Series Review: Dream Man by Kristen Ashley

Posted February 14, 2016 by Kim in 4 Stars, 5 Stars, In Review, Series Review / 0 Comments

DM_series review

As you probably know by now, I’m relatively new to Kristen Ashley’s books and I’ve promised myself that I will conquer her entire backlist as time allows. (The books are long, yo. I probably won’t get them all read this year… but I’m gonna do what I can.) I’m cheating a little bit in this series review because I have already posted my review for Motorcycle Man, but I couldn’t call it a series review feature without it. Soooooo… bear with me. (I did update it to include some of my favorite quotes, a new thing I’m doing with my reviews this year!)

Motorcycle Man is the first Kristen Ashley book I read and it’s what made me fall in love with her writing. Tack and Tyra will always have a special place in my heart. I don’t typically read series out of order and while I was reading the earlier books in this series, I kinda wished I hadn’t read them out of order. But, that said, I’m not sure I would’ve fallen for her writing quite as much had I started with Mystery Man. Don’t get me wrong… it was a fantastic book. It just didn’t hook me quite as much as Motorcycle Man did. But, I digress. I’ll just get on with the reviews. 🙂

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Series Review: Dream Man by Kristen AshleyMystery Man by Kristen Ashley
Series: Dream Man #1
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: July 13, 2011
Publisher: Forever
Format: eBook, 512 pages
How I got it: I bought it!
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
My rating:
Heat level: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne Flame

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...

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In Review My Thoughts

Last summer, my bookish bestie insisted I read a Kristen Ashley book. She’s her favorite author and, since we were meeting her in September, I knew I had to see what the fuss was. I’m not generally big on reading series out of order, but she insisted I NOT start with this book because some of the themes might be off-putting to me. She wanted me to see KA at her best, so she told me to start with Motorcycle Man. I loved it. All caps LOVED it. I went on to binge the spinoff Chaos series and loved those just as much. But I still wanted to go back and read the rest of the books in the Dream Man series. She made the right call for me when it came to Mystery Man and me. I liked it. I more than liked it at some times. But it did take some time to really trust and fall for Hawk. I’m honestly not sure I would have the same love for KA had I started with this book.

As with all of KA’s men (at least those that I’ve read so far), Hawk is a total alpha. There’s definitely some sweet under his hard exterior, but I did get frustrated with him at times. I’m not big on manwhores (if I had a dollar for every time I typed those words in a review…) and he doesn’t start out the book as a one woman man. BUT once he’s in, he’s ALL IN with Gwen. He’s a straight-talker, even when the truth was hard to hear and stung a little, but he was super protective and I really grew to love both of those things over the course of the book. I liked Gwen, for the most part. She made some questionable decisions at times, but I did like her wit and sassiness. Her need to run away instead of facing things head on made her seem pretty immature at times, but I did like how she grew over the course of the book.

The secondary storyline with Gwen’s piece of trash sister took the book beyond just romance and made for some edge of the seat moments as I was reading. I enjoyed getting an introduction to the other men who would be featured in the Dream Man series – even if I was having a hard time remembering that Tack hadn’t met Tyra yet and it was totally ok for him to be into Gwen. (This is why I don’t like to read series out of order!) Mystery Man was sexy. Oh boy was it ever. It also had some funny moments and plenty of “tough guy sweet” moments. Before the end of the book, I was totally wrapped up in this couple and their story and I felt the feels along the way. It might not’ve been my favorite book in this series, but it was still one I really enjoyed.

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FAVORITE QUOTES:

“Gwen, baby, clue in. I was makin’ you mine. When I make a woman mine, I do my homework.”

“But I darkened your door, baby, and you lit up my life again, so I’m not lettin’ that go.”

“You’re in deep with me, aren’t you, baby?” I whispered my question just to confirm.
“Drowning,” he whispered back.

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Series Review: Dream Man by Kristen AshleyWild Man by Kristen Ashley
Series: Dream Man #2
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: October 5, 2011
Publisher: Forever
Format: eBook, 528 pages
How I got it: I bought it!
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
My rating:
Heat level: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne Flame

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?

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In Review My Thoughts

Wild Man was fantastic. I enjoyed it more than Mystery Man, which I still enjoyed… but where it took some time for Hawk to grow on me, I didn’t need that for Brock. I was sold on him and his chemistry with Tess from the very beginning. Of course, learning he was undercover made me question some things, but not for very long. It was pretty obvious that, while there was a question of honesty, there’s no doubt the feelings were real. I thought Brock and Tess were perfect together and I needed to see them work things out, get over their pasts and find their way back to each other.

