Tag Archives: Kristen Ashley

Wild Man (Dream Man, #2)

Wild Man4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

I heart Brock Lucas. Sigh.

So, Wild Man picks up maybe six months to a year after Mystery Man leaves off. Brock Lucas was left looking like a total douchebag at the end of that book. (Acting like a crazy drugged kidnapper does that even if you’re working undercover to bring the drug ring down.) Things have not changed at the start of this book. If anything, Brock’s a little bit douchier. He’s about to bring down another major drug ring. This time his cover is boyfriend to the drug boss’s ex-wife, Tess. The thing is, Tess is completely clear of that life, to the point that she doesn’t even know what her ex-husband of five years ago is a drug lord. Four months into the assignment, Brock takes his “boyfriend” duties way too far, just hours before DEA agents invade Tess’s house and take her into custody for questioning. Bastard, right? I know. Fast forward three months. Tess is getting on with her life sans Brock. He’s not happy with the situation, and like any true alpha male hero, he marches into her house and tells her they’re dating again. She’s not so sure, for like five minutes, then they commence building a life together for the rest of the book. There’s not much danger or mystery in this one (unlike the last), but impending doom definitely plays a major role. Tess and Brock have to deal with two psychotic exes, a dad dying of cancer, and a family in shambles before they can get to their happily ever after, which of course they do.

Here’s the deal. There’s not much plot to this book. Everything I described in the first 14 sentences of this review happens in the first two chapters. In a Kristen Ashley book, we know the first two chapters are seriously five percent of the book. The story falls into Ashley’s sweet romance category. You keep reading because you love the characters so much, not because you’re dying to know what happens next. Now at the end there was a liberal dose of scary mystery thrown in, which was good, but not necessary. I was rooting for Brock and Tess from the get go. I love when Ashley has more mature characters (read any character older than 36). Both had dealt with so much crapola in their lives that they were due for some squishy falling in love feelings. I do wish that Brock had to work a little harder to get back in with Tess. It seemed a little unrealistic that Tess fell back into his arms after three months and lots of heartache just because he told her to. Still, I guess it wouldn’t have fit her straight up honest personality if she made him jump through hoops. I loved this book. I love Brock and Tess, and I loved the crossover from the Rock Chick universe. Bottom line, totally read this book. It can stand alone as a fantastic story without reading Mystery Man, but I’d read that book too. (Mainly because I love Kristen Ashley and I’m a fanatic about reading things in order. Both are sort of literary diseases I have to deal with daily.)

First off, Damian does not leave Tess alone. He wants to “save” her from Brock. Second, Olivia is a spoiled brat. Her second husband, Dade, decides to divorce her. He helps Brock and Tess get full custody of Brock’s two boys. Finally, Josiah Burkett (Bree’s rapist) is released from jail unbeknownst to Brock. Burkett’s the one that makes the creepy call to Tess and shoots at Brock. In the end, he kidnaps Tess–Damian dies trying to save her.  The police have to lock Brock down so he doesn’t kill Burkett. Ultimately, Tess saves herself, and Cabe Delgado (Mystery Man) comes to her aid.

Jagged (Colorado Mountain, #5)


3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

Welcome back to Graham Reece, survivor of a crazy ax murderer from For You! You know Reece. He’s the guy Feb Owens hooked up with prior to being stalked by a serial murderer and getting back together with Colt.

Reece is clearly not in a good place when he shows up at the door of Zara Cinders, the woman he let walk away three years earlier. To make matters worse, Zara’s in no state to help him. She’s divorced, lost her store, and is about to lose her home. She’s sworn off men for good, and there’s no way she’s letting Reece back in after he broke her heart. Five months later, Reece returns determined to keep Zara in his life. For now, that means giving her a safe place to crash while she gets back on her feet. Later, he hopes it means sharing his life, his bed, and his heart. Despite his plan to protect Zara, fate steps in and shatters what little inner peace she has left while taking away the only family she’s ever known. Now it’s Reece’s job to make Zara see he’s the one for her and that together, they can do anything, including building a new if unconventional family.

