Joint Review – Jagged by Kristen Ashley

JaggedPublisher: Forever
Publish Date: November 5th
How we got this book: NetGalley

Zara Cinders always knew Ham Reece was the one, but he wasn’t interested in settling down. When she found someone who was, Ham walked out of her life. Three years later, Zara’s lost her business, her marriage, and she’s barely getting by in a tiny apartment on the wrong side of the tracks. As soon as Ham hears about Zara’s plight, he’s on her doorstep offering her a lifeline. Now, it will take every ounce of will power she possesses to resist all that he offers.

Ham was always a traveling man, never one to settle down in one town, with one woman, for more time than absolutely necessary. But Ham’s faced his own demons, and he’s learned a lot. About himself, and about the life he knows he’s meant to live. So when he hears that Zara’s having a rough time, he wants to be the one to help. In fact, he wants to do more than that for Zara. A lot more. But first, he must prove to Zara that he’s a changed man.
*Blurb from Goodreads*

MinnChica: Ever since I read the first Ashley book, I’ve been hooked by her alpha heroes. While the Colorado series is far from my favorite of her’s, I was anxious to dive back into any one of her books and get that special dose of badass alpha hero and snarky heroine that I’ve come to love. While this wasn’t my favorite book by Ashley, it had a lot of wonderful and special moments!

Has: I am also a Kristen Ashley Addict, and I really like the Colorado series which is one of my favourite series of hers. I was looking forward to this one because I love the setting and the premise sounded great. However, I found myself feeling lukewarm over this installment and I think it was due to feeling disconnected to the plot and the characters. Although I am with MinnChica, about some of the good scenes, the book didn’t win me over and I was disappointed because I think the Colorado series is one of Ashley’s strongest series.

MinnChica: I liked Zara, a lot actually. She is the kind of heroine that I’ve come to love and respect from Ashley. She is strong and funny and at times a little insecure. Yet, when life kicked her down, she was ready to fight to get back on track. She didn’t wallow in despair because she lost her business, her marriage, and her house. She picked up the meager pieces of her life and started over again, with the understanding that she would still hope and dream for what she really wanted. I loved that about Zara. But for me, I just couldn’t connect with Ham the same way. His character felt contrived and flat. While I love the alpha-hole heroes that Ashley is known for, I’d like to see her break that mold just once!

Has: Oh I totally agree with you about Zara! She was the highlight in the book, but I honestly felt that Ham was the weakest aspect of the plot because he did feel one dimensional. I also didn’t like how the set-up for their romance began. While he had all the hallmarks of an Ashley alpha hero, he never had that magic or spark. I also didn’t find his feelings for Zara that believable because their romance had no tension. I also wish that Ashley could break out and write a beta, geeky or even a gamma type hero for a change as well because I am getting tired of the same type of heroes. I think I am fatigued with the same archetype heroes, and that is affecting my enjoyment of her recent books, which the last couple haven’t really blew me away. While I like she has a certain style which definitely has the crack factor, Jagged never lived up to that element for me.

MinnChica: I couldn’t agree more. Ham just felt so empty as a character. Another aspect of Ashley’s book that has started to really get on my nerves is the way her characters speak. Dialogue is a big part of her books, and while I can forgive the motorcycle books for having a lot of slang, I’m starting to realize that each and every character talks the same way. Male, female, lawyers, bartenders, they all have the same speech patterns, same inflection, same “ghetto” speak. I’m finding it more and more difficult to enjoy the dialogue when each character sounds the same.

Has: I agree. It was especially glaring here because Zara and most of the supporting characters had the same speech patterns. It was hard to distinguish sometimes between Ham and Zara because they spoke so similarly and I found it confusing at times. I think it just added to my disconnection and the one dimensional element of the story that made Jagged a very meh read for me.

I also felt the main plot with Zara’s family was not believable, especially about a long lost nephew and the estrangement she had with her father who was so over the top crazy that he became a caricature of a villain. Usually the Kristen Ashley’s plots are enjoyable but I just found this to be really weak and uninspiring.

MinnChica: I agree that the sub-plot with Zara’s family was a little over-the-top on the ridiculous scale. It wasn’t an aspect that I particularly enjoyed. I’m beginning to feel as if many of Ashley’s books are just recycled from previous storylines she’s already written. It’s unfortunate to say, but also unfortunately true.

All in all I wasn’t all that impressed by Jagged. I felt as if the only really saving grace was Zara. Ham felt like an interchangeable hero that could have been any other hero she’s written. Between the language and dialogue problems of this book, and the recycled storyline, I struggled to enjoy this book.
I give Jagged a C

Has: I felt the same way, overall I felt very meh on this book and I really didn’t want to feel like that because I always look forward to her releases. Although there were some fun scenes which are classic Ashley, the romance was lackluster and Ham was uninteresting to me despite Zara having promise as a character. The main plot which was tied up in a neat bow at the end was not believable or that intriguing. I felt disconnected to the story and the characters.

I give Jagged a C-

3 thoughts on “Joint Review – Jagged by Kristen Ashley”

  1. I would read the hell out of a beta hero from KA, if only because I don’t believe she could actually do it.

    That said, I’m completely over KA’s choice of character names. What’s next? The story of Bacon? Saussage? I know it’s such a tiny nit to pick, but her names have always driven me a little nuts because I can’t point to anyone I know and think, ‘Oh, yeah. I know a Tack. Or Hop. Or Dog.”

  2. @Shannon C.:

    I could believe the names for the MC heroes because traditonally they had funny or interesting nicknames. But yeah Ham’s name was a bit much especially since he referred to Zara as Cookie 😛

    I would also love to see a beta hero or a totally different hero who could actually not speak in slang or missing out the g’s in their sentences. But I do hope her next one is an improvement because her last few books haven’t hit the crackalicous mark and that may be due to fatigue of reading the same old stuff 🙁

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