Review: Sweet Dreams by Kristen Ashley

Posted October 5, 2019 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 18 Comments

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Review: Sweet Dreams by Kristen Ashley
Sweet Dreams

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Series: Colorado Mountain #2
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Forever
Released on December 11, 2012
Pages: 656
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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The Delight

I have been bouncing all over this Colorado Mountain series, but fortunately, its written in such a way that I can get away with that.  Sweet Dreams has long been most people’s favorite not only of this series, but all of the author’s books.  I’ve read some pretty spectacular ones from her so that’s saying a lot.  It was with great anticipation that I dove into this one and like Pavlov’s dog, I’ve become addicted to reading Tate Jackson wishing his Laurie Grahame ‘sweet dreams’.


Sweet Dreams is the second book in a series of loosely connected standalones in the Colorado Mountain series.  As I said, I’ve read later books and still haven’t read the first which hasn’t been a problem at all.  Though, that said, I can see how getting to know these earlier characters and situations make some of the mentions in passing later on, make better sense.

Sweet Dreams opens with former suburbanite and ex-wife and high class white collar worker, Laurie Grahame in a small backwater Colorado town, living in a hotel, and just starting as a bar waitress at a biker bar.  Talk about uprooting herself, but Laurie is determined to find something utterly new from what she ad before with her ex who made her feel inadequate and average and that was before he slept with her best friend for two years before admitting it.

Unfortunately, the surly and hot Tate Jackson, part owner of the bar, might put a real problem in her plans because he makes it clear that ‘fat-butt, middle-aged, soft women’ like her are not wanted.  I had a Jane Austen moment right then.  Mr. Darcy insulted Elizabeth Bennet’s looks and set her stubbornly against him and Tate’s remark delivered loudly and cuttingly in his anger at the situation reached lows that even Darcy couldn’t touch.  He couldn’t know that her self-esteem which was in tatters after her ex gaslighted her for years would make it nearly impossible to restore what he broke.  But, leave it to a badass sexy biker bad boy alpha hero to try.

It was fireworks from the get-go and then Laurie digs her heels in and decides that she won’t let him make her slink away.  She works hard to make it as a bar waitress to bikers and locals, she works hard to get her body that was built the last few years on stress eating through the end of her marriage back to condition, and she works very hard to get her instant attraction for the wrong guy Tate out of her system while making friends around town and finding a home she didn’t expect.

Meanwhile, once he said those words, Tate got a wake-up call and when she stubbornly held her ground and held her grudge, Tate was forced to fight for a woman worth fighting for.  Then, a serial killer is discovered loose in their town going after single, unprotected woman, and Tate’s past makes Laurie rethink letting anything start between them even though its hard to ignore or move on from a guy who protects your very life and stands by you through some really hard times.  He may be an alpha-jerk, but that isn’t all he is.

The tempestuous romance was work for both Tate and Laurie because they came with piles of luggage and attitude.  This is the blueprint for the majority of the author’s couples.  Laurie being emotionally abused and Tate, though he would never admit it, went through his own brand of something similar with his ex explore their spicy hot attraction of opposites, but also the thorny tangles of healing each other from their pasts.  It was a two steps forward three steps back progress for the longest time.  I usually get fed up with this author’s heroines when they go full-on drama and usually for no reason I can tell and Laurie is like that at times, but, I did much better with this one because there is balance- they both can stir up the drama in their own ways.  Both have flaws, but I loved how they didn’t just bring out the worst, but also the strength and best in each other.

There is also the suspense element of the serial killer grabbing women to torture, rape, and kill that kept things intense at times.  But, also with the suspense were the regular arrivals into scenes of their crazy exes.  Eyerolling at times, but wow, were they ‘whacked’.

Oh my glands, I said ‘whacked’ after swearing that I could go a while without seeing that word or ‘um’ or ‘babe’, etc for a while.  Yeah, the story was strong and consuming, but the dialogue per usual is an adjustment.  A woman can be a business exec, but she still talks like a ditz within seconds of arriving in town.  I had to laugh when Tate spoke full sentences more often than she did at one point.  The one-word back and forth can get trying, but not enough to quit the story which was emotional and engaging through to the end.

All in all, I was glad to get my turn at this story and I can definitely see what all the fuss is about.  It won’t be for everyone due to the alpha behavior (though stick around long enough and the reader will see that she can dish it as much as him) and the dialogue and the mental monologuing, but there is a solid story and characters that will draw in those who love Bad Boy Small Town Romances.

Challenges Met

Mt. TBR #73


5 1 vote
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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Debbie Haupt
1 year ago

Great review Sophia Rose I too like a series you can pick and choose with a little and this setting and cover are calling to me

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Debbie Haupt

Thanks Debbie! It’s great to find a series with some versatility in it for when a blurb or element in a story catches my attention and I don’t need to wait until I get there in a reading order. 🙂

Rachel @Waves of Fiction

This has got to be my favorite in the series! Loved it even with the rambling and ums, lol! Signature Kristen Ashley. Glad you had fun with it, too, Sophia Rose! 🙂

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

Now, I understand why everyone loves this one. It is definitely one of her best. 🙂

Carole Rae
1 year ago

I honestly don’t mind the alpha-ness unless it is over-the-top.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

At first, he’s a bit over the top with a take me as I am attitude and I explained why I said something awful so why do you need the apology. When she finally matches that, because he helped her get that confident, it feels more balanced.

Carole @ Carole's Random Life in Books

I still need to read Kristen Ashley. This series sounds really good. Great review!

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

Her style is very different from most- a bit like JR Ward’s though moreso. I’ll be curious to see what you think. 🙂

Angie Elle
1 year ago

Kristen Ashley has this power over me where her books absolutely consume me when I’m reading them. I think they’re perfect and amazing, but then, after a little while goes by, I see so many issues with them. I’ll admit – Tate is one of my least favorite KA heroes. I thought the way he treated his ex-wife was atrocious, and I know she didn’t treat him any better, but he was setting an example for his son. (And yes, she should have been, too, but she wasn’t a character in this book I was supposed to like.) So it… Read more »

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Angie Elle

Your perspective is great to get, Angie. I have a little of that going on when it comes to thinking the book better while reading it when it comes to their characters and the romance. The author brings the reader very close in.

Bookworm Brandee
1 year ago

Yay, yay, yay! I do love Tate & Laurie’s story but I don’t know that I can pick a favorite in this series. Breathe did make me wax poetic and write a “love” letter of sorts to KA though. 😉 I’m so happy you enjoyed it, Sophia.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

You and Lexxie are the ones who convinced me to grab this one. 🙂 I do plan to get caught up on this whole series. Good to know that Breathe is rave-alicious. 🙂

1 year ago

Interesting to hear that drama comes from both sides of this couple.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  vvb

I thought that, too. Usually the heroine is the drama queen, but in this one the hero has his moments, too. 😉

Lover of Romance
1 year ago

Great review. You have to really love alpha males to enjoy her books. So I actually loved this book and I am happy to see you liked it Sophia. I really loved what she worked in this series.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

You’re right! It wouldn’t be a comfortable read for someone who didn’t like the alpha male. I loved that Laurie was pretty alpha too , to match him. 🙂

Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

I’m so glad you got the chance to read Sweet Dreams! It’s my favorite in the series, and I agree while we get alpha male behavior, Laurie is just as good at dishing it back 🙂

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

I can definitely see why everyone said this was their favorite. Reading about these two kept me flipping pages and ignoring behavior. 😉