Mar 27 2013 8:30am

First Look: Kristen Ashley’s Own the Wind (April 2, 2013)

Own the Wind by Kristen AshleyKristen Ashley
Own the Wind
Forever / April 2, 2013 (digital), June 25, 2013 (print)  / $6.00 print, $3.79 digital

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 . . .

Now where did we leave off with Tabby and Shy in Kristen Ashley's Motorcycle Man? Oh yeah, they’re at a Chaos Motorcycle Club picnic and Elvira announced to Tack’s old lady, “Trouble’s a-brewin’.” Why? Because Tyra and Elvira both see Tack’s daughter Tabby watching Shy flirting with an attractive biker babe looking “like her entire world just came to an end.” Not good.

…Tabby was seventeen and Shy, at twenty-two, was out of her league for at least another year but also because Shy was Shy. He was a dawg. He racked ‘em up and nailed them down so fast, if it could be recorded as a world record it would.

Fast forward to Own the Wind, the first Chaos Novel by Kristen Ashley.
We meet Shy two years later, in his bedroom in the Chaos Compound under a “small pile of women” until a call from biker brother Hop has him rooting around for his jeans and underwear. Hop tells him he’s on Tabby Callout.

Ordinarily, why would a biker in the Chaos Motorcycle Club care one way or another if a nineteen year-old liked to party? But when the party gal is student nurse-by-day Tabby Allen, the same rules don’t apply. The brothers had got into the habit of keeping an eye on Tabby’s nighttime activities and they not infrequently rescued her from potentially dangerous situations, all the while keeping it from her father Tack. Shy has had enough: “She was studying to be a freaking nurse with her dad footing that bill, so she needed to calm her ass down.”

If you are at all familiar with Kristen Ashley’s “Oh My Gawd did that really happen” opening scenes with her alpha heroes and their ladies then perhaps you won’t be surprised at what Shy does—he picks Tabby up, tells her to “Shut it,” gets her in his truck and informs her that her partying buddies are trash. Tabby flashes some pot/kettle sass right back at him pointing out that the life he’s decrying, “Booze and bodies, booty calls and bust-ups,” is his life too. Shy says: “You want that think that’s cool, baby? Then let’s roll.”

He takes Tabby back to his room in the compound where the two naked women are still lying entangled on his bed and invites her to get naked and go for it, pointing out she’s been “wanting to explore it since you were sixteen. The time is right. The stage is set.” Tabby, with a hurt look in her stricken face, tells Shy to take her home. Tabby has weapons of her own to unleash though, and when they get back to Tack and Tyra’s house in the foothills, she lets Shy have it:

“You don’t know me,” she whispered. “But now, I know you, and Shy…you’re a dick.”

Even with these words, she still lifted her hands, placed them on either side of his head and angled closer. Pressing her lips against his, that sweet, pink tongue of hers slid between his lips to touch the tip of his tongue before she let him go just as quickly as she’d grabbed hold.

Tough love indeed and Tabby pretty much disappears from the Denver party scene and Chaos headquarters. It’s not until five months later that Shy, fueling up on caffeine at Fortnum’s, spots her studying at a table. He asks Tabby if they’re good and she assures him they are, but really, not so much. Tabby is never seen around the Chaos compound anymore and when they finally meet up months later—she needs help with a flat tire—and they have it out. Shy tells Tack’s daughter, who has grown up around cars and bikes that she shouldn’t drive too far on the spare and she loses it, telling him that he’s given her a brilliant idea, to design leaflets for the “silly women out there who don’t know better.”

“…I’ll be sure to put a bunch of butterflies on it and douse it with glitter so I can keep their attention while they’re reading it.”

He felt his eyes narrow as his mouth asked, “What the fuck?”

When she asks him if a blowjob is “acceptable payment for a tire change,” things go from bad to worse. It hardly seems necessary to say this, but Tabitha Kane speaks her mind. Yes, Shy’s tough love wake-up call did cause her to rethink some of her extra-curricular activities but it hurt her deeply and when he accuses her of avoiding him and says, “This shit can’t go on, Tabby. We’re family,” she lets him have it.

“Family doesn’t make judgments. They talk. They support. You made a judgment. You acted on that judgment. You doing it hurt me so that means you are not my family."

The course of true love seldom does run smooth and Tabby and Shy grow ever further apart before tragedy brings them together. When Tabby is at the lowest point of her life, Shy is there for her—she tells him that her life is over and that she’ll never “dream a dream again” (music from Les Mis), but Shy hangs in there. He also makes some changes of his own, realizing that multiple partners per evening probably won’t result in him ever having an old lady that really cares for him. Baby steps. It takes Tabby seeing Shy hugging a beautiful classy woman back at the Chaos compound for the logjam in their relationship to break up—Shy calls her on her shit, saying,

I’m cuttin’myself loose. You come to me and you don’t got your shit sorted, you wanna get your head straight draggin’ me along with you, you can go fuck yourself.

But when Shy finds out a month later than Tabby is planning to move to the east coast, he finally admits to himself what he wants, kisses Tabby and breaks up with his girlfriend, pretty much in that order and then the games begin. How was the kiss? Well …

It was more intoxicating than any liquor, a high better than any fucking drug. Phenomenal. Better than he would have guessed. Better than years of wondering how good it could be.

The best he ever had.

With just a fucking kiss.

Ask yourself, is the president of a motorcycle club going to want his daughter becoming a biker’s new bang? What about the biker brethren? The strength and the delight of Own the Wind is that Tabby and Shy are not pale imitations of Ty and Tack—they’re in their twenties, Tabby doesn’t have a signature home-cooked dish and neither does Shy, clothes and frou frou girly things aren’t high on Tabby’s agenda—they are unique.

Tabby is a nurse getting a hard time from an asshat doctor she works with. Shy has tragedy in his background and loyalty is everything to him: Chaos is his new family and when his family turns their back on him because he stands firm beside Tabby, it cuts him to the quick. Shy and Tabby fight, they make luscious love, and they argue over toilet seats and vacuuming and do it all biker style.

Kristen Ashley honors the integrity of the biker life—none of those guys or their old ladies embraced Chaos because it was safe, staid or boring. The men are all about protecting their own and that means their property and their women. Which definitely leads to some moral quandaries for Tabby, so sit back and enjoy the ride.

Learn more about or order a copy of Kristen Ashley's Own the Wind, out April 2, 2013 (digital) and June 25, 2013 (print):

Buy at AmazonBuy at Barnes and NobleByy at iTunes



Janet Webb

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
1. Kini
I am really looking forward to this book. The teaser on her website has kept me anxiously awaiting the arrival of the full book.
Lindsay Beeson
2. lindsayb
Loved "Motorcycle Man"- can't wait for this new book. I'm glad it comes out on ereader soon.. I saw the June release date and got sad.
maria babani
3. Chica8
Can't wait! I am soooo happy I have an e-reader. Yay!
4. Nikki H
I am totally hooked on her books and I can hardly wait for this one to come out!
5. Janet W
I think any fan of Kristen Ashley is going to really enjoy the love story of Tabby and Shy -- fortunately the count-down to publication day ends soon!
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