Series Review // The 'Burg Series by Kristen Ashley

October 30, 2023

Today's flashback is 'The Burg series by Kristen Ashley. This is an emotional contemporary romance that tackle tropes such as second chance, instalove, friends to lovers and more. There are even books with suspenseful elements that will keep you guessing.

Have you ever read these books? Are you interested?

And now I want to do a re-read :)

For You by Kristen Ashley

I. For You

Lieutenant Alexander Colton and February Owens were high school sweethearts. Everyone in their small town knew from the moment they met they were meant for each other. But something happened and Feb broke Colt’s heart then she turned wild and tragedy struck. Colt meted out revenge against the man who brought Feb low but even though Colt risked it all for her, Feb turned her back on him and left town.

Fifteen years later, Feb comes back to help run the family bar. But there’s so much water under the bridge separating her and Colt everyone knows they’ll never get back together.

Until someone starts hacking up people in Feb’s life. Colt is still Colt and Feb is still Feb so the town watches as Colt goes all out to find the murderer while trying to keep Feb safe.

As the bodies pile up, The Feds move in and a twisting, turning story unravels exposing a very sick man who has claimed numerous victims along the way, Feb and Colt battle their enduring attraction and the beautiful but lost history that weaves them together.

Rating - ★★★★★

What a wild ride. I've read a few KA books and this one.... Whoo... Not what I expected. Felt like I was reading a script for Criminal Minds. I wish there was more to the ending because I truly loved the characters in this book. Feb was an awesome woman. I feel like the emotional disclosures were pretty one-sided and would have liked for Alec to have revealed more of his heart. Maybe it's not manly or alpha but I still would have liked it. Overall, another great KA read!

At Peace by Kristen Ashley

II. At Peace

Violet Winters once had it all but lost it when her husband was murdered by a criminal madman. During a cold winter night Violet has to leave her warm bed to tell her neighbor to turn the music down. And that’s when she meets sinister, scarred, scarily attractive security specialist, Joe Callahan.

She wants to deny it, but Violet can’t beat back the hunger she feels for Joe so she gives in again and again. Feeling it himself, Joe feeds Vi’s hunger, breaking his own rules to keep her in his bed.

Even though Violet had only one man in her life, she’s sure Joe is giving her the signals and Vi decides she’s ready to take a second chance at life and, maybe, love. But Violet doesn’t know the dark secrets in Joe’s past, secrets so soul-wrenching, they’ve drained him dry. With nothing left to give, Joe’s determined to live his life alone and he breaks Violet’s heart.

Crushed by Joe’s betrayal, Violet comes to terms with the fact that, no matter what signals he gave, Joe was not theirs to win. But Violet’s husband’s murderer is obsessed with her and heartbreak again haunts the door of the Winters home. When it does Joe is forced to face the knowledge that he can’t fight Violet’s pull, she’s under his skin and filled him full to bursting.

Joe needs to win her back and put his life on the line to keep Violet safe. But, having had it all once, can Violet endure losing Joe?

Rating - ★★★★★

Oh wow. Oh wow oh wow oh wow!! KA hit it out the park with this one.

Violet: her strength and loyalty were limitless. She and her daughters endured so much loss and handled it with such grace. I cannot tell you how much I cried for them during this book. I am so glad that, as usual, KA provided them with a remarkable support group.

Joe: there are no words to define Joe. In the beginning he refers to himself as a "dick" but once you read the history behind the man... I won't say his behaviour will be justified but it will definitely be understood. His own loss and what I deem as a betrayal (crazy junkie bitch) would cripple many.

February is quoted to say what doesn't kill us can only make us stronger. These characters can certainly testify to the truth of this phrase. They are definitely stronger for the struggles they had to face and I couldn't be happier for all of them.

The epilogue was perfect. And of course I had to wipe away some more tears. This series is a must read for sure.

Golden Trail by Kristen Ashley

III. Golden Trail

Tanner Layne and Raquel Merrick fell in love young, hard and fast and both of them knew a beautiful life they thought would be forever.

Until Rocky left Layne, no explanation, no going back.

