I have read a few books written by Kristen Ashley over the years. At (The ‘Burg #2) is the second book in the ‘Burg Series. I haven’t read the first one, so I am going to read this one as a standalone. At Peace follows Violet Winters, who is forced to move to a new town with her daughters, after her cop husband is murdered by a madman.
The story begins when Violet moves to a small quaint town with her young teen daughters, and starts to slowly build a life for them. She is grieving for her husband and the life they had together before everything turned upside down. One night, Violet has to get out of bed to tell her neighbor to turn the music down; the neighbor is Joe Callahan. There are immediate sparks of chemistry between the main characters. Joe works in security, and it is revealed that Violet needs help; the reason her husband was murdered, and why she moved to a new town.
The plot of the novel is pretty straightforward. Violet and Joe don’t deny the attraction between them for a long time. When Joe starts realizing that maybe Violet is not as casual about them as he is, he pushes her away. Joe is hot and cold and almost jerky till about the middle of the novel; he then redeems himself. I liked the characters of Violet and Joe. Both of them seem sensible in their actions and reactions most of the time; their chemistry is sparkling. There is a period in the book where it is almost like a will they/won’t they situation, especially when Violet begins dating another guy. Joe is a typical alpha male in Kristen Ashley’s book. The way he behaves with Violet in the beginning although, you understand his reasoning later still doesn’t feel justifiable.
Joe is intense, most of the time it works out great, but then at times, he is too intense. They take a while to figure out what they actually mean to each other. Violet is a great character. She has her moments, both of them where you feel like screaming at them, but mostly she is consistent. She is vulnerable and strong. She misses her husband, but she holds it together for her daughters and tries to make the transition as easy as possible for them. The way she goes about everything thrown at her is very realistic. The love story between Violet and Joe has its ups and downs, but they complement each other. The book was surprisingly emotional for me. The parts about Violet’s past with her life before, her grief, and the need to remain strong for her children are heartbreaking.
The element of suspense and thriller that is woven into the story takes a backseat to Violet and Joe’s love story. I would have liked a little more of it because it seemed fleeting at times in the course of the novel. The book has a lot of secondary characters; some of them serve a purpose to the story and, others kind of felt non-essential to the plot. One more part that bothered me slightly was Violet’s relationship with Mike. He was a nice guy, and he really liked Violet, but she leads him on a little bit; it feels like it since she is clearly stuck on Joe. I thought it was something that didn’t suit the character of Violet the author has built up so far.
The book has great characters and a sizzling romance and chemistry between Violet and Joe. The pacing of the story was good for the most part except for some part in the middle then, it picks up again. I didn’t feel like I missed anything by reading directly the second book of the series which I am glad about. Overall, I loved reading At Peace (The ‘Burg #2) by Kristen Ashley. It kept me hooked from start to finish.
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