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.
“I’d been charmed by a handsome man who made me forget I was supposed to have hardened my heart against men who might look at their wives like she was the first female created and God had outdone himself (and that was how Hixon had looked at Hope), but me, he’d treat like dirt.”
Strong characters and a murder mystery made this an enthralling and sexxxy and deliciously heartwarming story. Written in trademark KA fashion, there’s a slow build romance and several broken hearts along the way. Loved that the main characters are older with teenage kids and ex-spouses. Sheriff Hixon Drake is one helluva sexy and sweet Alpha. Hix, you can mow my lawn any day.
This is a lengthy book and it satisfied my craving for some old-time Kristen Ashley. Which is to say, there are lots of descriptions about home decor, outfits, make-up and cooking. I loved it!! And the story was very reminiscent of the ‘Burg series which is one of my all-time favorites.
Sheriff Hixon Drake is one hell of an Alpha, even by Kristen Ashley standards. He was recently divorced from Hope, a divorce that completely blindsided him but with which he is moving on from. He has three children who he is absolutely devoted to. But wait..his ex-wife Hope realizes that she made a colossal mistake and is desperate to make things right again. But Hix won’t have any of it.
“You didn’t even share with me what you thought was broke so I could try to fix it. You just took all that from me. And it hurt like fuck. So I am not gonna be your friend or the man you call when the toilet gets backed up. This time, you pushed for what you wanted, it’s you that lives with the consequences. You don’t push even more to make it the way you now want it to be.”
As with many of the books that I love by Ms. Ashley, the hero and heroine get together almost immediately. And it is spectacular. But then they must actually decide if they like each other. And they must decide if they can make each other’s VERY complicated lives work together.
I LOVED Greta! Gorgeous and talented and loving and passionate, she has been dealt a very rough hand. And she knows almost immediately that Hix is out of her league.
But he caught Greta’s eyes, tipped his head to the side, his lips up, and then without looking back, he walked out the front door. And he did it not having that first clue that, with a tip of his head and a small curl to his lips, he shifted the axis of Glossop, Nebraska in a way anyone who knew either of them, which was most, started to believe dreams could come true.
*Le sigh.* Sadly, the timing is not right for these two, seeing as the ink was barely dry on Hix’s divorce papers and the fact that his kids were still hoping for their parents to get back together. But Hix can’t stay away from the beautiful Greta.
“He knew Greta intimately. He knew she was funny and honest. And he knew there was a vulnerability to her the cause of which it wasn’t his right to have. That was all he knew. Except for the fact that he knew without doubt she didn’t need to be like his apartment. The in-between while he was sorting out his life. She deserved more.
Although Hix was really good man, and a wonderful father, I was frustrated at the way he treated Greta at the beginning. But Greta allowed it, I think because she really didn’t believe she deserved any better in her life. I did love how Hix slowly realized that Great was truly beautiful inside and out. And I adored the children’s points of view! It added something different to this story. And they were not one-dimensional characters, they added a depth and realism to this story that I loved. Even when Hix danced around his feelings with Greta, she was always ready to accept him on his own terms. She was always herself and that goodness shone through.
If Hixon Drake wanted to be friends and that friendship turned out it came with benefits, I was not going to say no. He was easy to be around. I felt like crowing at the top of my lungs any time I made him burst out into that gorgeous, deep laughter. He was spectacular in bed. And he looked out for me, me, not a citizen of McCook County, but me. So no. Hell no.
‘Complicated’ was a very sexy, small-town romance with a great cast of characters and an unforgettable hero and heroine. Highly recommend for all fans of Kristen Ashley and all romance lovers!!
“Greta, sometimes to carve some good in your life, you gotta work for it and even fight for it.”
About Kristen Ashley:
Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA and nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorize and she hadn’t taken her first breath!). Her mother said they took Kristen away, put her Mom back in her room, her mother looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). Kristen’s Mom remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning.
Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus, she’s blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. They all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. She grew up with Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).
Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.
And as she keeps growing, it keeps getting better.