Christal’s Review – 4 Skulls – B+
Own the Wind is not only my first book in the “motorcycle club” romance subgenre, but it also my first Kristen Ashley book. I really enjoyed it overall with just a few little things rubbing me the wrong way. I didn’t know that her “Dream Man” series preceded Own the Wind, but I never felt like I was missing vital information. I do now plan to go back and read that series to fill in some information on a few supporting characters and definitely to get the story about Tyra and Tack.
Own the Wind is the story of Tack’s (the Chaos Motorcycle Club president) daughter Tabby and Chaos member Shy. They have a rocky history and this book actually ends up spanning a few years. I liked the way it was spaced out though; it made the romance feel more real like it was developing on an actual timeline instead of being insta-love. Tabby and Shy had an undeniable connection, but I really appreciated the fact that they became great friends before progressing in their relationship. They both had tragedy in their pasts and they needed a chance to be completely open with each other before adding the complications love can bring.
Tabby has had a crush on Shy ever since she was sixteen. When she was nineteen, he made a judgement call about her and tried to “scare her straight” away from the partying lifestyle. This angered and embarrassed Tabby because he assumed things about her that weren’t true and so she avoided Shy like the plague. She eventually meets a very nice guy who is not in the MC life and they become engaged. Three weeks before the wedding, Justin is killed in a car accident and Tabby’s life crumbles. She falls into a depression and ends up agreeing to go out with her friend Natalie one night. Unbeknownst to Tabby, Natalie is involved with drugs and they find themselves in a dangerous situation. Enter Shy! Tabby calls him for help and he rushes to her rescue. They get a second chance at a meet cute and this is where their friendship begins to develop, eventually turning into love.
I thought Tabby was a pretty good heroine. She was smart and strong and knew when to pick her battles. She didn’t let Shy run all over her, but she did accept more smart-assedness (yes, I made up a word) from Shy than I think I could have. The only thing that got on my nerves a little was how she kept reminding up she was born into the biker lifestyle and knew all about it. Oh, and how anything describing the bikers had to be referred to as “biker badass” or “badass biker” or “biker boss.” It was just a little bit corny. Overall though, I enjoyed being in Tabby’s head and really felt for her with everything she had to go through. I liked Shy for her, but I really liked her for Shy. I think she truly helped him realize he needed to make changes in his life to become a better person and she returned to him a true sense of family.
Shy was a little too “alpha” for my tastes but he was a really good guy and totally devoted to Tabby. He could come on a little strong at times and he defined the word frustrating, but he was also genuinely concerned for her well-being. I liked that he cultivated a good relationship with Tabby’s dad and stepmother, Tyra, separate from his relationship to Chaos. Shy’s parents were murdered when he was only twelve and he and his brother, Landon, were sent to live with their aunt and uncle. They grew up feeling unloved, unwanted, and pretty much broken. It wasn’t until Shy joined Chaos that he felt like he had found a family again. We he begins his relationship with Tabby, he realizes that she is more important that any vow he made to Chaos and that she is his true family. Not only that, she is also the only one that can give him freedom from his past burdens.
The side characters were vivid and added dimension to the story. I think I am most excited to go back and read Tack and Tyra’s story, but I am also looking forward to a future story about Shy’s brother Landon. I’m intrigued by Tabby’s brother, Rush, but I hope we have seen the last of her friend Natalie. The motorcycle club world was interesting, but I have no frame of reference to say how realistic it was. I made for a unique setting though and I am in for learning more about the rest of the brothers.
I was pleased with my first foray into Ms. Ashley’s world and will be picking up more of her books shortly. While Own the Wind has ensured I will continue with the “Chaos” and “Dream Man” series, I look forward to exploring more of her back catalogue as well. Any suggestions for where I should start?
Thank you to Netgalley and Grand Central Publishing for providing an ARC copy of this book!
“Dream Man” Series Reading Order:
1. Mystery Man
2. Wild Man
3. Law Man
4. Motorcycle Man
“Chaos” Series Reading Order:
1. Own the Wind
2. Fire Inside
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