Rebel Stapleton’s best friend fell a victim to addiction which led her down the path to her ultimate death. Wanting revenge for her friends death Rebel goes undercover hoping to gather evidence and build a case against the people who killed her. She put her life on the line, which became unacceptable to many people, but mostly to Rush, a man that she hadn’t yet met, but who was determined to protect her.
With a name like Rebel you knew she’d be the perfect girlfriend to a biker guy named Rush. As with many of our alpha hero’s he took one look at her through binoculars no less, and decided she was the one for him. Despite her independence she quickly realized she was in over her head and seemed somewhat relieved that he swooped in to save her. Unfortunately she’d caught the eye of the bad guy who was also determined to make her his own. That was just not going to happen on Rush’s watch.
Free, the title for what might be the last book in this series. A concept that for the men of the Chaos MC means they can live their lives free and clear, having gotten out of the illegal game their predecessors had led them into. It also means that they let other people live their lives and they don’t pass judgement. I liked this concept and them for this book a lot. I just wish the story had been as simple as that theme. Free, the story was a convoluted mix of twists and turns that instead of being a series of reveals for the reader just created more conflict. I’ll admit this novel exhausted me and I’m a fan of this series.
There is always a bit of emotional drama in a KA novel. This had an overabundance of both but what it was missing was a little bit of the humor that balanced all of that dark drama. Some of her other novels found that balance which made those stories more enjoyable to read. This novel was dark after dark, only letting in a small amount of light which would be the romance of Rush and Rebel. I just wish the author hadn’t taken us on the other tangents which I felt were a little unnecessary and tainted my feelings for this book a bit.
Evie Gardner is a technological genius but her family has always held her back. Always being asked to bail them out, or support them when they don’t have any cash she’s held off on her plans for her own life and taken a job at Smithie’s as a stripper. Only by showing herself off can she make enough money to save for college, if she wasn’t always having to hand it over to them. When her brothers bad choices land him in jail again, Evie expects to be called to fund his release. Instead she’s asked to meet with a sketchy guy who hands her a bag of drugs to keep safe. Thankfully she has Danny Magnussen on hand to help her deal with the fallout from that bag getting stolen. Now her family has put her life on the line and that is just not cool!
A true throw back to Kristen Ashley’s Rock Chick series, this was a fun romp that was more story than action, thank goodness! When this author started her career she mastered the women in jeopardy story, but one thing set hers apart. Her ladies had a girl clan that also rose to the occasion, not letting their alpha guys save the day and steal the show. OK, maybe those guys save the day but it’s nice to have a girl group to lean on and let loose with and the Dream Team is no different than the Rock Chick’s except they might have better heads on their shoulders.
Danny “Mag” Magnussan is not one of the Hot Guys, he’s one of the Commando’s and it was interesting to get a behind the scenes look at Hawk’s commando team and “where they are now.” Danny seems the perfect match for Evie, willing to step in and keep her safe but not wanting her to change who she is. I liked their balance of help and support they gave each other in this novel and it added a different element to KA’s normal action adventure sequence. It didn’t take away from the fun at all and added depth to their colorful life.
If you’re in the mood for an easy read, this series is a fun romp down memory lane. It was fun to re-visit characters from other series, but even more it gave me hope that this author might turn away from some of the hard core physical activity that she’s been writing more recently. This book was fun, sexy, and had a good girl gang. You can’t beat that for your weekend read! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
The last weekend before Christmas and I was tucked away reading. Yes, reading! LOL. I actually had a Kristen Ashley book I needed to finish because the book was released last week and you know what? I really liked it which started my reading a couple other books of hers. I haven’t been this proliferate in quite some time. It felt good, honestly. Well, let’s get to it!
This post originated over on Book Date, so thanks for the idea and letting me continue on the discussion about what books I am reading.
I read the second novel in this series first and was ecstatic that this author went back to her roots. The Dream Team series is a spin off of the Rock Chicks and so much fun!
