You guys know I’m a freak for Kristen Ashley’s books. Even the book I liked least of hers, is still AMAZING. But combining Kristen Ashley’s writing genius with another Motorcycle club book, and you have pure gold. PURE.FUCKING.GOLD!
“Gone for you”
Own The Wind is the first in the Chaos series, a spin-off of Motorcycle Man, part of the Dream Man Series. Yes, it can be read alone, but if you read the Dream Man Series and the Rock Chick series, you will really appreciate this book way more, as many of our favorite characters, including Elvira and Tex make appearances.
Own The Wind is a bit different than Kristen Ashley’s other books. The first reason–and this is big–is Own The Wind is traditionally published, not self-published as all of Kit’s books have been in the past. It was edited very well, but this made this book shorter than most of her previous books except The Unfinished Hero Series, though it was still a nice long, meaty read. The really nice thing? Even though it is traditionally published, the price is still unbelievably great. The second difference is that the main characters in the book are younger than Kristen’s usual heroes, and this is the first time she has written a book about previous hero’s kid.
Tabby is Tack’s (the President of the Chaos Motorcycle Club in Denver) daughter. When we saw her last in Motorcycle Man, she was 16. When Own the Wind starts, she is 19. She has been acting up, and the guys at Chaos are getting “callouts” often to get Tabby out of dangerous situations. She is on a bad road of partying too hard and dressing too trampy. She has always had a crush on Shy (named because he is absolutely NOT shy with the women), and he knows it. When he gets a ‘Tabby callout’, he decides it’s time to scare her straight.
“You scream you got a wild side, baby. Quit fuckin’ around. You been wantin’ to explore it since you were sixteen. The time is right. The stage is set.” He pulled her closer to him and lifted the bottle again. “Let’s go.”
He said and did more than that….and he cut her deep. But they never got a Tabby callout again. After that, Tabby began to get her shit together, and studied hard to become a nurse. 5 months later, she blows off Shy when she sees him. 6 months later, she looks right through him. He sees she has changed for the better, but it kills Shy that she ignores him.
Seven months later, they see each other again. Tabby still gives Shy the cold shoulder, and really puts him in his place for how he treated her, and disappears again. Four months later he sees her on the street, happy and clearly in love with another man. Who isn’t a biker. Who isn’t Shy.
“Jesus,” Shy muttered, that burn back, in his gut, chest, heart, even up his fucking throat.
Another 8 months pass, and Shy hears Tabby is engaged, and feels like he has been punched in the gut. Six months later, just 3 weeks before the wedding, tragedy strikes. Shy needed to help her, somehow.
“She never wanted to see him. But he had to do something. He wasn’t her family. But she was his.”
Another 3-4 months pass, and Shy gets a call from Tabby. She got herself in with some bad dudes, and needs rescuing. Shy rescues her and he and Tabby get drunk together and finally work out their differences, as she passes out in Shy’s room at the Compound. She is 23, and miserable and hurting.
“I dreamed a dream, Shy.”
“You’ll dream more dreams, baby.”
“I’ll never dream,” she whispered, her voice lost, tragic. “We’ll get you to a dream, honey,” he promised, pulling her closer.
Tabby left that night feeling “right” being in Shy’s arms, but also feeling guilty as hell. Over time, Shy and Tabby develop a friendship, a very close friendship. But it’s still too soon. But when Shy is finally pushed to take action, he behaves like those Kristen Ashley alphas we know and love. He finally takes what he wants, and doesn’t let go for anything.
“This is why.” he clipped, stalked the three steps that separated them, snaked an arm around her waist, drove a hand into the back of her hair, and hauled her into his arms.
He slammed his mouth down on hers. Then he thrust his tongue between her lips and there it was….
Better than he would have guessed. Better than years of wondering how good it could be.
The best he ever had.
With just a fucking KISS.”
Now don’t make the mistake I did. I started off thinking Shy was a boy. Shy was NO BOY. He was a total Kristen Ashley alpha, through and through.
“Bedroom and clothes off, Tabby.”
Throughout the book we also get to see Tack and Cherry, Lanie and Hop, Tack’s son/Tabby’s brother Rush, Shy’s awesome brother Landon (a soldier), and we get to see Elvira and her hot hunk of alpha man. (Squeee! I love Elvira! So glad she has this guy!)
There was a preview at the end of the book for Fire Inside (Chaos 2) Hopper and Lanie’s story, and I loved it and already highlighted a ton of great lines. I can’t wait until June 4th!
