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Wild Man (Dream Man) Mass Market Paperback – October 29, 2013
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Tess O’Hara is a fortysomething woman with an ex-husband she just wants to forget. So when Brock Lucas walks into her bakery, she immediately agrees to go out with him. Months later, after falling hard and fast for Brock, Tess learns two things: Brock is an undercover DEA agent who is investigating her ex-husband, and he is undoubtedly in love with her. As the two work to build a new relationship based on trust and honesty, both of their ex-spouses start causing trouble, bringing danger and frustration into their lives. Brock works tirelessly to protect his sweet and loving Tess while she stays strong for him and his sons. The latest novel in Ashley’s Dream Man series is a lengthy story with comical characters, complex family plotlines, and a rough-around-the-edges leading man. Ashley addresses sexual assault and domestic violence and is focused on Brock and Tess working together to overcome old demons. With Brock’s raw side contrasted with Tess’s innocence, Wild Man delivers a passionate, opposites-attract romance. --Patricia Smith
"Ashley delivers a deeply emotional second installment of the Chaos contemporary romance series (after Own the Wind)... Punctuated by blistering-hot sex scenes and fascinating glimpses into the tough world of motorcycle clubs, this romance also delivers true heart and emotion, and a story that will stay with the reader long after the final page is turned."―Publishers Weekly, Starred Review, on Fire Inside
"With Brock's raw side contrasted with Tess's innocence, Wild Man delivers a passionate, opposites-attract romance."
―Patricia Smith, Booklist
"[Kristen] Ashley captivates."―Publisher's Weekly
"There is something about them [Ashley's books] that I find crackalicious."―Kati Brown, DearAuthor.com
"I felt all of the rushes, the adrenaline surges, the anger spikes... my heart pumping in fury. My eyes tearing up when my heart (I mean... her heart) would break." (On Motorcycle Man)―Maryse's Book Blog, Maryse.net
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While this is not my top favorite of Kristen Ashley books (Rock Chick Regret #7 takes that #1 spot) it is still one of my favorites to re-read. After every re-read of a book I always look at the number of stars I had given it previously and think if I should change it and NEVER have I thought twice to lower the star count from 5, so hopefully that should say something about this book.
Brock "Slim" Lucas is a DEA agent and was tasked with investigating and tailing Tessa O'Hara. She gets caught up in this drama, but learns to forgive Brock and they start their relationship. I love that they stick together and are together from the beginning of the book to the end despite their drama with their respective families - Brock with his crazy ex-wife and kids and Tessa with her criminal ex-husband.
At the beginning of the book you may think 'Man, Tessa just forgave Brock right away and she should have given him a little more s*** about it.' But as you read more you realize that Tessa is not a pushover. She is really a strong character to be able to forgive him for his deceit in the beginning of the book and take all the drama that is their family and STILL bake awesome cupcakes with mountainous swirls of frosting. I like reading the story from Tessa's POV, her head is a nice place to be...not too much drama and not too angsty, but still very insightful. When I grow up I wanna be her!
Now Brock, he is an alpha who uses a lot of four letter words even in front of his kids, but he tells it how it is and doesn't do it eloquently, but with a lot of no apology attitude. And the dirty talk...every time he opens his mouth I feel like I just melt into a big wet puddle!
I think one of the reasons I enjoy Law Man so much is because of Mara’s “zones” and how she sees herself within them. I can so relate to her low self-esteem it’s not even funny – and I’m sure I’m not the only KA fan who can. But it’s not just that, it’s also how her upbringing factors into her self-assessment. Growing up in a trailer, in a small town, and being judged by the previous generation of your family really can be a shadow that is hard to overcome. But as Mara learns over the course of Law Man, she not only shook off her past, but she did it simply by being her. While the circumstances are not ideal, Mara stepping in to take care of her two second cousins sets the stage for her to learn just how far she’s come since leaving her hometown thirteen years earlier. And can I just say, THANK GOD!!! for shredded washers – even if the poor girl didn’t know there was a water shut-off valve under the sink. Despite a valiant, yet misplaced, effort to do it all on her own, Mara learns in less than a week that Detective Mitch Lawson is going to be a part of her and the children’s lives for the near future…or until he can get her to “pull her head out of her ass” and stay grounded in the “real” world. As for Mitch, well, Ashley doesn’t call it the Dream Man series for no reason. Mitch is perfect for Mara. He’s the right mix of alpha male, possessive, protective, sexy as sin, and sweet as can be. And learning that he’s waited two years to find an in with Mara just makes him that much more. It also explains why Mitch works so hard to break through Mara’s barriers once he finds his “in.” Their chemistry is off-the-charts hot and Ashley once again does a great job of mixing really racy sex scenes with fade-to-black sex scenes that leave just enough to the reader’s imagination. Yum!
As with the other books in this series, Law Man has a strong romantic suspense element to it – which I won’t discuss because even though the book has been out for three years, I refuse to ruin it for other readers. That combined with the Trailer Trash Twins (that still makes me laugh every time I read this book), Mara’s circle of friends, Mitch’s circle of friends, appearances by other KA characters, the romance between Mara and Mitch, and the family they build with Billy and Billie, makes Law Man an awesome book that I have read no less than half a dozen times. The only problem with this book is that I now want to reread the others in the series and I don’t have the time to do so (boo!).
I reviewed my personal copy of this book for Wicked Reads.