Wild Like The Wind (Chaos #6) by Kristen Ashley
Standalone in a series. Highly recommended you read the whole series in order.
I went into Wild Like The Wind by Kristen Ashley fresh from a Chaos re-read. At this point in a series, I begin to have trouble keeping track of all the characters, and I felt a bit lost in Rough Ride, so I decided a re-read was in order. I am so glad I did! I have been in Chaos heaven for weeks! (Can I stay please?) I will admit, I still had a little trouble keeping all the characters straight, but it was a whole helluva lot easier after a series reread!
She was not his.
She was Black’s.
And she always would be.
Black has been gone 18 years. He was the light of Chaos, and he was taken down during the time that Tack came in to clean up Chaos. Black left behind his wife, Keely, and their 2 boys. Keely and Black were everything beautiful in a biker couple, and it’s a strict rule in the biker world: If a brother dies, his woman is strictly off-limits. There is no grey area, even after 18 years.
“Lived with that for years, bein’ in love with a woman I can’t have.”
Hound is one of the roughest in Chaos, in charge of enforcing and “wet work”, so it’s hard to believe he has a major soft spot, but oh, he does. He has been secretly in love with Keely since before her husband died, and 18 years later, his feelings are still as strong (not a spoiler, we know this from previous books). He delivers the Chaos checks to her monthly and has been the man in her kids’ life. But he has never stepped over the line. Keely is a beautiful biker babe with Native American roots. Chaos is in her blood. But for 18 years it’s been Hound who has been there for everything, and until she almost loses him, she doesn’t realize what they really have.
“I gotta burn bright, honey,” I said softly. “I gotta start tearing this life up.”
When she comes to Hound, there is no way he can say no. But it’s just sex (and a whole lot of it!), because nobody can ever find out. If they did, Hound would have to choose between her and Chaos.
“It would be her who ended it. Because no matter how much it took, how deep it dug, how empty it left him, he’d give her what she needed even if it left nothing of him, and after she was gone, he drifted to ash and blew away with the wind.”
At first, it seems she is using him to get what she needs.
“I want wild. I want fire. With you, I’m Keely. You take me hard. You ride me rough. I’m not a mom. I’m not the attendance officer at the high school… I’m a woman. All woman. The woman who likes to get fucked however you wanna fuck me.”
Hound isn’t only giving everything to Keely, even more beautiful is his relationship with Jean. I loved that she was the typical Jewish grandma without being over-the-top and cartoonish (as a jew, it’s nice to see others in books. but a heroine would be even better than a grandma!) Still, Jean stole my heart, or actually, it was Hound’s gentle and respectful care of her that completely wrecked me for him.
All of a sudden, those faded blue eyes on him were piercing. “You are the kindest, most gentle soul I’ve ever had touch mine. If you do not give that to a child, Shepherd, that will be lost to this world and that would be such a crying shame, it’d be hard to reconcile it.”
Once Hound and Keely get together, they need to make up for the years they spent secretly wanting the other.
18 years these two spent alone. 18 years living half a life. Chaos may be a club of vigilante outlaws, but they take their code seriously and any romance between Hound and Keely will not be accepted by the club.
“Wild like the wind,” she whispered…
“I was once that,” she told him. Yeah she was. Wild and beautiful and happy and carefree.
“I know you were,” he replied.
“Feels like centuries ago.”
Where his thumb could reach, he stroked her face. “I know.”
- The whole background of the club history was laid out in this story instead of just inferring it from pieces that have been dropped along the way.
- There was a good amount of recap and explanation and I found this easier to follow than Rough Ride.
- Keely was the first actual biker babe to be a heroine in this biker series.
- Holy hot and dirty sex!
- I loved her kids and the part they played in this story.
- Crossovers from Rock Chicks, Dream Man and Unfinished Heroes series
- Jean, the Jewish Grandma.
- Hound and Jean’s relationship.
- How Hound helped around the house.
- Seeing the younger generation step up to Chaos.
- Left us wanting for more, but not with a cliffy.
- I love the way it started from Hound’s POV.
- Answered a lot of questions about the club and the background.
- I know it’s a biker book, but “shooting a massive wad down her throat” made me gag more than it was sexy.
- The whole Valenzuela story ARC is getting a little too drawn out and confusing to follow.
- Having trouble keeping track of all the characters at this point.
- I didn’t feel the connection to Keely at first.
The Down & Dirty:
Rating: 4.5 Stars, 4.5 Heat
Purchase Wild Like The Wind by Kristen Ashley
This interview with Kristen Ashley was done mid June, 2018
•What is your current Work in Progress and what is coming up next? I remember hearing something about a Rock Chick spin-off in L.A., and Wood and Maggie’s story, but haven’t heard much since.
I’m not working on anything currently. Just finished Rush and Rebel’s book, the finale to the Chaos series, out in January 2019, and Addie and Toby’s book, the finale to the Moonlight and Motor Oil series, out probably in April 2019. It’s about time for summer travel for book events, I’m squeezing in a vacation, so I’m leaving the keyboard alone until I get back from my first-ever trip to Hawaii in July!
So all of that is on its way, as well as Loose Ends, which is an anthology of short stories and novellas. I’m hoping this will be super popular and take off because I loved writing it, going back to some folks I haven’t been with in a while, and tying up some loose ends with stories that need to be told. Right now, I plan to have this out in October of this year. And it’ll feature novellas for Hap and Luci (introduced in Heaven and Hell) and Diesel, Maddox and Molly (introduced in The Greatest Risk) as well as shorts for Tod and Stevie of my Rock Chick books, Joe and Violet from At Peace and Deacon and Cassidy from Deacon, plus an extra little ditty.
•Tell me about your vision boards. Have you always done them? Do you do them before you start writing or as you write? Do you think this is what helps your amazing descriptions?
No, I haven’t always done them. I used to make stuff up in my head or design outfits in my mind, houses and rooms I’d picture for my characters. But I started to get in the habit of looking for inspiration by doing Google searches for stuff I wasn’t good at making up, like “masculine bedrooms.”
I had so much fun perusing ideas, that ballooned to finding clothes and decorating ideas. I’d save the images to a folder and keep going back to them to get a feel of space or a character’s style. Then I’d put them on my Pinterest page after publication, so my readers could see it.
Then, in January of this year, I went to the Eloquii offices in New York for a Spotlight photo shoot with them, and they had this huge zig-zag divider covered in pictures and bits of fabric. It blocked out months and months of clothing designs. It was crazy cool! I’d just had my office redone and I thought, that would be perfect. Set up an easel by my desk and print out my images, so all I had to do was turn my head and visually be in my worlds. I love them. They rock! And it’s weird, I’ve only used the easel for three works, but now I don’t know what I’d do without it!
•Do you have any writing regrets? Like something you wrote into a book that you wish you didn’t? Or something about publishing? Or an idea you had that you never got to write?
I got this awesome advice from a plumber who was at my house to snake my drains (he had thirteen kids, he was a chatty guy, and with thirteen kids, he was pretty sage). He said the most important lesson he teaches his children is “be where your feet are.” There is nothing you can do about the past. It’s done. You can’t change it. Move on. You also can’t control the future, no matter how you might want to. It’ll happen how it happens. Be where you are and be present where you are.
In other words, I try not to regret stuff. If it didn’t go as I expected, at best, it’s a lesson to be learned. At worst, it’s over and I need to focus on where I’m at.
That said, one book (Kaleidoscope) I wish I’d written entirely from the hero, Deck’s, point of view. I think it would have been a stronger story. And I have a ton of books I’d like to write, and they never go away. It’s just finding the time to write them!
•You have recently worked with a stylist. You’ve always had great style, can you share some things you learned that work and don’t work for you? How about some favorite products?
Malia (of Style by Malia), is very wise. I love clothes, accessories, makeup, anything to do with being girlie. I even realized in some instances they can be used as armor to bolster your confidence and help you face the world…or at least a certain situation.
I never saw them as Malia taught me to see them in an everyday kind of way. When she went into my closet to assess it, she asked me to go in and show her something I loved. I must have slid aside dozens of hangers before I found a blouse I adored. She said that was what she expected. She also said you should walk into your closet and think, “What do I get to wear today?” Not, “What do I have to wear today?”
I realized then that I never bought anything new unless I was going to a book event and would be photographed in it. I had clothes from Denver, where I hadn’t lived for well over a decade. I had clothes that were stained, torn, misshapen, weren’t my style, I currently wasn’t feeling them, or they didn’t fit me anymore.
Now, I grew up not having a lot, so I felt it was a waste not to get as much wear as possible out of my wardrobe. Malia told me that for a lot of that stuff, there’s someone who would love to have it, but for the stuff that is stained, torn and worn, if it just makes me feel like garbage when I put it on, why do I put it on? Why would I purposefully make myself feel like garbage?
I then did a huge cleanse and you cannot imagine the burden that lifted from me I didn’t even know I was carrying. Like getting rid of a skirt I bought that I loved that I never fit into. Not for fifteen years! It just taunted me that I hadn’t lost the weight. Or business suits I hadn’t worn since Denver, and I work in an office over my garage, I never wear business suits. They don’t fit anymore. Why am I holding on to them? And all my bridesmaid dresses I’d never wear again, but they’re so pretty. How many girls going to prom who can’t afford much would love to hit the Goodwill and find one of those babies? Well, a number of them now have pretty dresses!
I kept the outfit I wore to my mother’s memorial service and my wedding gown. That’s it. And even if I’m sitting with me and my cat Starla, writing in my office over the garage, I have something on where I feel like I look cute and I can bounce to the mailbox or hit the grocery store or make dinner and have a pep in my step. And on top of that, I’m where my feet are. Not in my past. Not in Denver, not in England (I had tons of these huge wool sweaters, I live in Phoenix! I do NOT need huge wool sweaters). I’m in my now.
Tell it true, sister, it’s done amazing things for state of mind. I could actually go on about this for ages. After the cleanse, I had a ton less clothes, but everything in the closet I loved. I took time to add pieces I love and I assess what I buy for that purpose. “Does this make me feel good?” not, “Is this useful?” (and then buy it in every color, which is just lazy and makes me bored of it faster). And now…well, now I present me to the world as I see me in my present. And that’s a wondrous and beautiful thing.
•Have you binge-watched anything good lately? Are there any shows you’ve watched that influenced your writing? PS If you haven’t seen the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon, you need to!
I recently binged “Dear White People” on Netflix. It’s exceptional. I think everyone should watch it. These voices, these viewpoints, these experiences, even dramatized, it’s crucial for people to face them. It is not stuff me, as a white woman, can ever truly comprehend. But even if it can’t engender true understanding, that just is not a shoe I can try on, some level of that and more, empathy for it is important, especially in our world as it is today.
That makes it seem heavy, and there are heavy moments for certain, the writing and acting are outstanding, but it’s also funny and engaging and sexy. There’s a lot going on, but it’s presented in a way that entertains, even as it makes you think about important issues we all really should think about and creates awareness that’s vital, not only in our society as it is today, but as it’s been for centuries.
As for shows that influence my writing, that happens almost always. I watched Streisand and Kristofferson’s A Star Is Born last night and I was all, “OMG! I have to write a story with a burned-out famous guy who falls in love with some breath of fresh air, talented, together chick!” It’d take a book just to share all the inspiration I’ve gotten from movies and TV.
And PS: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is on my list of things to watch!
**Note: Posted on my Facebook from Kit: Just FYI, I watched the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and I LOVED IT!!!! Can’t wait for it to come back! Thanks for the recommendation! xxoo
•Let’s talk music! I love your taste in music. Do you listen while you write or do you need silence? Is there any new music you’ve discovered lately that you love? Hint: My son has a new EP out: Spotify | Amazon | Apple Music | iTunes (buy) | YouTube (SHAMELESS PLUG)
Shameless plug all you want. I’ve pulled it up on YouTube to listen!
As for music, as you know, it’s insanely important to me. Speaking of inspiration for books, it often comes from music (“Say Something” prompted the plot of my book Deacon, for instance).
That said, unless there’s a song that’s kind of a “soundtrack” part of the book, I write in total silence, no distractions…at all. Though if I write a scene where a song is integral to it, I’ll listen to that song over and over again while I’m writing the scene, and over and over again while editing it. But that’s the only time I listen to music when I’m writing.
New music I love? The White Buffalo. I heard one of his songs while watching The Punisher. He’s done music for Sons of Anarchy and This Is Us as well. I downloaded stuff like a fool after hearing “Wish It Was True” on The Punisher. Favorites are “Where Dirt and Water Collide” and “I Got You.” Have to say, love him so much, Rush and Rebel talk about him in the Chaos finale!
•If you could tell your younger writer self anything, what would it be?
Write for you…it took years for me to throw out the rules and write for me. I was writing what I thought a publisher or agent would want. Not what was in my heart, not how the stories really wanted to flow from me. I wish I had that time back!
•If you were not a writer, what profession/job/career would you have wanted to be in? And why?
I’d want to own a coffee shop. I love coffee. But I also dig that vibe. I have to tell you, I’ve been considering opening a coffee and bookshop here in Phoenix called Fortnum’s South (even though there’s no Fortnum’s Original, except in my head). Have book signings there. Have a windowed office where I could go and write and be at the bookshop and in that vibe while doing it. Not to mention, walk out and order up a yummy coffee whenever I felt like it. If I just had about forty more hours in a day, and a huge stack of money to blow on a probably stupid idea, I’d be all over it.
•Favorite thing to do after finishing a book?
You know, I just get on with it. With life, work and so many books in my head, I’m a busy chick. I should probably sit among candles and have some ritual or something. HA! But I just keep on keepin’ on!
•What do you do on release days?
Release and promote. Oddly, I’ve never done anything specific to celebrate. Though, I’ll often buy myself a little somethin’-somethin’ to pat myself on the back. But I don’t do champagne celebration or anything. And I should probably do that too!
•If you could live in any of your worlds, which one would you choose?
I would so totally want to know Tex and drink one of his coffees. It would be a hoot to sit in Fortnum’s and see the Rock Chicks and Hot Bunch shenanigans play out. Not to mention, just see those men, live and in person.
Though I’d want one for myself!
Once again, Kit, thanks for coming by and answering my questions! See some previous interviews in my Complete Guide to Kristen Ashley.
Tell me, did you like this interview? What other questions do you have for Kit?
1) Grand Prize winner will receive a $100 Gift Card to the winner’s favorite bookseller.
2) First prize winner will receive all the books in The Chaos Series signed by Kristen plus tons of KA swag.
3) Second prize winner will receive a signed copy of WILD LIKE THE WIND plus tons of KA swag.