Rock Chick Regret (Rock Chick, #7)

Rock Chick Regret - Kristen Ashley My all time hands down favorite Rock Chick book (although Rock Chick Revolution comes in at a very, very close second). The most emotionally charged book of the series with the biggest transformation in a heroine, and personally the best hero out of them all. Sadie Townsend, reigning princess of a druglord, goes to Nightingale Investigations in order to secure protection from four evil bastard Balducci brothers who are gunning for vengeance against her father. Due to the fact that her father was recently imprisoned it's like a Sadie free-for-all and she's afraid of the lengths that these men will go to to exact their revenge. Scared, not knowing who else to go to, she turns to Lee to find help. Unfortunately, her reputation precedes her. She meets a few of the Rock Chicks and is met with stony, judgmental silence. She understands their icy reception, she has, after all, cultivated the cool, calm Ice Princess demeanor as a way to protect herself against the drawbacks of her fathers lifestyle. The facade she's constructed is what people see, not who she is. When Lee turns her down due to a full schedule, Sadie knows her luck has just run out. Hector, who she recently found out was an undercover DEA agent investigating her father, was in attendance. A few months prior they'd gotten hot and heavy when she'd had a little too much to drink, but it didn't go anywhere because of a miscommunication. Later that evening unprotected and alone Sadie is beaten and raped by one of the Balducci brothers. --I have to interject in the middle of my normal synopsis spiel to comment on how flawlessly I feel this was executed. It was a very vivid scene, almost hard to read (she doesn't go into the rape, just the aftermath) and I felt so incredibly bad for Sadie. She has no one. She's alone. She's been brutalized and she literally tells Hector that it's okay if she dies because there's nothing for her. Freaking. Heartbreaking. I felt so much for this woman because of her loneliness and seclusion. And to add to that, her pain. --While she is healing the Rock Chicks and the Hot Bunch and all their friends and associates close ranks. The icy layers of protection that Sadie has constructed to keep herself safe have been penetrated by the assault of kindness from all directions. She literally cannot process it, in light of her attack and due to not having any experience with friendly situations whatsoever, so she automatically throws her Ice Princess on. Only it's no longer working. When she is able to leave the hospital under the care of two of her friends, Ralphie and Buddy, she now also has the protection of the Nightingale crew and their women. Over the following month as she heals and processes what has happened to her, Hector or another one of the crew keeps an eye on her house to ward off the Balduccis. Then one day he decides that he's done waiting - as that's what he feels got her hurt in the first place - and decides to begin moving in. Due to her attack, we're presented with a modified Hot Bunch on Rock Chick attack plan. He's much more cautious and patient when handling Sadie. He has a lot of work to do, chipping at her icy exterior and helping her get stable emotionally as well as protecting her from any threats from the brothers. Sadie is obviously completely thrown for a loop, but who could resist Agent Hector "Oh my God" Chavez? As she works through her emotional issues, she must also find out exactly who she is? After a lifetime of pretending, is there even a real Sadie underneath the Ice Princess? “His arm did a squeeze and his voice got softer. “I’m thinkin’ you need more time to get used to me. I’m okay with that, Mamita, take all the time you need.” As Hector, ever patient and understanding, works with her they begin to unravel her defenses and what follows is an achingly sweet love story. I truly, truly enjoyed watching her open up to him, experience new things. She reveled in the simple pleasures with an almost childlike enthusiasm. Everything was new, vibrant. It was fun just to watch her spread her wings. “And you think you can help me find my way?”He shook his head, his eyes went warm and I got another neck squeeze, coupled with a tightening of his arm around my waist. “Mamita, only you can find your way. I just wanna be along for the ride.” She could be frustrating at times because she would take one step forward and ten steps back, but the end result was worth the effort. Her speech near the end of the book was absolutely heartbreaking. She understands how great Hector is, how pure and sweet and wonderful, but she cannot allow herself to be with him because of what happened to her. My heart literally broke for her. For him because he has to watch the woman he loves go through this. Though there is a time when Sadie has healed enough that he stops taking it so slow. He lets his true alpha colors shine and doesn't hold back. “Sadie?""What?""You with me?"I blinked in confusion and said, "Yes." And I was, wasn't I? I was standing in his arms for goodness sake."This is Sadie?" Hector went on.I blinked again. "Yes.""My Sadie?" he kept at it.This time I blinked for a different reason.His Sadie? Was there a Hector's Sadie? Was I Hector's Sadie? Did Hector think I was his Sadie?Oh…my…God.Before I could process what he said or get close to processing what that meant, I watched him smile, then he bent his head and kissed my lips."Yeah," he said, his face an inch away. "It's my Sadie.” Despite the serious subject matter and the constant threat of Balducci revenge, there was an honest to goodness lightness that only Kristen Ashley can bring. This far into the series, we have a firm grasp on most of the central characters and this lends a unique richness to the reading experience. It's like coming home again to a part of your family that you haven't seen in a while. Shirleen, Tex, Duke, Ally, especially. And we also get two new hilarious characters. Plus, Sadie even has a freakin' sweet sense of humor.“Oh Lord,” Shirleen groaned, sitting down. “First she wants to be a rock star now she wants to be a stripper.” Then she lifted her hand and snapped her fingers at no one in particular. “Somebody, get her another appletini before we gotta explain to Hector ‘Mr. Edge’ Chavez why his woman wants to strip.” The emotional journey their relationship takes across the span of the novel was absolutely the best, most well developed, most realistic, most enjoyable, most satisfying of the entire series. They are, without a doubt, my favorite of all of the Hot Bunch/Rock Chick couples. I love that Sadie realizes that she's spunky and fun and free. I love how Hector says mamita. And he's freaking H-A-W-T hawt when he starts laying on the moves.This book just had it all for me. Tragedy, emotional transformation, romance, heat, action, great writing, humor. EVERYTHING. Also in my Top 5 Favorite Kristen Ashley Novels. Fuckin' righteous.Casting: Hector Sadie: