Saturday, 27 June 2015

Rock Chick Series by Kristen Ashley - Full series review

1. Rock Chick 

Indy Savage, cop's daughter, rock chick and used bookstore owner, has been in love with Lee Nightingale, once bad boy, now the man behind Nightingale Investigations, since she was five years old. No matter what ingenious schemes Indy used to capture his attention, Lee never showed an interest and Indy finally gave up. Now Indy's employee, Rosie, has lost a bag of diamonds and bad guys are shooting at him. When Indy gets involved, Lee is forced to help. Complicating matters, Lee has decided he's interested, Indy's decided she's not. But she can't seem to keep Lee out of her life when she's repeatedly stun gunned, kidnapped and there are car bombs exploding (not to mention she's finding dead bodies).

Indy's best bet is to solve the mystery of the diamonds before Lee. Lee's challenge is to keep Indy alive and, at the same time, win back her heart.

Amazon US

2. Rock Chick Rescue
Jet McAlister has a secret. Eddie Chavez has the hots for Jet (not to mention Eddie’s just plain hot). Jet has too many problems to realize that Eddie’s interested. Eddie loses patience when Jet ends her waitressing shift at a strip club with a knife at her throat. Since Eddie’s a cop, he figures he can help. Since Jet’s used to solving everyone’s problems she doesn’t want Eddie’s help.

Throw in a Dolly Parton look-alike, a gruff but lovable strip club owner, Jet’s ne’er do well father, his ne’er do well friend, Bear, Bear’s long-suffering, chain-smoking wife Lavonne and the crew from Rock Chick and you’ve got Rock Chick Rescue.

Rock Chick Rescue takes you on a wild ride with Jet, Eddie and the gang as they wrestle bad guys in a bagel shop, hit Denver’s backstreet poker tables (with big hair), and help the strippers at Smithie’s take down a would-be murderer.

Through this, Jet’s got to learn that even when life made you give up your dreams, you can still end up with the (hot) guy. Eddie’s got to rescue Jet from a bad man (so he can do better things with her) and teach her that some dreams can come true.

3. Rock Chick Redemption

Roxie’s on the run from a bad boyfriend who will not catch the hint that it is o-v-e-r. She’s in no mood for love at first sight, but when her eyes fall on Hank, it’s trouble from the get-go. Roxie tries to hold Hank at arms length but Hank wants to be a closer (as in, a lot closer). 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 guy. The problem is no one agrees with her, especially her crazy hippie best friend Annette or her parents; the even crazier small-Indiana-town Herb and Trish. Toss into the mix the gang from Rock Chick and Rock Chick Rescue and Roxie finds herself totally outnumbered.

Climb in for another Rock Chick wild ride through Rock Chick Redemption. As the odds stack up against Roxie, she has no choice but to hold on and just ride it out through the kidnappings, car chases, society parties, a riot at the strip club, Hank getting “Mom Bombed” and one crazy night at the Haunted House.

During all this Hank works at convincing her she really wants to stay and he, along with the Hot Bunch, go all out to make her safe. Hank also needs to work on showing Roxie that her past decisions don’t mean her future can’t include something as downright delicious as… normal.

Amazon US

4. Rock Chick Renegade
Jules has got a score to settle against the drug dealers of Denver. Vance 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 and she enlists Zip (the gunstore owner), Heavy (an ex-PI) and Frank (a mysterious recluse) to help.

The Rock Chicks of Fortnum’s Bookstore get involved to provide romantic advice and guidance, none of which Jules accepts at first. The Hot Bunch of Nightingale Investigations 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; Jules’s friend the rotund, African-American, Jackie-O wannabe, May; and especially Vance will stop at nothing to wear her down.

But Jules makes some bad guys pretty angry and one is dedicated to taking her out. Vance and the Hot Bunch have to pull out all the stops to keep her alive. At the same time, Jules and Vance learn the true meaning of home but once they find this precious entity they’ve been searching for all their lives, will Jules’s enemies tear it away?
5. Rock Chick Revenge

Ava 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 husband. Since Luke, Ava’s childhood crush, is now a private investigator, she thinks to enlist him but changes her mind at the last second.

Too late, 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.

Amazon US

6. Rock Chick Reckoning

Stella’s the lead singer and lead guitarist of The Blue Moon Gypsies and Stella used to be Mace’s girl. Mace broke up with her, though, and the loss of him rocked her world. But Stella gets a call, late at night (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.
7. Rock Chick Regret
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 the Real Sadie to the undercover agent she knows is investigating her father, the handsome Hector Chavez, and he knows he’ll stop at nothing to have her.

Hector 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.


 8. Rock Chick Revolution

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.

Amazon US

Kristine's Review:

Reviewed: June 2015.

