Driven Book 4
By. K. Bromberg
Genres: Contemporary / Sports Romance
Reviewed by Jenn & Dottie
Rylee and Colton’s ride continues…
One moment. Six years ago.
The night she made the world around me so much more than just a blur. Now it’s the catalyst that threatens to tear us apart.
Our happily was supposed to be ever after. So why do I feel like it’s slipping through my fingers?
How can one moment, when our world seemed so right, resurface and cause our perfect life to spiral out of control?
I can’t lose her.
She’s my checkered flag.
(Reading Order: Driven, Fueled, Crashed, Raced is optional, and then Aced. Slow Burn, Sweet Ache, and Hard Beat are standalone Driven novels that can be read on their own and in any order.)
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Jenn’s Star Rating: 5 Stars
The return of Rylee and Colton! I think we can all be happy about that… while we have enjoyed a closer look into the stories of their friends and family it’s like coming home when we get to return to the original couple that started our Driven journey. Aced is the fourth Rylee and Colton book and it’s life after the checkered flag. Thank you K. Bromberg for giving me all the Colton I can get! This absolutely is not a stand-alone and at least the Rylee and Colton books must be read in order (Driven, Fueled, Crashed, Raced and then Aced).
My heart beats for Colton. He’s everything you could ever want in a book-boyfriend. Misunderstood bad boy with a heart of gold who now lives for the woman he loves. He’s tatted and drives a race car for a living! What more could you ask?! My pulse beats for that man at the speed of Colton’s car while he’s whipping around the track. Rylee has been his rock and now we get to see another side of Colton while he returns the favor and lets Rylee lean on him for a while. More Colton is reason enough to read this story but yes there are many other reasons why too.
“No one knows us. No one understands why our relationship works but us. I know the real you, Rylee Jade Thomas Donavan. They don’t have a clue how fucking incredible you are. Only I get the privilege of knowing you like ice cream for breakfast and pancakes for dinner. I’m the only one who gets to know that when you scream and rage you get that little crease in your forehead that’s so fucking adorable. I love that you love those boys like they are your life and would never do a goddamn thing to hurt them. I know you’re disciplined and modest and hate coloring outside the lines, but that you do sometimes just for me. The fact that you do means the world to me. And more than anything, I love that you raced me even when I didn’t have any wheels on the fucking track.”
Rylee is a strong, caring, and protective character. However, we see another side of her in Aced that only makes her more human, more relatable, and an even stronger character. Rylee struggles through some things and it take her some time to cope and deal. She’s not used to being in this position but she’s got Colton to be there for her. K. Bromberg does a wonderful job of bleeding emotion into the pages of her story. She creates depth with her words and the characters she breathes to life.
There is nothing I can say bad about Aced. Hell, just having another story of theirs brought a smile to my face and it was an added bonus that this one was done right. The amazing supporting character we’ve come to love are all still there; Both, Colton and Rylee’s parents (LOVE Colton’s dad!), the siblings, the friends, the boys, and of course we re-meet Ace in this story. Often times I seem to loose interest in book series after about four or five books but I think I could continue on with this one forever. Each story brings new cards to the table. They are full of emotion, love, and steam.
I got to the Driven party late but it’s a series that will stay with me forever. Colton is definitely one of my favorite book boyfriends and Bromberg knows how to wright female characters that I crave more of. There is no finish line to me with these stories because despite when the books stop… this will be a set of books I can and will always return to. LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!
Dottie’s Star Rating: 5 Stars
**Warning – this review discusses a fifth book in a series and it is absolutely NOT a stand-alone novel. This review could possibly include spoilers from the first books so please proceed with caution if you have not yet read the Driven series (or better yet, stop here and go read them because you are seriously missing out)!**
I had to wait to read this; my life kept getting in the way until the weekend finally arrived and I could dive in…I wish I could say the wait was fine and all, but honestly, it made me crazy! It made me crazy knowing Aced was sitting there, oh so prettily on my Kindle waiting for me and I couldn’t read it quite yet. When Saturday morning finally arrived, I grabbed my reader and powered that puppy up; diving into Aced headfirst. And what a ride it was!
I’m just going to lay it out there – – I ADORED this book! It had everything; first of course, it had Colton! And then it also had Colton + Rylee. It had the boys. It had passion (well, of course it did, this IS Colton and Rylee after all). It had so much growth, so much love, so much compassion, so much of what we’ve grown to love about these two that I feel like my heart is going to burst wide open with how full it feels right now (I just finished reading it). I’m not sure I can express my thoughts well enough; but I’m going to try.
In this book we learn so much about what happened during some of the “missing years” between the “end” of Crashed and its 10-years later epilogue (we learn, obviously about Ace, and we also learn how Zander ended up becoming a Donovan). But if that’s all there was, this might or might not be a 5-star read for me, and yet, it was. Here’s why…
This book hit me so hard – it hit me all the way down to my heart, no…make that my soul. It fed my soul. After reading the Driven series, these characters (including the side stories featuring Becks and Haddie, as well as the sibling books) have become part of me in the very best kind of way. Several months ago, Jenn read the series and asked me if I wanted to reread along with her – but this is one of those very few series (or even books) where I remembered each part so completely vividly that I just wanted to participate by seeing her experience them for the very first time (and concentrate on that). I didn’t need to read along with her – I remembered every moment, every nuance of the series and enjoyed seeing her discover them for the very first time as I followed along within my memories. I remembered Rylee getting stuck in a closet and Colton finding her. I remembered their first kiss. I remembered their first date. I remembered each moment in each book from cover to cover. And honestly, I read so many books that that just doesn’t happen; books become jumbled in my mind after a while and it becomes hard to remember the details from most. There are very few exceptions and yet this series, Driven, was one of the most prominent ones!
And Aced, hmmm, I believe my heart will never fully let go of it either. It was beautiful. It was scary. It touched many parts of me; what it means to be a woman, a mother, a wife, and an advocate for those who need you to speak for them when they cannot speak for themselves. It was a glimpse into a life that included us completely in how it was written; I felt like I was experiencing some of their situations right along with them. We are allowed to feel the emotions along with Rylee and Colton as they embark on a new adventure – parenthood. And as beautiful as that can be, it can also come with its own challenges, especially when the couple is surrounded by controversy and fame and people from their past who might not be happy to sit back and let these two just be happy. After all, every good story has some tension or conflict – or both!
As we learned in the epilogues of Crashed, Rylee and Colton have a son named Ace! He’s only around in part of this book; for the rest, he’s snuggled in Rylee’s womb…
…I look up to meet Ry’s eyes. The sight of her – tears welling, that smile so goddamn big on those perfect lips – knocks the breath out of me. And, suddenly, it all clicks into place. It’s like everything is moving in slow-motion – thoughts, breath, vision – everything except my heart. Because it’s pounding like a fucking freight train…There’s no fucking way. Can’t be. “Really?” I ask. I don’t even recognize the awed disbelief in my voice as I ask about the one thing I thought we’d never get another chance at again. The first tear slips over and slides down her cheek as we stare at each other, but this one doesn’t make me panic like they usually do. “Really,” she whispers…
This book was Rylee and Colton all the way. Some authors might slightly alter their characters to suit a storyline that they want to pursue, but not this one! This book remained classic Colton and classic Rylee all the way through with a twist – this book is set six years after Crashed and their relationship has solidified even more completely (which I, for one, absolutely loved)! They’ve both gotten comfortable with their relationship and their marriage. They are solid. And honestly, seeing this, seeing how completely devoted they are to each other made my heart sing. We’ve been through so much with these two and if they’d been having issues that made me question their love for each other, I think I would have lost my mind. These two have already dealt with that history and are enjoying a love that gets even deeper with each day.
But there are nefarious sources of problems outside of their relationship that begin to threaten their peace. To threaten the harmony that surrounds them. But this time, seeing how Colton dealt with them was excellent – he’s still Colton, of course, but he’s now a Colton secure within the love of the woman who is the air he breathes! This changed him in some ways; it’s allowed him to feel safe, to feel like his entire world now makes sense in a way that brings him incredible happiness. He is not willing to take any risks to endanger that; so when a threat rears its ugly head, he deals with it in a way of a man with a lot to lose but at the same time, knowing keeping secrets is a non-negotiable no-no in their life together. He reacts in a way that made me want to pat him on the back with pride.
But there are actions and reactions that happen within this book that caused this loving couple to stagger a bit. They have cleaved together before but sometimes a challenge hits you square in the face that feels like it came out of nowhere. They must learn new ways to deal with problems they never saw coming but again, they have learned the only way to do this is to stick it out together and find a way to overcome it.
Ms. Bromberg tackled some serious social issues in this book (I know that sounds ominous but believe me, it’s okay) and I was also very proud of her for incorporating them into this storyline. She brought up issues that some couples must deal with and she did it with grace and respect. She shined light on them in a way that calls attention to them and helps the reader understand the issue in a way that feels very real, yet, with a lot of compassion. Kudos to her for taking that on!
And then there’s Zander. Learning about how he became a Donovan had me stressed out until close to the end of this book, but once it all came together I was very happy with the result. I love Zander! I would absolutely love it if he got his own book someday. And the thing I loved the most about this part of the story is Colton’s part in all of it. That man has a heart that is so big, so good, that it makes him one of my most favorite of book boyfriends out there! He’s amazing.
This book felt like such a gift! Yes, we’ve seen glimpses of Rylee and Colton in some of the other Driven series books we’ve read recently (don’t get me wrong, I loved them), but this one is about them and I’ve missed them. A lot. So, thank you, Ms. Bromberg, for such a delightful and special story! It has earned a spot of my “Favorites” bookshelf right up there with the rest of the Driven series! I can hardly wait to see what you (she) writes next!
Purchase Aced Here:
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About K. Bromberg
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author K. Bromberg writes contemporary novels that contain a mixture of sweet, emotional, a whole lot of sexy and a little bit of real. She likes to write strong heroines and damaged heroes who we love to hate and hate to love.
She’s a mixture of most of her female characters: sassy, intelligent, stubborn, reserved, outgoing, driven, emotional, strong, and wears her heart on her sleeve. All of which she displays daily with her husband and three children where they live in Southern California.
On a whim, K. Bromberg decided to try her hand at this writing thing. Since then she has written The Driven Series (Driven, Fueled, Crashed, Raced), the standalone Driven Novels (Slow Burn, Sweet Ache, Hard Beat (releasing 11/3/15), Aced (a new Rylee and Colton novel releasing 1/11/16), and a short story titled UnRaveled. She is currently working on new projects and a few surprises for her readers.
She loves to hear from her readers so make sure you check her out on social media.