I heart when Kristen Ashley gives tangential characters from other books their own story. Reece is super sweet, and Zara is heartbreakingly lonely. It’s easy to see how they fit together and build a life. What’s harder to take is Reece’s feelings on Feb. The two characters have a huge blowout about his relationship with the former heroine. I guess he makes it clear that February isn’t his love, but in a really round about Denver speak man way.  I’m not sure I could have let go of my concerns based on Reece’s explanation. In other news, I love the return of Nina and Max. The scene at the Rooster is high-larious (as always). Bottom line, this is a really sweet love story. While there’s some mystery to it, no one’s life is ever in danger. No one’s running from any insane bad guy. It was sort of a nice break from the usual kidnapping routine in these books. Still without the typical drama, it wasn’t one of my all time favorites. Don’t get me wrong it’s a great book and a fitting next step in the series. Still almost anything is a little let down after reading the phenomenal Lady Luck and Breathe. This is a stand out series overall. You know me, though, I’m sort of a Kristen Ashley junkie.

Breathe (Colorado Mountain, #4)

Breathe4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Lady Luck may be my favorite Kristen Ashley book, but, holy moly, Breathe comes in a close second. Usually, I’m a sucker for the anti-hero, but Chace Keaton’s sincerity definitely makes me rethink my bad boy addiction.

So the story picks up about six months after Lady Luck leaves off (pre-epilogue). Ty and Lexi are expecting their first baby. In the meantime, Lexi’s trying to hook Chace Keaton up with the town’s librarian. Faye has been crushing on Chace since she was 13 years old. For the last seven months, she’s actively been trying to win Chace’s attention without success. Her latest idea is to find the person responsible for his ex-wife’s murder. Needless to say, Chace is unhappy when he finds out this plan. Still, the search for a murderer/rapist quickly gets put on the backburner when Faye comes to the rescue of an abused little boy. She and Chace are determined to set the young man back to rights and find the person responsible for his injuries. While the couple bonds over the boy, the ones responsible for Chace’s dead wife have not changed their focus. They want their secrets safe, and they’re willing to take away what Chace values most to get the job done.

Like I said before, Chace is a good-guy dreamboat. I would swoon for him in real life (because I like the literary bad boys, but in real life I love the honest to goodness sweet ones). Still, Chace is only about a third of the reason to like the book. Faye is the best heroine ever. I loved all references to her nerdiness. I totally geek out for Psych and Battlestar Galactica. I love when she breaks down Chace’s father Darth Vader style.  I think if I had auburn hair and lived in Colorado I would so be this woman. She was totally relatable to my life. The third reason to immediately read this book is the story. It was a little out there, but I loved the surprise identity of SerenityWash at the end. I also liked the epilogue when Misty’s story and the story of the young man come full circle. Definitely do not miss this book.

Malachi (Jeremiah) keeps going back to the abuser’s home because his sister is there, and he wants to rescue her. The crazy abuser lady murdered the children’s mother and had been keeping the kids in the basement. That is until Malachi (Jeremiah) saw Misty getting raped and murdered in the woods. He told crazy lady, and she kicked him out saying he was the devil. Chace and Deck do get to Faye in time, but only because Ally Nightengale (aka SerenityWash) rides in to save the day.


Lady Luck (Colorado Mountain, #3)

Lady Luck

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Okay, I love Kristen Ashley, but I gotta tell you, this is the ABSOLUTE, no doubt about it, best book she has written (at least that I’ve read so far).  It is super hot. It is super sweet, and it is super heartbreaking.

