Book Review – Wild Man by Kristen Ashley

by Maryse on January 26, 2012 · 14 comments

in Kristen Ashley

Wild Man (Dream Man)
I finally just finished this one (book #2 in the series) last night, and yet again, a great solid Kristen-style alpha read. Unfortunately, I started this book just before my “meet Lothaire/read Christian Grey/go on biz trip” whirlwind, and therefore, poor “Brock” got shortchanged. I pieced his story together by reading it every few days, and unfortunately for this one, I didn’t get that whole “Kristen-alpha” proper immersion where I swooned my butt of on the couch for two days. Oh there was swooning potential, but something (and much of it was GREAT somethings) kept me from becoming one with Brock. Oh stop!! You know what I mean. Tee hee!!!

But, do you wanna know something else I’ve come to realize with Kristen’s heroes? Sure, they’re mostly bossy, demanding, and gruff (and sexier then anything, in the process), but I’ve come to realize that I love how not “wordy” they are. I know you just blinked at me, wondering… “She didn’t just realize that, did she?” I know. These guys are infamous with their one word answers, and mostly that answer is just… “Babe.” Says it all, doesn’t it?

Of course I’ve always loved that, but I’ve come to appreciate it even more since taking a break from her men for a month or so.

Because in that time, I’ve met many more heroes and over and over, have found myself thinking… “What? No guy would actually say this, would he?” or “Oh come on, he’s a bad-boy. He wouldn’t talk like that during…. you know.” Nuh uh. He’d be cruder. Quicker. Intense in sound (maybe a few words, here or there), but not so vivid in the flowery descriptions area. In a few recent books, I’ve come across some bad boys that are a bit too “poetic in their enthusiasm” let’s just say. A bit too proper considering the circumstances, whether he was coming on to her (I eye-rolled a few times), arguing (really? He’s that articulate when angry?) or steaming up the place (Wait!? He sure is talking a lot. And not sexy-suggestive either. All eloquent-like). The imagery. The detail (and not the author’s detail of the scene) but the hero is saying this stuff (or thinking it). I didn’t realize guys could think that much, let alone say that much, considering where all the blood… ahhhh nevermind. *blush*

Anyway, as I was saying, beautiful sure, in  a poem. But not so hot in the throes of passion. Hrmmmm…

So case in point. I’ve come to appreciate Kristen’s alpha’s even more, because of it. I can relate to her guys (and her girls), on a personal level. I believe them. She’s created them in such a way that her bad-boy “characters” are true to their persona. Not just in image, but bone deep, too. And reading Brock last night (finishing his bittersweet story) felt real to me. So even if Brock’s book was not my favorite (and I believe only because he had the misfortune of not being fully consumed in one or two sittings), I still adored him!

So here’s Brock’s deal (’cause all know Kristen’s heroes always have a “deal”). Brock is an undercover agent in the DEA and get’s quite serious about his undercover roles. In fact, if there is a female involved in his investigation, he’s been known to get quite personal with her, if you know what I mean. To keep his cover, and to fully integrate into the group he is investigating. He is one of the characters we met in book #1 that was part of that whole “kidnapping” plot. Yep! Remember him?

Well, in this book, he’s investigating a sweet, and gentle “cake baker” (Tess) just trying to get on with her life, after leaving her abusive husband. Come to find out, her abusive husband was seriously involved in some shady dealings with drug cartels, and therefore, her past involvement with him is suspect. Thing is, Brock develops a serious crush on her, and she falls for him head over heals. Together for months now, she truly believes he might actually love her. But she doesn’t know him as Brock (who he really is), she knows him as Jake Knox.

And I knew, feeling the burn of his eyes, what that look meant. I knew this man, this fantastic, striking, wild man was mine.


I felt it in my blood.

And when she realizes the truth (believe me… the discovery is not pretty), her whole world comes crashing down around her.

I just knew a man like Jake Knox would have not one thing to do with the pale faced woman that was me.

Unless it was his job.

Not only is she under investigation for being part of a drug cartel, her ex-husband has signed her name onto things she never wanted to be a part of, and the one man she was finally letting in, isn’t the man she knew at all.

And so the story goes. That, my friends, was only the beginning. The rest of the book well, is plain old fun! Brock’s own personal life is a bit of a mess. A large and loving (yet highly dysfunctional) family, a very ill father, a vindictive, gorgeous ex-wife, two sons caught in between them, and a woman he truly wants, despite how he had to betray her.

“You didn’t have my name, Tess, but all that time you had me and you know it.”

I would say this book is more about “living” with them, their families, their daily experiences (sweet and some not so sweet). Almost a realistic look into the life of a new couple (with issues). Less drama in this one, more “living”, although some drama comes a long. Let’s just say, the end was high-impact, considering the slower, gentler pace of the book as a whole.

