Stacia (out of inspiration)'s Reviews > Mystery Man

Mystery Man by Kristen Ashley
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Feb 20, 14

bookshelves: adult, drama-llama, super-cheese, contemporary-romance
Read in June, 2012

This will be yet another review where I will show off my fine skills of prioritizing. Forget the hero, the heroine, or the story. We have other stuff to take care of first.

Character description taken from the book itself :

I didn't expect to see tall, broad, inked-to-the-max, long blond-haired Dog standing at the other side of the counter.

HOLD THE PHONE. No one bothered to tell me that Dog the Bounty Hunter was making an appearance in this book.



Then...just when I thought it couldn't get any more surreal, I saw this :

her sister, Ginger Kidd

Wait a sec...is there really a character named ginger kid?


Disclaimer : I adore red haired children. Parents of red-haired children, please do not send hate mail because I posted a picture asking for help for ginger kids. I was only pointing out that this is a term not often used for flattery and probably not the best name for a book character.

Aw, hell. Let's just kick this review off with the characters.

Hawk - a.k.a. - The eighties called and they want their Camaro back. He's a hot man. I'm not gonna lie. The hair, the skin, the dimples, the boots, the multi-national heritage. He's like a taller version of the guy who plays Ranger in the Stephanie Plum movie.

Who am I to complain, really? Other than a weird fondness for mid-life crisis muscle cars, he's my kinda man. I don't appreciate that he put cameras in Gwen's house to spy on her (Really?!? You couldn't have monitored her from outside of the house?) but hey. He gives great sex and he's pretty to look at. Sometimes that's about as good as it's going to get.

Gwen - a.k.a. - Shallow, ditsy, fluffy girl. How the hell did this woman manage to get three hot guys willing to wage war over her? I could not stand this chick. After reading a book as long as this one was (and it was looooong), all I knew about her was that she drank cosmos, ate copious amounts of cookie dough, liked expensive shoes, and collected little black dresses. FFS, I would not want to hang out with this woman in real life. She had the depth of a potato chip. Although, I guess I can say that her big hair probably worked well with Hawk's camaro. At least they had a retro theme going on.

Since I've already figured out that nothing major changes about the men in these books other than how they look and what their jobs are, I'm hoping that the future will bring greater variety in the female lead department. I want to see big personalities, not Sex and the City wannabees.

The Story itself was...

Up and down. The first 15% was a lot of rambling about pop culture and side characters who weren't really in the story. Then things took off for a while and I was interested. Then we hit a downswing again when a couple of turf war issues repeated themselves. Then we hit an upswing, then a downswing, rinse and repeat. Gwen and Hawk were never really a believable couple to me until after they got back together for the last time and then it got good. The last couple of chapters and the epilogue were excellent. It's too bad that it took almost an entire book before I got excited about what was going on.

What interested me the most were the side characters. I'm looking forward to both Mitch and Tack's books. I have the feeling that I might like those books better, so fear not KA groupie girls. All is probably not lost.

The terminology was...

Eh. I think I'm used to it by now. I get that KA apparently loves nickname usage, which is something I loathe when it's used excessively in books. But I think I know that it's just part of the package and you have to deal with it if you're going to read and enjoy these books.

The squishy belly thing was just odd though. Gwen's belly got squishy a lot. I don't know if she was turned on or having indigestion.

Every male character sounded the same. I've noticed this in other books of this author's as well. The sentence phrasing is very stilted. I get that it's conversational, so I'm not knocking that, but it's highly unlikely that every single guy you ever come in contact with is going to talk in the same exact style. Especially when you have a commando, a police guy (or whatever Mitch was, don't remember) and a biker all speaking the same way. Last I checked, there is no universal guy phrasing.

Example : "I was another type of man, the type they are, I wouldn't hesitate gettin' in there and muddling your head by making my play."

However, there's always a silver lining...

As stated earlier, the last part of the book was pretty flipping incredible. The epilogue = outstanding.

It's a first book to a series. Sure, there were some flaws, but I think there's room for growth. The book entertained me well enough to keep going, and often that's good enough. I have the feeling that my feelings about the series will grow fonder as I continue on with the rest of the stories.
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Reading Progress

06/21/2012
90.0% "So...yeah. It's okay. I should finish up this afternoon because I want to buckle down on my other buddy read. I'm still waiting for the one KA book to blow my mind and it just isn't happening. These books are fun in parts but extremely annoying/cliched at the same time. I want more than I'm being given."