Ty Walker is a man done wrong.  After serving five years for a crime he did not commit, he walks straight out to Lexi Berry.  Lexi’s life hasn’t been so good the last five years either.  After her pimp boyfriend was murdered on the job, his drug dealer best friend has made it his business to keep Lexi on a short leash. Her latest assignment: pick up a convicted killer and take him where he wants to go. Ty’s destination of choice: a Las Vegas wedding chapel. Ty needs a rock solid alibi for his grand plan ‘o vengeance, and a new wife fits the bill. What follows is the most bizarre and engaging whirlwind romance ever. That is until Ty (or arguably Lexi) screws it up. In the end, Ty has to decide which is more important Lexi or his revenge. The answer seems simple, but not when dirty cops, drug dealers, and a mysterious stranger are on your tail.

Ty is a total Hottie McHotterson, but you gotta be ready for his dirty mouth. This is the raunchiest talking, especially his “endearments” for ladies,  hero I’ve ever read from Kristen Ashley, and I’ve read a few.  It’s totally explainable once you get his back story, but that mouth gets Ty in trouble more than once. Still, he’s so sweet to Lexie (most of the time) and he wants to be loved so much, it’s easy to get over his dirty mouth, especially when it’s responsible for so much dirty sex. Lexie is a total goof. I loved her from the start. She’s definitely making lemonade from a life of lemons. She’s believable and smart. She’s got a backbone of steel too.

Now, while I loved the characters (as always with KA books), what really sold this book was the heartbreak. Lexie and Ty’s rocky relationship definitely has some down swings. The final one broke my heart. I could feel Lexie shutting down. I could hear her empty voice. I love a really good break up, and there are so few gut-wrenching ones in most romance stories.

If you only read one love story this year, this is the one. If you only read one KA book, this is seriously the one. It’s the best ever. (Sigh!)

First, Ty gets his name cleared (of course)! He does this using Tate’s plan which means it’s all on the up and up. Second, Chace Keaton, Misty’s husband, was forced into marrying her and is actually working undercover for the federal government to clean up the Carnal Police Department. Third, Arnie Fuller is the one who kidnaps Lexi.  Ty’s father saves her, and Lexi ultimately shoots Arnie dead.

Mystery Man (Dream Man, #1)

mystery man

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Good thing Cabe “Hawk” Delgado is the hottest guy on the fictional planet, or this book wouldn’t work at all.

Gwen is unlucky in love (huge understatement), so when a sexy stranger offers up a one night stand, she thinks it’s the perfect solution to her dry spell. Fast forward a year and a half, Mystery Man is still showing up for nights of spectacular sex, and Gwen still doesn’t know his name. (I know, right. It’s a tough set up, but it will be worth your suspension of disbelief, I promise.) Despite her X-rated nights, Gwen still lives her days as a regular person with a job and friends and family. Really, everything else about her life is normal, until her sister’s best friend shows up threatening to hurt Gwen if she doesn’t produce her sister. Unexpectedly, Gwen’s Mystery Man shows up in the daylight hours after this threat and decides he’s going to protect Gwen from the consequences of her sister’s dangerous actions. Gwen’s not so sure she wants Mystery Man’s (aka Hawk) help, especially since a handsome detective and a bad boy biker have are offering her their own brand of safety. What’s a woman to do?

Like I said, the initial premise is super hard to swallow. If some dude was sneaking into my house regularly with the intent of getting lucky, I’m sure the police would be on my speed dial. If you can get past that particular reading speed bump, this is a fast-paced, fun story. Hawk is hot and has maybe the saddest back story I’ve ever read. While he protects Gwen and her family from some serious bad guys, Gwen is the one really doing the heavy lifting trying to bring Hawk to the other side of a soul sucking tragedy. The ending is of course happy (or I wouldn’t recommend it). The novel sets up a fabulous series of stories which focus on scary dudes trying to keep the world a little safer and the women who can help them lighten that load. Read these books!!!


Plot: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

This book grabbed me by the throat about a chapter in and didn’t let go. Every time I thought I knew where the story was going, I got thrown for a loop. Gwen’s little sister is a perfect foil for Gwen’s do-gooder nature. The side plot of three men trying to win Gwen’s affection keeps the slower paced parts of the mystery moving. I did not want to put this book down.

