Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Book Review: Own the Wind by Kristen Ashley (Chaos #1)

Title: Own The Wind (Chaos, #1)
Author: Kristen Ashley
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: April 2, 2013

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

From Goodreads:

Tabitha Allen has a not-so-secret crush on Parker "Shy" Cage. Shy thinks he knows the path Tabby's on and it isn't a good one. So he decides to teach her a lesson to lead her to the right path.

Unfortunately, he was wrong and his actions wound Tabby, breaking her heart. It's Tabby who then teaches Shy a lesson about casting judgment and Shy Cage learns what it feels like to be invisible. But when tragedy strikes and Tabby's heart is broken again, Shy does what he can in the background to help. Trying to forget her heartbreak, Tabby finds herself in danger. To keep it secret from her biker family, the Chaos Motorcycle Club, she calls Shy to rescue her. But when she lets him back in, she gets much more than she bargained for.

Proceed with caution. This review includes spoilers.

Loved loved loved. Beyond freaking loved. I read this over a week ago when I got the ARC and people let me tell you I never was so excited in my life! Now, I know. You're all probably out there rolling your eyes all "Of course she loved it. She fan girls over KA the same way she does over Mal and Firefly." But seriously. I have to admit with this book I was worried. First Tabby is young, about 22 or 23 in the book. I was worried if KA could reel in Tabby's younger voice, and maturiry in some ways, realistically given most of her heroines are late twenties plus. And I also worried that, since this was her debut with a traditional publisher, an editor would take away her amazing  detailed, descriptive voice. So weith trepidation I loaded it on my Nook and dove in head first.

Why did I doubt KA? She nailed it. Tabby was young, she was wild and Shy messed up big time trying to get her to straigthen her life out. Both Shy and Tabby suffered for this mistake. But they also both grew up, grew apart and then were brought back together in a friends to lovers that had me tearing up at several points. And I think that part, the section where Kristen Ashley writes Shy and Tabby re-connection  Shy helping her, being there for her as her friend, was amazing  Shy held himself back for Tabby. He let Tabby work through her emotions, the tragedy she had to go through, and waited.

But Tabby was almost too late. And that part nearly killed me. The confrontation between Shy and Tabby, ohmigod. My heart stopped. I couldn't breathe. And then he left! And then, she was leaving. And I was all, oh no she didn't! But she did! But then Shy got word and thank god stopped all that nonsense. I was so freaking relieved.

Seriously. Kristen Ashley can make your heart thump, your eyes burn with tears and your gut hurt from laughing all in the same book. This is not an easy feat. and this is why she is my hero, biotgh as a reader and a writer. As a reader I want to read stories like this-feel good, sweet, sexy, romances with a happily ever after that leaves me grinning like an idiot for days. And as a writer I want to know how to make my readers feel like that. (Well, when I get some. I'm not published. Yet. lol)

One other aspect of the book I liked was the way Kristen Ashley did the time jumps. Sometimes as a reader it is hard for me to grasp the ides of insta-love in about 2 weeks and the characters are already planning for weddings and babies. Now, in some books and with some characters I can deal with this and even is some Krsiten Ashley books it's believable. But with Tabby and the loss she experienced I was so glad to see MS. Ashley take a slow, measured progression of the two, taking Shy and Tabby from barely speaking to friends, to lovers. It didn't feel rushed and it made the story that much sweeter for me. We see the growth of both main characters, as well as the good times and the bad that they experience.  There are times jumps here and there (sometimes only a week, or a day,. sometimes 2 months, sometimes longer) but the time doesn't effect the story or the characters other than to show just how well Shy and Tabby fit together.

Shy's back story was tragic, heartbreaking and brought tears to my eyes, but he was so controlled and mature about it. Sure he freaked at one point and I was worried he was going to go all SOA on the guy, but he pulled it together, for Tabby, for his brother  and for himself. I like seeing that maturity in a character and not someone who goes off all half cocked and has to beg for forgiveness all the time.

Okay, so now I need to talk about Tack and Tyra. Many of you know that I love the book Motorcycle Man. Tack is my favorite book boyfriend. He is in so many ways the ideal alpha male. I didn't think my love for him could ever, ever, wane. But oh Tack. He fraked up in this book.  In fact, I was so angry at Tack and Tyra I had to put my Nook down and do some meditative breathing exercises. I was pissed at Rush too. Those judgmental ba%&$#*@! It took me a lot longer to forgive them, Not calling her girl back? What was that about? And then the confrontation at the Clubhouse? Oh no Tack, do not even go there. Tabby has a seriously big heart because I think I would have held that grudge a lot longer if that happened to me and my guy. I was really disappointed in their reaction, but eventually, redemption was made and well, I am back to loving Tack. Sort of. *glares at the Motorcycle Man cover on my Nook*

There is an overarching mystery, which I knew would have something to do with Natalie the moment she was seen on the page, is interesting and has me waiting impatiently for Fire Inside, which is now releasing a whole month early (June, 2013 *squeeeeeeeeeeeeeee*) .  Benito seems like one serious bad ass given what he is a part of, and the last bit, from Tack's point of view, freaked me out a little. He seems to know that this could go bad. Really bad. And Tack thinking that, well hell. I think this means we're all in for a rough ride.

Lastly, let's talk about the hotness factor. The steamy scenes? Well they are scorching. I'm always impressed with Kristen Ashley and how well she can convey emotions during these scenes, but with Shy and Tabby, well holy hell, those two have some serious stamina. But it wasn't just about the sex. These two characters brought forth the intensity of their emotions for each other and I liked that just as much as the steam factor.  I did think they were a tad tamer than some of her other books but I'm not sure if this was a conscious decision or editorial.

And now, as I wind down this review, I need to talk about my man, Hopper. So many folks on the GR boards was freaking out that Hop was a cheater, how could Kristen even think of making him a hero and well, blah blah blah. I was a staunch defender of Hop and vowed not to judge him until I heard his side of the story. And not to say I told you so, but well, I did.  I knew, I just knew that KA would not have made Hop a cheater.  Kristen Ashley made perfectly clear that, like I surmised, he was technically not with his wife when he slept with that whore from Motorcycle Man. *Cue Ross on Friends. "We were on a breakkkkkkkkk!*

Oh and I can't leave without mentioning the cameos. There are a lot of freakin Denver cameoes that had me squealing all over the place. I won't say who but let me just tell you I nearly fainted at the mention of the first Denver bad ass, and then, the scene towards the end, I was Kermit-flailing all over the place. I know, getting all these guys working together is going to be so much hotness and awesome my Nook might burn up by the end of this series.

I wonder who book three will be about. (We know the last book in the series will be Rush)  It could be Joker, or maybe one of the older Chaos boys. Or Lan maybe? Not sure. But seriously, Joker has me intrigued. There is something about him that. Oh and the reference to SAMCRO had me giggling since I love that show to pieces.

All in all this was a great story and well worth the wait. I can't wait to explore more of the Chaos world and June can't come fast enough!  I am giving props to KA for a great publisher choice and to her publisher for letting Kristen Ashley be who she is and let her awesome light shine through.

Here are the purchase links:  Amazon / Barnes and Noble

*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*

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