- The POV switched from 1st person Shy, to 3rd person, to 1st person Tabby and more, and I barely noticed it and never got confused.
- It was great revisiting so many previous characters.
- It had everything I love to love about Kristen Ashley’s books–hot “alphahole”, a guy who appreciates what he has, great side character, laughing, tears, smiles, swoons, action and tons of great quotes. “May feel like you’re fallin’, Tabby, but remember, I’m at the bottom ready to catch you.”
- This was a bit more relationship driven and had a little less action adventure than previous books.
- I love reading Kristen’s romanticized version of a biker club.
- Watching Tabby and Rush grow up.
- The motorcycle family was very strong and the bond was tight.
- Seeing Tabby defend herself to her family and Tyra was one of my favorite scenes.
- The story was great, no dislikes there. The editing was great, but I think I prefer Kristen’s unedited voice. This book lost just a bit of what makes Kristen’s books so special. The lengthy descriptions of outfits, homes, hair were all shortened, so I never had as strong a visual as I have had in her other stories.
- The sex scenes were not as hot as Kristen usually does, perhaps this is because Kristen still thinks of Tabby as a ‘kid’ or perhaps it is the editors. But I’m really hoping Fire Inside has a little more heat. It seems to from the preview.
- The epilogue was there and great, but a bit short for Kristen.
Rating: 5 stars, 3.75 Heat
“Now I’m an us again, and that’s what I’ll be with my woman and the family we make until the day I fucking die.”
This is one of my favorite Kristen Ashley books. It had everything I love in her books. Alpha men, a relationship that’s meant to be, kickass characters, fun visits from other characters, a little danger (different than most), some amazing lines, and that feel good, totally fulfilled feeling you get after reading a Kristen Ashley book. I’m waiting on the edge of my seat to read about Lainie and Hop!
“I dreamed a dream she I was sixteen and here I am, standing with my dream, feeling it come real.”
See the Dream Man Series Order (Read at least Motorcycle Man first!)
Purchase Own The Wind (Chaos #1)
Pre-order Fire Inside (Chaos #2) coming June 4th
**Thank you to Grand Central Publishing, Chas and Kit for providing me with this ARC in exchange for a fair review for the blog tour.
Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA. She 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!).
Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana but has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write.
Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multi-generational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland and existed amongst the strains of 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 up, it keeps getting better.
Connect with Kristen:
Since Kristen Ashley wasn’t able to make it to Wicked Girls Book Weekend 2013, we decided to haul our wicked asses over to Kristen’s for a little chat. The bowls of cashews are out and Ricki has made the caramel squares. Our little posse includes me (Ana), CC Wood, Kerry, Ricki, Scandal, and Shannon.
CC Wood: Where should we go in Denver for your ULTIMATE Girls Night Out? We’re in your hands!
Ana: I wanna be where any of the hot guy posse is!
Kerry: I’m with Ana!
This is a tough question! I wouldn’t know where to begin, but I’d have to start with what I felt like wearing. If I felt like gussying up, it would be all about Sushi Den so I could consume a lot of rice that would soak up the vodka I’d later imbibe, then moving on to the Cruise Room downtown. If I felt like being laid back, I’d hit the back room of The Hornet and stay there for hours (with requisite bathroom breaks, of course). If I felt like wearing something in between, start at Tamayo in Larimer Square then see where the night took us.
So we decide to hang out here, then head to Tamayo after we get a few pre-cocktails in us 🙂
Ana: The girls and I were talking, and when I mentioned that if I ever met a guy that said “yeah?” At the end of a sentence, I’d get an immediate lady boner, because only a Kristen Ashley guy says that. Where does this come from? Do you know people that talk like this?
Well… yeah. Me. Though I’m not a dude. And I’m wracking my brain, but I don’t really know where I got it. It just came to me when my boys came to me. Though my brother speaks Alpha Male. Still, he doesn’t end sentences with “yeah?” or “you get me?” Hmm…
Shannon: Is it a Canadian thing?
Ana: It’s just a hot KA guy thing.
No, it’s definitely not Canadian. That, I do know!
Speaking of your hot alpha speak…your guys have their own hot-as-shit, tough guy, grunty, two word sentences thing going on. My husband is a little like that. Are these based on people you know or hang with? Is your brother like that?
My brother is able to communicate and show tough guy emotion, but yeah. If he gets bossy, he could sit there and shout, “Karen! [my niece] Out here! Now!” if he wants her to come to him (just an example that actually happened). But, truthfully, a lot of it is just in my head. I figure nuances of life and experience filter in but most of it is made up (sorry to say!).
