Author: Kristen Ashley

Review: Law Man by Kristen Ashley

Posted July 17, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Law Man by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee
Law Man by Kristen Ashley
Series: Dream Man #3
Also in this series: Mystery Man, Wild Man
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: December 17, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 508
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
three-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Love is just around the corner . . .


Sweet, shy Mara Hanover is in love with her neighbor. For four years, she has secretly watched her dream man from afar. Handsome police detective Mitch Lawson is way out of her league. She's a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, and there's no way a guy like Mitch would want anything to do with her. But when Mara has a leaky faucet that she can't fix, it's Mitch who comes to her rescue.

Mitch has been eyeing his beautiful neighbor for a long time. He jumps at the chance to help her, and soon their formerly platonic relationship gets very hot and heavy. But when Mara gets a disturbing phone call from her cousin's kids, she gets pulled back into the life she's tried so hard to leave behind. Can the hot law man convince Mara to let go of her past-and build a future with him?

140,000 words

Ah, Mitch Lawson. He’s one of my favorite Ashley heroes. Mitch is everything you look for in a hero. He’s sweet, but still alpha. He tells you how it’s going to be, but he does it in a quiet, but firm way. He cares deeply about his job upholding the law. Everything about him just works. That why it fucking sucks that he got such an awful heroine.

Mara Hanover appears sweet and shy just as the summary suggests. Appearances are deceiving. She has a serious problem. View Spoiler » Mara’s issues were so prevalent in the book that they overtook almost everything. She wasn’t worthy of Mitch at all.

As for Mitch, he was so sure that Mara was worth it. He could see little pieces of what he considered the “real” Mara shine through and he was determined to help her. That was Mitch. He was determined to help everyone.

When Mara’s two young cousins need to be taken away from the dangerous environment that their father has them in, Mara knows that she needs to take custody. She’s known that it’s been a long time coming, but everything has just now come to a head. That’s another thing that I couldn’t accept about Mara. She knew that her cousins weren’t safe at their home but she wasn’t “ready” to take custody yet. It showed her true character to me. Her taking them anyway meant nothing.

Mitch on the other hand completely stepped up. When he offered his help after knowing Mara for such a hard time, she did what Mara does. She turned him down even knowing that she couldn’t do it on her own. She was just completely ridiculous.

I really wanted to love this book, but I couldn’t. I don’t know what Mitch was thinking.

Rating: 3 out of 5 (and only for Mitch).

Dream Man

three-stars


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Review: Wild Man by Kristen Ashley

Posted June 28, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Wild Man by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee
Wild Man by Kristen Ashley
Series: Dream Man #2
Also in this series: Mystery Man, Law Man
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: October 29, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 528
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

She's about to walk on the wild side . . .

While filling the display case in her bakery, the bell over the door sounds and Tessa O'Hara looks up to see the man of her dreams. Within thirty seconds he asks her out for a beer. But after four months of dating, she discovers he's an undercover DEA agent-and he's investigating her possible role in her ex-husband's drug business. For Tess, this means their relationship is over.

Brock disagrees. He's committed to his anti-drug mission, but he's fallen in love with the beautiful woman who's as sweet as her cupcakes-and he'll do anything to win her back. Standing between Tess and Brock are their own exes, one of them a drug lord who's determined to get what he wants. Now as danger threatens, can Brock break the rules he's lived by and let loose his wild side to protect the woman he loves?

125,000 words

At the time of this review, I have completed the Dream Man series. Wild man is my favorite book in the series. There is something about Brock and Tess that I can’t get over. They are perfect for each other in a way that few characters are. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was until about halfway through the book. Everything is straight forward with these two. If they are feeling or thinking something, they say it. They don’t hide things from each other. They’re very open and honest. It was refreshing.

Brock meets Tess at the worst time in his life. He’s in the middle of an undercover investigation that involves her ex-husband. Not only that, but Brock walks into her bakery with the intent to investigate Tess herself. Brock doesn’t expect to fall for the suspect, but he falls hard and fast. After three months, it all comes to life and Tess is devastated. Instead of succumbing to despair, Tess does the opposite. She grabs hold of life and lives. It was incredibly inspiring to see a woman not pine after they get their heartbroken. While her heart is still broken, Tess doesn’t let it control her life.

Then Brock walks back into her life.

