It’s a Binge Read: Kristen Ashley (a.k.a. The Longest & Best Binge Read of My Life)

I am a binge reader. 

Like a big one. 

If you’ve been following me or this page for any amount of time, that is probably not a secret. And if you’re new here, welcome! Let me introduce myself. My name is Megan, I am a binge reader and am proud of it. 

Like real proud.

I live my life in the midst of  binge reads and binge watching TV shows. It’s something I’ve gotten really good at (I say that like it’s a skill you can develop and make stronger) over the years. Depending on what mood I’m in you’ll find me in the middle of a binge read of a certain trope or genre, series, or author. Same with TV shows. Sometimes my binge reads last a few days, other times they last a couple of weeks depending on what I’m reading. 

Suffice to say, I am a pretty experienced binge reader. I love binge reading. I love getting so sucked into a series or an author’s backlist that I don’t know which way is up. I love getting to spend an extended amount of time in a certain world or within a certain feeling that books can evoke. I love that for days or weeks of time, all I can think about is that next book in my binge read and what it’ll bring. I also kinda love feeling like I’ve accomplished an Olympic level feat when I finish a binge read, especially a particularly long or large one.

I live for a good binge read. It is one of the things I love as a reader. And honestly, it’s something I highly recommend taking up as a reader because a good binge read can change everything. 

And I do mean everything. 

Case in point: my latest binge read. 

The longest binge read of my life.

Let me set the stage for you. 

Back in November of last year, I was feeling all kinds of down. Between the craziness of work virtually teaching my tiny humans, feeling isolated from those I love because of the panoramic (or pandemic for those of you not yet obsessed with Tiktok and its pandemic references), and all of the things happening, I was struggling. I was missing my people. I was just not in the best place and I was searching for whatever could be found to cheer me up. 

Enter in Kristen Ashely and her amazing, unforgettable, and all-consuming books. 

I don’t remember the first time someone told me I needed to read a book by Kristen Ashely, but I do know that the number of times her books have been recommended to me over the years is probably around 67 bajillion. She is a queen in the romance community, and I’m ashamed to say I didn’t listen to those 67 bajillion recommendations for almost 7 years because I am stubborn. Like real stubborn. I tend not to listen, and then find myself regretting that lack of listening for years to come. (Just ask my book friends how many times I’ve told them over the last few months that they was right and I was wrong and so very dumb for waiting to read KA’s novels.) 

It’s not that I don’t want to read what’s recommended to me, it’s just that I really am a bad listener. I always think something along the lines of “one day I’ll get to that”, but one day always gets further and further away. I’ve even been known to buy those books recommended to me and hold onto them because I know that I need to read them, even though I have no idea when I’ll actually do just that. 

Kristen Ashley is a prime example of that. 

Me and some of those aforementioned book friends at Apollycon 2018, who’ve been trying to get me to read Kristen Ashley for years!

I was even lucky enough to meet her in 2018 at Apollycon, but at that point I hadn’t actually read her books. (Remember when I said I was stubborn as hell and didn’t listen?!) But I did know I needed to read her words, so I interpreted that as clearing out a full shelf of her books at my local Books-A-Million. Let’s just say I am equally so thrilled that I did that because I have so many of her books in print, but also so mad at myself that I waited SO long to read her books that I couldn’t properly fangirl over her when I met her. 

Can you say holy freaking missed opportunity?!? *smacks head with e-reader again*

When I finally came around to pulling my head out of my butt and starting her books in the fall of 2019, I literally wanted to hit myself with my e-reader because I had waited to read them. I devoured the first 3 books in her Rock Chick Series, simultaneously falling in love with everything I was reading, while also telling myself that I should’ve been reading these books YEARS ago. I had planned to keep reading all of her romance book goodness then, but of course life got in the way and I was pulled away. 

Flash forward over a year later, I found myself back to her books because I needed a sure thing. I needed a book I knew I would love, and after having read a few of her books the year prior, I knew I could count on her to deliver what I felt was missing. I went into that book needing a pick me up and needing something to take my mind off the craziness going on around me. I started that first book, Rock Chick Revenge on November 30th, and almost 3 ½ months later I completed the longest binge read of my life. 

