Violet Winters once had it all but lost it when her husband was murdered by a criminal madman. During a cold winter night Violet has to leave her warm bed to tell her neighbor to turn the music down. And that’s when she meets sinister, scarred, scarily attractive security specialist, Joe Callahan.
She wants to deny it, but Violet can’t beat back the hunger she feels for Joe so she gives in again and again. Feeling it himself, Joe feeds Vi’s hunger, breaking his own rules to keep her in his bed.
Even though Violet had only one man in her life, she’s sure Joe is giving her the signals and Vi decides she’s ready to take a second chance at life and, maybe, love. But Violet doesn’t know the dark secrets in Joe’s past, secrets so soul-wrenching, they’ve drained him dry. With nothing left to give, Joe’s determined to live his life alone and he breaks Violet’s heart.
Crushed by Joe’s betrayal, Violet comes to terms with the fact that, no matter what signals he gave, Joe was not theirs to win. But Violet’s husband’s murderer is obsessed with her and heartbreak again haunts the door of the Winters home. When it does Joe is forced to face the knowledge that he can’t fight Violet’s pull, she’s under his skin and filled him full to bursting.
Joe needs to win her back and put his life on the line to keep Violet safe. But, having had it all once, can Violet endure losing Joe?
At Peace by Kristen Ashley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Violet lost her husband and father of her two daughters a year and a half ago when he was shot by a criminal madman in the line of duty. She has left Chicago and moved with her daughters to "the Burg" in Indiana to try and move on with her life. She meets her neighbor Joe when she has to go over in the middle of the night to ask him to turn down his music. Joe is a big intimidating security specialist who intrigues Violet even as she fears him a little. Joe is definitely attracted to his neighbor and soon they are both giving in to their physical attraction to one another. Joe's past has left him void of many emotions and with strict rules about relationships. He pushes Violet away, but can't deny that she and her daughter are getting under his skin, a feat no one has accomplished for over 17 years.
I am a Kristen Ashley fan, and one of the things I love about her is that after every book of hers I read (or listen to) I'm sure I'll never like another book of hers more. I loved the first book in this series, and had my usual reluctance going in hoping that I would like this one as much as "For You". I loved this book even more than I thought I would. Violet was an easy character to care about immediately. I was connected to her right away and stayed engaged throughout. She is someone who has faced the kinds of loss that would easily cause other people to be crippled by grief or bitter and angry. Violet has definitely grieved the loss of her husband, but she has done her best to find joy in the life she creates for her daughters. She is kind and loving, and it was each to cheer her on. Joe was a very intriguing character. We know he has a past that caused him to build an emotional wall and alter his life and future plans. Getting to know Joe slowly as we learn more and more about his life was something that kept me hooked into the story. The physical chemistry between Joe and Violet is off the charts!
The peripheral characters in this story (as with all Ashley books I've read) are important and wonderful in their own right. In addition to the main characters, we get to know families and friends, and neighbors. We get to feel that we are part of this town and invested in its residents.
I experienced a wide range of emotions throughout the duration of this book, and anytime an author can get me feeling along with the characters, or just having strong feelings about what I want to happen, I am thrilled. Another thing I appreciate about this book in the length and pacing. We really have enough time to get to know everyone and are all the more invested as the events of the story unfold. I adore this author, I adore this series, and I can't wait to continue the journey.
I found the narration to be unobtrusive (which is a compliment). At no point was I taken out of the story or distracted by the narrator.
*A copy of this audiobook was provided in exchange for an honest review