This feature is for short reviews, reviews of books in a series where it might feel repetitive, or (as Michelle suggested) books I was too lazy to write a “real” review for. Today’s books I read over the past several years, wrote reviews on Goodreads and then never published them on the blog. I have quite a few books like that (ummm like 30…*hides face*) but today’s books are all by JA Huss.Slack: A Day in the Life of Ford Aston by J.A. Huss
Narrator: Anna Riordan, Teddy Hamilton, Troy Duran
Series: Rook and Ronin Spinoff #1
Published by Science Future Press on December 18, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Ford Aston is not too picky about what he wants out of Christmas. He’s not into this holiday—like at all. He doesn’t do presents, or family dinners, or parties, or church.
He does pets. And he’s got one lined up for Christmas Eve. In fact, it’s the highlight of his day. And if he can get through drop-in visits, nosy twelve year olds, an inappropriate conversation with his best friend’s girlfriend, dinner with a family that’s not his, and a party at his mother’s house—well, he might just get home in time to enjoy himself with a stranger and make it all OK.
SLACK: A Day in the Life of Ford Aston, is a prequel to TAUT: The Ford Book, and can be read as a standalone novella.
SLACK releases on December 18, 2013 and TAUT releases on January 20, 2014
I really enjoyed spending a day with Ford! He’s messed up, but I love him just the same. Despite being super short, Huss managed to put in some real character development and even a break your heart moment. And of course, some sex. The pet situation is seriously fucked, but I like that she writes it that way – it’s part of who Ford is and I wouldn’t have been happy if she glossed over it. I’m super excited to read his other book, but since I picked these as #2018HW books, it’s one a month!
Taut: The Ford Book by J.A. Huss
Narrator: Troy Duran
Series: Rook and Ronin Spinoff #2
Published by J.A. Huss on November 20, 2015
Format: Audiobook, eBook
Ford Aston is known for many things. Being an emotionless, messed up bastard, a freakishly smart social outcast, and a cold, domineering master who keeps "pets" instead of girlfriends.
And after Rook broke his heart, he plans to keep it that way.
Ashleigh is known for nothing, and that's exactly what she's got going for her. She's broke, stranded in the mountains with a three month old baby, and Ford Aston is screwing with her head.
And she plans to mess with his right back.
It's a coy game at first, filled with flirting, and innuendo--but Ford soon realizes something is not quite right with Ashleigh. In fact, something is seriously, seriously wrong and the closer they get to their final destination, the closer Ford gets to the truth.
One night of devastation, self-loathing, and emptiness turns into the best thing that ever happened to Ford Aston. But one day of in-your-face reality threatens Ashleigh's whole existence.
Ford first appears in Rook and Ronin #2, Manic. He has a bigger role in Panic, R&R #3, and then he has a novella, called SLACK. This TAUT book is only FORD. It's not really part of the R&R series, as that plot has all been sidelined for this one romance book.
I’ve loved Ford since I met him in the Rook and Ronin series, so I was really excited to read a book dedicated to him. Slack was good – I enjoyed seeing a day in his life – but it was far from complete. Taut took it THERE, though. Ford gets such a bad wrap because of his idiosyncrasies, manner of talking, pets, etc. But I think we all knew that he was actually this ridiculously sweet guy just waiting to show the world how sweet he could be. He just needed the right lady… and, as it turns out, her baby!
Y’all if you’d asked me the scenario that I thought would win Ford over, I NEVER in a million years would have thought it would be a single mom scenario. But it fit. Perfectly. I enjoyed watching him fall in love with Ashley and her 3 month year old baby, Kate. He transforms in this book – he’s still Ford, and yet he’s grown into someone a little different too. It’s the perfect example of how love can change a person.
I’ve done some out of order reading – not on purpose! – so I knew a bit about Ashley before reading this book and it was actually kind of neat to see how they started, considering what I know about how they ended up! And I’m really excited to read Spencer’s book next 🙂 I never liked him as much as Ford, but he’s still a favorite Huss character.
Oh and I whisper read this – meaning I did some ebook time and some audio book. The narration was fairly perfect. I read the last 10% on kindle, but the ending was SO PERFECT that I had to reread it on audio so I could hear Ford in some of his best moments, hands down. I think this is one I’ll be doing a reread (or 2) of!