Brock never had any intention of leaving Tess’ life for good. He’s been waiting. When it becomes clear that she won’t be coming to him, he goes to her. He’s forced to when he sees a For Sale sign in her front yard. When he sees her, he makes it clear to her that he’s there to stay. I have to admit that I was a little taken aback by Brock’s attitude as well as how quickly Tess gave in. Then I thought about why Tess gave in so quickly and it made sense. Brock was Brock. You couldn’t not give into him. He was a protector when it came down to it. He would do anything for Tess.

The mystery part (as always) left a lot to be desired. It’s par for the course with KA. Honestly, it didn’t make me like the book any less. It just made me roll my eyes a little. As did the editing.

Rating: 4.25 out of 5.

Dream Man

four-half-stars


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Review: Mystery Man by Kristen Ashley

Posted May 9, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Mystery Man by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee
Mystery Man by Kristen Ashley
Series: Dream Man #1
Also in this series: Wild Man, Law Man
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: August 27, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 528
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Night time is the right time...

Gwendolyn Kidd has met the man of her dreams. He's hot, he's sexy, and what started as a no-names-exchanged night of passion has blossomed into a year and a half-long pleasure fest. Sure, it's a little strange that he only appears in her bed at night, but Gwen is so sure he's the one, she just can't turn him away.

Hawk Delgado knows more about Gwen than she could ever imagine. She's gorgeous, headstrong, and skittish about relationships. But Hawk is facing his own demons, demons that keep him from connecting with anyone. Yet when Gwen is drawn into Denver's lethal underground scene, Hawk's protective nature comes out full force. The problem is, when Gwen gets a dose of Hawk's Alpha attitude in the daylight, she's not so sure he's the one anymore.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this book. On one hand, I knew Hawke was a right bastard after reading Own the Wind and Ride Steady. OTOH, Holly warned me this book would be hard to take because Hawke wasn’t just a bastard. He was a downright ass. Holly was right. Hawke was pretty hard to stomach. He went beyond alpha into alpha asshole. He didn’t basically tell Gwen what to do and expect her to do it. He did exactly that.

Moving onto Gwen. Are you fucking kidding me? Who on God’s green earth would take a stranger home and let him keep coming back without even asking his name? For a year and a half. Hawke threw that in her face a number of times. It wasn’t very sensitive, but very apropos. Gwen was a fucking moron. Which begged the question…why did every man in her radius want her? Not just get into her pants. No, they actually wanted Gwen herself. I really think she called to the protective instinct that men have in them because honestly, if Gwen kept living on her own? She would nothing more than a dead body.

I have to admit, when I first finished the book, I really liked Gwen. Then Holly and I started discussing and I started questioning everything I thought. Which was, frankly, annoying as hell. I already knew what I knew and thought what I thought. Even if my feelings might have aligned with hers a little bit here and there as I was reading, I didn’t completely feel that way when I finished the book. Like I said…annoying. The saying “The truth hurts” really applies here.

The book is so cliché. Hawke didn’t intend to fall for Gwen like he did. He was only obsessed with her and her safety. Then shit hit the fan with Gwen’s sister Ginger (enter the awful KA mystery plot) and Hawke had to step in to protect Gwen. Seeing her outside the bedroom at night made Hawke want Gwen more, of course. When he realizes how much she is starting to mean to him, he doesn’t want that so he pushes her way. Like I said…cliché. And predictable.

Why did I still like this book? Because of Hawke. And Tack. And Mitch. And Gwen’s dad. And her stepmom Meredith. And how Gwen treated Meredith. All those things above really bugged the crap out of me, but as I was reading the book, I really loved it all. It just works. I can sum up why in two words: Kristen Ashley. That is really a thing.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Dream Man

four-stars


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Joint Review: Sweet Dreams by Kristen Ashley

Posted April 23, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 4 Comments

Joint Review: Sweet Dreams by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee & Holly
Sweet Dreams by Kristen Ashley
Series: Colorado Mountain #2
Also in this series: The Gamble , Jagged, Kaleidoscope, Sweet Dreams
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: June 20, 2017
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 656
Length: 25 hours and 6 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Welcome to New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristen Ashley's Colorado Mountain Series, where friends become family and everyone deserves a second chance.When you lose everything, anything is possible.

Lauren Grahame needs a whole new life. A simpler life. After leaving her cheating husband, she moves to Carnal, Colorado, takes a job as a waitress, and realizes she might have finally found the hometown she'd been searching for. Except things are about to get a lot more complicated . . .

Lauren's fresh start does not include her growing feelings for her boss, Tate Jackson. She'll take the new friends, the new job, not to mention the incredible banana bread from the local coffee shop, but love is not on the agenda.