One of the TikToks I made in the middle of my binge read!

60 books. Over 3 months of time. Countless 5 star reads. Thousands and thousands and thousands of pages. So many all-consuming series that I will literally treasure forever. So many characters who will forever own pieces of my heart….and so much more.

And you know what? It saved me. In more ways than one. 

This binge read, the longest I’ve ever done, saved me. It saved my mental health. Reading these books, living these stories with these characters, and just basking in every moment was my form of self care. This binge read gave me sooooo many things to look forward to. It gave me SO many unforgettable and dynamic characters that each took me on one hell of a ride. It gave me stories that swept me up and that never let me go. It gave me real and fictional worlds that owned me heart and soul. It gave me so many conversations with my book friends and people about these books that just made my heart and soul happy. 

It gave me everything.

And let me tell you, after a year of serious craziness these books were the lifesaver I didn’t even know I needed. They not only saved my mental health and brought me back to me. reading them, talking to all my book friends about them over and over again, and experiencing every moment of them was the best. The actual BEST. (Seriously never doubt the power of a good book y’all.)

If I’m being honest though, I didn’t think I’d make it this far in this binge read. I can definitely tell you without a doubt that I definitely didn’t think I’d be sitting here having read 60 books by one author in the last 3 months.  But here I am y’all, living the best kind of binge reader dream.

Me being absolutely ridiculous on TikTok when I got my KA book order in!

That’s not to say I didn’t want to read all of Kristen Ashely’s books, but I tend to be a big mood reader, so I often find myself jumping from trope to trope to subgenre to subgenre quite a bit when I am a reader. (Luckily KA has it ALL, so she delivered everything I didn’t even know I needed with her entire backlist.) I also might have a touch of a self-diagnosed focusing issue that can often prevent me from focusing on one type of book for too long. When I started that first book of the binge read back in November I thought I’d finish the Rock Chicks and maybe read some more of the paperback books I owned by Kristen Ashely and call it a day. I figured my reading mood would eventually shift, and one day I’d come back and finish wherever I left off. 

Flash forward to mid March and I was practically in tears because I didn’t have any more Kristen Ashely books to read. 

For 3 ½ months these books OWNED me, heart and soul. They consumed my every thought and feeling. They gave me life. They took hold of every emotion I had, every part of me, and truly, they never let me go. They were all I could think about. All I could talk about. All I could post about on my social media and blog page. All I wanted and needed to read. Really, just all I wanted and needed. 

These books, this binge read, these stories, the writing and characters…they were everything I needed. 

Everything and more.

Frannie & Frannie

I even named my new succulent plant after a character in these books. That’s how much I couldn’t get enough of everything I was reading and how much I loved these characters. That’s how addicted I was to everything I was reading. (Plus when you meet Frannie in Midnight Soul, you’ll understand why that was the perfect name for my succulent.)

Throughout this binge read I’ve joined the crazy wonderful Rock Chicks, fallen in love with the Dream Men and Dream Team, spent some time on the darker side with some Unfinished Heroes, and joined a motorcycle club named Chaos. I’ve spent my days running away to the Colorado Mountains, a Burg in Indiana, the coast of Maine, small towns and big towns across this country and world, and even a parallel world that doesn’t actually exist. I’ve fallen in love with Moonlight & Motor Oil, The Honey Club, and a blue genie named Fazire who will always own a piece of my heart.

These books encompassed so many moments, so many characters, so many stories that I will forever treasure. Told through some of the best storytelling and writing I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading, these books and stories gave me so many moments that shook me to my core. 

Moments that took my breath away. Moments that made me laugh my ass off, cry my eyes out, and feel practically breathless with what these characters gave me. Moments that I will never forget. Moments that I’ve already gone back and reread multiple times. Moments that will go down in my book history as some of my favorite book moments ever.

Some of my favorite KA moments. (Not spoilery, as most are out of context and you won’t get it until you read the books…but look at the list at your own risk!)

Moments that I will truly never forget reading or experiencing.

I’ve lived and loved it ALL over the last 3 1/2 months with these books and fictional characters. I’ve traveled to worlds that aren’t real, and worlds that I wish with everything I have, were real. I’ve had some of the best reading experiences EVER.

