Complicated by Kristen Ashley

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.

Pet’s $0.02

I was absolutely thrilled to find that the audiobook version of Complicated was eighteen hours plus. I love a good audiobook and this one has two great narrators, both male and female. But, I did find myself wondering a few times while listening if it’s weird for a male narrator to read the sex scenes… that almost seems like a topic in itself and may need to be discussed at another time.

Greta is a very likeable character and I loved the vulnerability that the narrator has added into her voice. She’s does not strike me as a “rock chick” type of character in personality although her appearance does remind me of one in a superficial way. She’s works hard, she loves hard and she powers through all the bad shit that has happened in her life without becoming bitter or beat down. I like her spirit and the way she always had a positive attitude even when life’s challenges exhausted her.

I wasn’t sure I was going to like Hixon at first, but Ashley does this to me with a lot of her books. She often creates men who piss me off at the beginning because they’re so intelligent and are such take charge personalities but they’re also clueless of how they hurt the women who least deserve it and behave in ways that are going to come back to bite them in the ass. Hixon is no exception. He has a lot of reasons for why he behaves the way he does, but I didn’t think they excused his treatment of Greta.

The book definitely has more to recommend it than not. The H and h are both likeable. They are great with their kids. Even when they’re in tough situations with toxic people, they never resort to being mean. Their friends love them and they have the support of their community.

What I feel hurts this book is that it’s about 25% longer than it needed to be. I know it’s odd to say I would have liked a shorter book. But longer books are not always better. There was a thread to this story that didn’t seem to fit for me. I’m still not sure why it was there and the resolution left a bit to be desired in my opinion. It didn’t have any impact of the rest of the threads and it didn’t bring to light anything new about either of the main characters.

But I will say that more than any of her recent books, this one reminds me of Kristen Ashley’s earlier catalog. Hixon is not quite as alpha male and Greta is not quite as wild and crazy but the flow of the story is familiar and reminds me of her Colorado Mountain or ‘Burg series.

And seriously, if you have not tried an audiobook, starting with this book would not suck!