Then we all get gussied up and head to Tamayo. Scandal, CC and Shannon get into a conversation about Fat Tire vs. Blue Moon. I never heard of either and order a cosmo.
This is pretty hilarious. The girlies talk about beer (FAT TIRE!) and then order a cocktail. HA!
Ana: If you had to choose ONE of your guys to be stranded on an island with for the rest of your life, who would it be?
Oh boy. This is really tough. But whenever a question like this is asked, the first guy that pops into my mind is Joe Callahan from AT PEACE. I don’t know why, except he was very damaged and I’m a fixer. But also, he didn’t fall in love with a woman. He fell in love with a family. And he’s my only hero who’s done that. It was just as fun to write his romance with Violet as it was to write his relationship growing with the girls. One of my favorite parts of that book is when it dawns on Joe that Keira might garner male attention and he instantly morphs into overprotective dad. That’s beautiful. And it’s hot! (I love Joe too!)
Ana: How about one girl character to be your BFF?
Again, almost impossible to answer! I’d have to pick two. Elvira and Daisy. They have being a girlfriend down to an art.
Ana: Have you ever thought about taking an existing book and rewriting it from the male POV? I’d love to read what goes on in those alpha brains, one of my readers asked the same question.
No, actually, but that’s an interesting question. I loved writing GOLDEN TRAIL entirely in Layne’s POV. Although there are serious editing errors in it I totally dig that book, and that’s a major reason why. Two specific parts that I particularly like were when Layne caught Rocky doing something crazy (breaking into the church and breaking into the rental office). I loved writing those, his reaction to his woman doing something nutty. That was the bomb.
The next book I’m writing is coming to me entirely in the man’s point of view, too. So, I’ve never thought of it, but if I had the time, it would be interesting. Most specifically, the ROCK CHICKS. I’d love to see what the guys think of those girls’ antics! Me too!
Scandal: So you lived here in the US, then England, now you’re back….what did you miss most when you were over there? What do you miss most about there, now that you are back?
I missed my family and friends when I was over there. I missed decent parking and valet! Cheetos and Fritos, of course. Holiday candy. Shopping (things are very expensive over there). Wearing high heels (a lot of pavements are broken and/or uneven and parking is crap, so it’s hard to wear high heels). Being back, now I miss my friends and family over there J. Custard and good sausages. Delicious chocolate and ice cream (even their least expensive chocolate and ice cream is divine). Train travel is convenient and we don’t really have the same gig set up here. So… yeah. Lots to miss both ways.
Scandal: Why cashews?
Ricki: Everyone knows you can’t throw a good party without them!!!
Ana: Because they’re expensive and classy!
Because I freaking LOVE cashews!
Scandal: SHHHHHH do you have a fond memory attached to them? Did your mom like cashews?
No memories. Just what Ricki and Ana said. They’re spot on!
Ana: I love that your books tend to feature older heroines and heroes. Is that a conscious decision or that’s just how they come to you?
Well, I’m not twenty anymore and that could be part of it. But I believe love can come to you at any age. That things may go awry in your life, just life and romantically, and you shouldn’t give up. However, I like exploring anything, including all ages. I might be wrong, but I think Tabby and Shy of Own the Wind are my youngest hero and heroine and I truly loved being with them as they discovered themselves, sorted out their lives and decided what they wanted out of them.
Ana: Did you start writing later in life? If so, what did you do before? What was your favorite job before writing?
I started writing about twelve years ago, so yeah. In my thirties, if you can call that “later in life”. Before that, I worked in charity throughout my career (outside of jobs in high school and college). My favorite job was working at the Bournville Community Center in Weston-super-Mare in England. If you want to know what kind of job that was, read Lacybourne Manor. Sybil works where I worked and a lot of the people I worked with are in that book. It was the first time I worked directly with the people I was serving. It was totally awesome. We had a blast. It is supposed to be the roughest council estate in England, but I never, not once, felt unsafe. Truly good people, down to the core, who look after each other. I miss it. I miss them.
Ricki: She worked in a club in college!
I did? When did I do that? HA! Though, I did work at a dinner theater.
Ana: You write some awesome teenagers! What makes you know teens so well?
