Format: Audiobook, eBook
Golden Trail by Kristen Ashley
Narrator: Brian Pallino
Length: 21 hrs and 20 mins
Date Read: September 2015
Genre: Romance, Suspense
Tanner Layne and Raquel Merrick fell in love young, hard and fast and both of them knew a beautiful life they thought would be forever.
Until Rocky left Layne, no explanation, no going back.
Layne escapes The ‘Burg only to come back years later because his ex-wife has hooked herself to the town jerk and Layne needs to make sure his sons get raised right. Layne manages to avoid Rocky but when Layne gets three bullets drilled into him while investigating a dirty cop, he can’t do that because Rocky stops avoiding Layne. They make a deal to work together to expose the dirty cop but they have no idea the strength of their enduring attraction or the sheer evil at work in The ‘Burg.
As Tanner Layne and Raquel Merrick play their game and dance around the pull that draws them together, Layne has to discover the dark secrets buried so deep in Rocky’s heart she doesn’t even know they’re there at the same time untangle a sinister web of crime so abhorrent it has to be stopped... at all costs.
And to do it, Layne has to enlist everyone, including his ex-CIA mentor, Rocky’s detective brother, the town’s unpredictable informant and Layne’s two teenage sons all the while stopping Rocky from doing something crazy and keeping their game secret so Layne won't get himself dead.
Publisher: Audible, Createspace
Series: The 'Burg #3
Also by this author: Fire Inside, Mystery Man, Wild Man, Law Man, Motorcycle Man, Own the Wind, Rock Chick, Rock Chick Rescue, Rock Chick Redemption, Rock Chick Renegade, Rock Chick Revenge, Rock Chick Reckoning, Ride Steady, Knight br> br>
Also in this series: For You, At Peace, Games of the Heart, The Promise
Read/Listened for Fun (Kindle/Audible)
Overall Rating: 2.00
Story Rating: 2.50
Character Rating: 1.50
Audio Rating: 3.00 (not part of the overall rating)
First Thought when Finished: Golden Trail by Kristen Ashley is the first one by her (I have read like 16) that I almost DNF’d, threw against the wall, and seriously might get a bit ranty about Layne!
My Thoughts: Just a warning there will be lots of spoiler sections because there is just no way for me to explain my feelings without them.
Let’s start with the non-spoilery stuff:
1: First 40% of the book was a solid 3.5/4.0 –I was liking the characters, loving the story, and was solidly invested.
2: 40% to 95% I almost closed the book several times and Layne landed in my leading romance men that I would have liked to actually not get an HEA. Then again Roc wasn’t much better so maybe they deserve each other.
3: 95% to end bumped the rating up from a 1.5 to a 2 but only because of the end of the mystery. It was strong and I liked the wrap-up.
4: I have read several reviews that say this is the BEST EPILOGUE by Kristen Ashley–I think you would have to like Layne for that to be the case. I totally disagree.
Layne This will be in Spoilers….
View Spoiler »Here we go:
1: I am used to KA’s men always needing to be right but most of them at least listen (somewhat). Every single time with every single person (exception maybe Dev-once), Layne was right. It must be exhausting being him.
2: Who puts their 17 and 14 year old sons (you know the ones whose lives you have been in all of a year) on a case of a possible pedophile? I don’t care how strong and smart they are–you just don’t do that. More on this later in Roc’s section because you also don’t get mad when called on the behavior.
3: How he spoke about and encouraged his sons to think about their mother. Both of his kids were good kids that was solely on their mom since he wasn’t around. He comes back and all the sudden he is the “excellent” parent, she deserves no respect, and he can totally disrespect her ALL THE TIME! This was just a lazy side storyline that drove me nuts.
4: Should we just hand a Layne a cape–cause really he is solving all the burg’s problems? Too many storylines without one time Layne was wrong. Unless you count the very first where he was shot but that must have given him super powers because after that f*cking never wrong. I want that super power.
5: Control Freak! « Hide Spoiler
Roc: Gonna be spoilery also….
View Spoiler »UGH…..
1: TSTL moments–just way to many. KA does not usually write women who fall into this category but Roc was all TSTL.
2: Total doormat! There was not a single disagreement she won–down to the damn ponytail holders. He said yes, she said no—it was a yes. He said no, she said yes–it was a no. She went off on a TSTL moment and apologized every damn time. Down to the ponytail holders that she let him drag out off her head, her daughter’s head (in the epilogue), and just “play” got angry. It was like she could not think/act for herself.
3: I still don’t get why she stayed gone for 18 years. I get the nervous breakdown (both) but the stay away—nope.
4: I will say this–I like her better than Layne. She was an excellent teacher, smart, and right before she would roll over–sassy.
5: That being said, my final problem with Roc was her getting in Layne/Gabby’s argument about the kids saying that she wanted Layne back and it had nothing to do with the kids. Gabby had a lot of valid points about her boys. Gabby was the boys only parent for most of their lives. Whether she wanted Layne back or not, she did love those boys. Roc picked the wrong time/wrong method to be “I’m better than you-I’m who he wants”. It really lowered my view of her by several notches « Hide Spoiler
What I Liked: Not spoilery..
1: Loved the main mystery. I thought it was clever and planned out well.
2: Loved the kids. I thought they were well written and likable.
3: Loved Dev and Ryker–in fact, Ryker would have been a better leading guy–just saying.
4: Loved seeing all my favs!
5: The end because it means I can move on.
Narrated by: Brian Pallino /Length: 21 hrs and 20 mins
Brian was good at the narration. I think I wasn’t more in love with it because of the characters. I will say that he was much better than the last 2 in this series.
This will work better for others. Most people loved this book but I guess maybe having an excellent stepmom and mom–the kid issues were just triggers for me.