CARTER is Book 3 in Jennifer Ashley's Riding Hard
series. Although I love and recommend reading the
previous two books in this series, I think CARTER can
still be enjoyed by readers new to the series. CARTER, like all other books by
Jennifer Ashley, never skimps on heat or strong character development.
This story is told from two perspectives, thus giving
added insight into both main characters.
Almost immediately, CARTER kicks off with a bang, and the
level of danger and excitement is a little more elevated
than in the previous books. I feel that the previous
books were focused mostly on the two main characters.
While CARTER is also very character-driven, it also has a
few bad guys to throw a wrench into things. I thought
there are some allusions to OLIVER TWIST in CARTER,
including a major villain that is reminiscent of the
character Bill Sikes. Having such a loathsome villain
showcases what a good guy and fierce protector Carter has
become over the years. I was immediately pulled into his
story, and knowing more about him only made me like him
that much more. I like that the storyline involving the
danger presented by characters from Carter's past never
overshadows the love story aspect of CARTER.
The romance between Carter Sullivan and Grace Malory is
both sexy and incredibly sweet. Getting the story from
both perspectives, and seeing how they both had a secret
yearning for each other for years, adds to the intensity
of the romance. Both Grace and Carter are their own worst
critic. Carter worries that deep down everyone still
thinks of him as the street kid and thief he was rather
than the hardworking and caring single father he's
become. Grace would love to shake her "good girl" image
and have the courage to pounce on the man she's always
wanted. Both characters are extremely likable and easy to
care about. The scenes with Carter's precocious daughter
are alternately fun and tender.
CARTER has the kind of well-written characters and spot
on chemistry that a reader expects from a book by
Jennifer Ashley. I especially look forward to reading
more about Carter's brother Ross, and Grace's brothers
Ray and Kyle. I can't wait for the next book in this
exciting and red-hot Riding Hard series by Jennifer
Carter Sullivan, foster brother in the famous Campbell
family, never had it easy. He was an abused kid, tortured by
dealers, in and out of juvenile detention, until he was sent
to the Circle C Ranch to be fostered. Life got better, but
when Carter was eighteen, his ex-girlfriend pushed his baby
daughter into his arms and took off, never to be seen again.
Carter raised his daughter, Faith, on his own, with the help
of the four wild Campbell brothers and his foster mom, the
first person who ever believed in him.
Grace Malory has always had a crush on Carter, the dark and
damaged man who never quite fit in with the close community
of Riverbend, Texas. When Carter's foster mom needs help
running the domestic side of the ranch, Grace is ready to
help out with all the cooking for the brothers and their new
Carter's troubles rise again in the form of his
ex-girlfriend, who returns to try to claim custody of Faith.
Carter's greatest fear is losing his daughter, and he turns
to Grace to help him in a desperate deception to keep Faith
with him forever.