Review: COMPLICATED by Kristen Ashley



Kristen Ashley

Narrators: Lance Greenfield, Erin Mallon
Genre: Romance
Publisher: Audible Studios
Length: 18 hrs and 14 mins
Release date: May 02 2017

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’m sure I want a future with you.”

Complicated is a fun new steamy-romance with a little bit of mystery/suspense thrown in. It brings back all that we love about Kristen Ashley books: a blooming romance, a small town, conflict, and two great main characters. It is also an entirely new reading experience, at least for me, as the novel was released exclusively for Audible.

Kristen Ashley knows how to write engrossing romance stories. She knows how to set the scene, how to develop the characters and plot, and how to give readers her share of sweet and steamy moments. Her books can be rather slow paced, which is particularly true when it comes to this audiobook.

Okay, I have to be honest: I very rarely listen to audiobooks. When I do, they’re mostly nonfiction stuff, so this was definitely a new experience for me. Despite how long it took me to finish this, I have to say I enjoyed it!

The narrators are wonderful and do a very good job at translating emotion into KA’s writing. It is so much fun listening to them read this novel, and it certainly adds depth to the story. There are some funny moments, at least for me, like Lance Greenfield trying to do a woman’s voice and Erin Mallon covering male characters in her chapters. With that said, they are both great narrators and helped make this a good experience for me.

As I said above, this is a typical KA book. It brings back and delivers all the goodies we expect from one of her novels: steamy scenes (which are super fun to listen to, haha), funny dialogue, a romance story filled with ups and downs, a thriller subplot, and great characters. It feels totally formulaic, as you can pretty much predict what is going to happen, but it’s still a bit of fun. If you’re looking for some vintage KA feels, this is definitely the right book for you!

My one problem, and I can’t believe it took me listening to an audiobook to realize this, is that KA’s books are so long. In audio form it becomes so clear that she uses 15 words to describe something that could be said in 8. There is so much repetition and descriptions of things that aren’t relevant to the plot — which I guess in ebook form I just skimmed past it? And I can’t do that in an audiobook. 😛

The slow pace did affect my enjoyment of the story, and made listening to this rather frustrating at times. KA gets lost in details sometimes, painstakingly describing things readers don’t really need to know. This makes the story drag, especially in audio form.

Overall, Complicated is fun. Maybe not a good book to start your first venture into audiobooks, as it is super long, but it sure creates an entertaining atmosphere as you listen to it. It gives us the kind of intense and witty romance we love to see in KA’s books, and the narrators totally make this story even better!



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