Writing: 3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

This is your typical Kristen Ashley novel. There’s a bit too much verbiage about the decoration of Gwen’s home and what she chooses to where. Hawk uses the word babe as subject, verb, and adjective. Still, this lady knows how to tell a story.

Characters: 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Characters are where all KA books knock it out of the ball park. I loved the Hawk and Gwen, of course, but the side characters make the book sparkle. I love two of the three other “dream men” in the book. Gwen’s family is believable and tender. I especially love her step mom. She’s a breath of fresh air from the typical evil step mom script.

Hawk is a former soldier. His wife and child were murdered while he was on active duty in Iraq. The murder stemmed from his wife’s brother’s actions. He was involved in drug dealing or something. I’m not sure it matters. Gwen gets kidnapped, and Hawk breaks up with her the next morning because he can’t handle the similarities of the situation. Tack takes over as the romantic lead, until Hawk sees her kissing him. Then he decides to man up and figure out his way through the grief.

Fire Inside: A Chaos Novel (Chaos MC, #2)

Fire Inside3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

If you like sweet love/redemption stories with bad boys and good girls, this is totally for you.

So, Lanie’s back. (Remember her? The Russian mob murdered her fiancée and nearly her back in Motorcycle Man) It’s been seven years since she was shot when her fiancée used her as a shield in a rain of gunfire—I know, total douchebag move, but he was already mixed with some bad dudes just because he wanted to give her the wedding of the century. He’s not exactly known for great decision making. Anyway, after a long dry spell, she’d like to get back into the dating scene. Sort of. Really she just wants one night of hot biker sex with Hop Kincaid (Tack’s lieutenant). Hop is more than willing to help out. There’s only one problem: he’s falling fast for her, and she’s doing everything she can to back away.

This story sort of breaks the typical Kristen Ashley plot rules. First of all, there aren’t really any bad guys going in the story. I mean there are plenty of characters who aren’t going to win awards for pleasant behavior, but no one is actively trying to physically hurt Lanie or Hop. (I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop with the whole Benito situation, but I guess that’s for the next book.) This is a simple, straight love story. Hop isn’t the typical alpha male lead I’m used to, either. He’s still super bossy, but he lets Lanie take the lead in almost every aspect of their relationship. Hop also enjoys Lanie’s dramatic overreactions. Lanie, on the other hand, is a typical KA heroine. She’s smart, strong, and sassy. Still, her past has stunted her emotionally, and she’s fighting tooth and nail to keep Hop out of her heart. Ultimately, the plot line wasn’t as fast paced as usual. Still it was a sweet love story where I found myself rooting for both main characters about two chapters in.

Plot: 2.5 out of 5 stars (2.5 / 5)

I liked the story, but I wanted more action. I’m used to lots of it when it comes to Kristen Ashley books. I feel like this was maybe just a set up book for the next action packed Chaos MC book.

Writing: 3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)

The fighting between the main characters in this book is where it’s at. They get down and dirty quickly. The other dialogue is dead-on funny. I love that I get to see Hop’s thoughts every once in a while. Still, there’s a lot (a lot) of description that could be left out.

Characters: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Characters are always the best part in Kristen Ashley books. Lanie is heart wrenchingly broken. You feel for her from the moment you start reading, especially if you read Motorcycle Man first. Hop is sweet and sexy. I loved seeing more of Tack and Tyra. I wish I had seen a little bit of Shy and Tab. It would have been awesome to see Shy confront Hop over his ridiculously bad behavior in Own The Wind.

First, Lanie’s fiancée really did use her as a shield (but he still died). Second, Hop broke up with his old lady because she passed off another man’s son as Hop’s. She straight up tells Hop after he’s raised the kid for a few years, so he keeps the son and loses the old lady. Third, Lanie gets pregnant, and Hop’s over the moon.  Ultimately, he has to kidnap Lanie and head to Vegas to make her marry him.