Layne escapes The ‘Burg only to come back years later because his ex-wife has hooked herself to the town jerk and Layne needs to make sure his sons get raised right. Layne manages to avoid Rocky but when Layne gets three bullets drilled into him while investigating a dirty cop, he can’t do that because Rocky stops avoiding Layne. They make a deal to work together to expose the dirty cop but they have no idea the strength of their enduring attraction or the sheer evil at work in The ‘Burg.

As Tanner Layne and Raquel Merrick play their game and dance around the pull that draws them together, Layne has to discover the dark secrets buried so deep in Rocky’s heart she doesn’t even know they’re there at the same time untangle a sinister web of crime so abhorrent it has to be stopped... at all costs.

And to do it, Layne has to enlist everyone, including his ex-CIA mentor, Rocky’s detective brother, the town’s unpredictable informant and Layne’s two teenage sons all the while stopping Rocky from doing something crazy and keeping their game secret so Layne won't get himself dead.

Rating - ★★★★★

Jeez!! This series is killing me, in the best possible way. Layne and Raquel's road to happiness was definitely a "rocky" one but well worth it. I laughed and cried so hard and so many times throughout this book. Oooh and I loved seeing all of the characters again. Layne gave Joe a run for badassness for sure lol. Just love that Joe was still scary and hot even though this is not his book. I really liked the introduction of Ryker. KA brought him forth and described him in a way that made him extremely appealing. This book was a behemoth of testosterone, hotness and alpha. Goodness, I cannot forget about Tripp and Jasper! They brought a uniqueness to the book that ties with Keira from the last book that made this book all the more endearing. And you can't miss when they inherited the best qualities of their father. So sweet. I missed Mike though but I guess he's being saved for the next book. The epilogue? Magnifique!!

Games of the Heart by Kristen Ashley

IV. Games of the Heart

From the balcony of his house, Mike Haines can see the quiet, commonplace beauty of the Holliday farm. But what he remembers is Dusty, the little sister of his high school girlfriend, who grew up there. As a teen, Dusty had gone off the rails but when she was a kid, she was sweet, she was funny and she had a special bond with Mike. After high school, she took off and Mike never saw her again.

Tragedy strikes Dusty’s family and she comes back to town. Mike thinks she hasn’t changed back to the sweet, funny girl he knew but instead continued to be selfish and thoughtless, leaving her family alone to deal with their mourning. He seeks her out and confronts her in an effort to understand what went wrong and to force her to sort herself out.

He finds out quickly he’s wrong about Dusty Holliday. Very wrong. After Mike discovers that, the bond they had years before snaps back into place in ways he would never suspect.

But Mike Haines had a bad marriage and then played games of the heart for a good woman...and lost. In order to protect himself and his kids, he’s cautious, he’s careful to read the signs and he’s not interested in finding a woman he has to fix.

When he learns what happened to Dusty, he thinks she needs to be fixed.

He swings, he misses and in this new game of hearts, Mike just got strike three.

Rating - ★★★★★

First, let me reiterate the fact that KA is a master of writing about a hot, badass alpha male. Oh my! I was excited for Mike's book and I was far from disappointed. Though not as action-packed as the previous books in the series, it was still worthwhile. I can't say which hero I favour more because I just can't choose. They are all hot in their own ways.

With this book, I appreciated the subplot with the children. It added so much meat to an already meaty story and filled me right up. I'm not going to go into detail with this. I suggest you get to reading. You will not be sorry!

I made a note of parts that struck me so I will list them to give an idea of how good this book really is!

Sully whistled then, “I gotta tell Raine this right away. I wait to get home tonight, she’ll tan my ass. She’ll want more daylight to spread the heartbreaking news around The ‘Burg that another prime bachelor has fallen. She loves that shit. Dashing hopes, killing dreams.”

Rivera went on, “You got the touch, bro, layin’ her shit out then talkin’ Dusty around in a night, cementin’ that shit by sendin’ her flowers. One day, my woman is plotting your murder. Next day, I get asked why she doesn’t get any flowers. I see you got it goin’ on. But f*ck, you’re killin’ me. I haven’t bought Jerra flowers since I pissed her off when we were datin’ and fell asleep durin’ some crappy-ass movie she forced me to take her to sayin’ that movie was Hollywood’s version of us. How could I fall asleep watching the story of us, she asks. And, bro, if that was us, we are borin’ as shit. Now, I got LeBrec all riled up ‘cause you’re up in Indiana doin’ the nasty and don’t mind takin’ a call. F*ck.”

