessantly to get money. Even now, with a steady job, money is still a problem, especially when his daughter's father uses an exorbitant amount of money to make up for his absence. Her new home is a source of pride for her. After saving, she was able to realize the dream of forming a home for herself and her daughter, a place where she can provide security and comfort until Emma goes to college. It's okay that the house needs repairs and a modern look, but this is things for when she has money and time.
Unloading some boxes of her car, Kristy ends up meeting her neighbor, an attractive but very young guy. And not knowing for sure how old he is, but making sure he's too young for her, Kristy tries every way to get away from this guy. But Asher will not leave her alone so easily.
Asher was delighted with his new neighbor. The fact that she is older is not a problem, since he has always been attracted to more mature women. At first, it was a simple flirtation, a way of seeing how far this attraction would go, but when they meet in the pool and she invites him out, he knows he's in trouble. Big trouble. For although she clearly has reservations about the age difference, she does not even think he is younger than she imagines, or that he actually knows her daughter. Or that Asher is seventeen and still in high school. And so begins a story of forbidden love.
As they get to know each other, developing a friendship, sharing secrets, Asher increasingly gets caught in the guilt of not telling his true age, being careful not to cross any more intimate line with her, since he is not eighteen yet. With the approach of his birthday, he hopes nothing will change between them, for when finally he is eighteen, he can tell the truth to her and they can have a relationship. But in life, not always what we want happens.
Kiss My Ash although lightly written, it tackles a controversial subject. It is not simply a novel with an age difference between the characters. This is a woman in her early thirties with a daughter, involved with a teenage boy. While no involvement between them occurs during this period, they only get together when he is legally an adult, the construction of their feelings takes place during this period, and not all people will like this.
I can say that I embarked on the plot without prejudice, and I was happy with the result. The book is much more than a forbidden romance. It is the awakening of something greater, of a feeling without measure and without barriers, that despite all the problems, brought these two people back to life. Kristy with all the responsibility of being a very young mother, ended up running out of time for herself, her youth was locked inside her, and in her place a responsible woman appeared. Having only two serious relationships, if it can be called that way, one with the father of his daughter, which ended before the child was born, and a few years later, with a man who could not handle her having a daughter, with which she never really fell in love, never felt what love is. Her daughter, now a teenager, spends a lot of time with her boyfriend and friend, leaving Kristy alone at home. We see then a solitary woman, not knowing who she really is, besides being a mother. And Asher sees her, cares about her, makes the girl she was and was locked up to come back to life.
Asher, though young, has had his share of life experience. Taking some wrong actions in the past, his forced moving to his father's house was his last chance to get on the rails. Now with seventeen years old, he is much more mature than his actual age. Having a small carpentry business, he has been able to save good money, have plans for the future of expanding his business and buying a home for himself.
Asher was charming, supportive, friendly and above all passionate. For several times I forgot how old he was when reading the book. But I can not agree with the fact that he kept his age a secret. The legal implications that could have occurred had they crossed any limits would have greatly damaged Kristy.
Kristy's fight to contain her feelings before she knew the truth was a real torment. But nothing compared to after she finds out. Her desperation was brutal. She blamed herself for what might have happened and condemned herself for loving someone the age of her daughter.
In fact, Emma is the key to this story. I understand her shock, her refusal to accept, but I find her incredibly selfish. She manipulates Kristy to make the decisions she wants, to act in a way she agrees with, not caring about her mother. The fact that she had told her boyfriend and friend about her mother's intimacies without caring about the consequences was another factor that made me dislike her.
Kristy and Asher love each other, that's fact. But it's that kind of love that happens to the right people at the wrong time. He has a lifetime ahead of him, several experiences to live. She has responsibilities and a daughter. Society will always judge, always condemn. Even if they know the truth, they will always be subject to malice. I'm not ashamed to say that I cheered for the couple. With so much love overflowing from the pages, they deserved all my sympathy. After all, sometimes it's good to dream that love can overcome barriers and always win in the end. And who knows the real life does not allow us to live that dream.

*ARC provided in exchange for an honest Review *

Profile Image for Three Chicks.
2,604 reviews418 followers
August 22, 2018
4.5 Stars
Review by Jen Skewes

Oh Leddy Harper what in the world did you do to me? This book is so much more than I thought it would be. Honestly I don't even think I read the blurb. If Leddy writes it, I read it. That's all there is to it. When I realized that this was a story between the boy next door and the cougar who just moved in, I was excited to read on. The age difference in books never really phases me and it didn't in this one. But I admit that I thought this was going to be a hot and steamy book between a horny 18 year old and an older woman who has not been with someone in so long that the boy next door gets her all hot and bothered. And yes it was that, but there was so much more to this story. There were emotions involved, fear of how it would work, what would people think. It was so much more than a hot fling and I LOVED it.

Asher is turning 18 in two months, when his new very sexy and much older neighbor moves in. He is immediately drawn to her and doesn't care that he goes to school with her daughter or that she is much older than him. He wants her but he knows that telling her how old he really is will ruin any chance he has with her when he does turn eighteen. So he keeps that to himself for the time being.

