Monday, June 11, 2018

Audiobook Review: Sweet Dreams by Kristen Ashley

Series:Colorado Mountain #2
Pub. Date:June 24, 2014
Publisher:Hachette Audio
Narrator:Emma Taylor
Length:25 hrs 6 min

Last week I had to go to Denver for work, and decided that I would take the scenic route through Utah and the Rockies. I thought for sure that I would be lucky enough to get lost (and found) in Carnal, Colorado. Sadly, that didn't happen. (Though I did visit Evergreen - which was supposedly the inspirational setting for Gnaw Bone!)  Anywho, driving through the beautiful mountains made me nostalgic for the Colorado Mountains series, and I popped in Sweet Dreams so that Tatum Jackson could keep me company on the drive.

Sweet Dreams is the second book in the Colorado Mountains series, but it can be read as a standalone if you have not read the first book, The Gamble. Though I encourage you to read them all... you will probably be ready to pack up and move to a small Colorado mountain town at that point.

Our heroine in this book is Lauren Grahame, an ex-wife who lost herself in her marriage, then lost herself across the country after that marriage fell apart. When Lauren arrives in the small town of Carnal, Colorado, she decides to stay and become as regular as possible. She has given up the trappings of corporate America and high class suburbia, and is trading them for bikers, bars and good friends. I think we can all identify with Lauren to an extent. I had a good connection with her character, and even reading this book for the third or fourth time, I still felt all those ups and downs right along with her. I am envious that she was able to find herself, a good man, and a picturesque town all in one go... but hey, that's why its fiction. I also love that she is a middle-aged heroine, someone who us over-30 gals can get lost in.

Tatum Jackson is a former football star and cop, and a current bounty hunter and bar owner. He is just an all around hot-shit badass in my book.  I absolutely love Tate, despite some of his hurtful remarks when he got pissy. Overall, he is a good man with some crap taste in women and a magnet for drama. He and Lauren were paired well, and each brought out the best in the other. I loved how protective he was, and he had all the best alpha male tendencies. I wish I had some drawing talent because I have the best picture of Tate in my head that is just screaming to get onto paper.

The relationship between these two gets off to a rocky start after Lauren overhears some ugly comments that Tate spouted off when he was mad. Then things start to heat up, but fizzle out because Lauren is not hip to the biker lingo, as she is still a biker babe in training. But once these two get together, there wasn't much that could tear them apart. Out of all of the Kristen Ashley couples, these two have remained one of my favorites. There are a few times that I got aggravated at Lauren for her failure to communicate, but I loved that Tate could talk her around and make her see reason. 

The suspense aspect of the plot involving the May-December Murderer was a nice complement to the romance. The danger and suspense helped to advance the plot and keep us on our toes. Despite knowing who the culprit was during the re-read, the story was no less thrilling. It continues to hold my attention well. 

The secondary characters in this series are just awesome. They are so eclectic and caring, and I could totally see myself hanging out with anyone of them. I also liked Tate's son, Jonas, who we know will grow up to be a heartbreaker one day. How fun would it be to have a Carnal spinoff featuring the kids of our favorite couples? (Hint Hint Kristen!)

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