As a writer, I’m an observer. Have been all my life. But I have two teenage nieces who I adore beyond reason. They are really good girls; funny, sweet, generous, courteous, smart as all heck. They are their ages but also they’re comfortable with adults. Well-spoken. And loving. So damned loving. I think that people pass that by, how much love kids have to give. How much they contribute. How awesome it is to be around them. I don’t. I notice it all the time. Just the other day, I was at a party and my girlfriend’s son who’s around twelve came in, sat with us and gabbed away. The party was all women and he so could have taken himself off and watched TV or kicked a ball around in the backyard but he wanted to hang with us. Kids are the bomb, and as an observer, I note how they are and put it in my books.
Ana: What were you like in High School? Popular? Cheerleader? Or middle of the road?
Um… I would say my friends in high school would have to answer that, but I had a lot of friends. They were in groups but I wasn’t. I hung with everyone. I’m very friendly, very social, and I just like people. I was the same back then. I was also a little crazy and did a lot of crazy things. And last, I was a non-conformist. I wore what I wanted to wear. Hung with who I wanted to hang with. I listened to the music I liked. I just was what I am now. Me.
Ana: Where did you go to college?
Ricki: Perdue!!!!!! (I told you she knows KA trivia!)
Yep, I went to Purdue. I’m a Boilermaker, fourth generation. Like Roxie, my great-grandfather’s name is up on a plaque in the Union because he died during WWI. He was captain of the football team in 1911 and 1912. He was also very handsome. My grandmother never met him. But I saw pictures of him in Purdue yearbooks and he was beautiful.
Ana: What was your college major?
I had four, and none that I could do shizzle with. Spanish, French, Political Science and Women’s Studies. I intended to be an attorney and work with women who were victims of domestic violence. That didn’t happen.
Shannon: Ok I’m slow…but what is a board??? Can you describe it to me? Elvira’s boards?
It’s described in MYSTERY MAN, but they usually are a bunch or finger or spreadable food put on cutting boards or big platters and it’s whatever you want. Cheese, crackers, grapes, strawberries, apple slices, olives, spreads, whatever. Yummy. Dangerous. But totally yummy.
Scandal and CC: Can you talk a little about what has changed now that you have gone from self-published to traditionally published?
The workload has expanded significantly. One of the many reasons I have not had time to get into ROCK CHICK 8. I don’t just write a book, Chas edits it and whoosh! It’s gone. There are edits. Copyedits. Physical proofs. Cover copy. Jacket copy. The list goes on. I love learning new things. I freaking hate to be stagnant, so this process is hugely interesting to me. I also get to work with new people, which obviously, liking people, I love.
Ana: I’m an accessory freak. I never go out without great accessories (not even to the supermarket). Tell me, where do you like to shop for accessories?
I tend to be a person who does not buy stuff just to have it because eventually, if you lose interest in it, you give it away or toss it and I don’t like waste. So I usually invest in accessories. That is, really nice stuff I adore but maybe it’s a bit expensive. Though, I dropped some cash on some fun stuff at Lucky Brand recently, but it’s totally my gig so I figure I’ll keep it for a while. I am a sucker for Lalique’s glass rings. I’m also a sucker for Rowan Berries made by a glass artist who lived in the town I lived in England. And any kind of silver that’s unusual. With accessories, I tend to go more for boutique shops who sell artist’s works.
(all the while Kerry is just watching and tweeting our every move)
Ana: How do you pick the kickass names for your characters?
Sometimes, they just come to me. Tatum Jackson and Lauren Graham came to me, kapow! Fully named, fully-formed, totally them. A friend suggested the name Ty and I fell in love with that name and Ty was born. My favorite guy’s name is Joe so there came Joe Callahan. Ryon in WITH EVERYTHING I AM was named Roderick in the first writing of that book, and I hated that name for him because I kinda had it in my head he’d be a hero in his own book one day and I didn’t want him named Roderick. So Chas and I brainstormed “R” names and one of the names she gave was Raiden. I knew a hero had to have that name and along came Raid. Names are crucial. I try not to repeat, but even with secondary characters, with the amount of books I write, it’s becoming hard. I named Dusty from GAMES OF THE HEART “Delilah” at first before it hit me that I had a character in that series with that name already. I was devastated. The book I’m about to write, the character came to me as Molly, but I’d just written a Molly so I had to change her name. Luckily, with Dusty and my new girl, the names they got are even better!
Ana: Favorite character ever written?
Tex. (Rock Chicks)
Ana: How many books do you plan in the Chaos series? After Hop and Lanie, do you know who comes next?
There will be at least four, but I’m thinking more like six. Next, I believe will be Joker. I’d like to see both High and Hound get HEAs. And Rush will bookend that series. (YAY!!!!!)
Ana: Do you think you may do other books about any of the kids grown up?
