Dream Maker (Dream Team 1) by Kristen Ashley
1st in a new series that connects to many others (see below). Contemporary Romance.
Let me start by saying that Kristen Ashley is my hands-down favorite author. There are books I like more than others of course, but her original alpha books still stand as my favorites. That’s great, because Dream Maker seems to be written for fans like me. Dream Maker is 100% a Rock Chick Series/Dream Man Series match-up with a new generation.
The story in Dream Maker is actually set up in Quiet Man, Lottie and Mo’s book. Though this is a new series, and you technically don’t need to read anything before it, there is SO MUCH crossover from the other two series, I can’t imagine that a new reader wouldn’t feel just a little lost or overwhelmed. But for a fan, Dream Maker was like coming home. I deliberately had to stop reading because I didn’t want it to end.
“Did anyone read those Rock Chick books?” Hattie asked. “Those women got kidnapped all the time. Maybe they’re like an…I don’t know. A how-to. As in, how-to-behave-when-kidnapped type a thing. Or how-to-know-whether-you-should-attempt-to-escape-or-not.”
The Rock Chick and Dream Man books (as well as many of her others) have a certain formula. That formula works spectacularly for me, and Dream Maker got back to the original formula with a sassy heroine you can’t help but love, an amazing girl posse, and over-the-top protective alpha, insta-lust, the alpha protecting and claiming the heroine before she knows what hit her, and some action right up till the end.
Lottie is a stripper at Smithie’s who found love with a commando named Mo (Quiet Man). Now she is out to set up all of her stripper friends with Mo’s fellow commandos. Mag (Danny) and Evie (aka Evan) are the first up.
Evie is a genius that has a shit family that drags her into their messes. So much so that she needs to strip because she spends so much money getting her brother and dad out of trouble. Alpha-grunty commando Mag reads her texts on the first date (in real life this is a no-go, but hey, that’s what KA alphas do), and he also saw her clumsy but cute personality. At 5% into Dream Maker, he was already all-in.
“I’m not your baby,” I breathed. His gaze shifted back to my eyes, and he rumbled, all sexy, hot and sweet, “Oh yeah, you are.”
Right from the beginning, Mag’s protective instincts kick in and all of Hawk’s Dream Team commandos are there to help. And with Lottie also came the Rock Chicks, and we got to hang with all of them.
“She thinks I’m a new Rock Chick,” I told him.
“She’s wrong,” Lottie decreed, snatching the bags out of Mag’s hands. “You’re a Dream Maker.”
And when the trouble really starts to brew, we get Tex! I love Tex!
“Well, all right!” Tex boomed. “We’d hit such a long, boring patch, I thought I’d have to eBay my grenades. Trust my Lottie girl to stir things up.”
Danny (Mag) was a great hero. Sure he is overbearing, but he is not too “he-man”, in fact he insists on cooking breakfast every day. And he takes care of Evie in so many ways. When she realizes what it’s like to be taken care of for the first time its both heartbreaking and heartwarming. I cried.
As I write my likes and dislikes, I realize that despite a few little annoyances there is a feeling I get when I read Kristen Ashley that no other author gives me. That feeling alone is worth 5 stars to me. It’s like coming home.
All my life, you know?”
“All your life what, baby?”
He curved both arms around me and his voice was growly when he asked, “Until me, what?”
“The people I loved made loving them hard. Until you.”
- I immediately got the KA feel.
- Danny was a great alpha-hole at the beginning, but he turned into just a great alpha.
- Though it was formulaic, it’s my favorite formula!
- The set-up for the rest of the books in the series.
- I laughed, I cried, I sighed and I swooned.
- Despite there being SO MANY side characters, it never took away from the main couple.
- Seeing all the Rock Chick and Dream Man and Chaos characters.
- The greatest girl posses.
- Set in Denver with many scenes in Fortnums.
- 1st person female, 3rd person male.
Dislikes (more like nitpicks):
- There were so many characters, even a Kristen Ashley fan may have trouble keeping it straight. I’m not sure how a new reader would do.
- OK, so Evie is a millennial – she kind of banged us over the head with it at first.
- It may have been just a little too much of a campy homage to the originals. I’ve said it previously, but the Rock Chicks having the books about them as part of the story made them just a little too campy, and that continued here.
- I wish we delved a little more into Mag’s background.
The Down & Dirty:
While Dream Maker FELT like a 5 star read to me, it wasn’t perfect, and it kind of felt like a campy reunion show, so I’m going to go with 4.5 Stars (rounded up for other platforms).
Rating: 4.5 Stars, 3.5 Heat
Purchase Dream Maker (Dream Team 1) by Kristen Ashley
Though technically not part of the series, Quiet Man is basically the intro to the Dream Team Series, so I include it first.