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.
WARNING: There WILL be spoilers in this review. I’ll mark the point just before where they are, but they are ruin-the-end-of-the-book spoilers, and YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
I have a problem with Kristen Ashley. When I read her books, I lose whole months. The first time I tried her was the end of June, and next thing I know, it is 14 books later and August. So when I obtained an ARC copy of her newest book, Jagged, I was apprehensive. I knew I was going to want to re-read the previous Colorado Mountain books, but was I about to lose October, too?
Not yet. Thankfully.
Jagged is the latest book (and number 5) of the Colorado Mountain series, and I’m not sure I’d classify it as such. It’s kind of a cross-over book for me, because while Nina and Max from The Gamble play a pretty big role (and Kami even makes an appearance), Ham Reece is actually from For You, book 1 of The Burg series. He’s the guy February had an on-off again relationship with while she and Colt were apart. Also, there’s a subplot which references another subplot of For You, but doesn’t directly affect Zara and Ham.
It felt to me as if Ms. Ashley wrote Ham (or Reece as everyone else calls him) in For You, liked him so much she decided to use him again. Which is fine, however in For You there’s some angst as you feel he thought February could have been “his one.” And in one of the early scenes of Jagged, he’s just been injured (read For You. Really. Good book) and he goes to Zara. I was worried because it seemed too soon after Feb for me to feel this was a natural move for him. Luckily, Ms. Ashley must have agreed, because they end up spending some time apart. Still, it almost feels as if “Reece” and “Ham” are two very different men.
Once I got past that aspect, however, while I enjoyed the book, I would have liked to have seen more character growth. I liked how they both learned to share more and talk about things, but they have a couple of huge arguments, and I never felt like they learned from them. They needed to learn how to fight without throwing out cruel words, and I don’t think they ever did. They both just gave each other a little time, then made up, but they didn’t learn how NOT to do that again.
Also if Zara had the childhood she did, I don’t know if I believe she would have been as agressive with Ham as she was. Especially considering how they “never fought” before and now they’re screaming at each other. I think we should have seen more of her issues coming up there. And, again, that goes back to wishing there was more character growth between the two.
WARNING: Spoilers ahoy! No, seriously. Lots of spoilers from here on out. Like end-of-book spoilers. You’ve been warned. Proceed at your own risk.
I would have liked to have actually SEEN her father and her aunt get what’s coming to them. Having them just waiting for trial seemed unsatisfying and inconclusive. After all her father did to her and her sister through the years, he needed to be punished and I REALLY wanted to see it.
I was pleased to see the final resolution of the sister’s subplot and the redemption of Zara’s aunt. Also, I liked they spent some time deciding what was best for Zander, and not just yanking him around just because they wanted him.
While Sweet Dreams remains my favorite Colorado Mountain book, I enjoyed Jagged and will reread it along with the rest whenever I next want to lose a month of my life. LOL.
Lynda the Guppy
aka See You Next Month Guppy
aka The Fish With Sticks
RATING: 3 1/2 Stars