I hope to. No in GAMES OF THE HEART already has his girl (in my head). And I’d love to see how Ty reacts to his girls finding the loves of their lives. That would be interesting. And I figure Hawk and Gwen’s kids will have interesting love stories. Not to mention Bud and Billie from LAW MAN. So, yeah. It’s just finding the time, you know?
Oh…please find the time! No is my favorite of all the teens (he is just like my own son).
Ana: You seem to know a lot about the inner workings of a MC. Have you hung with them in real life? Do you ride? Can you get me a ride on Tack’s bike?
Alas, I can’t get you a ride on Tack’s bike (damn 🙁 ). And yes, I’ve hung with bikers. But no, I don’t ride, though I would not be averse to being on the back of any bike with any guy as I love riding (just not with me at the helm). Though, it should be noted the “inner workings” of Chaos are totally made up. I’ve never hung with an MC, as such. What I do know is that bikers are like anyone else. There are those who are scary and rough, but that is absolutely not the norm. Most of the ones I’ve met are gruff, gentle and gentlemen.
Ana: You seem to have a lot of really bitchy ex’s in your books. Is that something you’ve had to deal with?
No. Actually never. They’re just made up. My aunt asked me once, “Who is Tina Blackstone!?” Although not an ex, as such, she makes an impression and she, too, is totally made up.
Ana: If you could pick one place in the world to visit, where would it be?
I’d really like to go to Italy. But right now, I’ve been working for a long time without a real break and if I got my shot, I’d go back to Crete for at least a week!
Have you ever had pudding shots? OMG, we had them at Wicked Girls Book Weekend…you need to try them!
No, but they sure do sound good.
Are you a night or morning person?
What do you do to keep in shape? Look at you! You are gorgeous!
Pilates and yoga. I also do boot camps if I can get the mojo going to do them. And I walk. Usually, though, it’s a struggle because it’s hard to find the time.
What is your favorite food?
Lobster. I love food and am not really picky. But if I could have anything, I’d have steamed lobster and drawn butter.
Do you have a set writing schedule?
Nope. It’s more, when I’m writing, can I stop writing so I can live my life? And the answer to that is usually no!
Scandal: I know you love movies…what are some of your favorites?
Wow. Hard and would take all day to name them all! But to name a few. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Beauty and the Beast (Disney animated). Star Wars. Field of Dreams. Billy Elliot. Rear Window. Steel Magnolias. Iron Giant. A Knight’s Tale. My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Return to Me. Run Lola, Run. Shaun of the Dead. Snatch. Practical Magic. Is that enough?
I love the playlists on your site. It’s crazy, but thats pretty close to the setlist for my son’s band, which luckily happens to be my favorite music. (Thank goodness, because I am out watching him gig every weekend, being a real ‘Rock Chick”) What would be your top band/album/song(s) of all time, and is there a story behind it?
Pearl Jam’s Ten. I think that, if memory serves, there was a number of years of wasteland music prior to the grunge movement. Lots of pop, not much with substance; or at least it was few and far between and not getting regular airplay. So when Nirvana, Pearl Jam and the rest hit, it was like living with the drone of Muzak all your life, then suddenly this driving sound that was full of lyrics dripping with emotion hit you and your entire world changed. I liked the other bands but Pearl Jam spoke to me more, though I don’t know why. Maybe it was because I didn’t identify so much with Cobain’s issues and anger but Vedder’s stories spoke to me. I’m a storyteller and I tend to gravitate to music that tells stories (thus a big Springsteen and Mellencamp fan as they tell great stories, particularly Springsteen). But it was and is all about Ten for me. Though, my favorite PJ songs are “Daughter”, “Elderly Woman…” and “Just Breathe” which aren’t on that album!
Great choices! I remember that time too! It was like the first time in at least 10 years we had some good music again!
Is there any kind of music you don’t love?
Opera never did it for me. And new age jazz is not my gig. Other than that, no.
Describe yourself in 3 words.
Dreamer. Driven. Dorky.
I drink too much caffeine (probably).
I love the show Double Divas and I want to meet Molly.
I absolutely hate clutter and am very tidy (think scary dude in Sleeping with the Enemy, but not that bad).
I adore Dwayne Johnson but I don’t want to meet him because I’m sure I’d make a fool of myself.
I still have not come to terms with what has become of my life with this writing gig. But I’m having fun trying!
As we start drinking too much and asking Kristen some rude questions about her sex life, she sweetly, and totally coolly, calls us a cab back to the hotel, and we say our goodbyes….looking so forward to Book Bash in June!