Law Man (Dream Man #3)
Four years ago, Mitch Lawson moved across the breezeway from Mara Hanover and she fell in love with the tall, good-looking police detective who had an uncanny ability to dress well even though he’s single. It was not a stalker kind of love; she knows she has no hope since Mitch is way out of her league. That doesn’t change the fact that he’s her dream man.
Then one day Mara’s faucet won’t turn off and she knows nothing about plumbing. Being a good guy, Mitch offers to help then he invites himself over for pizza. Mara gives it a go but finds herself running away from him (literally) on their first date, standing him up their second and then she runs into him (again literally) on her way to save her ne’er do well, criminal cousin’s kids who’d just run away from their ne’er do well, criminal Dad.
Suddenly, Mara finds she has on her hands the guardianship of two kids and a gorgeous police detective who’s willing to do anything to help out… including giving fabulous foot rubs.
But Mara knows who she is and where she came from and she knows Detective Mitch Lawson is better than her. Hot law man Mitch disagrees and his challenge is to convince Mara to let go of her past and he sets about building a family at the same time he finds he also needs to protect them all against known and unknown adversaries that would tear them apart.
Themes: Bikers, Police
Rating: 4 stars
Once again all my expectations are blown away by a very emotionally charged, sexy, and dramatic story. Author Kristen Ashley is relatively new to me, this only being her second novel on my reading list. Though I seem to have read the stories a bit out of order, I nonetheless have been enjoying each one of its individual merits and the facts that I have gotten glimpses of the characters in their futures. Ashley’s novels are so full of wit, intelligence, and heart that I always find myself drawn in, even sometimes against my will, because the stories are just too good to resist. I normally don’t care all that much for novels that are written in the first person, because I always miss feeling the emotions and getting inside the heads of the other characters, but Ashley does it with such aplomb that I never find myself missing a thing. If you haven’t read any of Ashley’s novels, I recommend you start with this series, because it rocks, and I myself am dying to go back and read the first two stories in the series, before I get around to reading the spin-off series, Chaos, however if you can’t do that you have to read at least this story.
Mara is one of those women that has always been put down in her life, by her mother and family, the people in her town, and eventually her own inner voice. Though she doesn't understand her own lack of confidence, she lives her life knowing she is below a lot of people in both looks and her appeal to the opposite sex. But a girl can always dream can’t she? And dream she does, mainly about her gorgeous, sexy, and just plain awesome neighbor Mitch. Admiring Mitch from afar, while simultaneously avoiding him as often as possible, has become a common past-time for Mara. But when a small emergency in her apartment draws Mitch’s attention, her life is completely knocked off the tracks when he comes to her rescue. Unbeknownst to Mara, Mitch has had a thing for her for a long time and has decided to grab his chance to get to know her better. When a family crisis puts Mara in a sticky situation, a guardian to her two young cousins, and wrapped up in a dangerous plot, Mitch pushes himself into her life, forcing her to accept his help, however reluctantly. The unplanned side-effect of accepting his help is that she can’t get away from him, he crowds her at every turn and she begins to depend on him, and slowly falls in love with him. But when she is attacked and the kids kidnapped, Mitch is the only one who can get them all safely out of danger, providing them a chance for a future.
Mara is one of those woman that I really get irritated with. She’s beautiful, sexy, sweet and genuinely a good person, but lives so much in her head, denying her greatness and telling herself and everyone else only about her faults. Her fears and lack of self-confidence lead her to live her life in a little cocoon, only coming out when forced to and always retreating back into it. When Mitch focuses on her, complexly shredding her safe little cocoon, her brightness begins to shine and she slowly accepts his belief that she is as great as she really is. Mitch is just the type of man that I want for myself. Strong, sweet, sexy of course, with a strong sense of ethics, a need to help his friends and the ability to brings those he loves to a higher level. He watched Mara for a long time, but he can’t seem to find a way past her shell to get his foot in the door, until a golden opportunity presents itself. While he slowly forces her to accept his help, he finds himself falling in love with her, despite all her insecurities and the fact that she fights him at every turn. Mitch has always been determined to get what he wants, but what he needs to make his life complete is Mara and the life they can build together and no one and nothing is going to get in the way of that. Even if he has to compromise a bit in the end, saving his new family and keeping them safe is worth the consequences.
The best part about this novel, for me at least, was the fights between Mara and Mitch. From the very beginning Mitch attempts to assert his alpha tendencies on Mara, but she always seem take things the wrong way, causing a huge blow-up. The arguments are passion filled, and so hilarious to read that I laughed so hard sometimes that I had to put the book down to wipe the tears away. The wit and sarcasm that carry through the novel, whether they are fighting or loving, is one of the trademarks I've found in this author’s books. The men are always on the rougher side, but they love fiercely and when they find their mate, it becomes not an if, but a when they will win their hearts. When Mara finally gives into Mitch’s seduction there is no measuring the passion that flares between them and the heat of their love-making is enough to fog up the room as you read. Mitch’s tendency to take over Mara’s life could have been a big turn off for me, but it is done so well, and with the love shining through, it is obvious that Mitch is determined to bring Mara out of her shell and force her to accept the chance they could have a long and happy future together.
Law Man is one of those stories that gets its claws into you and never let’s go. Mitch and Mara’s relationship is one that causes a visceral tug in your soul, proving that even the most unlikely of couples can find love, if they just allow themselves to share themselves and embrace that love. With the underlying dangers working to break up their family, Mitch and Mara have to find their equilibrium while coming to terms with the changes in their lives and themselves. The fears, worries, and misconceptions that have shaped their interactions to this point, are thrown out the window, giving them the chance to come to terms with the truth of whom they are and who they could be with one another. Though I had my issues with Mara in the beginning, when she finally explains where her misconceptions about herself have come from I see why she is like that, and come to like her more. With burning passion, witty arguments, terrifying danger, and the emotional connection of a new kind of family, Law Man is an unforgettable read that is not to be missed. This is a great series, and I am looking forward to reading the rest, but Mitch and Mara’s story will always hold a special place in my heart and on my shelves. Kristen Ashley is definitely an author to anticipate and I’m looking forward to exploring more of her work. The Dream Man series is intriguing with sexy alpha males, interesting heroines, and all the emotion to be found in modern romance.
*ebook provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review. No compensation was provided.