Still Standing by Kristen Ashley
Series: Wild West MC #1
Published by Independently Published by Author on February 2, 2021
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Motorcycle Clubs
Source: Self Purchased
When Clara Delany walks into the Aces High Motorcycle Club’s hangout, she’s hit rock bottom. She’s hiding her car from the repo man, she has less than two dollars in her bank account and the only employment she can get is delivering messages for a criminal.
All because of a man. Therefore, she’s sworn off them.
And then she meets West “Buck” Hardy, president of the Aces High MC.
Buck also meets her, and the minute he does, he makes it clear (to everyone but Clara) that they’re starting something. Since Clara doesn’t get that message, she decides to leave Buck and sort out her life in order to come back to him clean.
She’s not gone but hours before life hits Clara with another blow. Which means Buck and his boys have to ride in and save the day. After that, Buck makes no bones about where they stand.
But does he?
Welcome to the first novel in the Wild West MC series which will tell the stories of the brothers of the Aces High MC, the Resurrection MC, and the Chaos MC…and the women who love them.
This review may contain spoilers, so fair warning, upon reading the review.
Still Standing is the first book of the latest release from Kristen Ashley and this was also one of my most anticipated releases for 2021 and a book that I predicted to be a five star read? So did it live up to my expectations? For the most part. We get drawn back into the MC world that Kristen Ashley has created and it also had a more old KA feel to it so it definitely has the toughness and grit that her older reads felt like in reading them. I was really worried whether or not I would have loved this one but I am so relieved that I was able to love this one as much as I did. Its not a story that will be for everyone though, and there are some hard limits to the story that will push some readers away. So if this is your first time reading her, I honestly am not sure I could recommend this one to you but if you are a fan of her work, then definitely give it a shot and keep an open mind.
Still Standing features our heroine, Clara, who is in a bad bind. Her ex husband betrayed her and she lost everything she worked for in her life due to him being sent to prison and the whole area treated her like dirt. But when her friend is in trouble, she agrees to work for a dangerous criminal in sending a message to the president of the local MC: Aces High but when she goes to his local spot and he invites her to play pool and drink with him and she ends up having a beautiful night of laughter and sex and having a connection with a man she never imagined, but her life isn’t roses and she knows she isn’t worth deserving Buck…but Buck knows what he wants and he wants Clara as his old lady and is determined to prove to her they are worth fighting for. But being the old lady of the Prez of a MC is going to be full of challenges especially as he is the father of two teenage children and the life is full of tough edges and redemption that she will have to come to face with.
“Only way to learn,” his deep, rough voice said in my ear, but somehow I felt it on every inch of my skin, “is by feel.”
Still Standing was a superb read and it’s the type of book that kept me up all night reading and I had such fun with it. Now before we get started on the review I would like to talk about the spoilers and I feel like I need to get gritty out of the way here.
View Spoiler »So there is a fake percievement of cheating (truth gets revealed but much of the story is to be believed to be truth. And then there is abuse of the heroine by the hero. This was hard for me to witness, now is it done maliciously? No but it does happen when the hero is in a fit of rage and throws her against a wall (he was very angry at a situation where his daughter gets attacked) so its not all black and white, but I do think KA did redeem him in some respects from it but its this scene that kept it from a full five star. Now for the rest of the story….I had a blast with the premise of the story. I adored seeing Buck and Clara just fall for each other so quickly, I actually love these insta love connections that this author just works so well in her books. One of my favorite aspects of her writing is seeing a couple get together so early on in the story and we get to see them work in their relationship to overcome conflict together. And we definitely see how much they do need to work through. The trust issue is a big element within their relationship. We see how the lack of trust that the heroine has in the hero is a struggle and even though she witnesses something that looks bad, she just accepts it to be true and moves on, she doesn’t face it and boy (when the hero finds out boy is he pissed that she would think something of him so low) So I actually liked this moment, because throughout the story the reader has built this not so good impression of the hero of thinking he has been cheating on the heroine, when in reality he hasn’t been and seeing how he has been so loyal to the heroine. « Hide Spoiler
I really love seeing the mature ages in these characters…well the hero he is…the heroine is like my age so I really related with her in so many ways and she is a librarian and a bit nerdy and quirky which is fun to see their unique dynamics in their relationship. I swear the nerdy types always make the best matches for these uber alpha males LOL And seeing the relationship between this father and his kids was phenomenal and I will admit that Clara building positive connections with his two kids was epic and I loved seeing these small yet beautiful captivating moments between these family members…and Buck’s dad was probably my favorite side character ….adored him so dearly. I hope we get to see him get a happy ending in the series …that is my wish at least.
darlin’, my meaning in life is, you live in the sunshine.”
Overall I found Still Standing to be an exceptional read that I fell so hard for and despite the issues with the story, I couldn’t help but deeply love this flawed story that shows the beauty in redemption and fighting for the one you love. .