Kristen Ashley's books are a cross between Hallmark movies, the Sons of Anarchy, Bad Boys, and more than a few splashes of 50 Shades of Grey. The men are all tough and "badass" but also sweet and would do anything for their women. The women are beautiful, sweet, sassy, and live to make the man feel like a king. Everyone wants a home and family but usually the woman needs to get out of some danger she got herself into and be protected and saved by the aforementioned badass men. I know it all sounds dramatic and far fetched. And, that's the point.
The situations the characters find themselves in are over the top dramatic and the good guys will come in and save the damsel in distress every time. You can always depend on a happy ending, at least for the main characters. I don't read Kirsten Ashley books to identify with the characters or relate to some real life situation. I'm not looking for some message about finding the deeper meaning and overcoming tragedy. The best thing about these books? They are a glorious suspension of reality. They offer an escape from COVID-19, a crappy day at work, the kids driving you crazy, and the house being a disaster. At times cheesy and the cause of a bit of eye-rolling, these stories are easy entertainment to help you relax and take a break. So pour a large glass of red wine and curl up with a fun Kristen Ashley story. I recommend starting with The Rock Chick series.
I haven't read all of Kristen Ashley's books (there are a lot) but I have put the series order and description for the two series that I think are a good introduction to her stories below. Please visit her website at https://www.kristenashley.net/ for a complete description of all of her books.
The Rock Chick Series
Based in Denver, the Rock Chick Series is nine (and a half) books that take you on the wild ride of the courtships of the Rock Chicks and the Hot Bunch.
Book 1: Rock Chick
Description: Indy Savage is a former wild child (okay, maybe not-so-“former”) and current used bookstore owner. Lee Nightingale is a former bad boy and now runs a private investigation service.
Toss together a quiet barista with a not-so-lawful side business, a crazy Vietnam Vet, a pothead, a drag queen, family and friends who will not mind their own business, a few stun guns and a bag of diamonds, and mix them all up with some shootings, a high speed chase and car bombs exploding, then hang on for your first wild Rock Chick ride.
Book 2: Rock Chick Redemption
Description: Roxie Logan is on the run from a bad boyfriend who just will not catch a hint that it is o-v-e-r. She’s not in the mood for love at first sight.
Unfortunately, her eyes fall on Hank Nightingale and she knows it’s trouble from the get-go.
Roxie tries to hold Hank at arm’s length, but Hank wants to be a lot closer (as in, a lot a lot). Roxie’s trouble catches up with her and Hank wants to help, but Roxie knows in her heart that she’s no good for a White Hat type of guy.
The problem is, no one agrees with her, especially her crazy, hippie best friend, Annette, or her parents, the even crazier small-town Herb and Trish.
Roxie’s got the odds stacked up against her and has no choice but to hold on and just ride it out through kidnappings, car chases, society parties and a wild night at the Haunted House.
Book 3: Rock Chick Renegade
Description: Juliet Lawler has got a score to settle against the drug dealers of Denver. Vance Crowe has made it his mission that Jules won’t get dead while dishing out vigilante justice. Jules doesn’t have time for romance; she’s too busy saving the world. She enlists Zip (the gunstore owner), Heavy (an ex-PI) and Frank (a mysterious recluse) to help. The Rock Chicks get involved to provide advice and guidance. The Hot Bunch adopt Jules as one of their own.
Even though Jules tries to hang on to her inner Head-Crackin’ Mamma Jamma, the Rock Chicks, Hot Bunch, Jules’s long-suffering Uncle Nick and Jules’s friend, the rotund, African American, Jackie-O wannabe, May, will stop at nothing to wear her down.
But Jules makes some bad guys pretty angry, and one will stop at nothing to take her out.
Book 4: Rock Chick Revenge
Description: Ava Barlow hates men. She has reason and she’s vowed not only never to get involved with another one again, but also to exact vengeance on her best friend’s lying, cheating, rat-bastard husband. Since Luke Stark, Ava’s childhood crush, is now a badass mother, she thinks to enlist him, but changes her mind at the last second.
Luke knows she’s up to something and he’s already seen many a Rock Chick try to fight her own battles without the Hot Bunch stepping in. He’s having none of it. She’s having none of him.
The clash of the Rock Chick and Hot Guy begins, but Luke’s got the advantage. He has handcuffs and he’s not afraid to use them.
Book 5: Rock Chick Reckoning
Description: Stella Gunn is the lead singer and lead guitarist of the Blue Moon Gypsies and Stella used to be Mace’s girl. But Kai “Mace” Mason broke up with her and the loss of him rocked her world.
One night, Stella gets a call, late (again), from one of the members of her crazy band. She has to go play clean up (again) and runs into Mace (and a shed load of police) and ends up getting shot.
Mace finds he doesn’t like it much that his ex-girlfriend got shot right in front of him, but it’s worse. A very bad man has thrown down the gauntlet and all the Rock Chicks are in the firing line.
Stella doesn’t want Mace to be the one to keep her alive, but she has no choice.