Here’s the thing. I had this one on my Kindle and since I was reading Kristen Ashley I decided to pick this one up. For me, it’s a series that’s had it’s ups and downs, but this is the last book and they were resolving the underlying storyline (which I’d almost forgotten what it was), so I thought since I had just read two books that I really enjoyed I’d start this one. I didn’t hate it, but it had elements of her current writing that I’m not too fond of , the biggest being too much sex and not enough story!
My next book will definitely not be a KA novel. LOL. I think three in a row is too much, but I seriously enjoyed two out of the three!
Now that you know what I’ve been up to, what book have you dusted off and dug into?
After Lottie successfully set up their friend Evie and Mag, the rest of the Dream Team has been shying away from their hook-ups. Ryn Jansen doesn’t have any interest in Boone Sadler despite their obvious attraction to each other. She’s been let down by men before and isn’t willing to trust that he’ll be any different. When he shows up with information that her ex sister-in-law has been conning her out of money she’s upset for two reasons. She got conned by her family, but also Boone butted into her business! Despite his good reasons, Ryn is not happy but this time he isn’t giving up. When a bad guy kidnaps her for info, Boone becomes all alpha male claiming her as his, determined to get to the bottom of her kidnapping and to protect her with his life.
I did not read the first book in this series, Dream Maker, before I read Dream Chaser, but I certainly went to my kindle and downloaded it immediately upon finishing this novel. It was so much fun! The Dream Team series is a spin off of the Rock Chick series, one of my favorites. These novels were about fun, friends, and yes their alpha men, but the heart in these books make them easy to read and love. Dream Team was exactly the same, a return to the hay day of Kristen Ashley writing. Or at least when I liked her writing more.
What can I say about these characters? The Dream Team are strippers but like Julie Roberts in Pretty Woman, these strippers are only doing it for the money, not because they enjoy stripping. Like the Rock Chicks before them, there is an underlying plot running between the novels, so while I didn’t read Dream Maker first, if you have that chance, I’d read them in order. Also, I liked Dream Maker even more than I did Dream Chaser. Ryn has a family who takes advantage of her, taking her money, keeping her from pursuing her own dreams. Boone with his direct approach helps her come to terms with them.
As with KA’s more recent novels, Dream Chaser has some hard core sex scenes, but you know what? She did a lot of fade aways in this series too. It was a good blend of showing some action and not giving too much. Or at least it was to me. I like a story with my romance and I found it in this novel. In fact, this is why I started reading Dream Maker immediately upon finishing. This book took me back to why I had initially liked Kristen Ashley so much. Let’s hope she continues in this vein, or at least that there are a LOT of books in this series.
I received a copy of this book through NetGalley and the publisher for my honest review and it was honest.
Anya is going to night school while working a 9-5 job by day AND she fills in the extra hours building up her manicure clientele for the business she wants to open some day. Needless to say she doesn’t have a lot of free time on her hands, but when one of her girlfriends gets in a mood and wants to go out, Anya dresses up and goes to support her friend. She ends up at a private residence at a party held by this guy who is NOT a good guy. Done with the party she didn’t want to be at anyway she searches for the bag and jacket she left in a bedroom and reaches for the phone she see’s on the nightstand to call an Uber when she meets Knight, brother of the jerk throwing the party and kind of a jerk too. He does offer to drive her home, asks her a few questions about her life, and the next thing she knows her life starts to get a little easier.
I read this book when it first came out and because I read so many books a year I couldn’t remember anything other than I didn’t care for it that much. I decided to re-read it to see if my opinion had changed over time. Knight is the first novel in one of Kristen Ashley’s older series called Unfinished Hero’s. She shares in her prologue that this series is about that kernel of goodness in some not so very nice guys. The idea intrigued me. Yes, not everyone is 100% good, but you don’t usually see a romance novel where the hero makes choices the reader wouldn’t agree with and still ends up with his heroine, but in Unfinished Hero this is what happens. Knight is a nightclub owner but there is a lot of mystery about how he went from nothing to having the money to open the most prestigious and talked about club in their town. Anya has very good intuition and knows he’s not 100% good, but she’s had a really tough life where she’s had to make choices and understands that there are shades of bad and Knight is not the darkest shade.