However, the people of Carnal know chemistry when they see it, and they're not about to let Tate and Lauren miss their chance.

Sweet Dreams is book two in Ashley’s Colorado Mountain series. You can read this book without reading the first book. Yes, I (Casee) actually am saying that and y’all know how I feel about reading a series out of order.

After a bitter divorce, Lauren Grahame turns into a nomad and travels wherever her heart takes her. She ends up in Carnal, CO where she sees there is a waitress job open. Lauren and Tate, the owner of the bar, get off to a rocky start. Fortunately, they are able to move pass their horrible first meeting. This book has it all; romance, love, sex, mystery, family. Everything you could want in a romance book, Sweet Dreams delivers. You will be drawn to these two characters and this book doesn’t spit you out until the end. Of course it is Kristen Ashley so there are times when you will go crazy with the dialogue and the dropping of the g’s. Somehow that doesn’t take away from the amazing love story between Lauren and Tate.

Casee: I don’t know why I doubt you. Seriously. I put off reading this book because it was so long, but when it ended I wished it was longer. This book is amazing. Like, totally amazing.

First I want to say how much I adored Lauren. She is so real. I can’t think of another way to describe her. She literally reinvented herself after her world blew up in her face. I love how she lived her life. She made new friendships, got a new job, found a place to live. All of it. I just can’t say enough good things about her.

Holly: I don’t know why you doubt me, either. Both our lives would be a lot easier if you just listened to me.

I adored Lauren, too. First, she’s in her 40’s, something we don’t see very often. Second, she’s rebuilding her life and finding herself after finding out her husband was cheating on her with her best friend. Something she didn’t well at first. Then she decided she was done wallowing and reinvented herself. I loved that aspect of the book. Watching her grow into this new version of herself was great.

I also loved the town of Carnal. I loved all the quirky residents and how well Lauren integrated with them.

Casee: I totally forgot she was in her 40’s, but I loved that too. Like I said…real. Like, honestly, how hard is it to start your life over when you’re in tour 40’s? I have no idea, but I know it would be hard. Lauren did it though, and she was amazing.

What did you think about Tate? I totally cringed when he was talking to Krystal about Lauren that first time and Lauren overheard. That was terrible. Here you have Lauren, who has had her whole life crushed by her asshole of an ex-husband, then some stranger says these awful things about her that she secretly thinks about herself? Ugh. At least he redeemed himself. I did laugh when he apologized and just expected her to move on and she wouldn’t. Ha.

Holly: Tate. Oh, Tate. He’s such an ass in the beginning, especially when he says sorry then basically demands she get over it. I like that she pushed back with him. I didn’t stay mad at him, though, because he’s so all in with her right from the beginning. He wants to take care of her, but he also wants to support her while she takes care of herself. He wasn’t one of those “let me be your hero” types. He was more “let me stand by your side while you save yourself” types. I loved it.

Casee: I loved Tate, too. I loved him for all the reasons you just stated. I like how he told her she would find herself, that she was special, that she could do anything she wanted. But hell if she was leaving him to do it. That really made me laugh. At that one point I texted you and told you I thought they were going to split because she had to find herself? Yeah, wrong. Tate would never allow that. Yes, I said allow.

When he said this…omgbbq, I fell all the way in love with him.

“You said you were waitin’ for something special and he took away your chance to figure out that you were carryin’ it with you all this time. You are special, Laurie.”

::sobs:

Holly: Honestly, I loved all the residents of Carnal. Jim Billy, Krystal, Wood, Tate and his family, shoot, even Twyla. Speaking of Twyla…she cracked up. I love how well KA does humor and human connections.

I wasn’t very interested in the serial murderer case, and there are definitely entire sections of the book I could have done without, but I can’t deny it pulled me in. This is probably my most re-read book of all time. I’m not exaggerating when I say I read portions of it every month.

Casee: Now I know why it’s your most re-read book of all time. It’s definitely a book that I would re-read.

I’m going to give it a 4.25 or 4.5. I haven’t decided yet. Probably 4.5. What about you?

Holly: I think I’m going to give it 4.25. I love the book like whoa, but I’m not blind it its faults.