Kristy is very attracted to the hot neighbor next door, even if he is much younger than her. She wants him in ways that she has no business wanting him. But it's more than that. She truly enjoys being around him and likes spending time with him. But she knows that there can never be anything real between her and Ash because of his age. What will people say, especially her daughter? Nothing can happen with Asher Jenkins, right?

I loved Ash. He is hot, sexy and sweet but he is also so mature and acts in a ways that is much older than he really is. Sometimes it felt like the roles were reversed but I also think that given Kristy's circumstances with the opposite sex and her past she's very eager, shall we say......lol I loved how much Ash cares, how much he wants to take care of her and just be with her. His feeling ran deeper than sex but I swear at times I truly wondered myself if they could even happen. While reading this book a part of me wondered how this would all play out. I feared what would happen between them. I was concerned that this would take a direction that I wasn't expecting. That's what made this book emotional and fantastic. Because it was so much more than a hot romance between a young man and the cougar he fell for. It was filled with so many emotions, so much passion and that is what I loved about it. This is taboo romance that has it all, a sexy hero with a huge heart, a heroine that you will love, hot and steamy but also gives you the feels. Loved it!!
Profile Image for Lisa Mandina.
1,904 reviews439 followers
August 9, 2018
I really do love a good older woman/younger man story, probably because I am attracted to younger men. Usually not this much younger, but I really liked the way this story was done. Ash knew what he wanted, the 32 year old single mother who moved in next door. Ash was only 17, and knew that he needed to wait until he was 18. Ash had a not so great past, and so was now doing his best to be a good person. Not only that, he really started to like Kristy more than just wanting to hook up with her, the more he made her wait until he was 18. Now, he kept his true age from her, and made her think he just wanted to get to know her better first. When she found out how old he really was, well, Kristy knew that it wasn't okay. As a single mom, her daughter came first. Ash understood that as the child of divorced parents. He'd wished his mom had done the same for him.

I really loved how the whole thing played out. I felt like Kristy was very realistic in how she behaved and reacted. I mean, she could have lost her daughter, her job, etc., for messing around with a 17 year old boy. And even once he was 18, it was still better to not flaunt it. Another thing I liked is that Ash was really chasing her. In fact, the last line of the synopsis is one that really rings with me. I like younger guys, but don't feel like a cougar, because I am not a forward person, one who would go out and chase a guy. So this is definitely my kind of romance. It had steamy parts, when he was 18, and also some very emotional parts, when things looked like they couldn't go on. Oh yeah, and all the puns that Kristy came up with Ash's name, like the title of the book, loved those!

Glad to find a new author that I'll be checking out more books from in the future!
Profile Image for Brandy Roberts.
2,079 reviews51 followers
August 10, 2018
I really enjoyed Kiss my Ash it had every emotion you can think of in a romance from hilarious , steamy , aggravating , and a tad forbidden kind of love . I love when characters have a instant attraction with off the charts chemistry . I also liked the fact that it was older woman and younger guy it was refreshing to not read one about older guy with young girl I see nothing wrong with that I like it but this past year it has seemed a but repetitive for so it was interesting to see it from different sex point of view to know what the heroine is going through with being with someone who is alot younger , age doesn't factor when it comes to love in my head you love the person for who they are and that is what Ash and Kristy . I really thought this was a good read that I will recommend it would be one of many stories I've read by Leddy Harper and will continue devouring the authors story telling don't miss out on Kiss my Ash .
copy provided for honest review 
hero= 10 heroine=8 secondary characters=6 Chemistry=10 steam= 6
romance= 7 humor=5 darkness level=2 action=2 mystery=3
enjoyment= 9 angst= 4 story line=9 Story ending=10
character development= 10 pacing= 10
cover= 10 stars= 4
would I recommend this book= yes
would I re read this book= yes
would I read future books by this author= yes
Profile Image for Cee Cee Houston.
1,341 reviews21 followers
August 10, 2018
I found my boundaries and comfort zone getting pushed to their limits with Kiss My Ash by Leddy Harper. I knew from the blurb it was an older woman/ younger man scenario, but what I didn’t know was how much older Kristy was, and that Asher was only seventeen when he set his sights on his next door neighbor. I was slightly uncomfortable when I discovered this. It was just so unlikely in my eyes, and even though Leddy wrote it extremely well, the discomfort kept plaguing me.
Asher’s character is so much more mature for his age, that Kristy fell for him so easily. But, the actual reason for how this maturity came about was never explained. We got his background, but that didn’t have the impact needed to make such a profound change, from the troubled youth he had been less than three years earlier.
Then there was Asher’s sexual experience. To my mind, those scenes, while hot and steamy as they were had me shaking my head in disbelief. Yeah, I know it was fiction lol.
All that aside, I didn’t hate this story, I didn’t love it either but that doesn’t prevent it from being really well written. The sexy banter and somewhat dirty scenarios made for an interesting few hours to while away an afternoon. If you enjoy this type of trope, then you will love this book. For those on the fence, take a chance, you might be surprised. I know I was.
Profile Image for Terri Handschumacher.
381 reviews20 followers
August 4, 2018
What do I need to do to get an Ash Jenkins of my own? Ash is just the perfect combination of a smart-ass and lovable asshole witb just the right amount of an understanding gentleman. What else could anyone want or need in a book boyfriend? The way that Ash and Kristy connected on an emotional level before their relationship even turned into anything that was physical, was the way to make them stronger. The way that Ash brings out the real Kristy, the part of herself that she'd been keeping on pause since becoming a mother at a young age. This emotional connection was one of the main factors that made the age gap between the characters not even an issue for me. Done might have an issue with it, but the maturity level of Ash is something that people should keep in mind. He was the one thing that Kristy needed in her life to really and truly live.
Harper just has a way of creating characters that grab you and buries themselves into your soul. And Ash and Kristy are no exception. The character themselves and their story is something that you will want to sit and think about it after reading it and you will not be able to forget it. Their emotional tug and pulls are something that make their story relatable for some, and makes it soul grabbing. The humor that is interwoven into moments is something that is needed to make the emotional ride one that a reader will not be able to put it down.
Profile Image for Flavs is Mrs David Gandy♥~♥’.
3,018 reviews2 followers
August 10, 2018
I Don't always read books about older women and younger men, but this one was so freaking HOT!!!

