Also by this author: Rough Ride, The Gamble
Series: Moonlight and Motor Oil #2
on April 30th 2019
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Tropes: Single Mom, Smalltown Romance Format: eARC
Buy on Amazon, Buy on Audible
Narrator: Stella Bloom, Lance Greenfield
Tobias Gamble knew from a young age precisely the kind of woman he was going to make his. She was not going to be like his mother. She was going to be like the mother he claimed.
In other words, she was going to be just right.
And when Toby returns to his hometown of Matlock, Kentucky and claps eyes on Adeline Forrester, he knows she’s the one.
The problem is, his brother Johnny has a new girlfriend. And Addie is her sister. Last, Toby would do nothing to hurt Johnny’s chance at happiness.
Toby hangs around town to get to know the woman Johnny fell in love with. He also hangs around to get to know Addie.
But he’s fallen hard, and he knows the best thing for him—and Addie—is for him to leave.
Addie Forrester is thrilled her sister Eliza found a good, solid man. Johnny Gamble is the salt of the earth. The best guy in the world.
The best except for his brother, Toby.
Toby doesn’t know it, but Addie’s fallen hard too. He’s perfect, except for the fact that he’s hands off and it’s torture, being friends with Toby when she wants so much more.
Addie also has a lot on her mind. She’s got bills to pay, her young son needs food, Christmas is coming and her job at the grocery store just isn’t cutting it.
Toby is steering clear of Addie. Addie is steering clear of Toby. But everyone around them knows this is the slow burn.
Because just like Eliza and Johnny, Addie and Toby were made for each other.
The Slow Burn
by KRISTEN ASHLEY
I had the chance to listen to the audiobook of THE SLOW BURN. If you are an avid audiobook listener you may be familiar with Stella Bloom and Lance Greenfield. I adored their narration in both THE HOOKUP and THE SLOW BURN – Stella Bloom has this cute, quirky way of performing that I find utterly adorable and endearing. Lance Greenfield did a stellar job for both Johnny and Toby – he transfers the intensity and raw masculinity of them perfectly. If you love audiobooks, give this a shot!
I don’t know about you guys but when Addie and Toby met in THE HOOKUP it wasn’t only obvious that they had some serious chemistry it was OBVIOUS, so I couldn’t wait to get my greedy hands on THE SLOW BURN. I’m happy to report that Kristen Ashley didn’t disappoint.
Both Gamble men are an entirely different species from KA’s usual alpha male – they both are sweeter, not as rough around the edges. We know KA’s heroes to be protective, sometimes a little overbearing, and definitely bossy. Toby has all that down pat. When Addie and Toby meet it’s pretty much love at first sight for both of them – but since the older Gamble man is going to marry Addie’s older sister Toby doesn’t want to go there. The family dynamics would take a serious hit if it went south. And Addie? She’s completely oblivious to Toby’s feelings for her.
Addie barely makes ends meet. It goes as far as her not eating properly although she has a great support system and people who would fall over themselves to help her out but while she doesn’t have money, she has buckets full of pride. The situation escalates into a huge fight almost causing Toby to throw the towel and leave Matlock, KY. This argument is the catalyst that gets their relationship going and on the right track. From then on it’s pretty much smooth sailing for them (their make-up sex is pretty spectacular and SCORCHING).
In most of KA’s books there is always a bit of a lull when the relationship is building and running. Most of the times it works very well for me because the author packs lot of sweet stuff into that pause. It definitely worked this time around because Addie and Toby are all kinds of funny and sweet together. Especially this man, who gives Addie everything she wants and needs, who loves her so openly and says the sweetest things in the most unexpected times. And if the scene in which he feeds the little toddler doesn’t melt your ovaries then I don’t know what would.
She gave him another soft look before she hid it and sassed, “You’re into me too.”
“Totally into you,” he admitted openly.
Both of them understand that life is full of compromises and Addie in particular learns that pride, while it has its place, shouldn’t come first, especially if you have a child to care for. I loved Addie, she was a firecracker with a heart of gold and true dedication to her son and family. She was independent and strong but she learned that sometimes pride and independence may just be in your way of the truly important things.
“Today, I went to the Fair with you and my boy and doing it, I remembered who I am. I stopped walking the path I’d veered onto and got back to the path that’s me.”
While this story is pretty low in angst it has its heartbreak and emotional parts – especially in the last few chapters – that will have your heart in your throat and it’s then when all of these characters, main and side cast, truly shine. In these scenes the main theme of this story is the strongest: family is the most important thing. No matter what riches you gather, they won’t make you happy, if you don’t have anyone to share them with. So it’s pretty awesome that we get to hang out with Johnny and Izzy, Deanna and Charlie, Margot and David.
And in that moment I knew Toby was wrong. Life wasn’t about disappointment. Life was a journey. The journey of finding what I’d seen on my sister’s face the night before. Finding your place. Finding your people. And settling in so when those cold winds blew, you had warmth to see you through.
THE SLOW BURN was one of my most anticipated books this year. I adored THE HOOKUP but I think that this installment is even better by a tiny margin – in my opinion it’s Kristen Ashley at its best. She is a master at writing family dynamics and stories to make you dream. This book starts with a poignant foreword – make sure you read it – and ends on an uplifting, sweet note.
“‘I wonder what the poor people are doing?’”