Comments (showing 1-50 of 71) (71 new)


Leea Is it getting any better?


Stacia (out of inspiration) Yes. I'm about 25% in now znd the story is finally not rambling anymore. It's getting more interesting.


Stacia (out of inspiration) znd = and. Tiny keyboard strikes again.


Leea Haha! I read right past that :) I'm glad it's picking up for you. I felt like Gwen was kind of a rambler.


Stacia (out of inspiration) That's what was getting me. She rambled about all of her friends, giving us a description of each of them. She rambled about clothes, about everything, it seemed. I feel like I'm finally getting to a point in the story where things are happening.

Although, even if I end up really liking the book (and there's a chance I probably will), I'm not going to be able to resist a couple of mentions. You'll see what when I get there. There's one person who was described as an exact t.v. character...

I just finished Wrapped Around Your Finger and wanted to put you as the rec but Regina originally gave me the book so I put you both on the rec line.


Leea Tack?

OMG! We have to talk about the 'Ginger' in Wrapped Around You Finger. hahaha!

Well, Regina was the one who recommended it to us both. I always forget to put who rec. a book to me. No worries :)


Stacia (out of inspiration) Nope, not Tack. I'm not saying who yet!

I had a friend a few years back who had mentioned the ginger incident as one she'd done with her man.

I'm not a fan of warming gels and such so it probably wouldn't really do anything for me but I could see it being a fun tool.


Leea Dang you!! It's killing me for some reason. ha!

Maybe it's because of the way he prepared it for her. I thought is was hot.

Yeah, i'm not a fan of warming gels. I think we used them like once and that was it.


Tai the Lioness i too hate nicknames! i read a book, a neighbor from hell, where the hero called the protagonist grasshopper. and another book, a beautiful disaster, where the hero called her pidge....:[ damn near ruined the books


Stacia (out of inspiration) I actually liked Neighbor from Hell but I understand why other people didn't like the nickname in that one. At least in that book, the nickname felt personal and not generic.

Pidge was awful though, I agree.

Okay, I finished editing the darn review. I feel like it might look like I hated the book and I didn't. It was cute in a lot of parts and KA does write a hot alpha.


message 11: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Espinoza Stacia, you crack me up!! Great, honest review! Even though you are def right, in every book KAs guys seem to be the same, I still find myself getting sucked into reading them every time!!


message 12: by Searock (last edited Jun 21, 2012 11:55PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Searock I snorted and giggled through your whole review. I feel like such a sub when you are going all sadist on my fave books and I... like... it :)

I can't believe you're gonna give em' another chance! Wahoo. I wonder if its because the crazy KA girls love you so much or because you actually find possibilities of enjoyment in continuing.

I would LOVE for you to try two other books that are not in the Dream Man series. One of them is one of the Burg books, Golden Trail, and is the only one from the hero's perspective. It doesn't have the mumbling, rambling issues you are talking about here. The other one would be Heaven and Hell which is a stand alone. You and Kristen have similar taste (hated Gwen!) and she loved the H&H book.


Stacia (out of inspiration) SR, If I wasn't liking the books at all... trust me, I wouldn't keep going. I'm not a complete glutton for punishment, after all. I still haven't found the book that has made me fall completely in love yet but I'm guessing it's out there.

I will definitely have to check out the one from the male PoV. I love books with male PoV's in general. I'll also check out the one that Kristen liked as well, since I saw that she had a few similar feelings about this book.

As of right now, I <3 Mitch. I'm actually looking forward to his book.

Rebecca, I get that sometimes formulaic books and characters are like comfort food - it's what you pick up and read when you need something predictable and easy to get in to. At the least she made the guy appealing. If any character is going to suck, I'd rather it be the female than the male.


Sara Great review! I haven't finished it yet but I feel the same way about the characters. I am on the fence with KA books really. They are good for a chuckle here and there but I would rather watch some Monty Patron and get a good laugh instead of reading recycled characters.


Stacia (out of inspiration) Do you read Richelle Mead at all? I love how every single series, every single world, and every single male character is different. She writes alphas, betas, funny guys, evil guys, outspoken guys, shy guys, brooding guys, etc. I think she is the master of changing it up.


Sara Note to self: when responding in the dark on my phone.make sure auto correct does not change Python to Patron. Is my phone telling me I need a Midnight Margarita?