Like the other books in the Dream Man series, there were tough guy sweet moments, action and sexy times. I was enamored with the characters and couldn’t get enough of their stories. I loved the pairing of “wild” Brock with “sweet” Tess. I applauded her for having a backbone at the same time I cheered him on while he pursued her. Things got interesting where both of their exes are concerned and I spent a fair amount of time cursing each of them out in my head, but the romance between these two made the rest worth it. I loved the addition of Brock’s sons to the mix. The family they made with him and Tess was great.

Wild Man was another KA hit. I can see me rereading these in the future over and over again. I love a good alpha that’s as sweet underneath as he is tough on the outside. KA gives those to me in spades with this series. (And the Chaos spinoff.)

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FAVORITE QUOTES:

“You have to let it go so when you let me in and, baby”–his hand squeezed my neck–”when I say that, I mean when you let me in, the only thing you feel is me moving inside you and the only thing you see is me likin’ right where I am.”

“That’s why when I met a woman whose house always smells like there’s a cake in the over, who holds tight and presses her tits to my back when she’s with me on my bike, who looks at me like I can make the rest of the world melt away and for her its only me, I know I wanna hold onto that woman.”

“Brock Lucas is wild and he’s rough and he’s driven but he’s loving and affectionate and so fucking loyal it isn’t funny. He takes care of me. He makes me feel safe. He’s good through and through and that is the first and last fucking time I’ll listen to you talk shit about him.”

“You’re a manly, macho, rough, wild, hot guy kind of sweet but you’re sweet. I’m a mountainous swirl of frosting with a moist, rich cake as my core but you’re smooth, delicious dark chocolate that tastes good from the second it hits your tongue and makes you want more the minute it melts away.”

“You’re wrong, darlin’. I got wild in me. And I’ll never lose it. It’s just that my wild is a safe place for you and it always will be.”

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Series Review: Dream Man by Kristen AshleyLaw Man by Kristen Ashley
Series: Dream Man #3
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: January 1, 2012
Publisher: Forever
Format: eBook, 535 pages
How I got it: I bought it!
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
My rating:
Heat level: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne Flame

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?

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In Review My Thoughts

Since long before I even started reading Law Man, my bookish bestie talked about “Big Hearted Mitch” and how she just KNEW he would be my favorite KA guy. She wasn’t wrong. My god, I loved this man. KA might’ve ruined me for all real life guys forever with him. I’m not even close to kidding.

I knew as soon as I started this book that it would wind up being my favorite of KA’s books. (Shhhh. Don’t tell the others.) I loved Mara. I felt like I really understood her. I mean, I wanted to shake her sometimes for how much she underestimated herself, but I like how Mitch talked sense into her. She was so much better than how she saw herself. But you can only be beaten down so many times before you begin to believe what’s being said is actually the truth. (Did I mention Mara’s family was scum? Ugh.) Mitch brought her out of her shell. Mitch, Mitch, Mitch. Swoony Mitch. I don’t even have the words to explain how much I loved him. He was amazing on his own, but once you added in Mara’s cousin’s kids to the equation and you got to watch him make life special for those kids? I melted. Hard.

I highlighted roughly 1/3 of this book. I’m not even kidding. The tough guy sweet quotes made my heart flutter. I loved how Mitch helped Mara see the truth of who she was. I loved how together they gave these kids a life they deserved after her scummy cousin failed with them. Not only was this book sexy as hell, it was sweet and romantic and even had a fair amount of action. I laughed and cried and loved every single minute of it. I’ll be shocked if I don’t end the year with this as one of my top reads of all of 2016.

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FAVORITE QUOTES:

In this world, Sevens to Tens gravitated to each other and rarely, if ever, dipped below the Seven mark. They might try a Six or even go slumming with a Five, but they’d settle in for the long haul with someone in their zone. Then the Fours to Sixes gravitated to each other. There was more workability here for those under Four to get in but it was also rare. And my zone, Ones to Threes gravitated to each other. If you were of my zone, only the foolish aimed higher than a Three. Higher than a Three equaled heartache.

“I’m gonna kiss you, and you’re gonna kiss me. I’m gonna do other things to you, and you’re gonna do other things to me. No way in hell even you can share a kiss with a man like the ones we shared last night and not explore where that could go.”

