Pages: 448 pages
Release Date: June 25, 2013
Source of my copy: publisher
Series: Chaos #1
Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Too hot to handle...
Tabitha Allen grew up in the thick of Chaos--the Chaos Motorcycle Club, that is. Her father is Chaos' leader, and the club has always had her back. But one rider was different from the start. When Tabby was running wild, Shy Cage was there. When tragedy tore her life apart, he helped her piece it back together. And now, Tabby's thinking about much more than friendship...
Tabby is everything Shy's ever wanted, but everything he thinks he can't have. She's beautiful, smart, and as his friend's daughter, untouchable. Shy never expected more than friendship, so when Tabby indicates she wants more--much more--he feels like the luckiest man alive. But even lucky men can crash and burn...
Parker "Shy" Cage kept Tabitha "Tabby" Allen at arm's length despite his attraction to her because 1) she's younger than him 2) she's the daughter of the leader of the Chaos Motorcycle Club--a club Shy was a member of and 3) he thought she was too good for him. Tabby has had a crush on Shy for years but at nineteen years old she was walking on the wrong path of parties, alcohol and drugs. One night Shy taught Tabby a harsh lesson that left her shaken and she tried to stay out of his way for the next few years to focus on college and growing up. Then, a terrible tragedy brought Shy and Tabby together again. As Shy helped Tabby heal, they form a close friendship. The more they spend time together, the simmering attraction that was always between them heats up, despite knowing their growing relationship will not be easily accepted at the club.
Own the Wind had a different flavor from the typical contemporary romances I read. It's grittier and darker and at times harsh but, surprisingly, I really enjoyed it. The author's writing and voice were very readable and I flew through Own the Wind very quickly.
Right from the beginning, I had to get used to Shy Cage's character. I wasn't sure I was going to like him at all. I cringed and raged at how he treated motorcycle groupies and the few times he referred to the women as "bitches." He was rough, crass and alpha to the core. Throughout the book I vacillated between wanting to slap and knee him and going "awww" when his sweet side comes out with Tabby and nodding along because the way he dealt with problems may not be the most PC his intentions were good. He came through for me in the end, though, and I decided he was an okay guy.
Tabby herself was very likable right from the start. Shy had a strong personality but because we get Tabby's perspective in first-person (Shy's was in third-person) her character was able to shine through better. She had a chatty voice where at times she talked right to the reader and I felt I got to know her and get "close" to her character more fully because of it.
I really like that first half of the novel was Shy and Tabby's road to declaring their first "I love yous" and the other half was about them building their relationship beyond the honeymoon period. I liked seeing them work through normal couple stuff and the not-so-normal stuff that came with a guy who belonged in a motorcycle club. And, of course, they clashed--Shy was very alpha and had a different outlook in life but Tabby was no simpering miss and can give it back. But at the end of the day, while Tabby and Shy were good individually, they were better together and brought out the best in each other despite their bumpy road to happily ever after.
Own the Wind was a very unique read for me and it was quite unlike any romance novels I've read in a while. It was refreshing, actually. This novel was my first by Kristen Ashley and after reading it I'm very curious about her other novels--she has a different but very readable writing style. I'm certainly looking forward to the next Chaos novel. If you're looking for a different kind of romance novel, I suggest you give Own the Wind a try.