Review: Dream Maker by Kristen Ashley
Do you miss the Rock Chicks from Ms. Ashley? Did you feel bereft when that series ended and it felt like a group of women you've become close to just up and left you? When I first read the Rock Chick series recommend by my friend Candace Blevins, I was iffy I am not a fan of motorcycle club themes. And I specifically do not appreciate TSTL female leads. And yet, somehow, Ms. Ashley made it work. Her comedic timing is impeccable and her characters are snarky sweetness.
When I saw this new series, I figured I'd give it a go. I thought it might be interesting because I remember Smithie's club from the Rock Chick series. To my surprise, this series in in the same world as Rock Chicks and focuses on the women dancing at Smithie's. I LOVE IT.
Evie is a character at first I just wanted to move on with. She is an enabler for a completely dysfunctional family. I'm aggravated at how much of a doormat she is and how she allows herself to get into bad situations. At first glance, she does come across as not together and kind of trash. This is the start of her journey. As we learn more about Evie and her family dynamics, the picture shows a very different perspective why Evie does the things she does. And it is heartbreaking. She basically sabotages herself to give to an ungrateful family. And yet she doesn't break out of this cycle, until she finally gets someone in her corner. Daniel aka Mag aka Danny is a friend of Evie's best buddy, Lottie. On a blind date, they find a chemistry that can not be denied.
The relationship between Danny and Evie is tumultuous as both come with heavy baggage. Danny is up for the challenge, even if Evie is not. When Evie is in the cross fire between different factions due to her deadbeat drug dealing dad and criminal thug brother, Danny is there to ride to the rescue. Evie is no slouch though. She does her best to move forward and do better. I admire her for her tenacity and her ability to love. I had a slight inkling as to who destroyed her apartment and when I was proven correct, I cried for Evie. Evie was dealt a terrible hand when it comes to family.
What I also appreciated and liked about this story is the stripper aspect. Evie's reasons for being a stripper and how she felt is very accurate. I did a research paper on stripping whilst in Uni. The strippers I interviewed have similar reasons like Evie. I liked how there is no judgment on Evie's job.
I also liked how there are a couple of silver linings in Evie's life as Danny is there to give her a helping hand to stand firm. When the Rock Chicks burst in to help out, I'm over the moon in excitement. Not that different than the patron at the coffee shop, Tank's. I love how this world building continues to build off the Rock Chick world yet be its own. I highly recommend this new series to romance lovers who like romance with baggage, angsty and family dysfunction.