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 continued 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.
The thing that draws me to Kristen Ashley’s books are her heroes, yes they are Alpha, hot and utterly protective, but that’s not it; To me they are believable. I’m not saying anything that hasn’t been stated by many of her readers , the men in her books are perfection.
In KA’s novels, you don’t find unrealistic portrayals of super sexy, unbelievably beautiful billionaires under thirty, with an ‘orgasm activating voice’ where upon hearing it, the heroine is in a constant state of arousal.
I checked the Forbes list of the richest men and the only thing sexy (IMO) about these guys is their money, which I’m sure has activated a few orgasms.
Now to Games Of The Heart, there is nothing I didn’t love about this book with the exception of Maggie.
Let’s talk about what I loved most which is MIKE, as Gabriela would say, I LOVE MIKE. I fell in love with Mike’s character in At Peace (The ‘Burg #2) , I knew his book will be epic and I was not disappointed. Mike needed the woman who loved him to be everything he deserved, he sure got the best in the form of Dusty.
Mike knew Dusty when he was dating her older sister Maggie and they had built a strong friendship. They later meet after Dusty’s brother dies, a misunderstanding ensues where Mike acts like a jerk, Dusty soon sets him straight. I enjoyed so much how the relationship progresses, whether their own or the ones they have with his kids and her nephews. There was something heartwarming about Dusty’s interactions with her nephews and her relationship with Mike’s kids especially Reesee; Mike and his relationship with his kids was equally as endearing. There are moments in this book where reading Mike’s thoughts made me smile especially when he was reflecting.
And Mike knew what he was seeing and how it made him feel was burning itself on his brain forever. Because in that moment, watching and listening, he was profoundly moved that God had seen fit to gift him, an ordinary man, an Indiana boy through and through, with these people in his life.
I did like the view of your farm off my balcony. That made this one, unlike any of the others, feel more like home. And the reason it did was because seein’ that farm reminded me of you and that felt like home.”
I can’t say enough about how wonderful the epilogue was, seriously this woman needs to open a school teaching authors on how to write the perfect ending.
All was well. All was absolutely, undeniably, beautifully well. And on that thought, Mike fell asleep.
Bring on Benny and Frankie’s book, I can’t wait.