I have not heard of her but I will check her out. I don't have a problem with the author having a style but let get creative for the dollar. I am surprised more folks don't notice this.


Stacia (out of inspiration) If you prefer adult, start with her Georgina Kincaid series. The first book is just okay (Mead info dumps a lot in every book 1 of every series...I only have it at 4 star because the second read made me appreciate the book more after knowing the world. The first time I read it, I was at about a 3 star/average rating) but the rest of the series is SO good. Book 2 is a little bit better and from there on out it just gets better and better. Books 4 through 6 were fab-u-lous. Yes. In three syllables.


Stacia (out of inspiration) Oh... and maybe your phone is telling you to hit the sauce. Do you have some Patron handy?


Sara I will check them both out. I love finding new authors. I am pretty open to new book experiences until I get burned. That happened recently and I feel my review was really negative but I was so disappointed in the books.

Yes on the Patron but the walk downstairs is too far. Ha!


message 20: by ✽ Sharon is an emotional book junkie ✽ (last edited Jun 22, 2012 12:52AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

✽ Sharon is an emotional book junkie ✽ LOL Stacia...i want to read this series soon...even though i agree w/a lot of what u said.

BEST LINE: "The squishy belly thing was just odd though. Gwen's belly got squishy a lot. I don't know if she was turned on or having indigestion."

i cant wait to read about that!!!!

great review!

(btw...Dog?? eeewwwww)


Searock 18 matches for "squishy".
When KA finds a word she likes, she get liberal with it :)


Stacia (out of inspiration) You're so adorable. I love that you looked it up. Don't look up Babe or your reader might explode!

Sharon, Dog (the real one, not book one) is a major ew. I'm sure the author intended for the book character to be much more attractive so I doubt he looks like that...but how can I not compare when the name and size/hair description is the same? :)


Stacia (out of inspiration) Sounds like your ideas would make for an interesting story! Especially the sex on a bike part. Although, Into the Forest already covered the "sister love" angle.


message 24: by D.G. (new) - added it

D.G. Loving your review but the gym is calling! Just to remind myself, I stopped reading at "The Story itself was..."


Stacia (out of inspiration) Okay, that was funny. It's a two-parter. I got carried away! There was no way I was leaving Dog out though. The opening was so there...


message 26: by Dija (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dija Superb review, Stacia. I even laughed a couple of times. Especially here:

I don't know if she was turned on or having indigestion.

LOL!


message 27: by Leea (new) - rated it 5 stars

Leea Hahahaha! Loved your review!


message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

Stacia, I loved your review! Laughed my butt off, in fact, because every single thing you said, I thought while reading this book! It was a hot mess. I've noticed KA's heroes are interchangeable; they talk the same talk, walk the same walk, and are uber-alpha. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I have to space her books out for my own peace-of-mind. Also, I completely detested not only Gwen, but her friend who acted more like a washed-up cheerleader than an adult woman.


Stacia (out of inspiration) Thanks everyone. :) It's nice that people get my strange sense of humor sometimes. You never know if it's going to work.

Tammie, I agree. I want to read book 2 but I'll need to switch it up with a few other books first.


message 30: by Searock (last edited Jun 22, 2012 03:52PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Searock You know you are addicted to a substance when it make you flinch now and then, makes your ears ring for a little while after or it gives you the shakes, but it doesn't make you stop wanting it. NOPE!
Like Pavlov's dogs, every time you hear, think or feel something that reminds you of it, you start to drool.
Then you start jonesin'.
Then your whole world focuses in on getting more of it.

Yep, I got it like that.
Kit-crack is my substance of choice.
If you want me, I'll be in the KA Addicts Group.
<3
Peace, Love and Tack :)


Stacia (out of inspiration) Oh I know where to find you woman. *evil grin*


Searock Yep, I imagine you do :)
*grins back*


Stacia (out of inspiration) I'm just as good at playing stalker as you are. O.o


message 34: by B0nnie (new)

B0nnie awesome review, Stacia ~ mistress of *mirth* (your reviews are very funny!)


Stacia (out of inspiration) Bonnie, your title changes have been making me smile. I'm not sure what I'd ever need a PR team for but maybe I'll have need of one someday. If this is ever the case, you are so getting hired.

(and thanks!)


message 36: by Searock (last edited Jun 22, 2012 04:43PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Searock I vote for *mirth*.
Not that I am against mediocrity (one of my favorite sayings is "dare to be average" which soothes the perfectionist in me), but it so doesn't remind me of you!