“Since I have your attention, baby, and I see you beatin’ your retreat, I want you to take this with you when you slide back into that cocoon. Straight up, Mara, I want you in my bed. And when you’re in my bed, I’m gonna be in you. And while I’m movin’ inside you, I’m gonna make you come with your long, fuckin’ legs wrapped around my back, when my hands are finally on that fantastic fuckin’ ass of yours, your tongue’s in my mouth and you’re kissin’ me as only you can kiss me. I know you got a way of twistin’ shit so it’s fucked up in your brain, so I’m hopin’ if I’m direct about just what I want from you, it might penetrate and you might keep it straight long enough to give us both what we’ve been wantin’ for a long fuckin’ time.”

“Let’s see if I can tear that cocoon wide open and let my Mara fly.”

“Never believed in this shit, but now I’m thinkin’ I fell in love with the promise of you the first time I saw you.”

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Series Review: Dream Man by Kristen AshleyMotorcycle Man by Kristen Ashley
Series: Dream Man #4
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: December 11, 2012
Format: eBook, 522 pages
How I got it: I bought it!
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
My rating:
Heat level: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne Flame

Tyra Masters has had enough drama to last a lifetime. Now, she's back on track and looking forward to her new, quiet life. Until she meets the man of her dreams. The tattooed, muscled biker plies her with tequila-and the best sex of her life. She knows it isn't the tequila and hot sex talking. He's the kind of man she's always wanted. Unfortunately, he's also her new boss . . .

Kane "Tack" Allen has a rule. He doesn't employ someone he's slept with. So when he learns he spent last night in bed with his new office manager, he quickly fires Tyra. Yet when Tyra stands up to him and fights for her job, Tack is intrigued. He tells her she can keep her job on one condition: no more sex. Ever. But as things heat up between them, Tack finds that he'll be the one breaking all the rules...

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In Review My Thoughts

My bookish bestie has been after me to read a Kristen Ashley book FOREVER. I’m not entirely sure why I put it off as long as I did, but I’m happy I finally broke down a few days ago and decided to pick one of her books up. Motorcycle Man was a great pick for me because it also marked my first true motorcycle club book. And also, it was entirely brilliant. It captivated me from start to finish.

I love a good alpha male, but it definitely did take some time for Tack to grow on me. He wasn’t like the swoony book boys I’ve been reading recently. After I adjusted my expectations, vented a bit to my friend and gave him a chance, I began seeing what an amazing guy he really was. I grew to love him just as he was. Tyra, on the other hand, I connected with right from the start. It was easy to see a lot of myself in her. Despite a bumpy start – and more than a few fights as the book went on – I absolutely loved the romance between Tack and Tyra. There was something special about the two of them together. They had tons of passion and the sexy times were hot. But it was the relationship, the push and pull as they grew together, that kept me sticking around. To say I was invested in these characters and their story is a HUGE understatement. Through it all there were even a fair few feels, too. Books like this are why I read.

So yes, I’m officially a KA addict. I read three of her books in three days. I can’t get enough. And I really can’t wait to meet her in Pittsburgh in a few weeks. (Feb. 2016 edit: I met her and she was just as amazing in person as I hoped.)

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FAVORITE QUOTES:

This man called Tack loved life and knew how to live it to its fullest. And I knew, as crazy as it sounded, that I was going to live my life to its fullest by his side.

I was not the kind of person who lived life like Tack did. I was thirty-five and I had lived a careful, quiet, risk-free life. I weighed decisions. I measured pros versus cons. I wrote lists. I made plans. I organized. I thought ahead. I never took one step where I wasn’t absolutely certain where my foot would land. And if I found myself in a situation that was unsure, I exited said situation, pronto.

“Truth, honesty, perseverance, strength, love of all kinds and forgiveness are all beautiful, Tack. The most beautiful stories ever told are the most difficult to take.”

“There’s no out once you’re in and, Tyra, darlin’, you’re in.”

“Life’s a roller coaster. Best damn ride in the park. You don’t close your eyes, hold on and wait for it to be over, babe. You keep your eyes open, lift your hands straight up in the air and enjoy the ride for as long as it takes.”

“But I ate good, I just came hard, I’m in your bed, you like me here and you called me honey so I’m thinkin’ tonight’s my night. That is, if you’d shut up and let me sleep.”

“I like everything about you, honey. Everything. Lived in black and white seems like all my life. Never noticed. Not until you colored my world.”

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About Kristen Ashley

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 accessorise 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.

Nothing's changed.

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).

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Let's Chat

Have you read the Dream Man series?
Any of Kristen Ashley’s other books?

What are your favorites?

Kim Sig_edited-1

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