Review: Own the Wind by Kristen Ashley

Own the WindOwn the Wind by Kristen Ashley
Book #1 in the Chaos series
Genre: Contemporary “Motorcycle Club” Romance
Publication Date: April 2nd 2013
ARC Provided by Netgalley and Grand Central Publishing

Synopsis from Goodreads: Too hot to handle…

Tabitha Allen grew up in the thick of Chaos–the Chaos Motorcycle Club, that is. Her father is Chaos’ leader, and the club has always had her back. But one rider was different from the start. When Tabby was running wild, Shy Cage was there. When tragedy tore her life apart, he helped her piece it back together. And now, Tabby’s thinking about much more than friendship…

Tabby is everything Shy’s ever wanted, but everything he thinks he can’t have. She’s beautiful, smart, and as his friend’s daughter, untouchable. Shy never expected more than friendship, so when Tabby indicates she wants more–much more–he feels like the luckiest man alive. But even lucky men can crash and burn…

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!

Rating: ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠ 

“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

© 2013 – 2015, Badass Book Reviews. All rights reserved.

Comments 5

  • All of Kristin Ashley’s heroes are Alpha, with a capital A, so that might put you off. But I like her because most of her heroines aren’t young, inexperienced school girls, but women of varying ages who’ve lived through some things. I just get so tired of picking up books about “sweet young things”, you know? My favorite books by her are Sweet Dreams and Mystery Man, mostly because I love the women she’s created in those books; and Wild Man, because I just love Brock’s family. And then I love Knight, because Knight is who he is with no apologies, but he’s not everyone’s cup of tea. A lot of people seem to love Sweet Dreams – I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to try KA out.

    • That’s a good point, Teri. A lot of romance writers do focus on younger woman or first love so it is nice to see a writer have more age diversity with her heroines. Which book is Knight from? I’ll add Sweet Dreams to my TBR. Thanks!

  • I love KA, but be warned, her heroes are always over the top alpha types. Also, her writing style and voice has actually been toned down a bit now that she’s working with an editor, as opposed to her earlier self-pubbed (and pretty much unedited) previous books. Her earlier books are also somewhat epic in length, often running the equivalent of 400-500+ pages. In addition to the Dream Man series (of which Motorcycle Man is many people’s favorite), I’d highly recommend her Colorado Mountain Series, – The Gamble, then Sweet Dreams, Lady Luck, and Breathe. Her Rock Chicks series is supposed to be somewhat lighter and funnier, but I haven’t read it yet, so I don’t have an opinion on it.

    • Thanks for the heads up, Jen. I had heard that about her earlier books as well but haven’t had a chance to read any of them yet. I will definitely take a look at the Colorado Mountain series soon. Thanks for the rec!