OK, so we know Knight has some kind of mysterious source that got him to the point he could open this amazing nightclub, and KA drags out the anticipation so that Anya can fall for him completely. When his nefarious brother arranges for her to find out what else Knight is involved with she chooses to believe in the good in him and not get scared away. Now, I do believe there are shades of good and bad, but I would have a really hard time overlooking the fact that he owned a stable of women. Now, this isn’t the first time someone has glorified hookers, think Pretty Woman. I mean, who wouldn’t love the hooker with a heart of gold. But the man who runs the group of them? It is still hard for me to think he’s a hero. I’m sorry. There were moments that I really liked in this book. I loved that he wanted to take care of Anya and see her do well. I guess that’s pretty much what I liked about him. He wasn’t the most emotional guy in the world, he was a control freak (in and out of the bedroom), and there wasn’t a traditional HEA in Anya’s future. He wasn’t ever going to marry her. When you’re reading it it seems like it all makes sense, but when you’re done reading and thinking back on everything the fantasy falls kind of flat.
If you like reading books about not so nice guys and their women, then this is probably the series for you, and in the right frame of mind, I may like it as well. Re-reading this one during a pandemic with a political environment like we’ve been in may not have been the best time for me to pick this one up again. ❤️❤️❤️
The Colorado Mountain series is probably my third or fourth favorite KA series, with the Rock Chick and Burg series leading the pack. Jagged was released in 2013 and falls into what I call the pre erotica period of Kristen Ashley books. Her style is always very sexy, but her more recent books are more sex than plot and Jagged, thank goodness has a bit of both.
Our hero and heroine Zara and Ham have a bit of history. Ham, as a traveling bartender, had previous lived and worked in town with Zara and they had struck up a pretty casual relationship. At least on his side. Not wanting to be tied down to either one town or one woman Ham has always kept things light. Zara was a woman that remained under his skin. After surviving a serial killer (previous novels plot), Ham decides that life is short and after Zara reaches out to make sure he’s ok he shows up on her doorstep and decides now is the right time. Except it isn’t that time for Zara. Until he digs in and proves to Zara that this time he will stick around.
I liked Zara a lot. She is one of the more real heroines Kristen Ashley has written. She is a real woman with real problems and manages life in a way that her readers can identify with, there are ups and downs. Ham I had a harder time with. First, there was the name Ham. Yes, I know, it was a nickname and Zara was the only one that called him that, but to me it didn’t read cute. It read weird. He was definitely Alpha, like KA’s normal hero’s, and I do really like that aspect of her novels but something felt a little off in their love story. It may have been because he’s had a relationship with February Owens the heroine from the first novel in the Burg series who I absolutely loved. There was always a little bit of a comparison in my mind and although I liked Zara, I think that comparison was a little unfair. Feb had the whole serial killer stalker thing going on and Zara? She was a normal woman. I liked her, but there wasn’t a need for Ham to be a savior. Ms. Ashley does excel at those action plots and Jagged seemed a little tame.
I’m not saying I didn’t like this novel because I did! The sex hadn’t yet gotten over the top as the later KA novels have, and their relationship was nice. I guess that was it. They were nice but it just lacked that little bit of excitement.
If you like KA novels this is a solid effort and worth your 6-7 hours of reading time if for no other reason than to remind her readers how much they liked the Burg series. Hmm, maybe I will re-visit ‘For You’ and read Feb and Colton’s story again.
We are celebrating the most recent release from Kristen Ashley by participating in the blog tour! QUIET MAN is part of her Dream Man series and it is releasing as part of 1001 Dark Nights. It just went live! Check out the book trailer from the title below. Click here to grab your copy now.
From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristen Ashley comes a new story in her Dream Man series…
Charlotte “Lottie” McAlister is in the zone. She’s ready to take on the next chapter of her life, and since she doesn’t have a man, she’ll do what she’s done all along. She’ll take care of business on her own. Even if that business means starting a family.
