From the balcony of his house, Mike Haines can see the quiet, commonplace beauty of the Holliday farm. But what he remembers is the little sister of his high school girlfriend, Dusty, who grew up there. As a teen Dusty had gone off the rails, but when she was a kid she was sweet, she was funny, and she had a special bond with Mike. But after high school, she took off, and Mike never saw her again. Then tragedy strikes Dusty's family. She comes back into town, and Mike thinks she hasn't changed back to the sweet, funny girl he knew but instead continues to be selfish and thoughtless, leaving her family alone to deal with their mourning. So he seeks her out and confronts her in an effort to understand what went wrong and to force her to sort herself out. He finds out quickly he's wrong about Dusty Holliday. Very wrong. And right after Mike discovers that, the bond they had years before snaps back into place in ways he would never suspect. But Mike Haines had a bad marriage, then he played games of the heart for a good woman. And lost. In order to protect himself and his kids, he's cautious, he's careful to read the signs, and he's not interested in finding a woman he has to fix. Then he learns what happened to Dusty, and he thinks she needs to be fixed. He swings, he misses, and in this new game of hearts, for Dusty, Mike just got strike three.
©2014 Kristen Ashley (P)2015 Audible Inc.
Nurse Anesthetist. Love audiobooks!
This book was my favorite of the series. I loved Mike in book 2 and had been rooting for him to win Violet but it wasn't to be. It turned out for the best. Mike and Dusty were meant to be. Dusty had been in love with Mike since she was 12 and he was 17 or 18 and he saw her as his best friends little sister. In spite of a number of bumps, from annoying to life threatening, this book shows a family of blood and friends come together to form something beautiful. This book is well worth the credit.
I listened to Kristen Ashley's At Peace and absolutely loved it. We got to know Mike Haines in that story where he was a good guy and liked Vi, but was not the right guy for her. And in At Peace we also learned that Mike loved the farm next door. He bought a house overlooking it. We just didn't know yet that the reason he loved it so was for Dusty Holiday.
The two are straight shooters and waste no time getting reacquainted. I enjoyed this about the two of them.
The Burg Series is a slow build series. It's more about the journey than one specific thing happening to the couple and you really feel like you get to watch them grow. For me, personally I need the pace to move a tad faster, but that is just this series feel.
We also got a bonus love story here between Reece Haines and Finn Holiday. This was sweet. Kristen Ashley doesn't write YA but this sure had a flare of it and I enjoyed the young love story in addition to Mike Haines and Dusty Holiday.
Because I enjoyed this story but needed to feel like more was happening I would give the story a three.
Narration: FLAWLESS 5
So that's where I get my 3.75. Is this worth an audible credit? Absolutely. I think it's the type of story you can put down and pick up because Kristen Ashley sure writes lovely romance that can make you feel good despite my reader preference on pace.
I absolutely love a good book. and working in an office, I am able to listen to several books a month while I work.
This was a very good book. The narrator was great! Loved all the characters. Just a nice story.
these characters are the best. I love Kristen Ashley ' work. I love that all the characters from previous books but you need not have read them, but does make for a family like read. makes you feel like you know the characters.
I absolutely would recommend Games of the Heart. I think I liked this book in the series more than the others. Dusty was the strong female here, had been through her on crap, and didn't take Mike's crap. She put him in his place and made him step up. It was pleasant to listen to and kept my attention.
Dusty was such a great partner for Mike. We got to learn Mike's story after his part in "At Peace" and we got to meet his ex, and Dusty's sister and her family - what a mess that all was!! There are a lot of great little touches like the family dog in the story that makes you feel like its so well thought out.
I was also surprised about the dual story line with Fin and Reece. That was handled very well and we got to see dad (Mike) grow further into his dad role and the angst that came with this.
What makes a Kristen Ashley book so great is that there is just so much going on. Between the kids and their relationship and school, Mike and Dusty are dealing with the main plot line, as well as the other folks in the 'Burg. Mike has his job, Dusty has her job and her life. It's all very well thought out and tied together really well.
It's super sexy, it's got a lot going on at once, but that didn't make it hard to follow. I don't think I would recommend picking it up first if you haven't read the others in the series because everyone makes an appearance and I think you would like it oh so much better when you know everyone. But if you don't, then I think it could likely stand on it's own. But as the final book in the series, I think it was my favorite. Definitely worth my credit :)
"solid story line"
The development of the story line and the re introduction of the previous characters in this series the way they were naturally woven into the pages of the unfolding novel.
The way Mike realised that he had made wrong assumptions three times by jumping to some assumptions without talking to her.
The way he introduced a new woman into his childrens lives and the way they seamlessly accepted her.
An enjoyable read in this Burg series...but you do need to read them in order to understand some of the other characters personalities and relationships.
"Kristen Ashley at her best."
This is a classic KA book, and I actually enjoyed the audio version more than the print version. It is very long, and, surprisingly, features a couple that actually get together in the first chapter, and (apart from a small blip) are together for most of the book. It also features a fabulous secondary romance involving two younger characters and follows several inter-twined plot lines surrounding both couples, and the way in which the romances involve their families and how they make this work for everyone involved.
This book starts at a funeral, and centres around the life changes that this unexpected death forces upon the close family. I particularly liked the realistic and heart-breaking portrayal of grief, it’s aftermath, and how different people cope and react to it. Some find it paralysing, others find it makes them stronger, but the effects are long term and come back at the most unexpected times. This book also illustrates how death can bring families together, but can also tear them apart.
Another thing I enjoyed in this book was that Kristen departed from her usual scenario where the H has an awful ex-wife and instead gave him an ex-wife who, during the course of the book, actually redeemed herself and changed the destructive aspects of her personality that destroyed their marriage and became a decent person, and a good mother to the kids they shared.
The book is told from multiple points of view and this works really well, with the majority of the story told from the POV of the H. The narration is perfect, and the only reason I chose to deduct one star was the h. She was perfect, just tooooo perfect, and sometimes I found myself wishing she was just a little bit more ordinary. A small complaint I know but hey, nobody is that perfect.
Special mention has to go to the epilogue in this book. It is fairly long, but was one of the best epilogues that I have every read. Tied up all the loose ends, and left me feeling pretty happy for the rest of the day. Cannot ask for more than that!
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