Mainly because Mace isn’t giving her one.
Book 6: Rock Chick Regret
Description: Sadie Townsend is known by all as The Ice Princess and she’s worked hard to earn her reputation. Her father, a now-incarcerated Drug Lord, has kept her under his thumb her whole life and she’s learned enough from living in his world to give everyone the cold shoulder.
But one inebriated night, she shows Hector the Real Sadie and he knows he’ll stop at nothing to have her.
Hector Chavez makes one (huge) mistake: he waits for Sadie to come to him.
Tragedy strikes and Sadie’s got a choice. She can retreat behind her Ice Fortress or she can embrace the Rock Chick/Hot Bunch World.
Guided by Hector, the Rock Chicks, the Hot Bunch and her new gay roommates, Buddy and Ralphie, Sadie negotiates a life out from under her father’s thumb. A life that includes poison, arson and learning how to make s’mores.
Book 7: Rock Chick Revolution
Description: Ally Nightingale has secrets. Secrets she doesn’t even share with the Rock Chicks. But two men know what she’s up to. One has her back. The other has her heart, but he doesn’t know it.
As Ally rewinds the last year of her life, she knows two things. One, she’s never going to get what every Rock Chick should have—her own Hot Bunch guy. And two, she’s a Nightingale through and through. She just isn’t sure what to do about that.
But as her secrets are revealed, the men in her life react. Darius Tucker, a lifelong friend, as usual takes her back. Ren Zano, the man she loves, isn’t quite so sure. The Rock Chicks, Hot Bunch and the entire gang at Fortnum’s weigh in, and a Rock Chick Revolution starts brewing.
It’s up to Ally to control it and prove what she knows down to her bones.
She’s a Rock Chick, she deserves her hot guy and she’s going to keep the one she wants…
Because she’s a Nightingale.
Book 8.5: Rock Chick Reawakening
Description: A Note from Kristen: This novella is kind of 0.5 in the Rock Chick Series, or 8.5. Even though it’s a prequel, I’d personally read it right here, after you devour Revolution. It was written after Ally and Ren’s story, and I think that’s how to get the ultimate goodness from it.
Rock Chick Reawakening shares the tale of the devastating event that nearly broke Daisy, an event that set Marcus Sloan—one of Denver’s most respected businessmen and one of the Denver underground’s most feared crime bosses—into finally making his move to win the heart of the woman who stole his.
Book 8.5 of the Rock Chick Series is a novella that travels back in time to share the story of beloved character, Daisy and her honey bunches of love, Marcus…
Book 9: Rock Chick Reborn
Description: As a Rock Chick, Shirleen Jackson lived through all the kidnappings and explosions. Along the way, she also watched the dramatic love stories that came with those rides unfold.
But long ago, Shirleen made her choice. It affected who she was and would always be. She decided to settle for what she had and not want more. She had good friends. She was raising two fine young men who weren’t hers, but she loved them anyway.
She was good.
And then Moses Richardson crashed into her life, literally…and deliberately.
Moses has different ideas about Shirleen. He’s more interested in the Shirleen of now, mostly because she’s interesting. And funny. And loyal. Smart. Beautiful.
But Moses has a big challenge on his hands.
He has to convince Shirleen of all that.
And then convince her she deserves to have more.
Please note that Rock Chick Reborn is a novella.
Dream Man Series
This spin-off series from the Rock Chicks takes you on the journeys of four men who might not (or they might) seem like the men of your dreams…
Book 1: Mystery Man
Description: While drinking cosmopolitans in a fabulous little black dress, Gwendolyn Kidd meets the man of her dreams. Then she takes him home. Then she wakes up alone. But her fear that she lost her dream man turns into a relationship with a mystery man when, night after night in the dead of night, he comes back for more. Hoping it will blossom into something real, she lets him.
But she doesn’t even know his name.
Gwen’s struggling with the decision to end their crazy non-relationship when her sister-from-hell, Ginger’s best friend pays a visit and warns Gwen that if she and her sister don’t get smart, they’ll both get d-e-a-d, dead.
Gwen has no clue what’s going on, but she’s used to Ginger’s antics and decides to lay the problem on her sister’s biker boyfriend’s doorstep. Bad choice. She catches the eye of the biker hottie president of the Chaos Motorcycle Club. Not long after she gets the attention of a Denver police detective who surely is on the cover of the DPD’s Hot Guy calendar. And lastly she hits the Denver Underground radar with a big, loud ping.
This means Gwen’s Mystery Man, Cabe “Hawk” Delgado has to step in to keep her safe. But when Hawk gets a dose of Gwen in the daylight, he makes the decision that he finally wants real with Gwen.
However, when Gwen gets a dose of badass, bossy, straight-talker Hawk in the daylight, she decides she’s done.
Thus begins the head to head of Commando vs. Cosmo Girl as Hawk woos Gwen in his unique way, and Gwen survives firebombs, drive-bys, kidnappings, hot pursuits by biker hotties and gorgeous police detectives and discovers the heartbreaking reason why Hawk kept her at arm’s length.
