Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Review of Sweet Dreams by Kristen Ashley

OK. Let me tell you a story....

Once upon a time, I was flying across the country, from Boston to California. I had 10 hours to kill. I downloaded a sample of Sweet Dreams by Kristen Ashley on my Kindle because someone told me the hero has a beard. I started reading the sample.

It was bad.

There were typos, the writing was horrible. I was just about to DNF it and move on to the next book, but....

.....something stopped me. It had some itty bitty, teensy weensy, wee little, minuscule bit of something that made me say.... more chapter. Because there was some tiny spark in there....the premise made me want to go just a bit further.

Well, I kept reading. And reading. And pretty soon I realized that not only was the writing fine, but the typos were pretty much gone. And the storytelling in this book was like crack on fire. I was addicted.

And then....and then.....

My sample ran out.

Fudge-sicle! I forgot I was reading a sample. And then I tried to download the rest of the book, but I couldn't get Internet connection.


(Story is not over yet).

And then, when I got to Chicago, my Kindle connection worked and I was able to download the whole book. Eureka! So, for 5 hours I read that damned book and I was amazed.

(That when I got to California, I still wasn't finished! This book is like 10 million pages long.)

Anyway, here's the deal with this book. I loved it in spite of itself. It most definitely has a split personality. I think half of this book was actually written by a teenage girl.....piss-poor writing in the first chapter, pages and pages of descriptions of hair, make-up and jewelry details that made me laugh out loud with the absurdity of it (on the plane, no less), everyone is cussing like a sailor (by the end of the book the hero is saying stuff like "Well, shit, that is the shittiest shit I ever shittin' heard"), and the book is like the never-ending story. First part: Cinderella make-over. Second part: Becoming a mom/family girl. Third part: Dealing with weenie ex-hubby and deranged ex-wife. Forth part: Eluding sick bastard serial killer. I got the feeling that Kristen Ashley wanted to make sure she didn't miss any single theme that could possibly be included in this book. So, she included them all.

Also, one of my pet peeves is over-use of the term "baby" in romance novels. In this book, the hero calls the heroine "baby." The heroine calls the hero "baby." The heroine calls her step-son "baby." The brother-in-law calls the heroine "baby." There were more babies than at a neonatal ward.

But the other part of the personality is what interests me. Because, in spite of itself, this book is like crack. Ashley is a truly gifted story-teller. Her writing has that spark, that something special, that sucks you into the book and doesn't let you go. Her story takes you on a crazy, wacky journey, and I loved every second of it. I fell in love with her characters. Even the ones bordering on cliché. This author has a very unique voice. This book is one-of-a-kind. And in this world of formulaic romance, I found this a breath of fresh air (with a pink, ruffled collar and jade beaded necklace).

Also, the hero has a beard. A sexy beard. Which the heroine loves. And gets pissed off when he shaves it. At the end of the book, he is growing back his beard, just for her.

Now, that's true love, baby. Baby. Baby. Baby.

This is the weirdest, craziest, wackiest, beardiest, babiest book I have ever read. And for some damned reason, I loved it.

Go figure.

And that's the end of my story. And it's still not even close to as long as Sweet Dreams.

Grade: A