There were a few opportunities where I thought the author could have increased the drama, or the tension. Stuff like potential for break-up moments, maybe insecurities from misunderstandings, or incorrect perceptions that might have played out a bit more. Maybe even Kristen’s infamous “alpha second-guessing his choices, and breaking her heart in the process” moment. You know…stuff like that. There was certainly that “realistic” potential here. But I think the author played this one a bit safer than some of my favorites from her repertoire.

Still though, heartwarming-ly good stuff! Warm and fuzzy with some seriously sweet and some seriously sad moments, that were well worth it in the end.

3.75 stars

Interested in the series? —> Dream Man Series Reading Order


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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

DebLI January 26, 2012 at 12:00 PM

I’m with you on this one. Brock didn’t grab me and reel me in the way most of her others did (I’m talking about you Hawk) but it was a good read. I actually can’t wait for Law Man though!

Nancy Parken January 26, 2012 at 1:05 PM

I so did not like this guy in Mystery Man, but he made a big improvement in Wild Man, but it still was not one of my favorites of her books. I still enjoyed reading this, but not my favorite. I just finished PLAYING IT SAFE, & liked that & Gray, too, but not a big fan of big time lapses in the couples lives because of a misunderstanding, but other then that I loved it.

Maryse January 26, 2012 at 1:08 PM

Almost nobody compares to Hawk. Wow. Except for Tate. And Ty. And Joe. hehe. I want more!!

Maryse January 26, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Me too Nancy!! I love break-ups and drama, and huge heartache in a book, but not so much with huge time lapses. It messes me up and makes me think… “why bother?”

But I keep hearing great things about so many of her books that I still have to catch up on, so I’m loving it anyway!

Kara January 26, 2012 at 3:40 PM

I am right there with you on this one – it wasn’t one of my KA faves (like crazy squee-worthy), but a great read all the same. And I completely understand what you are saying about the alpha’s not talking that much!! I am reading a series right now (The McCloud Brother’s series – great series BTW…) where the alpha’s (while being hot and totally awesome) are incredibly wordy all the time (especially while…ya know…) and I just don’t buy it – I’m like puh-leeze gimme a one word “Babe” any day and it stays way truer to me than anything else they can babble on about.

I have to say that while I can’t wait for Law Man (which she is almost done with – YAY!!) I REALLY can’t wait for Tack’s book (the Motorcycle Man)!!! I think it has to do with the fact that I am totally in love with Sons of Anarchy and all I can picture is Jax when I think about Tack….mmmmm…….

patricia January 26, 2012 at 8:05 PM

Ironicly I laughed out loud the most with this book….I want an Elvira’s. I loved her, at times I nearly drowned myself with coffee spewing out of me with laughter……all because of Elvira

Maryse January 26, 2012 at 8:40 PM


She is a kick!! “He threw a chair??”


Maryse January 26, 2012 at 8:41 PM

Kara!! YES TACK!!!! I loved that angle… how I almost believed Tack might actually get to be the “one” in that book…

Kept me on my toes. I can’t wait for more of him!

Belle January 27, 2012 at 4:04 AM

I just discovered your blog a couple days ago when I was desperately needing to find someone who talked about the Fever-Series which finished just a couple days ago. And loved it. A lot.
So I was more than thrilled to find your list of best reads 2011 since I didn’t really know what to read next. I can’t wait to work my way through it and if everything on there is as good as “Hearts in Darkness” I probably won’t put my kindle down for the next month or so.
Thank you soooo much for all the recommendations and reviews! I really appreciate it!

Evieve January 27, 2012 at 10:25 AM

I think a part of what I liked about this book was the lack of drama. I’m sure this is due to my marathon reading of all things Kristen Ashley recently. After Mystery Man, Sweet Dreams, Lady Luck, At Peace and all the Rock Chick drama I enjoyed sitting back and letting Brock be sweet and Tess be not so crazy. I’m sure if this was the first Kristen Ashley book I’d read instead of the fifth I might feel different.

Kaitlyn April 2, 2012 at 1:05 PM

This was my first Kristen Ashley book, and I loved it while I was reading it and after. Now I’ve also read Law Man, Mystery Man, Sweet Dreams, The Gamble and Rock Chick (in that order). I agree that it was definitely a lot less action packed, and no longer my favourite, but Tess was great, there was still drama with the shrew of an ex-wife which I loved and he was still an alpha male with the “Babe” we all love so much. If you want a slightly slower novel, or with more sweetness, this one is great and still a KA novel and feel, especially with Elvira’s hilarity! So I definitely agree with Evieve. This book started me with her and consequently I read the next 5 books in a month, so I’ll always like it. But I do agree, different from her kind of trademark plot. I think my favourite hero of all was Tate.

Maryse April 2, 2012 at 1:13 PM


Maryse April 2, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Evieve… you’re right though. Sometimes it’s nice to just focus on a relationship blossoming, then on all of the danger and action-packed stuff, so I agree with you on that.

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