Saturday, June 28, 2014

#BookReview: Sweet Dreams by Kristen Ashley - 4 Wine Glasses

18656253Title: Sweet Dreams 
Series: Colorado Mountain #2
Author: Kristen Ashley 
Format: eBook/Paperback, 688 pages
Published: June 24th 2014 by Forever 
First published: April 23rd 2011
ISBN: 1455599085 
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Kindle | Audible | B&N | ARe
Source: NetGalley
Reviewer: Crystal
Rating: 4/5

She's ready for the ride of her life . . . 
Lauren Grahame is looking to reinvent herself. After leaving her cheating husband, Lauren moves to Carnal, Colorado, and gets a job as a waitress in a biker bar called Bubba's. It's a nothing job in a nowhere joint . . . until Tatum Jackson walks in. Lauren has never seen a man with such good looks, muscles, and attitude. But when he insults her, Lauren doesn't want anything to do with him. Too bad for Lauren he's also the bar's part owner and bartender.
When the rough-around-the-edges Tate meets the high-class Lauren, he thinks she won't fit in at Bubba's. Yet there's more to Lauren than meets the eye, and Tate soon sets his mind on claiming her as his own. Before long, the desire burning between them is heating up the cold mountain air. But when violence strikes the town, Tate must reveal a dark secret to Lauren-one that may put an end to their sweet dreams.

I've only read a few of K.A.'s books so far, and Sweet Dreams is the best yet!

Somewhere along the way Lauren Grahame has lost herself. After divorcing her cheating husband she packs up her car and hits the road, traveling across the country for four months looking for that perfect little town as far removed as possible from the one she left. When she arrives in Carnal, Colorado Lauren knows she's found it. Staying at a local motel owned by a sweet elderly couple, waitress at a biker bar called Bubba's and enjoying delicious coffee and sweets from the local hippies, Lauren is happy for the first time in a long time. She would be totally content if she didn't have to deal with the jerk of a bartender and co-owner of the bar she works for, Tatum Jackson. And why does he have to be so dang hot? Tate is a hard man to ignore on a good day, but when he doesn't want to be ignored it's near impossible. And Tate wants much more then Lauren's attention...

When you read a Kristen Ashley book you know that you are picking up a book that you can get lost in. What most authors would break up into a three book series, Ashley weaves into one captivating tale. The main characters are older and more mature then the usual for romances nowadays.  So you won't be finding any whining or angst here. What you will find though are strong, well-rounded, characters that are so full of life you'll wish they were your neighbors and friends. 

Tatum "Tate" Jackson is any woman's fantasy. All gruff and sexy alpha biker man, bad-ass bounty hunter. And you can feel the connection he has with Lauren right away, even when they're passing barbs back and forth. There are misunderstandings galore though for these two as Lauren is a farm girl turned country club and only a biker babe in training so she isn't quite up on the biker lingo yet. LOL The plot is rife with emotional booby-traps for Lauren and Tate. Tate isn't the most upfront guy and Lauren is scared from her previous marriage. But Tate is a man unafraid to own up to his mistakes and I do so love that about him.  

The start of the story was a little rocky for me because it was very one-dimensional, almost a reading of facts with no substance behind it. But after Lauren settled into life in Carnal the story started coming together and I connected with the characters. A little tell that I have noticed with this series though is the repetitive use of the phrase, "Sorry?" by K.A.'s heroines. The first half of the book was full of this and begin to become annoying but the use started tapering off in the last half and was no longer an issue for me by the end. I was surprised that there wasn't too much of a connection to the first book in this series as well, beyond one reference. Sweet Dreams makes a good stand-alone book. Though the plot did seem to follow closely to that of The Gamble's I enjoyed Sweet Dreams inordinately more and found it very engaging. The whodunit also kept me guessing up until the very end too!

K.A.'s intricate writing style and character dialogue brings the story to life. Sweet Dreams has it all; from action, suspense, murder, mayhem, passion and sex, heart-ache and healing, with a wealth of characters to fall in love with. 

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