“Is this us? Are we going to become Bicky and Bickrum McBickerson?” I fumed and Mike burst out laughing.

Mike’s eyes moved to Jerra who was dancing with Dusty on the wooden dance floor laid out on the grass in the Holliday yard. Their dance partner was Ryker, who, f*ck him, had his hands up in the air, his hips rolling, his teeth sunk into his lower lip and he looked like a white man rapper surrounded by classy, white ‘ho’s.

For all those alpha loving people out there, give this series a chance. No regrets.

The Promise by Kristen Ashley

V. The Promise

Since his brother’s death, Benny Bianchi has been nursing his grudge against the woman he thinks led to his brother’s downfall. He does this to bury the feelings he has for Francesca Concetti, his brother’s girl. But when Frankie takes a bullet while on the run with Benny’s cousin’s woman, Benny has to face those feelings.

The problem is Frankie has decided she’s paid her penance. Penance she didn’t deserve to pay. She’s done with Benny and the Bianchi family. She’s starting a new life away from Chicago and her heartbreaking history.

Benny has decided differently.

But Frankie has more demons she’s battling. Demons Benny wants to help her face. But life has landed so many hard knocks on Frankie she’s terrified of believing in the promise of Benny Bianchi and the good life he’s offering.

Frankie’s new life leads her to The ‘Burg, where Benny has ties, and she finds she not only hasn’t succeeded in getting away, she’s doesn’t want to.

Rating - ★★★★★

This book was seriously hot, sexy, mushy, and sweet!! Frankie's irrational way of thinking in the beginning really bugged me... A lot! But I totally got where she was coming from and totally loved Benny's patience with her.

I loved the cross-over with the Rock Chick series. Luke is still hot and badass!!

I almost removed a star from my rating. Something in the middle of the book really peeved me off!! I didn't like the scene with Tanner. Although nothing happened, just the possibility made me vomit a bit in my mouth. I love him and Rocky. Though I realize that these events took place before Golden Trail, I just don't think it was necessary. It left a smear on the beautiful memory of that book and I didn't like it. Not one bit!!

I am still giving it five stars because I believe that, despite that revolting scene, Benito and Francesca deserve it.

Hold On by Kristen Ashley

VI. Hold On

Since she was young, Cher Rivers knew she was not the kind of girl who got what she wanted. A girl who could hope. A girl who could dream. She knew a happily ever after just wasn't in the cards for her.

In love for years with the last bastion of the 'burg's eligible bachelors, Garrett Merrick, Cher worked hard at making him laugh. Being one of the guys. Having him in her life the only way she could. All this knowing he was in love with another woman.

The Merrick Family is known for loving deep. So when Cecelia Merrick was murdered, it marked the Merricks in a way none of them recovered. Both Cecelia's children found love. Both turned their backs on it. But Garrett "Merry" Merrick knew in his soul the woman he divorced years ago was the one for him.

Until the night when Cher took Garrett's back and things changed. The Merrick family loves deep. They also protect fiercely. And with his eyes finally open, Garrett sees the woman who truly is for him and he goes after her.

Rating - ★★★★★

The final book in the series and I am so sad to see it go. I loved each character for so many similar reasons. They were awesome! Ethan... Sigh! Such a great kid!

The epilogue was everything an epilogue should be. A wonderful way to revisit and grant closure with this awesome group of characters. I think this series has been bumped to my favourite by KA!! Thank you so much for gifting us with it!!


  1. I haven't read of heard about this series before to be honest. But it sounds like a great series and I love that you've enjoyed it so much!

    1. Thanks Maureen! XO
      If you enjoy alpha heroes, you'll enjoy these books.

  2. I still haven't read this author, but I guess I should start with the series. So many 5 star reviews from you!

    1. Oh yeah, these are still my favourite books of hers (so far). I really need to read more from her to see if I can find some other favourites :)

  3. I really had a blast with this series, not my favorite from this author, but really good. I think my issue with these books is the beginning is a bit slow for me. But once I got into it, I literally couldn't put these books down. Love that you had such a fun time with these though. She writes the best heroes EVER WRITTEN especially in her classic KA style.

    1. This is why I know I need to have more KA books in my life.


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment because I absolutely love getting and giving them!