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Romantic Suspense Audiobook Review: For You by Kristen Ashley

For You by Kristen Ashley (The "Burg" #1)

Audiocopy courtesy of Audible US

Synopsis from Goodreads
Lieutenant Alexander Colton and February Owens were high school sweethearts. Everyone in their small town knew from the moment they met they were meant for each other. But something happened and Feb broke Colt’s heart then she turned wild and tragedy struck. Colt meted out revenge against the man who brought Feb low but even though Colt risked it all for her, Feb turned her back on him and left town.

Fifteen years later, Feb comes back to help run the family bar. But there’s so much water under the bridge separating her and Colt everyone knows they’ll never get back together.

Until someone starts hacking up people in Feb’s life. Colt is still Colt and Feb is still Feb so the town watches as Colt goes all out to find the murderer while trying to keep Feb safe.

As the bodies pile up, The Feds move in and a twisting, turning story unravels exposing a very sick man who has claimed numerous victims along the way, Feb and Colt battle their enduring attraction and the beautiful but lost history that weaves them together.

 Amazon US | Amazon kindle US/UK | Audible US/UK


* * *
For You is an interesting concept. I've never read Kristen Ashley before, but I understand the appeal now.

Miss Ashley describes small towns and characters who led rich & complicated lives. The suspense is a huge and surprisingly vivid bonus.

Alexander Colton and February Owens are in their forties. They are both divorced to their respectful spouses, Feb travelled extensively, while Colt has stayed home and become a policeman, and twenty years ago they were high school sweethearts until Feb broke it off to the shock of the whole town. Now she's drifted back home to manage a family bar together with her brother.

The book begins with a murder in Feb's bar, and Colt is an investigating officer. While he never understood why Feb left him, he is determined to protect her at all costs, especially when people connected to February start dropping like flies, found hacked in pieces, and the police realises that she has a whacked stalker after her.

The detective line is seriously creepy and is done very, very well.

Another aspect I loved was realistically depicted difficulties of trying to rekindle a relationship between two people who have been estranged for twenty years, lived their lives fully and essentially became strangers to each other. The rubs, the misunderstandings, the desire for a very different lifestyle choices from your partner, the power struggle... They were hilarious, especially because the whole town was waiting for them getting back together and gossipped about it wildly along the way.

Which brings me to the last point I want to make about this novel. The feel of small town is amazing. Feb and Colt are rooted in a strong circle of friends and family, they go to the same bars and restaurants, they drink coffee from a cafe, the owner of which has known them since they were kids. They are aware of marriage problems of their contractor, they know who is a cheater, and who is just unlucky in life, and who they need to avoid at all costs. Feb's way of expressing herself and the narrator reminded me of Sookie Stackhouse series sans the paranormal element. I really enjoyed it, it felt cosy.

My only complaint is that the amount of trivial details was so overwhelming that sometimes I found myself switching off and drifting, only resurfacing when the next exciting thing happened. I didn't need to know that much about Feb;s dressing herself or Colt feeding her cat or their bickering about tiny household decisions...

Overall, it was a good listen, and I wouldn't mind trying a book by this author again. Recommended.

* * *
"Для Тебя" - это история с интересной концепцией. Я раньше была незнакома с творчеством Кристен Эшли (хотя я о ней наслышана), однако теперь понимаю в чём секрет её популярности.

Мисс Эшли описывает маленькие городки и героев, которые ведут богатую, полноценную жизнь. Детективная линия только добавляет им яркости.

Александр Колтон и Фебьюари Оуэнс - бывшая пара школьных голубков, которые расстались в двадцать с чем-то лет, и вот двадцать лет спустя судьба вновь сводит их вместе. Оба были женаты и разведены, Феб много путешествовала пока не вернулась домой заведовать вместе с братом семейным баром, а Колт прожил всю свою жизнь здесь в качестве полицейского.

Жизнь воссоединяет Колта и Феб когда в её баре совершено убийство, и Колт берётся за расследование. Когда выясняется, что у Феб появился опасный столкер, убивающий близких ей людей, Колт намерен пойти на всё, чтобы её защитить. 

Детективная линия в этой книге на удивление сильная, довольно мрачная и временами от неё холодок проходит по коже.

Ещё один аспект, который мне очень понравился - это прекрасно описанная жизнь маленького городка. Все всех знают, бурно сплетничают и пытаются вновь свести вместе наших голубков. У Колта и Феб обширная сеть друзей и близких, которые о них переживают и стараются помочь.

Попытка этой парочки вновь начать отношения пропитана множеством ошибок и компромиссов, так как они по большей части после двадцати лет разлуки и бурной жизни врознь друг для друга являются незнакомцами. Они постоянно ссорятся и недопонимают друг друга, а старые обиды вспыхивают легко, и от их перепалок перья так и сыпятся. В этом плане "Для Тебя" - книга очень реалистичная, и её юмор и стиль повествования очень напоминает мне серию Суки Стакхаус.

Единственный недостаток романа - это огромное количество совершенно тривиальных деталей - от постоянного описания одежды Феб, того, что она ест и пьёт, и её совершенно мелочных бытовых перепалок с Колтом. Временами  я эти детали пропускала мимо ушей и вновь сосредоточивалась на голосе рассказчика когда происходило что-то интересное.

В общем, неплохо, хороший стиль, я смело возьмусь за книгу Кристен Эшли опять.  Рекомендую.

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