Final Grades

Casee: 4.5 out of 5
Holly: 4.25 out of 5

Colorado Mountain

four-half-stars


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Joint Review: Own the Wind by Kristen Ashley

Posted April 10, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Joint Review: Own the Wind by Kristen AshleyReviewer: Casee and Holly
Own the Wind by Kristen Ashley
Series: Chaos MC #1
Also in this series: Own the Wind (Chaos, #1), Own the Wind, Ride Steady, Ride Steady, Walk Through Fire, Walk Through Fire, Walk Through Fire, Free
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: June 25, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First and Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »
Content Warning: View Spoiler »
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 389
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, GoodReads Challenge, Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
four-stars
Series Rating: three-half-stars

Tabitha Allen has a not-so-secret crush on Parker "Shy" Cage. Shy thinks he knows the path Tabby's on and it isn't a good one. So he decides to teach her a lesson to lead her to the right path. Unfortunately, he was wrong and his actions wound Tabby, breaking her heart. It's Tabby who then teaches Shy a lesson about casting judgment and Shy Cage learns what it feels like to be invisible. But when tragedy strikes and Tabby's heart is broken again, Shy does what he can in the background to help. Trying to forget her heartbreak, Tabby finds herself in danger. To keep it secret from her biker family, the Chaos Motorcycle Club, she calls Shy to rescue her. But when she lets him back in, she gets much more than she bargained for.

Own the Wind is book one in Kristen Ashley’s Chaos MC series. It follows Tabitha Allen and Shy Cage. After tragedy struck Tabby’s life, Shy was there to pick up the pieces. The crush she had on him when she was a teenager is nothing compared to the feelings she finds herself starting to have for him. Shy has had his eye on Tabby for years, but she’s the daughter of the MC’s President. Which equals off-limits. Even knowing that, Shy can’t stop what is happening between them and he doesn’t want it to stop.

Tabby and Shy’s relationship gets off to a rocky start, but eventually they realize they were made for each other. That realization doesn’t come easily to either of them. They both have faults and trying to mesh their lives isn’t as easy as they thought it would be. There are ups and downs, but in the end, they preserved.

Casee: This book. I don’t even know where to start. Seriously I have so many feels. My biggest feel is confusion. Confusion as to why I loved this book. Absolutely and completely loved it. Shy was such a jerk, but I adored him. Adored every single part of him. Why? I’m reading the second book in the series right now and I still don’t understand it. It doesn’t seem to matter how many times you tell me.

Holly: Welcome to the dark side. KA is so hard to pin down for me. She’s overly descriptive and her grammar often kills me, but I get so wrapped up in her stories I can’t stop reading her.

Own the Wind is the first book released with Forever, and I think it’s one of her better books in terms of editing. When I first read it I remember thinking it had all the things I love, but a lot of what bothers me about her writing was cleaned up. She’ll always be KA, and that’s okay since what she does works so well, but this book is more polished than some of her others.

Casee: More polished? That scares me since I plan to read her backlist. But it won’t stop me.

What threw me about KA is how I could be thrown from one side to the other so quickly. For example…When Tab was telling Shy that he had to start helping around the house because she wasn’t going to do everything for him. I mean, come on. Man up. I was like, “You go, girl. Tell him how it is,”. Shy wasn’t having any of it and I started getting so mad, like WTAF. Then Shy told Tab why he wouldn’t be doing certain things around the house and I was all “Awww”. My emotions can’t handle that. It literally happened in five seconds. Who else can write like that?

Holly: No one I know. She’s a master at tugging my emotions in all different directions.

Speaking of Shy and Tabby..I adored them together. They were such a wonderful couple. I was concerned when the book first started since Tabby was so young, but I thought Ashley did a good job of advancing the timeline. I really felt for Tabby the first few chapters. Watching her come back from her grief with Shy’s help was lovely. I also loved how loyal to him she was. When she stood up to her step-mom, dad and the entire club for him? My heart melted.

Casee: I loved reading about how their relationship evolved. They were friends first. Shy helped her through such a difficult time in her life without expecting anything in return. That’s one of the reason he was such an incredible hero. The entire time they had a platonic relationship, he had no clue if there would ever be anything between them. He was just a good person in general (even though he could be an ass).

Even with all the dropping of the “g’s”, which drove me insane at first, I give this a 4.25. What about you?

Holly: Their progression from enemies to friends to lovers was wonderful. I loved how it was them against the world. When Shy gave her his speech about (and I’m paraphrasing here) “Shit is going to get bad out there, but we’ll be fine as long as we’re together” I got all melty.

There are definitely issues with the characters, the story and the writing, but they’re overshadowed by all the good. KA never fails to pull me in and I adore Shy and Tabby. I’m giving it 4.25 as well.

Final Grades

Casee: 4.25 out of 5
Holly: 4.25 out of 5

Chaos


four-stars


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