This week’s #TBT is going down the nostalgia path but with a present-day twist. I’m throwing it back to that time when I fell firmly in love with Kristen Ashley’s Dream Man series; specifically Wild Man Brock Lucas – insert dreamy sigh here because hot damn I love that man. But, as usual, when I talk about Kristen Ashley books, I’m getting ahead of myself!
Kristen Ashley’s Dream Man series kicks off with Mystery Man. Mystery Man sets the tone and
lays the groundwork for the entire Dream Man series. We meet all of the heroes when they basically take turns meeting the heroine, Gwen. Gwen has all of these dudes falling for her just by saying hello, well all of them except my favorite, Brock, who went by an alias back in the beginning. It’s a clever way to introduce all of the main male characters in the series, a little unorthodox but clever nonetheless! Kristen Ashley does not shy away from unconventional, and we are all the better for it! Gwen and our hero, Hawk Delgado are in the throes of an eighteen month-long late night booty call where Gwen doesn’t even know his name. Only Kristen Ashley could pull a scenario like that off, I mean the “D” is just that good my friends.
Hawk is in charge of a crew of commandos that dance along the line of legal and illegal tactics to get the bad guys. Hawk’s crew often teams up with another group of Ashley alpha’s, the Rock Chick’s Hot Bunch, which never disappoints.
I don’t do a lot of re-reading, but when life gets me down, and I need a little comfort food for my soul, Wild Man is my go-to book. Brock Lucas is a very good man. (Full disclosure, Brock Lucas is my favorite Kristen Ashley hero, fight me.) He’s an undercover cop that takes on missions and puts himself in situations no one should have to endure. In Wild Man, he’s investigating our heroine, Tess O’Hara’s ex-husband. Tess’s ex is a very bad man, incredibly bad, and he almost broke her spirit. Luckily, she found her way out and now spends her days making cakes as sweet as she is!
If I had to pinpoint the book that turned me on to “seasoned romance” it would be Wild Man (sidenote: Wild Man has never been marketed as a seasoned romance, but Ashley has a knack for writing more mature characters that steal my heart.) Both Tess and Brock are older, they’ve been through failed marriages, Brock has children, they’ve lived life, made mistakes, and learned hard lessons. This means they are comfortable in their own skin, they don’t mince words when it comes to their feelings, there’s no beating around the bush, being coy, playing games; they say what they mean. I find that incredibly refreshing to read, and it makes this book entirely relatable. Not relatable in that I’m an undercover cop or I have an ex-husband who is also a drug lord; relatable in that I’m a grown-ass adult getting along with the business of grown-ass life, even when it’s hard. Tess has been through some shit, shit that could’ve destroyed her but she is resilient and strong. She is my favorite Kristen Ashley heroine because, in spite of her hardships, she’s still a big cupcake of sweetness with a massive swirl of frosting and fairy sprinkles on top.
Law Man is Mitch and Mara’s story. It’s fantastic, and it amps up the Dream Man awesome by giving us two ridiculously cute kids to interact with. Kristen Ashley has a way with writing kids, she makes them so stinking sweet you want just to pinch their cheeks. Mitch didn’t stand a chance when he met Mara’s dangerously neglected cousin’s kids. He was already falling in love with Mara before they landed on the scene, so their arrival only sealed the already done deal!
Finally, we have Motorcycle Man. Kane “Tack” Allen is not easy to love. In fact, Tack shattered any fantasy I could’ve ever had of being an old lady in a motorcycle gang – oh lordy, I do not have the ability to school my face enough to fit in there! Tyra Masters is a freaking saint! Motorcycle Man is a wildly suspenseful ride that comes together in a final scene that will leave you on the edge of your seat and in dire need of a stiff shot of brown liquor to calm your nerves. Somehow Kristen Ashley takes this character Tack, who was not my favorite and adds a layer to him that gets peeled back to reveal a vulnerable side that broke my freaking heart and won me over to the Tack-side. I don’t know how Kristen Ashley does it; I just read the damn books and happily get lost in her world.
Which leads me to the #TBT throwing it all the way back to Tuesday, August 13, 2019! Quiet Man is out! It’s a novella that pulls Hawk’s commandos and the Rock Chick Hot Bunch guys back together in a cross over made in heaven. Lottie is Rock Chick Jet’s sister. She’s a stripper at Smithies in need of a bodyguard. Mo is part of Hawk’s crew, who, as the title implies, doesn’t have a lot to say, proving actions speak louder than words. With Quiet Man, Ashley reunites us for a walk down memory lane and also sets up a new series that promises more KA Alpha men and the women that bring them to their knees! I am giddy with excitement over the possibility of more old school Kristen Ashley I can sink my teeth into!