4 stars, Viki's review

Viki’s review: Complicated by Kristen Ashley

When small-town Nebraska sheriff Hixon Drake meets Greta Dare, the connection couldn’t be stronger, but the timing couldn’t be worse.

Dealing with the fallout of a divorce he never wanted and setting up a new home for his kids, Hix becomes that guy, that one he never wanted to be, and puts a stop to things before they can even start. Protecting his kids and himself is his only priority.

Greta, on the other hand, has found the place for her and the brother she adores that’s perfect for them – a sleepy little town in Nebraska. She’s learned from life that there are no hopes and dreams. The only thing to look forward to is peace. And that’s what she works hard to build for herself and her brother. Right up until Hix walks into her life.

Hix can’t fight the pull and stay away from Greta for long. And Greta’s finding it hard not to hope for something more with all the promise that is Hix.

But when the first murder that’s happened in over five decades rocks his small, sleepy county, Hix has got to learn to trust again, convince Greta to take a shot with him, and at the same time catch a killer.

In other words, things are definitely…Complicated.

Title: Complicated
Author: Kristen Ashley
Published: May 2nd 2017 by Audible Studios
Genres: contemporary romance


My thoughts:

Kristen Ashley’s stories are mostly a hit or miss for me and it was a while since I read a truly phenomenal book from her. So I was kind of craving it the last couple of weeks that’s why I couldn’t wait to read/listen to this book until the physical edition publication. This means that this book was the first book that I finished in audio book format, because I couldn’t wait anymore and loved the possibilities the synopsis foreshadowed. I liked this book quite a bit but this review will be partially about my experiences with audio books.

Let’s start with the technical part, alas with the format. It’s an interesting fact that the author wrote this book first and foremost for audible. I usually don’t listen to audio books for a couple of different reasons. I tried them a couple of times before but the ones I choose had horrible narrating. Then there is the fact that I read three times faster than the narrators so it’s kind of a time consuming thing for me, especially since I’m not a native English speaker so I need to pay attention to understand everything. Which means I can’t do much of anything besides listening to the particular book. Not to mention a couple of times I fall asleep during this process. However the narration of Complicated was pretty good, I liked the voices of the narrators expect when they were talking in an overly breathy voice. That was annoying. Also since I hate DNF-ing books I usually power myself through everything, mostly with skimming through the boring or less liked parts. With audio books I can’t do. But I can proudly say that I completed my first read ala audio and enjoyed it.

As for the story it’s typical KA but from the better end of it. I liked the romance part quite a bit. It’s sweet and steamy but not overly simple. The characters have to fight for it and have a lot of ups and downs in their journey. I loved that there is a lot of various situation they go through before they can get their happily ever after. Also apart from the romance between Hix and Greta there is a couple of different plot line in the story. For example the difficult divorce between Hix and his ex, the relationship between Greta and her mother or the murder case Hix gets into the middle of the story. These little snippets really shake up the events but most of them unfortunately also create small void in the story line because they are not resolved, explained or used in the most satisfying way and leave a lot of unused potential behind. I felt the story could have been a bit stronger. This and the fact that the plot got a bit boring for a while at the middle of the book are the reasons that the book only got starts from me.

I liked the characters a lot but it’s not a big surprise since the author is really great at creating strong and balanced personalities for her heroes/ heroines. Hix is a small town sheriff with a strong alpha male personality, but he is also has a sweet side and he is a phenomenal father. He is a bit miffed at the beginning of the story because of his divorce which he still doesn’t know the reason of. He is reluctant to start anything serious with anybody just yet but Greta sweetness and caring personality creates an undeniable attraction in him. A couple of meddling friends and a lot of encounters with her break down his barriers. He is kind of an asshole at the very beginning but later his honesty and actions redeems him.
Greta had a really hard childhood and she has a strong idea what she wants from life from now on. She doesn’t let anybody change her path but she goes on with a non confrontational way that it’ like insults and jabs just glance off her. But she is also really maternal and smart. I liked her quite a bit. She and Hix are really great with each other, they completed one another and I liked how they talked a lot about what they want from the relationship and not just short term. They are a really fantastic couple.

There was a few annoying characters and events in the story but with the sweet and adorable moments between the main characters and the lot of interesting supporting character it was all balanced out. I really enjoyed it I just wish it didn’t take me such a long time to listen to it.  It’s kinda pissed me off that I can’t move faster.

 

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