The problem is, Lottie has a stalker. The really bad kind. The kind that means she needs a bodyguard.
Enter Mo Morrison.
Mo doesn’t say much, and Lottie’s used to getting attention. And she wants Mo’s attention. Badly.
But Mo has a strict rule. If he’s guarding your body, that’s all he’s doing with it.
However, the longer Mo has to keep Lottie safe, the faster he falls for the beautiful blonde who has it so together, she might even be able to tackle the demons he’s got in his head that just won’t die.
But in the end, Lottie and Mo don’t only have to find some way to keep hands off until the threat is over, they have to negotiate the overprotective Hot Bunch, Lottie’s crazy stepdad, Tex, Mo’s crew of frat-boy commandos, not to mention his nutty sisters.
All before Lottie finally gets her Dream Man.
And Mo can lay claim to his Dream Girl.
**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**
Kristen Ashley has been going back to her roots, recently writing novella’s in both her Rock Chick series and now the Dream Man series. Both series were early favorites of mine. In Quiet Man, Lottie Jet’s (Rock Chick) extremely talented stripper sister gets her own Dream Man in the form of Mo Morrison, one of Hawk’s commando’s. When Mo steps in as her private security after Lottie gets a disturbing letter from a stalker they each know immediately that the other is their chance at love.
Each Rock Chick and Dream Man story have elements of danger, fun, and heated tension between our two main characters. Even though Mo is not very chatty he gets his point across with a grunt or nod and Lottie doesn’t seem to think his lack of voice is a reflection on his character. A character we learn pretty quickly has plenty of depth and a back story that’s easy to like. Since I’d already liked Lottie and felt like I knew who she was, I was surprised by the few new things I found out. These surprises kept me happily interested and reading until the end.
It’s hard to write novella where your readers connect easily with the main characters. Usually there are too few pages and the author tries to jump immediately into the story and something gets lost in the translation. Quiet Man, for me, didn’t have those same problems. In part because I already knew these characters and the jump into the story fit well with my memory of both Mo and Lottie. It was also a nice return trip to some of my favorite characters in KA’s very large list of novels. I had fun with this novella and I think if you’re a fan, you will too. ❤️❤️❤️❤️
I received a free copy of this ARC for my honest review and it was honest!
“OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!! I FREAKING LOVED IT!!!!!!!! LOVE LOVE LOVED IT!!! This was pure Old School Vintage KA GOLD!!!”
~Aestas Book Blog
Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA and nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorize and she hadn’t taken her first breath!). Her mother said they took Kristen away, put her Mom back in her room, her mother looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). Kristen’s Mom remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning.
Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus, she’s blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. They all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. She grew up with Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).
Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.
And as she keeps growing, it keeps getting better.
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MC romance novels are not my typical fare, but when a novel comes out by Kristen Ashley I always pre-order. This one didn’t sit too long on my virtual shelf because Tack, the leader of the Chaos motorcycle club is one of my favorite characters, he and Tyra’s story, Motorcycle Man is my go to Alpha male/sassy chick read. I did get a little of Tack and Tyra in Wild Like the Wind, but the couple this book focus’s on is Hound and Keely. Now, Hound is a pretty familiar character. He’s been involved in quite a few of our other Chaos novels, but Keely has not entered this realm. Or so I thought! Keely is actually the widow of Black, the Chaos member who died years ago and who all of the members have tattooed in memorandum somewhere on their body. As an ex-Chaos members wife, Keely should be off limits to another brother, but Hound has been in love with her since he set eyes on her. For that reason their story was pretty tenderhearted. (Key the sound of cars crashing and tires squealing. Yes! It was tenderhearted, in an Alpha biker kind of way!)
