Christal’s Review – 4 Skulls – B+
Fire Inside was a great followup to the Chaos series debut, Own the Wind. I really like Hopper and Lanie and thought that their story came together well. I also liked that the timeline of this story fell within the first book and we got a more insider look at some situations that were only briefly mentioned in Tabby and Shy’s story. Though bikers have never been a particular fantasy of mine, I have to say that Kristen Ashley has me hooked on this series and I am seriously anticipating the release of the next book.
Fire Inside tells the story of Lanie Heron, Tyra Allen’s best friend, and Hopper Kincaid, Tack Allen’s right-hand man. Lanie is extremely damaged, but she has been trying to overcome her issues and thinks a night in Hopper’s bed is a great idea. Both Hopper and Lanie start out thinking it will only be a one-night thing, but they soon realize that there is more to their attraction and that they can start to build something real. Lanie is scared by this because of her past relationship, and Hopper wants to give her the time she needs, but they are both head-strong and tend towards the drama so their relationship isn’t always smooth sailing. It is very sweet though, and in the end, they both realize that the good outweighs the bad and that they have to love each other for who they are. I think they end up complementing each other nicely and liked that Hopper gave Lanie the undercover, slowly developing relationship she needed.
I was a little hesitant about Lanie at first because I thought she was going to be a total drama queen. While she did have some moments, I think she was pretty well-balanced and very strong. She made some bad decisions in her life, but she is trying to atone for them and keep living. Her past relationship was kind of horrible and her parents weren’t much help while she was growing up, but I think she turned out okay in the end. She recognizes that she has issues and makes decisions to work on them. She knows that she needs to be healthy before she can commit fully to a partnership and I think that is very brave. While I also liked Tabby from the first book, I think Lanie is the more mature heroine (rightfully so) and had the most profound character development.
Hopper wasn’t quite as “alpha” as Shy from Own the Wind, and I think that was a good thing. I think he was just alpha enough to be appealing to Lanie from a difference without scaring her away when she got close. They butted heads and challenged each other, but Hopper was also soft with Lanie and gave her the emotional comfort she really desired. He was there for her in a way no man had been before and I think he will continue to be there for her always. Hopper also had a checkered past, but Lanie pushed through his demons and accepted him fully in her own time.
Again, I loved Tyra and Tack Allen, the president and first lady of Chaos Motor Club, but this book didn’t have a real standout side character like Landon from Own the Wind. Instead, this story focused fully on the development between Lanie and Hopper and used memories of people from their pasts to color the narrative. It was interesting to see Lanie’s parents a little, but I’m glad they weren’t featured any more prominently.
Fire Inside continues my addiction with the Chaos series and I’m very excited to see whose story comes next. Own the Wind hinted strongly that Lanie and Hopper would be next, but I didn’t see any such hints in this book. I’m really hoping for a Landon story, but I think I would also like to see Tack’s older son Rush or maybe even Big Petey. Who do you think should be featured in the next book?
Thank you to Netgalley and Grand Central Publishing for providing an ARC copy of this book!
“Dream Man” Series Reading Order:
1. Mystery Man
2. Wild Man
3. Law Man
4. Motorcycle Man
“Chaos” Series Reading Order:
1. Own the Wind
2. Fire Inside
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