And honestly? I just wish I could give Kristen Ashley the biggest hug right now because what she gave me within her books. I also want to say thank you to her a million times over. What she so infinitely created with her characters and moments and stories and worlds, what she allowed me to live and feel and breathe with her characters, and what she gave me to experience along the way is something I will treasure for the rest of time. Her writing is on a whole different level, and the moment you read and experience one of her books you will know that with every bone in your body. 

You will love it, you will crave it, and you will need as much of it as possible. Trust me on that.  

Simply put, Kristen Ashely has firmly cemented herself as one of my all-time favorite authors and reading these books, all 60 plus of them is something I will never forget. 

Just a couple of weeks ago, I found myself reading my last Kristen Ashely book. (That is until she writes more romantic goodness, which I cannot wait for!). I purposefully chose her Loose Ends Anthology to end with one last little bit of some of my favorite characters, as well as to get the stories for a few characters that I had been dying for. To celebrate I got me a cinnamon roll the size of my face and a good as hell coffee to accompany me with that last KA book. If you read any of these books you too will have an appreciation for baked goods and coffee from small businesses.

And let me just say, as sad as I was for this binge read to end, I couldn’t be happier that I finally listened to the 67 bajillion people who told me I should’ve been reading these books years ago. 

Y’all were right, I was stubborn as hell and didn’t listen, but I got there in the end. And I will be forever grateful that I did. 

So there you have it. 

The longest binge read of my life. 

The best binge read of my life. 

The binge read that brought me back to me. The binge read that brought me a multitude of fictional characters and stories and moments I will forever LOVE and cherish. The binge read that brought me to one of my favorite authors ever. The binge read that gave me so many moments that literally took my breath away. The binge read that showed me a million times over that a book, an author, a series can truly give you everything you need and more. 

The binge read that truly gave me it all. 

Never doubt the power of a good binge read y’all. 

Seriously. 

It just might be the pick me up you need. It also might be everything you didn’t even know you needed and then some. If you’re really lucky, it just might give you some of the best damn books and reading experiences of your entire life. 

And really, it doesn’t get better than that.

Trust me. 

Review Post: Bad Boy Billionaire by Amie Knight

Title: Bad Boy Billionaire
A Cocky Hero Club Novel
Author: Amie Knight
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 7, 2021
Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward are excited to bring you the Cocky Hero Club: original works from various authors inspired by Keeland and Ward’s New York Times bestselling Cocky Bastard series.
BLURB
Dear Ida,
Never in a million years did I think I’d turn to an advice column for help, but I’m stuck. Moving to New York is my dream come true, but the big city is a tough place to navigate for a small-town, southern girl like me. Luckily, fate sent me my very own knight in shining armor.
Only Whitaker Aldrich didn’t ride in on his white steed to save me. He picked me up on his Harley Davidson, wearing a leather jacket and sporting a cocky smirk that doesn’t bode well for my man free diet. He screams one-night stand.
But there’s so much more to him than that bad boy billionaire persona. He’s thoughtful and kind and his six-year-old son is his entire world.
That twinkle in his brilliant green eyes makes me weak in the knees and I’m terrified that I won’t be able to protect my already bruised heart. I should probably say no when he asks me to be his nanny, right?
Yeah, getting involved with Whit would be a huge mistake.
I should definitely say no. Maybe… Possibly?
Help!
Yours truly,
The Billionaire’s Babysitter
Bad Boy Billionaire is a billionaire/single dad/friends to lovers romance inspired by Stuck-Up Suit.
PURCHASE LINKS
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited

*****5 Utterly Fantastic Stars*****

Let me start this review by saying that if I could live in this book with these characters for the rest of time, I wholeheartedly would. And truthfully, doing that would just make me so beyond happy. I would be perfectly content spending the rest of my days with Grace and Whit and Andy. That is how good it felt to spend time with them. Those three burrowed themselves so deep into my heart and just made me my heart so full while I experienced their story with them.

Brought to life through Amie Knight’s exceptional writing and storytelling, Bad Boy Billionaire is the perfect romance.

It has dynamic characters with more personality and connection than you can shake a stick at. It has a romance that will hit the ground running from Chapter 1, and that you’ll never want to have end with its glorious fire and build up. It has a setting that truly takes on a life of its own and adds so much life to this story. It has a world of characters and moments that you won’t soon forget, and that will have you simultaneously swooning and melting with what you get with these two.

But most of all, it has a friends to lovers story that will own your heart from start to finish.

Grace and Whit are the actual best. Like the actual best. From the moment you meet them you will know that in your bones. Trust me on that. You will also know that no two people are more meant to be than the two of them. Through a series of chance and very memorable encounters, Grace and Whit become friends. And then, well then they become so much more. She’s a southern girl new to The Big Apple, trying to figure out which way is up, with big dreams of becoming a writer. He’s a lifelong city-goer, single dad, and business owner with a love of music. Their friendship blossoms and deepens, as their attraction and pull towards one another explodes exponentially.

Soon she’s working for him helping to take care of his young son, while they both find themselves wading their way through the growing feelings they share. She’s trying to find her place in the world, he’s desperate to show her that the perfect place for her is with him and Andy. They’re opposites in more ways than one, but they can’t help but need and want one another with all that they have. Too bad they’re scared to rock the boat in fear that they might all tip over.

Bad Boy Billionaire is an effervescent romance full of life and spark, coffee trucks and different boroughs, that will sweep you and your heart off your feet with everything that Whit and Grace share. Their romance is perfectly built, exceptionally captured, and there is no way that you will be able to resist the literal charm of those two. I know I couldn’t and nor did I want to because the moment I met those two, was the moment I fell in love with them and NEEDED them to be together.

Amie Knight continues to be one of my favorite authors for a reason. Her books truly have everything you need and then some. They’re romantic as hell. They’re charming and full of sass and fire and so much glorious personality. They’re emotional and real, honest and incredibly layered. They’ve got all the feels, and her words always do the most phenomenal job of giving you characters and a story and moments that you’ll live and feel and breath with your entire being.

Her books simply give you everything.

Bad Boy Billionaire was no different. Every memorable moment that Amie Knight brought to life with Grace and Whit (and Andy for that matter) is one that I treasured. Every page of this book, every moment those two shared in their glorious buildup of connection, and every word that allowed me to get them and love them and feel it all with them, seared me to those two. They made me melt and swoon. They made me laugh and smile until my cheeks were hurting. There were moments that I thought I would just die of happiness with those two, their connection, and their personalities shining through. They made me believe in love and in love stories, especially there. They made me feel like anything was possible if you just fought hard enough for it.

They made their love story, and everything they shared, feel like so much more. They made it feel like literal spark and magic, and I for one became utterly consumed with everything that was them and what they were sharing and building. They made it feel so damn good, like coming home to the most warm welcome that you never want to leave. They made it feel like them, memorable and fiery and full of so much heart.

Like I said, they made it all feel like so much more. And that is honestly just scratching the surface of what I loved about this book and their story.

Simply put, I loved every incredible word of this book.

I loved how this story connected into Graham and Soraya from Stuck Up Suit. (I seriously squealed with all the connections to that world and book!) I loved how everything Grace and Whit were building and sharing felt so inherently real and so needed. I loved getting to see their friendship grow into something so much more. I loved getting to experience his relationship with his son, and getting to be there as she built a relationship with him as well. I loved getting those moments that were so them, they practically leapt off the page with their personality and fire. I loved getting to be there as their connection and feelings for one another built and built and built some more to that inevitable tipping point that gave me everything and that ended up changing everything for them.

I loved that this story gave me two easy to love and root for characters that owned my heart from start to finish with everything they were sharing together.

Their love story was wholly enjoyable, so very them, and had me desperate to run away to New York City for my own chance at falling in love like the two of them do in this book. Swoon city central. They way that Amie Knight captures and creates everything with them is truly magnificent to read and experience, and had me basking in everything I got with them along the way. From the very first pages with them I fell with them, believed in them, and needed for them to find their way to happily ever after. That feeling only strengthened and consumed me more as I read this book, and that is just part of what makes this one of my top reads for the year and one of the best love stories I’ve gotten to read.

This book and this story will give you it all, and I promise that you will not soon forget it. It will make you laugh, it’ll bring all of the feels inside and outside of your heart, and through it all it will have you melting right along with Whit and Grace as they see what could be. Those two could not be more right for one another, and every word of this book will have you knowing and feeling that in spades.

From memorable chance encounters, to a blooming friendship. From North Carolina to The Big Apple and back again. From friends to lovers to so much glorious more. From a girl with a big heart, and a man with so much heart to give. From the little moments, the big ones, and every one in between. From the billionaire and his babysitter to so much MORE.

Bad Boy Billionaire is the perfect romance that will have you believing in everything that an all-consuming love can bring you. It will have you knowing in the deepest part of your heart that Grace and Whit are meant to be. It will have you in the thick of it with them, ready for whatever that next moment will bring them. It will have you desperate for the literal sweetness and heart and personality and rightness that lives and breathes from them and with them in the pages of their story. But more than that, it will just have you basking in every single thing they share together because it is pure magic, pure fire, and pure love.

This book is a prime example of why I am a lover of love stories. It gave me hope. It made me happy. It made me smile and swoon. It made me melt again and again with these two, and every character that made this book what it was. It had me believing in the heart and love story that was unfolding before my eyes. It gave me it all. And then some.

Amie Knight give you everything you didn’t even know you needed in this one. This book is just another example of her storytelling talent and the phenomenal reading experiences she continues to create. It was also another dip into the Cocky World, which I will never want to leave. But most of all, it was just a damn good love story that I will not soon forget. And you won’t either. I promise you that.

So get yourself a coffee, a comfy chair, plop yourself next to your favorite succulent, and strap in for a romantic, effervescent, and all-consuming love story that will have you believing that real love, give you all the butterflies, feel it in your bones, have you shouting with joy and happiness from the rooftops, love, is just a page a way.

Because in Bad Boy Billionaire, Grace and Whit will give you all of that. And then some.

MARCH RELEASES

AUTHOR BIO

Amie Knight has been a reader for as long as she could remember and a romance lover since she could get her hands on her momma’s books. A dedicated wife and mother with a love of music and makeup, you will never see her leave the house without her eyebrows and eyelashes done just right. When she isn’t reading and writing you can catch her jamming out in the car with her two kids to 90’s R&B, Country and Showtunes. Amie draws inspiration from her childhood in Columbia, South Carolina and can’t imagine living anywhere other than the South.

COCKY HERO CLUB

It’s a Cover Reveal: From the Embers by Aly Martinez

Our love was born from the embers, and together we would go up in flames.

From The Embers, an all-new standalone catastrophic romance from USA Today bestselling author Aly Martinez is releasing April 28th, and we have the gorgeous cover!

In the aftermath of tragedy, it’s strange the things you remember.
The deafening boom as the house exploded.
The paralyzing fear as I searched for my wife.
The blinding smoke burning my eyes as I carried her out.

But carved into my soul for the rest of my days would be the earth-shattering realization that the woman in my arms wasn’t my wife.

Bree and I were the only survivors—not that either of us were truly living after that night. As a single dad with nowhere else to go, I moved into her guest house. And somehow, through the guilt and grief, we forged an unlikely team.

It took years, but I watched the gradual return of her smile—slow and life-altering.
The two of us could sit outside for hours, talking about nothing, and it filled the massive hole in my chest with new life.

I may have carried her out of that fire, but the truth was, Bree saved me.

As we healed, the secrets and lies of the past smoldered in the ashes, threatening to ignite again.

Our love was born from the embers, and together we would go up in flames.

Pre-order your copy today for only $2.99, exclusively on Amazon!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/30yRfTv
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/fromtheembers

Add FROM THE EMBERS to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2ZwA5Fs

Bloggers and Bookstagrammers, join the promotional tour here → https://bit.ly/3uj9REj

Cover Designer: Hang Le

About Aly Martinez


Originally from Savannah, Georgia, USA Today bestselling author Aly Martinez now lives in South Carolina with her husband and four young children.
Never one to take herself too seriously, she enjoys cheap wine, mystery leggings, and olives. It should be known, however, that she hates pizza and ice cream, almost as much as writing her bio in the third person.
She passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a super-sized tumbler of wine by her side.

Connect with Aly
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