Dream Team, Book 2
Heat Factor: If you had asked me earlier, I would not have said that being collared is sexy. But I am totally buying what Ashley is selling here.
Character Chemistry: Well, I wanted them together in book 1, so…yeah, they’ve got chemistry
Plot: “I want to be with you.” “Never gonna happen.” “You know what? Fine.” … “Actually, not fine, you just got kidnapped and dragged into a dangerous situation with an ever-increasing body count, and I am not okay with that.”
Overall: Ermagherd, worth the wait!
I’ve been chomping at the bit to get my hands on this book, and it was super fun. The premise of the Dream Team series is that Lottie from Quiet Man (a Dream Man/Rock Chicks/Dream Team series crossover novella) has decided to set up four of her friends (all of them strippers like Lottie herself) with her boyfriend’s four best friends (all of whom work for Hawk Delgado from the Dream Man series). So if you have read Quiet Man or Dream Maker, you already know that there are four pairings that have already gotten rolling (to nowhere) before the book begins.
Dream Chaser picks up not too long after Dream Maker ends, and it turns out that the drama that began with Mag and Evie in book one isn’t actually resolved like we thought. So Ryn gets dragged right into it by Is-he-really-a-bad-guy-though? Brett/Cisco, kidnapper and murder suspect extraordinaire from book 1. But you don’t really need to read the first book in the series, or even the novella. It’s helpful to round things out, but isn’t necessary.
Boone, knowing Lottie and seeing how well Mag and Evie hit it off, is super keen to date Ryn, but has already been shot down three times by her before this book begins. So, after his latest run-in with her, he’s about ready to throw in the towel.
Then Ryn gets kidnapped-ish by Brett/Cisco again and Boone loses his mind a la macho protector badass hero man (you know the type), which is just the kick that Ryn needed to get over her inveterate need to avoid relationships that require her to be vulnerable. And so Ryn and Boone set off on their romance with a big side of danger and conspiracy!
Ashley is good at characterization, and she’s also good at balancing the drama of the danger plus a lot of big feelings with humor. The tension is also consistent and consistently good (I struggle to stop reading her books, which is a problem because they really are not one-sitting length). Also there’s a lot of family drama going on with Ryn, and I have to say, I (usually) like the way that Ashley writes families with children, like there are all kinds of parents in the world (good and not so much) and like kids are normal, developing people who are part of life.
The other thing I’ll note is that one of the reasons that Lottie paired Boone and Ryn is that Boone is a Dominant and Ryn is a Submissive. I have read other Ashley books in which the protagonists are into BDSM (or at least one of them is), and this one is a little different. For starters, Ryn is part of BDSM culture before she meets Boone, so they start off their relationship well versed in the steps partners take before engaging with each other, talking about their boundaries and safe words, and they do this in a clear way that most romance protagonists never do, never mind what kind of kink they’re into (or not). If you’re not already a BDSM smut reader, this book is one of few that I’d recommend to dip your toe in, because most books that involve BDSM sexytimes, etc., jump straight into Doms domming and bypass a lot of what makes BDSM safe and consensual in real life (SSC!), which (I think) makes it harder for people who aren’t into certain kinds of kink to understand why other people might like them. This relationship is mostly D/s, and even with the D/s aspect Boone doesn’t go so far as to, say, decide what clothes Ryn gets to wear every day or the like, so compared to some stuff I’ve read, it’s not extreme. Short story: Ashley takes pains to make this relationship accessible to readers who might have a kink incompatibility with Ryn and Boone.
Shorter story: This book was a plain fun, suspenseful read.
I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.
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