If I were to pick a fictional town in the U.S. to live in, I would undoubtedly plant my ass in Carnal, Colorado. [b:Lady Luck|12958487|Lady Luck (Colorado Mountain, #3)|Kristen Ashley|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327912930s/12958487.jpg|18115826] is, hands down, my favourite KA book. It contains my favourite KA hero and heroine, and I adore
them individually and as a couple. I guess you could say that my perception of it has to do with sentimentality - it being the book that popped my KA cherry, but over 20 KA books later, and having re-read this book countless times, my feelings remain the same.
The plot intrigued me right off the bat. Ty Walker was a man who was wrongfully convicted of a crime he didn't commit. During the 5 years he spent in prison, all that was on his mind was vengeance. The people who targeted him will
pay for what they did to him, but he must first make sure that nothing he does will blow his plans and send him back to prison.
This is where Lexie enters the picture. Beautiful, sexy, funny, and sassy Lexie is used to being fucked over all her life yet she remains resilient. The family she was born into left her at an early age - her parents choosing crack over her and her grandparents dying when she was still young. She eventually found a family in the form of her first boyfriend's family, but that boyfriend veered off from his promising future and became a pimp. In the end, it was that life that led to his untimely and brutal demise. Unfortunately for Lexie, she was left with his baggage, that of which includes a shady, drug-dealing jackass named Shift who uses Lexie to run 'errands', and one of these errands was to pick up Ty from the state penitentiary the moment he was let out.
Without going into details, Lexie is the person Ty needs for his act of retribution. He promises her a deal so enticing, a way for her to get out of Shift's thumb and start her life over, and she takes it. But what started out as an arrangement suddenly feels real.
Nothing squeezes my heart more than seeing a couple get their chance at a shot of happiness, especially when they've gone through so much pain and heartache in the past. While Ty appears to be tough on the outside, he is one angry and very hurt man. He has had negligent parents growing up and has often been targeted for his skin color, most notably by the head of the Carnal Police Department, a man so corrupt that he continues to attempt to destroy Ty's life. But Carnal has Ty's back, and he was able to pick up his life right where he left off. His friend and former boss, Wood, gave him his old job back. The wonderful Tate continues to look out for him and honestly, this man would do ANYTHING for Ty. There's also Julius, a man he befriended while inside, who was the sole reason why he kept his head together all that time. And of course, now, he has Lexie, who continues to surprise him with her loyalty and her generous heart.
And I can't say enough amazing things about Lexie. I have such a HUGE
girl-crush on her! Seeing her from Ty's perspective made me fall in love with her and reading her thoughts and words almost always had me cracking up with how funny and real
she is. There is no BS with her. She's super friendly, understanding and giving and brave - not caring who she's up against. She's crafty (literally, like artsy and creative), she loves her food and beer, she's a reader like us, and she has a bit of a problem holding back when it comes to shopping. And while Ty is super quiet and serious, Lexie is goofy and chatty. They are the perfect
Of course, their relationship is not without difficulty. Ty has way too many demons in his past to let anyone in. Both of them have been hurt and treated unfairly too many times that being together just seems too big of a risk for their broken hearts. God, the first time Ty was a dick to Lexie, I wanted to punch his face so bad.
He moved his lips to her ear and whispered, "I hurt you, baby."
Her body went still in his arms and she whispered back, "Don't."
"I was a dick. I fucked up and hurt you."
He tightened his arms and pressed his temple into her hair.
"I'm sorry I hurt you, Lexie," he murmured into her hair.
And that's all it took for my anger to melt away. *sigh* And Ty and Lexie move on to live their 'real'.
"Shit, what'd I do that I walked outta that nightmare straight to you?"
"I don't know. The same thing I did to drive out of mine straight to you."
But it's not always a bed of roses at Chez Walker. Ty still has issues of mistrust. And the moment he misinterprets Lexie's actions, he flips and doesn't even give her a chance to explain.
I know that I am speaking on behalf of the fans of this book when I say that the infamous beach scene that follows is one of the most heartbreaking, ugly-sob-inducing scenes ever written.
When I was done speaking I felt his body had gone still again, stone still.
Then he asked quietly, "Nightmare?"
"Nightmare," I replied firmly.
Ty didn't move.
By a miracle, I held it together. Then he moved but it was to rest his chin on my shoulder and I closed my eyes because I needed him to go, go, go so I could fall apart again on my own.
Then he said, "Your nightmare, mama, was my dream."
My heart clenched.
He kept going. "Never had a home until you gave me one."
My breath started sticking.
"Never had anyone give to me the way you gave to me."
My breath stopped sticking and clogged.
"Never thought of findin' a woman who I wanted to have my baby."
"Never had light in my life, never, not once, I lived wild but I didn't burn bright until you shined your light on me."
"Whacked, fuckin' insane, but, at night, you curled in front of me, didn't mind I did that time that wasn't mine 'cause it meant I walked out to you."
He had to stop. He had to.
"Your nightmare," he whispered, turned his head and against my neck he finished, "my dream."
*cue ugly sob*
[b:Lady Luck|12958487|Lady Luck (Colorado Mountain, #3)|Kristen Ashley|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327912930s/12958487.jpg|18115826]'s plot was also one of my favourites among KA's stories. I once read somewhere that "family isn't always blood. It's the people in your life who want you in theirs, the ones who accept you for who you are, the ones who would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what."
And this proves true for the people of Carnal - Tate, Wood, Deke, Krystal, Dominic, plus the people outside Carnal whose love and care transcend distance - Ella, Bessie, Honey, Julius, Detective Pena, Samuel Sterling, and gawd, the list just goes on. I loved each and every role of these people in this book. Not one character was wasted. I also loved the characters who initially appeared 'bad' and were later redeemed ;) And once they got over their hang-ups, Ty and Lexie were solid and functional.
"This is it, Team Walker, you and me. We want somethin', we find a way to get it. We hit a rough patch, we find a way to get over it. We face a challenge, we find a way to beat it. It's good, we savor it. What I'm sayin' is, this team is a winner. We never forget to celebrate the victories and we get a lotta those because we never admit defeat."
Overall, I found this to be a beautiful story of love and redemption. You can't help but cheer on for these characters because they are, at the core, good
people, and they've done nothing to deserve the hardship they've been through. But they played with the hands they're dealt, and they do it to the best of their abilities. And in the end, I couldn't help but cry many happy tears because lady luck has finally shone her light on them. Seriously, one of the best KA epilogues EVER. If you haven't read this book, STOP, just STOP, and go read it. I promise, you will fall in love with it and you'll find yourself squealing with delight throughout the entire book :) Oh. And yeah. Several scenes were scorching hot! ;)
"Love you, Ty,"
"Down to my bones, mama, right back at you."
*In addition to this being my favourite KA book, I think this may also be my favourite KA series since I love all four stories so far, all the heroes and ALL the heroines :)