The story of Hound and Keely’s love blooming is sweet and gentle, but those sex scenes. Wow! I was a little, ummm, uncomfortable with some of these details? Yes, we are talking biker babe and grunting not very emotive biker guy. I assume they have hard core sex, but somehow my vision of their love story and Ms. Ashley’s didn’t travel the same path. I was a little disappointed! Look, I am a huge fan and I know what you get when you read a KA novel, but I don’t know. I had a problem with the sex scenes getting in the way of the story in this novel. So, I skimmed through most of them, which was about 200 pages of this novel. The actual love story was really sweet though, and I loved their story!
Soooo, if you took out those 200 pages of miscellaneous sex scenes and stick to the story of how Hound and Keely overcame their Chaos brothers objections, fell in love and got their HEA, it was pretty damned good. ❤️❤️❤️❣️
Izzy has had some hard knocks in her life so when she finds out her one night stand is in love with someone else she is ok with taking what he will give her. After all thats probably all she deserves. (Her thoughts not mine!) Johnny’s head is messed up from his previous breakup and when that woman moves back to town, even though he knows he’s not getting back with her, he lets Izzy out of his life. One night he runs into Izzy eating alone at a restaurant and finds out about some of her past troubles and decides immediately to get back involved and make sure she is safe.
Izzy is one of those characters that seems a little unreal but you can’t help but like. She’s all rainbows and butterfly’s, sweet, nice and girly. Her place is shabby chic. Johnny is your typical Kristen Ashley male. Very alpha and masculine but with a warm heart that beats for one woman. What Johnny comes to realize is that that woman is now Eliza and he will do anything to keep her safe and happy. When her sister moves to town, bringing trouble with her too, Johnny opens his arms to Izzy’s family, wading in to insure their safety too. What’s not to like about this guy? Ok, his last name is Gamble. Johnny Gamble is kind of a silly non Alpha sounding name but I got over it pretty quick.
I really enjoyed this novel. It reminded me of the older KA novels like the Burg series or even some of the stand alone novels like Play It Safe. Those are some of my favorites. A good old fashioned romance of boy meets girl, gets to know and love her and wants to be with her forever. There’s a tiny hint of danger thrown in for conflict which hits just the right note keeping the novel from being too sweet. The heat level is not sweet though, it’s very spicy!
Hixon Drake has just gone through a divorce when he meets Greta Dare. Caught up in a fiery moment, he has to be “that” guy and walks away before he can get drawn in any further. He needs to concentrate on his kids and create a stable home for them when he has custody. An admirable reason, definitely. However, as the sheriff of this small town, his actions are noticed by everybody and that one night stand is not as secret as he’d like it to be. When his ex decides to try to mess with Greta’s livelihood, Dixon gets involved and the statement he makes to help resolve the issue cements their relationship status in the eyes of the community even if the status between the two of them is a little more muddy. There are many ups and downs to the beginning of their relationship, but when Dixon makes a decision he is decided in his actions.
Greta is used to being treated poorly by men. Growing up in a trailer park, with an alcoholic troublemaker for a mother has created a difficult climb out of that life. She is also the guardian of her brother who has special needs, and doesn’t have time for a sheriff who treats her poorly also. I really liked Greta’s personality! She was a giver to the 100th degree and yet didn’t let herself get walked on by others. When Dixon finally see’s the light, theirs is a love story that is solid and real. Actually,the most real of any that I’ve read by this author. Did I like the way the book started? No, but it definitely created an immediate hurtle that Dixon needed to resolve before he could get to the point where he’d fight for the relationship. When he got there, he was all in and I loved that.
Just with all of Kristen Ashley’s books, the chemistry between the two main characters was sizzling, but what I always like are their relationships to the people that surround them. The relationship between Hixon and his kids, between Greta and her co-workers, and then Greta and her brother was the mashed potatoes to the meat loaf of their love story. OK, not a very romantic analogy, but you can’t have a good meat loaf with out that mound of mashed potatoes! The same goes for characters in a story. Theirs was the heart, but you need the comparison of their friendships to realize these two people were perfect for each other.
Complicated, was full of complications but these characters and the story were wonderful.
Click this link to purchase! Complicated Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved