Since falling in love with Kristen Ashley's writing in the Rock Chick Series, I've decided to dedicate one week each month to more of her books. First up is the Colorado Mountain Series, at the insistence of my friends Erin, Cindy and Jess. But this time around, I'm doing "He Said/She Said" reviews with my guy, who read this series first.
Series: Colorado Mountain #2
Category/Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Self-Published (now published by Forever)
Publication Date: 4/23/11
Rating: 5 stars
Rating: 5 stars
Lauren Grahame has spent her whole life thinking something special was going to happen. She didn’t know what it was, she just knew it would one day be hers. But she learned the hard way that special wasn’t on offer.
So, after divorcing her cheating husband, Lauren searched for nothing special and she thought she found it when she landed a job as a waitress in a biker bar in Carnal. It was perfect: a nothing job in a nowhere bar in Nowheresville.
Then Tatum Jackson walked in. Part-owner of the bar, he took one look at high-class Lauren and wanted nothing to do with her. And he made this known, loudly.
Tate’s angry insults seared in her brain, Lauren decides the feeling is mutual and she doesn’t want anything to do with the gloriously handsome Tate Jackson. The clash of the bartender and barmaid begins but, even though Tate makes his change of mind clear (in biker-speak, a language Lauren is not fluent in), Lauren is intent on going her own way.
Until a serial killer hits Carnal and Lauren finds out Tate isn’t a bartender, he’s a bounty hunter. He stakes his claim for Lauren before he goes on the hunt for a killer but Laurie doesn’t speak biker nor does she understand bounty hunters and Tate comes back from the hunt to find his old lady has moved on.
Life throws curveball after curveball at Laurie and Tate. As secrets are revealed, women are brutally murdered, and Lauren tries to find her inner biker babe.
Sweet Dreams (The Colorado Mountain Series #2) is another great book of Kristen Ashley’s from start to finish. Lauren Grahame, recent divorcee, is in search of her life, her home. She ends up in the small town of Carnal, Colorado, realizing this is where she belongs and lands a waitressing job at Bubba's. Here, she meets Tatum Jackson, ex-football star, ex-cop, current bounty hunter and co-bar owner of Bubba's. Throw Wood (childhood friend of Tate), Neeta (Wood’s sister and current/ex-lover of Tate) and Brad (ex-husband to Lauren) into the mixture and it makes for one helluva love triangle/fight for the women. Add murder, mystery and carnage, and it makes for a good read for the men.
Lauren's first day on the job was not a very good first face-to-face impression of Tate when she overhears him calling her “some sorry-ass, old, fat, suburban bitch…” Once he realizes this, he tries to right the wrong, but she throws sass and is not having any of it. At this juncture, these two seem like there is nothing in the world that can bring them together. Then, as the story unfolds, nothing can tear them apart.
As always, KA delivers an excellent and interesting cast of secondary characters and you need to read this to find out all about the rest!!!
Sweet Dreams is unique for me among all of the KA books because I initially despised the hero, Tate Jackson. He was rude, abrupt, and he hurt my beloved Lauren's feelings. Badly. It didn't matter that he said he was sorry, and offered up a true reason why he'd said something so hateful, that he was having a shit sandwich in the middle of a shit storm, he lost it and he was sorry. Words hurt, and Lauren wasn't having his sorry excuse.
But then, Tate proved himself to Lauren, and to me, not using his words, but his deeds. The man went above and beyond expectation to be there for Lauren, to keep her safe and alive. And somewhere along the way, Tate Jackson gave Lauren Grahame "Special". Or more accurately, Tate and Lauren found Special together.
Sweet Dreams has all the signature Kristen Ashley moves: a hot, badass man who's not particularly verbose, but that only means that everything he says is worth listening to; we also get a very verbose heroine, a woman who's may be down on her luck, but finds a home wherever she lands, changing the lives of everyone she meets; there's a great cast of secondary characters that will make you chuckle, but also provide poignant moments along the way; and we get a chilling mystery, one that plays a significant but not overwhelming part in the plot, and will have you on the edge of your seat at about 90-95% mark.
There's been a thought that's been tickling my brain throughout all of my KA reading, but particularly in this series. I tried to grab that thought, because I just knew that it would be so important to me and explain why I feel so strongly about Kristen Ashley's books and how they've impacted my life. My easily-distracted brain was not especially cooperative, but I finally caught it.
I like reading about verbally articulate men who can readily lay out their feelings and emotions to the woman they love. I do. But that's not what I grew up around, and though he does do very well, that's not what I married either. I know men who don't pour out their emotions through words, but through deeds. But when the time comes that it needs to be said, he can say it. And it will always rock your world. It might not come out exactly with the words a girl dreams of hearing, but if you listen closely and know the man, what he says will be even better. And that's why I've found this series to be so relatable for me. Through these men who prove their love with actions, and the heroines who's thoughts can describe and label these feelings I've experienced, but never found the words to describe, I've found a way to communicate. When I can't find the words, I can point to a line in one of Kristen Ashley's books. Or I can send a surprise text. Whatever method I use, KA's words give voice to my thoughts.
Colorado Mountain Series
(covers lead to GoodReads page)
Kaleidoscope (Colorado Mountains #6) release 2/4/14
Purchase Sweet Dreams
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