Tuesday, January 3, 2017

ARC Review: Rock Chick Reawakening by Kristen Ashley

Series:     Rock Chick #0.5
Pub. Date:Jan. 3, 2017
Publisher:Evil Eye Concepts
Length:120 pages

So I'm starting off the new year with an ugly cry... thanks so much Kristen Ashley! But hey, in like a lion and out like a lamb, right? This story has been so long awaited and anticipated, and I couldn't have been more excited when the book and characters were announced. I had to know the story behind the castle, the man who built in, and the woman who deserved it.

As the story stars, we meet Daisy as a young girl and get a glimpse of her unhappy childhood and some people who had an effect on her life, both good and bad. This glimpse, paired with what I knew about Daisy from previous books, had me crying from the get to... and nothing really bad had even happened yet! Gah. We learned a lot about Daisy, from where she got her southern manners, how she developed her sparkly sense of style, and, sadly, what happened to her on that tragic night at Smithie's. I am not usually a fan of stripper heroines, but like the Rock Chicks, I have always had a soft spot for Daisy.

We knew Marcus Sloan from previous books as the high class criminal, dangerous and deadly to most, but tender and caring when it came to his woman. He is no different in this book, but I loved seeing him get his first glimpse of Daisy, then work so hard to win her over. The lengths Marcus went to, and the kid gloves he wore when it came to Daisy, really gave me new insight into his character. I think when I re-read this series, I will look at him much differently.

Who would have thought that a love story about a crime lord and a stripper could be so romantic? But Kristen Ashley never disappoints and her stories always elicit all the feelings from me. The grand romantic gestures in this book were marvelous and made me all swoony. I want a Marcus of my own! I love Ashley's complex and captivating characters, and especially love the cameo appearances that they make in her other books. Finally, of course, we get the holy mother of an epilogue in true-KA style. I was a blubbering mess by the end.

I'm happy that KA is now a part of the 1,001 Dark Nights family. I got to talk with Liz Berry from 1,001 at a signing not long ago and we fangirled over this book so hard. I love what 1,001 is doing for the romance community, introducing readers to romance authors they may not be aware of and at an affordable price. I definitely hope to get more of their collection of books on the blog this year.

While I voluntarily reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received from InkSlingerPR, I also pre-ordered the eBook for my library.

About the Author

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Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA and nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorize and she hadn't taken her first breath!). Her mother said they took Kristen away, put her Mom back in her room, her mother looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). Kristen's Mom remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning. 

Nothing's changed.

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus, she's blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. They all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. She grew up with Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up. 

And as she keeps growing, it keeps getting better.


Her face was stunning. Wide smile. White teeth and a good deal of them. Big eyes. Elegant nose. Soft cheekbones. All of this she highlighted with the expert use of makeup from what was clearly a gift of superior genes into something that shone like a Hollywood starlet.
A starlet of a stripper who looked a good deal like Dolly Parton, who also likely got home the night before, earliest, three in the morning, and was right then, only hours later, back on the stage helping another girl by teaching her some moves.
“Marcus, brother,” Smithie’s voice came at him. “You got a problem with the way I do business, and I give you reason to have that problem, then we have a talk. I don’t give you that reason, we don’t have conversations like this one. That’s our deal.”
Marcus listened to him while he watched Daisy talking to the other girl and then she ran across the stage, doing it gracefully in platform sandals, her stone-washed jeans tight on her ass and hips and all the way down her legs. Still, after she ran the four steps, she launched herself high, grabbing on to the pole at least three feet higher than she was, her body swinging around by just her hands.
When the swing ended, she climbed up the pole, hand over hand. Doing this quickly, taking herself up another four feet, she flipped her bottom half over, wrapping her skinny legs around the pole. She dropped back, her hair flowing down, and with her only hold on the pole being her legs, she arched her back and slid down slowly, somehow circling the pole as she did it.
She ended this doing a layout with her hands on the floor, her legs in slow and controlled movements coming over her head one after the other. Her hands pushing off, she was up.
Standing straight with perfect posture.