Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Also by this author: Penmort Castle (Ghosts and Reincarnation, #1)
Series: Dream Team #1
From the New York Times bestselling author of the Dream Man and Rock Chick series comes a brand new story about love, friendship, and the bonds of sisterhood. Evie is a bonafide nerd and a hyper-intelligent chick who has worked her whole life to get what she wants. Growing up, she had no support from her family and has only ever been able to rely on herself. So when Evie decides she wants to earn her engineering degree, she realizes she needs to take an alternative path to get there. She takes a job dancing at Smithie's club thinking this would be a quick side gig, where she can make the money she needs. But with her lack of dancing skills and an alpha bad boy who becomes overly protective, Evie realizes this might not be as easy as she thought.Daniel "Mag" Magnusson knows a thing or two about pain, but the mask he wears is excellent. No one can tell that this good-looking, quick-witted, and roguish guy has deep-seated issues. Mag puts on a funny-guy routine so he can hide his broken heart and PTSD. But when Evie dances her way into Mag's life, he realizes that he needs to come face-to-face with the demons of his past if he wants a future with her.
Disclaimer: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, but it doesn’t influence my opinion of the book nor the contents of this review in any way.
Dream Maker by Kristen Ashley is a book that I’ve been looking forward to since the release announcement! First of all, I love Kristen Ashley books. She was the author who first introduced me to adult romance with The Gamble, and she’s one that I’ve stuck by and reread (all-too-often) ever since. Her books are so fun, swoony, usually have a heavy dose of romantic suspense, and they feel like a warm hug 💕
Dream Maker is the first book in the new Dream Team series, a spin-off of the original Rock Chick series, and the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, here. The Rock Chick series is a romantic suspense series that’s full of shenanigans as if follows the members of a badass private investigation team (nicknamed the “Hot Bunch”) in Denver, and their romances as their soon-to-be women (inevitably) get entangled in dangerous situations. It’s a fun series, that’s as hilarious as it is action-packed and full of friendship, family, sass, and shopping bags. Dream Maker followed this legacy with ease.
This one follows Evan “Evie” Gardiner, a computer and math genius who has spent her whole life weighed down by her criminal, idiotic, and abusive family as she pulls them out of scrape after scrape, loans them money when they need it, and as a result works two jobs (one of them stripping) as she’s still putting herself through school to get her degree at 27. She’s matched on a blind date by fellow dancer Lottie (from prequel novella story Quiet Man) to Daniel “Mag” Magnusson, one of the commandos who works for Hawk Delgado (from Mystery Man). It’s on this blind date that Evie (and subsequently, Mag) find out that Evie’s brother put her in a dangerous situation, and thus starteth the cycle 🥰
Before Mag could answer, I curled toward him, and when I moved, he again looked down at me. “If you open your mouth to agree or disagree with what I am going to be doing with my time during my drama, it will be me who’s cranky.”
“You’re a dork, a klutz, a menace with your mouth and unbelievably cute,” Mag responded.
Kristen Ashley has a style, and she has a type. And while it varies series-to-series, her books are easily identifiable by their contents, even if you don’t see her name on the cover. Evie and Danny (Mag) will not come as a surprise to KA-lovers, but they are refreshingly unique in their own ways :)
Evie was a fun heroine – nerdy, quirky, klutzy, hilarious, and she has a big heart. The hero was still definitely all alpha-hot-man-commando, and one who is still having trouble from his time overseas, but Mag was also a bit of frat boy, which was very fun to see :) They were excellent together, just like the banter was excellent 🥰 This book, true to KA form, is an adventure, and watching Evie and Danny fall in love amid it all was just icing on the cake, honestly.
It’s been a while since I’ve read a new KA book (I’m still waiting for the last two Chaos books to be released in mass markets!) and this one reminded me how much I love KA’s writing, and all the themes she presents. KA always writes with a large cast of characters, which would probably be overwhelming for new readers (read Rock Chick series, then read the Dream Man series, then read the Chaos series, and then start this one for full understanding), but really this cast just felt like a giant family. I missed the KA Sisterhood and the Alpha Males 🥰 No one can write those like Kristen Ashley! (Dream Team #0.5 Review)
Series Reading Order
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Have you read a book by Kristen Ashley? Who are your favorite go-to authors? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!