Stacia (out of inspiration) Trust me, I excel at mediocrity. You haven't seen my sub-par house cleaning skills. I'm a pro at shuffling things around until a room looks presentable.

Bonnie gave me mistress of awesome yesterday but I told her I couldn't use it or it would look narcissistic. I'm afraid that mirth wouldn't fare well for the modesty counter either. Not that modesty was ever a strong suit of mine. I'm too talky-talky about myself all of the time by handing out random details that no one wants to hear, to ever be considered modest.


message 38: by Searock (last edited Jun 22, 2012 05:08PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Searock Oooooh I have an idea!!!

You know how you give reviewers choices in "pick your own adventure"? How bout' a choice?
Mistress of corruption, mirth or awesomeness, you decide!

Phllllt. Or not :)


Stacia (out of inspiration) Corruption? Is this because I like corrupting innocent young men?

Where would this choice be presented at btw?


message 40: by Searock (last edited Jun 22, 2012 05:12PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Searock Ummmmm
Yeah!

Isn't their a big ole space for your name? The grey line looks nice and long from here...


message 41: by Erin (new) - rated it 4 stars

Erin OH, MY GOD this had me ROFLMAO!!! I couldn't agree with you more on this, my review for book 3 in the series was along the same lines but not remotely comical like yours was. Mine was more like hate mail. LOL I can't stomach any more of her books, they're all the same trashy characters, caveman heroes, lame dialogue, and something is ALWAYS happening to the heroine's belly...whether it's 'squishy', 'swooshy', whatever. The writing feels like a horny, redneck teenager wrote it after reading an actual good romance novel. So not going there again!


message 42: by Stacia (out of inspiration) (last edited Jun 25, 2012 01:15PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Stacia (out of inspiration) I'm going to have to go take a peek at your review for book 3 now. That was Mitch's right? Ahh...too bad. I was actually looking forward to his book.

I completely understand why you're done. Normally, I would have reached my limit as well. My patience is so very limited these days, especially since I have a mountain of books that are ready and waiting for me. Because I have several friends who love the author, I guess I keep trying in the hopes that at some point, I'll see what the appeal is.

For whatever reason, I decided to break tradition of reading a series in order to join in on the readalong for book 4 (Tack's). Believe it or not, I'm actually enjoying this one from the 10% or so I've read of it (which is quite a bit...more like 20% of a normal length book). Maybe it's because Tack was honest about being a douche upfront. In a weird way, I can respect that. If you're going to be a player, at least admit it. Hawk never gave that courtesy to Gwen. Plus, the way the garage and MC is described does make me envision my favorite show Sons of Anarchy, so that's a bonus.

If I end up liking that one and rating it a 3 or a 4, I might drop the rating on this one to a 2 because the more I think about it, the more I realized that the few entertaining parts didn't necessarily counterbalance the rest of it.

Oh and SR...I think the grey line cuts off after a few words.


message 43: by Erin (new) - rated it 4 stars

Erin Stacia ~ mistress of mediocrity wrote: "I'm going to have to go take a peek at your review for book 3 now. That was Mitch's right? Ahh...too bad. I was actually looking forward to his book.

I completely understand why you're done. Norm..."


I'm glad you're liking Tack's story, he definitely amused me to say the least! LOL Look forward to seeing your review!


Taryn at My Secret Romance LMAO! Best line in your review-

HOLD THE PHONE. No one bothered to tell me that Dog the Bounty Hunter was making an appearance in this book.


Stacia (out of inspiration) I thought it was a complete coincidence, then I saw the show mentioned after the fact in one of the other books. So maybe it wasn't...

Glad it was good for a laugh though!


Taryn at My Secret Romance Stacia ~ mistress of mediocrity wrote: "I thought it was a complete coincidence, then I saw the show mentioned after the fact in one of the other books. So maybe it wasn't...

Glad it was good for a laugh though!"


I don't think it was a coincidence if it was mentioned in another book. I swear the heroine in Sweet Dreams is the author. It describes her to a T!


Stacey Just finished this book and I 100% Agee with your review...wont even write one myself because yours was perfect!


Stacia (out of inspiration) Thanks! I appreciate it. :)


message 49: by Carina (new)

Carina Oh man, I was just talking to Leea about starting either this series or the Rock Chick series. I'm nervous now...


message 50: by Leea (new) - rated it 5 stars

Leea Hahaha! You could be the tie vote.


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