Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Review: Mystery Man by Kristen Ashley

Mystery Man by Kristen Ashley
Series: Dream Man, Book 1
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Contemporary Romance Mystery Man Cover
ISBN: 9781455599189
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Night time is the right time...

Gwendolyn Kidd has met the man of her dreams. He's hot, he's sexy, and what started as a no-names-exchanged night of passion has blossomed into a year and a half-long pleasure fest. Sure, it's a little strange that he only appears in her bed at night, but Gwen is so sure he's the one, she just can't turn him away...

Hawk Delgado knows more about Gwen than she could ever imagine. She's gorgeous, headstrong, and skittish about relationships. But Hawk is facing his own demons, demons that keep him from connecting with anyone. Yet when Gwen is drawn into Denver's lethal underground scene, Hawk's protective nature comes out full force. The problem is, when Gwen gets a dose of Hawk's Alpha attitude in the daylight, she's not so sure he's the one anymore....

Kristen Ashley kicks off her Dream Man quartet with a high-octane read that draws you in from the start! Mystery Man is a larger-than-life romance with a story that’s a bit over the top, but incredibly entertaining nonetheless.

Gwendolyn Kidd is your average clotheshorse cosmo girl whose life would be fairly uneventful if it weren’t for her bad news little sister and a mystery lover who has been somehow breaking into her home for many an erotic midnight rendezvous. While the titular lover may be more interesting, let’s start with the bad seed sis. Ginger has made one bad move after another and, as a result, has made some lethal enemies who’re now targeting Gwen. Who’ll save our heroine who knows more about shoes than self-preservation? A couple of hotties, actually, but chief among them is her mystery man, Cabe “Hawk” Delgado. Where Gwen is a bubbly open book, Hawk is the epitome of strong and silent. I was drawn into Mystery Man because of Gwen. Though she has a tendency to make terrible choices, I still found her personality welcoming and she was simply fun to read about. She also has a warm and generous heart that I adored; her love for her friends, family, and especially her stepmother is what made Gwen shine. Hawk was a bit harder for me to become invested in, mostly because he is…well…a mysterious man. For the majority of the book all I knew was that he’s a hot alpha commando who is a bit too presumptive when it comes to Gwen (putting cameras inside her house without her knowledge and consent?) and that he seems opposed to speaking in complete sentences (a stylistic choice on Ms. Ashley’s part, and one I recognize will probably not bother other readers as much as it did me). That being said, by the end of Mystery Man I adored Hawk and I absolutely loved him and Gwen as a couple. Their tumultuous relationship – complete with its backdrop of fire and gunshots courtesy of the story’s villains – kept Mystery Man moving at a quick pace.

A host of secondary characters bring Mystery Man to life and set the stage for future Dream Man books. And speaking of future “dream men,” badass biker and fan favorite Kane “Tack” Allen threatens to steal every scene he’s in, and meltingly sexy detective Mitch Lawson does the same. Even if I hadn’t liked Gwen and Hawk’s book – which I absolutely did – Ms. Ashley’s introduction of the other Dream Man heroes would have been enough to ensure that I’ll read the rest of the series.

Kristen Ashley has a distinctive writing style and a flair for the dramatic, and I mean both in the best of ways. Mystery Man is a big, bold, engaging book that’s a fantastic escapist read.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.