I ABSOLUTELY FREAKING LOVED THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!
No word of a lie: I have quotes highlighted on nearly EVERY page!!
Kristen Ashley is one of those incredibly talented authors who has my complete and utter trust. I don’t need to read the synopsis or blurbs for her books, I don’t need to see reviews or ratings… Quite simply, if she wrote it, I’ll read it.
And true to KA style, this book ROCKED. MY. WORLD.
First, I just want to say that although technically this book can be read as a standalone, if you haven’t yet read the Dream Man series, you are going to miss out on a good chunk of the emotional impact of it. And to clarify: you’ll definitely feel the romance between Shy and Tabby for sure either way, but in order to get the full EPICNESS that this book has to offer (and trust me, there’s bucket-loads of epic!), you really have to read them after the Dream Man books. There are cameos from Tack, Tyra, Hawk, Elvira, Brock and Mitch, as well as Lee Nightingale, Tex and Fortums (from Rock Chick) so if those names don’t mean anything to you, their scenes won’t send you into the same squee-ing frenzy that they sent me into. So yeah, I suggest reading the Dream Man books first (click here for the full reading order).
Now that that’s said, on to the review 🙂
Parker “Shy” Cage has a bit of a reputation. One involving copious piles of women. Ok, hang on, let’s just take a collective moment to SWOON over his name. I’m in love with it. I’m in love with him. *dreamy sigh*… Ok, moving on. Yeah, let’s just say he’s gotten around. A lot 😉 And to say that he and Tabby got off to a rocky start would be the understatement of the year.
As the daughter of the leader of the biker gang Chaos that Shy was a brother in, Tabby was off-limits to begin with. But when he sees her going down a path he thinks is bad for her, he decides to try and teach her a lesson. His intentions were good, but his delivery… not so much. His point goes through but he went too far and the hurt ran deep. And for the next few years, she can barely stand the sight of him.
But when a tragedy shatters Tabby’s world, Shy is there to help her put back the pieces and learn to be happy again. (And stop freaking out guys, Tack does NOT die!! Breathe. It’s okay!)
“You need a safe place to just forget shit and escape, I’ll give it to you. Tonight. Tomorrow. Next week. Next month. That safe place is me, Tabby.”
I totally loved both Shy and Tabby. Once they got past the initial misunderstandings and miss-communications and officially became a couple, my gosh were they ever functional!!! They were crazy in love and both valued what they had more than anything else in the world. It was precious to them and they weren’t about to let anything get in their way or come between them. They knew where their priorities lay and it was their relationship first. Above all else. I just absolutely freaking ADORED them as a couple!!
“Promise me right now, my dick still inside you, you naked on top of me in my bed, sharing what we just shared, us having a taste of what it’s like apart and knowin’ were better together, you won’t leave me…. You’ll stick with me until there’s nothing to stick to, if that ever happens.”
And as individual characters, they were both also amazing. Tabby was just incredible. She spoke her mind, stood up for herself and didn’t take shit from anyone (and considering that she was always surrounded by these badass biker dudes, that was quite a feat).
And Shy just stole my heart because despite royally fucking up in the beginning, he was the kind of guy who could own up to it, apologize, and move on. He was Alpha, protected and defended his woman, but at the same time wasn’t overbearing and loved her for who she was – the good and the bad.
I loved that despite the way the older bikers ran things, Shy, I guess being younger (27) and maybe more open to change was a biker through and through but at the same time, didn’t put up with a lot of the older ways of dealing with relationships. He had a lot of respect for Tabby in her own right and didn’t let anyone get in her way.
“Shy, she’s yours… Control your woman,” High demanded. “Get her ass out.”
My eyes went to Shy to see him looking at High, and he wasn’t looking pissed.
He was looking reflective.
Then he said, “Tab and I don’t play it that way. You wanna order your old lady around, do what you do, not for me to say. I asked her to go, she didn’t go. Not gonna make her. But you try, you’ll deal with me.”
This book was tight. The story flowed, it was engaging, something new was always happening and there were no dull moments. The imagery was vivid – I honestly feel like I saw the whole book play out in front of my eyes like a movie.
This story had a bit of everything. There were moments that warmed my heart right down to my toes, moments that had me fanning myself and moments that socked me in the gut so hard it took me breath away.
I really felt like the message that came through to me from this book was that the shit life sometimes puts you through can cut deep, right into your soul. But sometimes, if you push through it, you can find beauty you’d never have otherwise found.
I swear to God, KA’s writing has just SO much depth to it. She’s very much got her own style and let me tell you: that woman can WRITE. Brilliant dialogue. Scenes that make your heart squeeze and race. Scenes that make you sigh dreamily and just feel like you are right freaking THERE.
And seriously, this book has one of the most epic verbal smackdowns I have ever read. I was cheering and squeeing. It had some of the best lines from any KA book I’ve ever read (and I’ve nearly read them all). I swear I highlighted almost that whole chapter!!
And boy was this book HOT! When the main couple have a connection as strong as Shy and Tabby had, you can’t help but feel it. Again, EPIC.
“I knew this day would turn shit,” I whispered. “I knew with how great it started, there’d be farther to fall.”
His eyes flashed, his hand moved up to cup my jaw, he tilted my head way back, and brought his face to mine.
“May feel like you’re fallin’, Tabby, but remember, I’m at the bottom ready to catch you.”
It took all my will power not to just post updates every 2 minutes screaming “I FREAKING LOVE THIS BOOK!!!”
My only tiny complaint was that the epilogue was shorter than most and I do love me a big long gushy epilogue, but still… the book rocked!
Aaand also, on a bit more of a random note…. what’s better than a hot-as-fuck badass biker?? Well that would be a hot-as-fuck bad ass biker with a smokin’ hot soldier brother. I totally crushed on Shy’s brother, Landon, and really hope he gets his own book one day 🙂
The next installment in this series is well set up and I absolutely can’t wait for MORE!!!!
Ok, wondering which Kristen Ashley book to start with?