September 3, 2015

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Own the Wind (Chaos #1)

Own the Wind (Chaos #1), by Kristen Ashley
Publish Date: April 2, 2013
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Format: audiobook, purchased
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4.5 STARS

(From Goodreads) 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 morehe feels like the luckiest man alive. But even lucky men can crash and burn...

I must confess - this is my first Kristen Ashley book. Ever. I've shied away from her other series because of the length, mostly. But, Own the Wind landed on my to-read list because it's the first book in an MC series, and - hello - bikers rock. And, a lot of my friends really love this series, so I knew I had to give it a go. I'm so glad I did, and I'm so glad I chose the audio version for my first trip inside Chaos. 

I loved everything about Own the Wind. I feel like I could just fangirl uncontrollably. First - the characters. It's impossible to talk about Own the Wind without talking about the characters. 

Tabby is pretty cool. She's an MC princess. It's her world, and she knows it better than any other, despite her attempts to try and create a life for herself outside of it. She says it many times in the book - she IS Chaos. She is strong and resilient and a total bad ass. Tabby is fierce - if she loves you, she will fight tooth and nail for you, no matter who gets in her way. And don't get on her bad side, because if you do, she will cut you off from her indefinitely. Like she did with Shy. 

Shy Cage is the biker that Tabby has watched from afar forever. Until he dresses her down one night and says some not-so-nice things to her. Tabby doesn't really talk to him again for YEARS. And it kills him. I LOVED being in Shy's head. He is also a total bad ass. He's not going to let Tabby's freeze out stop him from living his bad ass biker life, but his thoughts are always on her, and he's always looking out for her. 

And then, something awful happens to Tabby, and Shy is the one she turns to. They start communicating again. They build a sweet friendship. They lean on each other - Tabby moreso than Shy. And, eventually, they become more. I loved the slow progression of their relationship. It was totally believable. There is definitely no instalove here. Shy's and Tabby's relationship takes real time and work. There are challenges they face - like, when her father found out about them and was less than thrilled or when her BFF got herself into trouble and called Tabby to bail her out. But, the absolute best part about this book is that, once Shy and Tabby get together, there is no back and forth. No dramatic breakup based on a misunderstanding. No scorned lover waiting to ambush them. Once Shy and Tabby realize that they are it for each other, that's just... it. 

The Chaos world that Kristen Ashley has created is pretty awesome too. You have the bikers themselves and the incredible feeling of family that they have. The club is pretty much legit, but they are not above going to extreme measures to protect the people they care about. As in most other MC books, there is a compound where parties are held, a place where the officers meet for "church," and a biker business or two. 

It almost seems like there are several stories within one larger story. Of course, the overarching plot is about Tabby and Shy's epic love story. Although they get together pretty early in the book, that doesn't mean that there aren't other hurdles to face. Each one of these speed bumps is like a little mini story in and of itself, which was fun. I was always wondering what was going to happen next to these two. 

If you like audiobooks, you should check out this one. Angela Starling does a fantastic job narrating. Own the Wind is told in third person, so we get chapters from Tabby, Shy and Tabby's dad, Tack. Most chapters are from Tabby's POV, though. And, Angela Starling reads all of it effortlessly. I loved her voices for Shy and Tack. I was easily able to discern who was who in a room filled with all the characters. And she was absolutely the perfect Tabby. Although I already own all the other books in this series on my Kindle, I already know I'm going to end up buying them from Audible. I really enjoyed her performance a lot. 

And yes, I do indeed intend to continue on with this series. The characters for the next book were set up perfectly. I have a feeling we'll go back in time just a bit, but that's okay. I want to know what I missed out on while I was following Tabby and Shy. And I have a feeling the next book will be just as good.

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