And as all this happens, Gwen finds that her sister’s troubles are serious trouble and she must decide who to keep alive: her sister-from-hell or the man of her dreams.
Book 2: Wild Man
Description: While filling the display case in her bakery, the bell over the door sounds, Tessa O’Hara looks up and sees the man of her dreams. Within thirty seconds he asks her out for a beer. Thirty seconds later, she says yes. But after four months of falling in love, she discovers he’s an undercover DEA Agent investigating the possibility she’s involved in her ex-husband’s drug business.
Obviously Tess decides this means it’s over.
DEA Agent Brock Lucas disagrees.
A man on a mission who’s really committed to his job, he’s spent years in the underbelly of Denver with the dregs of society. And spending four months with Tess—who’s as sweet as her cupcakes—he seriously enjoyed his job.
But during Tess’s interrogation, Brock learns the devastating secret Tess is carrying and he’s determined to be the man who helps her heal as well as takes her back as she walks on the wild side.
As wild and sweet mix, they face challenge after challenge of family struggling with history and terminal illness. Not to mention, Tess’s ex-husband, the drug lord, and Brock’s ex-wife, who has a very big playbook, are scheming to tear them apart.
But Brock Lucas has wild in him and in his past he let that wild loose, making a mistake that he would have no idea years later will put his sweet Tess in the position to pay his penance.
Book 3: Law Man
Description: Four years ago, Mitch Lawson moved across the breezeway from Mara Hanover and she fell in love with the tall, good-looking police detective who had an uncanny ability to dress well even though he’s single. It was not a stalker kind of love. She knows she has no hope since Mitch is way out of her league. That doesn’t change the fact that he’s her dream man.
Then one day Mara’s faucet won’t turn off and she knows nothing about plumbing. Being a good guy, Mitch offers to help. Then he invites himself over for pizza.
Mara gives it a go but finds herself running away from him (literally) on their first date, standing him up their second and then she runs into him (again literally) on her way to save her ne’er-do-well, criminal cousin’s kids who’d just run away from their ne’er-do-well, criminal dad.
Suddenly, Mara finds she has on her hands the guardianship of two kids and a gorgeous police detective who’s willing to do anything to help out—including giving fabulous foot rubs.
But Mara knows who she is and where she came from and she knows Detective Mitch Lawson is better than her.
Hot law man Mitch disagrees, and his challenge is to convince Mara to let go of her past.
He sets about building a family at the same time he finds he also needs to protect them all against known and unknown adversaries that would tear them apart.
Book 4: Motorcycle Man
Description: Stuck in a colorless world, Tyra Masters decides to chuck her old life and starts searching for something. She doesn’t know what it is until she meets her dream man. The goateed, tattooed, muscled, gravelly-voiced motorcycle man who plies her with tequila and gives her the best sex of her life. But she knows it isn’t the tequila and sex talking. He’s it. He’s who she’s been daydreaming about since she could remember.
Until he makes it clear she isn’t who he’s looking for.
Tyra slinks away from his bed, humiliated. The problem is, he’s her new boss. She just may or may not have forgotten to tell him that part.
Kane “Tack” Allen has a rule. He doesn’t employ someone he’s slept with. And he lets Tyra know that in his motorcycle man way.
Tyra fights for her job and wins it using sass and a technicality. Tack challenges her that if she hits his bed one more time, she loses her job.
Tyra is determined to keep her job and keep away from Tack. But she makes a big mistake. During their head to heads, she lets it all hang out and shows Tack she is who he’s looking for. And Tack’s had a good woman slip through his fingers, he’s not about to let that happen again.
Although Tack colors Tyra’s world with a vibrancy that’s blinding, being with him means she has to live in his motorcycle club world. Full on, no holds barred. And since Tack’s world, not to mention Tack, is a little scary, Tyra isn’t so sure.
It’s Tack’s job to convince her.
Book 5: Quiet Man
Description: Charlotte “Lottie” McAlister is in the zone. She’s ready to take on the next chapter of her life, and since she doesn’t have a man, she’ll do what she’s done all along. She’ll take care of business on her own. Even if that business means starting a family.
The problem is, Lottie has a stalker. The really bad kind. The kind that means she needs a bodyguard.
Enter Mo Morrison.
Mo doesn’t say much, and Lottie’s used to getting attention. And she wants Mo’s attention. Badly.
But Mo has a strict rule. If he’s guarding your body, that’s all he’s doing with it.
However, the longer Mo has to keep Lottie safe, the faster he falls for the beautiful blonde who has it so together, she might even be able to tackle the demons he’s got in his head that just won’t die.
But in the end, Lottie and Mo don’t only have to find some way to keep hands off until the threat is over, they have to negotiate the overprotective Hot Bunch, Lottie’s crazy stepdad, Tex, Mo’s crew of frat-boy commandos, not to mention his nutty sisters.
All before Lottie finally gets her Dream Man.
And Mo can lay claim to his Dream Girl.