Asher Jenkins came to live with his dad as he was getting into some kind of trouble and living with his dad is suppose to 'sort' him out. From the moment he met Kristy he wanted the 32 year old single mother. In the beginning it was just a hook up but Ash started feeling more for this single mother than what he wanted to admit.
In the beginning Kristy didn't know how old he was but when she found out, she was a bit conflicted, she was so much older and her daughter needed to be her priority. But the heart wants what the heart wants. I felt that Ash was exactly what Kristy needed, someone who brought the real person that she was meant to be.

Loved the story, the chemistry, the characters. I think that even though it was a taboo read, the whole story came together so well, that it is was definitely well written. I liked that Kristy was confident and she really put herself out there and I loved that Asher was the one persueing her.

Reviewed on behalf of

July 28, 2018
This is far from my typical read. I don't normally read the older woman, younger guy books. It's a personal preference. My first thought when I realized that this was one of those books was, I'll just send a message and ask to switch to promo only. BUT Leddy Harper writes really amazing books, so I decided to push through this one. Look at me being an adult. If I was just sticking with personal preference I would not have read this book. So I'm reviewing from a technical standpoint and even though I hated the younger guy older woman aspect of this book, it was still very well written.

Kristy and her daughter Emma move into their new home and while Emma is at her dad's for the weekend, Kristy is busy unpacking boxes in their new home.

Asher comes along as Kristy is struggling with a box and sparks fly. Kristy knows that Asher is younger, she just isn't aware of how young though.

The brilliant thing about this book is that Asher is well aware that many people would see their relationship and frown and so he insists they get to know one another, keeping the physical aspect of the relationship out of it, he figures he can keep Kristy at bay until his 18th, yes I said 18th birthday. Gag. Lol sorry not gag on her story but gag.

But like all secrets, they have a way of getting out. Asher's father is the one who let's the cat out of the bag at a block party with her 16 year old daughter confirming, she goes to high school with Will's son, Asher.

This was a very well written book despite the fact that it is not my typical read. The characters were very well developed and the pages flowed. I found myself liking the book until I would read a sentence that reminded me that Asher was only 17 and lived at home with his dad. Yes he was very mature for his age but that is just a hang up of mine.

I liked that Kristy was confident and that she put herself out there. I liked that Asher was the one who pursued her.

So while I do not enjoy books like these, I do love this author and it was very well written.
Profile Image for Kari Hansen.
9,511 reviews63 followers
August 10, 2018
Kristy is 33 and a single mom to her 16 year old daughter Emma. She has recently purchased her own home and is appreciating the scenery next door which consists of her younger sexy neighbor Asher.

Asher has a troubled youth, but he has turned his life around and operates a business out of his father’s home. He knows that if Kristy knew his true age as well as how he knew Emma that she would have nothing to do with him which is the last thing he wants.

Kristy thinks that Asher is in his 20’s and is willing to overlook her reservation about the difference in their ages and explore the chemistry between them but Asher keeps wanting to wait. When the secrets between them are revealed will she be willing to follow her heart or will she let the opinions of others destroy their relationship?

The chemistry between them is explosive and this shows that age really is a number if in every other way you are soulmates.
Profile Image for Taylor Delong.
Author 26 books324 followers
August 6, 2018
I love all of Harper’s books I’ve read, but this one wasn’t my cup of tea. The writing is great, but some of the storyline didn’t sit right with me, mostly about Asher’s age when we first meet him, and especially in relation to Kristy’s daughter. That part of the story was hard for me to digest at times.

Despite my own personal issues with the story, I found myself reading it quickly to see how the story turns out. I sometimes forgot that Ash was so young because he’s a very mature character. In my mind, this was both a pro and a con.

I’m excited for future books by this author.
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