I don't even know where to start with this review...I'm awe struck, I'm lost for words, I'm giddy and smiley, and swoony and gahhh I've had a permasmile on my face since last Thursday when I finally started in on Rock Chick after almost a year of badgering from one of my best friends. I started in on a Thursday afternoon and every spare moment I had I was reading, while in the car driving to work on audio, taking sneaky reading breaks while walking to the bathroom reading on my phone, staying up til all hours while the husband was well and truly fast asleep in dream land, I read and read and then read some more. Eight books over just over four days and I'm feeling a keen sense of loss, because the Rock Chicks and the Hot Bunch have become my friends, my family, I'm connected, I'm invested, I've felt every possible emotion there is and my world is richer for reading this series, some books are filled with fun and frivolity, some take you through the emotional wringer, some allow you to push aside your stresses and worries and just live in someone else's world for a few hours, and that in itself is what I wish for every time I pick up a new book, but what I didn't expect was just how much Kristen Ashley's words would impact on my heart and soul, how big of a  message this series would pack, how many life lessons would come out of this funny, outrageous, sexy and action packed adventure.

I was going to write a review for each book in this series but instead I have decided to do one mega review as this series as a whole has captured so much of my heart that it's near impossible to pull them apart, Kristen Ashley writes the kind of characters that you can sink your teeth into, her heroines share a common bond, their feisty and strong willed, tough and courageous, they fight for the sisterhood, and they welcome new comers with a fierceness that is both endearing and awe inspiring. The leading men are tough as nails, sexy as sin, they are protectors to their very core, strong and sure, not ruled by fear or failure, these men know immediately when someone is worth the effort, worth the fight because they have all fought their own battles to bring them to where they are.

 The Rock Chick series is the perfect blend of humour, heart and scorching heat, broody alpha males who know what they want, once they lock eyes on who they want, their fate is sealed and they'll stop at nothing to protect the one they love, they move at break neck speed to solidify their union, to prove that their feelings may be intense but they are real. Whether it was Lee proving that Indy had always been the one for him despite the years he spent pushing her away, or Mace proving to Stella that she had always been the light in his darkest night, or Luke showing Ava that no matter her weight or her appearance that he had always seen her, he'd seen the girl who's spirit and ability to love had saved him on so many occasions throughout his young life. With the additions to this rag tag team of misfits and outsiders people like Tex and Duke, Daisy and Shirleen, were accepted with open arms, there's a beautiful message in this series about acceptance and self love, about friendship and family, about the purest type of love, one where you look past the flaws, look past insecurity, look past mistakes and let people in, you accept help and love with every inch of your being, knowing that that love is given back ten fold.

There's a line in this series that stole my breath, it held my heart in it's hands, and I'm forever changed by reading KA's words,

"I can't be the star in your sky when you're the only star left shining in mine."

The raw beauty of these words, their sheer eloquence, the dichotomy of light and dark, of pain and healing, of accepting love and feeling alone, while KA may not have set out to write a series that would change someone's life, the end result remains the same, I am a better person for reading these books, and my world is a happier place after letting her words rush over my like a tidal wave.

As this series progresses, so does the nature of the stories, the nature of the threats against the Rock Chicks and Hot Bunch intensifies, the stories become a little darker as they held a vice like grip in my heart, at times I was laughing my arse off or I was fanning my face, others my heart was thundering in my chest because I knew with the utmost certainty that something big was going to happen and I didn't know if I was prepared to take that journey, but there in lies the sheer genius of Ms Ashley, when I was scared to go on, her words enveloped me, giving me a sense of calm, the characters that had become my friends would be there to hold my hand, to get me through.

My biggest surprise of this series was who I admired the most, which character struck a chord on a deep and fundamental level, but Jane captivated me, her steadfast belief in fairy tales, in happily ever afters, even as she watched all kind of fear and action taking place around her, always in the shadows, this woman stood her ground and believed, she was never a main character, always a maid and never a bride as the saying would go, but her undying thirst for seeing dreams come true warmed my heart in a way I didn't think was possible.

I may have been a KA virgin before picking up Rock Chick, but this series has ensured it definitely won't be my last, there's a simplicity and yet a sheer elegance to her words, they transcend the page, seeping through the ink into your mind, searing your soul, hands down a new favourite, one I will recommend to anyone looking for something to pull them out of a reading slump, to allow them the opportunity to slip away into another world for a few hours, to relieve them of boredom, or just to remind them that this life is filled with ups and downs, valleys and peaks, but it's how you ride out the darkness and the people you surround yourself with that makes it glorious.


About Kristen Ashley:

Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA. She 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 accessorise and she hadn't taken her first breath!).

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana but has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write.

Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multi-generational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland and existed amongst the strains of 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 up, it keeps getting better.

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