Five by J.A. Huss
Narrator: Teddy Hamilton, Anna Riordan
Series: Mister #0.5
Published by Oh My Audiobooks on January 30, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 8 hours 24 minutes
Fifty million books ago I promised you a love story about Five and his Princess. This is their story.
Five Aston has known Rory Shrike for as long as he can remember. He played with her in the sandbox. He went to every damn horse show just to be supportive. He helped her with her French, walked her home from school, and faked his test scores just to stay with her a little longer and not be sent off to college early. But eventually he had to move on. And so did she. Never has a second chance meant so much to a boy who loves a girl.
A standalone book that is also a spin-off of the Rook & Ronin Series and prequel to the Mister Series. You can read it first, you can read it last. It doesn't really matter because it's f*cking Five.
Gah! So good! And yet so frustrating, because I totally have read these series so out of order. I need to go back and do it over I think. So I thought I was safe picking up FIVE because it’s technically part of the Mister Series, but what I had been realizing in the latter books of the Misters is that the Misters are KIND OF a Rook and Ronin spin off. And I’ve read Rook and Ronin… but I haven’t read all their spinoffs yet. And Five is the book that kind of brings all those spin offs together (at least, that’s the impression I got having not read them yet). So if you haven’t read the spin offs yet (Ford’s books, Spencer’s books, Wasted Lust) – stop and read them first, IMO. I think you’ll enjoy Five that much more.
That being said, I hadn’t read them and still loved this book. Because it’s a clear prequel to the Misters. Yes, you see characters from the Rook and Ronin Universe that are grown up and at these new stages of their life and I do wish I knew these characters as well as I was supposed to. But Huss does a good job filling in the blanks if you, like me, don’t really know them. Because it’s not really about them. It’s about Five and Rori. From reading the Misters series, you know that something major is going to go down, because this is all YEARS BEFORE the series. And man, it’s kind of awesome seeing how it went down. And coming to the conclusion and knowing something that the rest of the Misters don’t know, years later, is also very cool.
I’m being very vague because I don’t want to spoil – I could spoil the heck out of several books with just this one! – but it’s definitely a game changer kind of book. And just because it’s a prequel doesn’t mean it’s short. You’re getting a full story here. I haven’t talked much about the sexiness, which is a given in a Huss book, because while it was (of course) good, it’s not the centerpiece of this book for me at all.
I did this book on audio – because that’s how I’ve done the rest of the Misters series – and it continues to be FANTASTIC. Julie is great at picking narrators. This one is narrated by Anna Riordan and Teddy Hamilton. Even though you feel the narration change when POV changes, it always flows together really well. Julie has moved around on narrators a lot for this series, which is normally like a HUGE no-no for me, but she’s done it so smartly, really picking narrators to express the characters that are front and center, but still somehow (how? I have no idea!) are able to hold on to general voice quality that other narrators have used for characters throughout. A great series to do on audio. And I’m super excited to read Mr. and Mrs now! Just waiting for the audio (update: it wasn’t out when I finished this book, but it’s out now!! Yay!)
Sometimes what you wantDoesn’t matter,Sometimes you justGotta finish what you started.Sometimes this reallyF*cking sucks.
But other timesYou need to take a breathAnd sit on the beach.
A long, deep, breathTo remind you of whyYou signed on for this sh*tIn the first place.
This is my breath.
*Sigh* this has not been my series. But, just when I thought I would DNF this one, I picked it up and got sucked in and finished it. So overall, I give it 2.5 stars, leaning towards 3, rather than 2.
I think the thing is, I don’t think I really like the characters. I don’t dislike them. I just could give a flying… Like Junco is idk in this tower thing and I don’t know what that means and I don’t care. The flop side of that is, I’ve had a really hard time following the details in this series. I think it’s just too Sci-fi for me. My head doesn’t wrap around it. I will, someday, read the 5th book, because I’m way too far to not finish the series. But i don’t even know what to hope for in that book really, since I’m not sure I understand anything that has happened. If you’re really into Sci Fi, you’ll probably do much better with this series than I have.