Title: Games of the Heart
Author: Kristen Ashley
Series: The 'Burg #4
Genre: contemporary romance, romantic suspense
From the balcony of his house, Mike Haines can see the quiet, commonplace beauty of the Holliday farm. But what he remembers is the little sister of his high school girlfriend, Dusty who grew up there. As a teen, Dusty had gone off the rails but when she was a kid, she was sweet, she was funny and she had a special bond with Mike. But after high school, she took off and Mike never saw her again.
Then tragedy strikes Dusty's family, she comes back into town and Mike thinks she hasn't changed back to the sweet, funny girl he knew but instead continued to be selfish and thoughtless, leaving her family alone to deal with their mourning. So he seeks her out and confronts her in an effort to understand what went wrong and to force her to sort herself out.
He finds out quickly he's wrong about Dusty Holliday. Very wrong. And right after Mike discovers that, the bond they had years before snaps back into place in ways he would never suspect.
But Mike Haines had a bad marriage then he played games of the heart for a good woman. And lost. In order to protect himself and his kids, he's cautious, he's careful to read the signs and he's not interested in finding a woman he has to fix.
Then he learns what happened to Dusty and he thinks she needs to be fixed. He swings, he misses and in this new game of hearts, for Dusty, Mike just got strike three.
Amazon US | Amazon UK
Games of the Heart by Kristen Ashley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
4.5 **love you bunches** STARS
“I've been involved in lots of games of the heart, gorgeous. Rolled the dice time and again, took a lot of risks, took a lot of falls. Finally seems I'm winning. I'm not about to play it safe now.”
It was time again. This girl was in serious need for some Kristen Ashley escapism and it was excellent. Although it didn't start out that way. Mike and I had a rough time getting to terms with each other.
I was not a fan of him playing second banana in Joe & Vi's story back in At Peace and the way Games of the Heart started out it all didn't boot well for his book boyfriend status, but no worries he got me in the end. All is well in KA alpha heaven.
“We're gonna explore this and I hope to God that feelin' I got is not wrong because I tried time and again to make it feel wrong but all it ever felt was right.”
Dusty Holliday is back in the 'Burg for the worst reason possible. Her 45 year old brother died from heart failure and she is attending his funeral. With that visit also comes a lot of baggage. Bad memories, family problems, her bitch sister and said sister's ex-boyfriend - Mike, the man Dusty has been in love with since she was twelve years old.
Mike Haines is a cop, a divorced father of two teenage kids and the proud owner of a dog. He also has very bad luck with women. His high school sweetheart was a bitch, his ex-wife is a shopaholic and Violet was actually in love with another man. But things turn in his favour when Dusty comes back into his life. The only woman he ever had a real bond with.
Well, Dusty and Mike hook up. Right after the funeral. Things get a lot more complicated after that. A lot of foot in mouth moments for Mike and a bit of bad timing. As fast as they get together they are separated again, but thank god for scheming children. And eventually they get on track with the love story.
A love story that is not the only one in this particular book. Rees Haines, Mike's daughter and Fin Holliday, Dusty's nephew play a very big role as well. A bit of history repeating itself.
“Have at it. She seems to obey you.”“I don’t obey! He’s an alpha! It’s just that I don’t have any choice!” Dusty shouted to her back.”
The thing that absolutely made this book for me was Aunty Dusty. She is one hell of a character, the cool aunt everyone wants and needs. She has the heart of a child and the wisdom of an old lady. Dusty simply rocks. She is the glue that keeps the family together and keeps watch over her cups. Mike is one lucky guy to finally get her. Seriously.
Talking about Mike. He turned out to be one hell of a KA alpha. That woman never disappoints, but I have to confess with this particular character I had some reservations. Thankfully Dusty brought out the best in him, and in the end I was madly in love with him as well. *sigh*
Games of the Heart is the third instalment in Kristen Ashley's 'The Burg series and can be read as a standalone - even more so than the other books in the series. A lot of the characters are reoccurring, but it really doesn't take away from enjoying this book.
All in all, a really good addition to a so far excellent series and if you are in the mood for a longass, highly descriptive, detail oriented and heartwarming read, I would most definitely recommend it.
Books by Kristen Ashley I have read:
(click cover for amazon link - reviews below)
|★5 Stars★||★5 Stars★||★5 Stars★||★3.75 Stars★||★4 Stars★|
|★5 Stars★||★4 Stars★||★4 Stars★||★5 Stars★||★3.75 Stars★|