Warning: Do NOT Read Kristen Ashley

by Kiersten Hallie Krum

Every so often, you stumble onto a new author and feel the need to tell everyone in your contacts list, or your Facebook feed, or your Twitter timeline, or all of them together to go out and read that author tout freaking suite. The reverse is also true, that being when a dire warning is instead deeply required.

Well, let me warn you now not to start reading Kristen Ashley’s racy contemporary romance novels and especially not her (relatively) new racy bad boy biker Chaos series and here’s why:

Ride Steady

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Do not read Kristen Ashley if you like sleep. Because you won’t get any. No, really.

Do not read Kristen Ashley books if you aren’t prepared to stay up until 4 AM wondering when the hell the damn book is gonna end because you need to sleep and then not caring because the need to finish it outweighs all other considerations like the fact that you have to get up in three hours and capably perform your freaking job that you’re now seriously considering quitting because it means you won’t be able to continue reading Kristen Ashley books for about 8 to 10 hours.

Do not read Kristen Ashley’s books if you have “just one more chapter” disease or its symptomatic brethren, “just one more page” syndrome, which are both a short trip to the dreaded “Dead Reader Walking” epidemic. That sucker spreads like damn and wow with the speed of a “buy with 1-click” button. I hate that button. I need that button. But I hate that button.

Do not read Kristen Ashley’s books if you like articles like “a”, “and”, “the”, “but”, etc. because if you read enough of her books, say in a no-end-yet-in-sight reading binge, you’ll conclude that such grammatical staples are redundant and unnecessary and really just impede getting to the heart of the matter. Or the sentence. Or the smokin’ hot sex scene. Or the bad ass rescue. Or the heart to heart “chat”.

Own the Wind

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Do not read Kristen Ashley’s books if you have a sponge-like mind that soaks in what you read (if you read enough of it) and you’re not prepared to have the vocabulary of your inner monologue augmented by phrases like “do ya feel me?” or “do you get me?” or “I laid that out for you” and “I need to confirm you’re hearing me”. Do not read her books unless you’re prepared to realize that “fuckuva lot” is a phrase that suddenly seems inordinately appropriate to all too many situations in your life. Do not read her books if you’re not prepared for “advice” “gratitude” and “marker” to be blunt renditions of their respective meanings, kinda like the dialogue in the four or five episodes of Spartacus you got through before concluding that watching John Hannah, Lucy Lawless, and Jamie Murray, each of whom you really like individually, have a very explicit (if [hopefully] faked) threesome was not something you were keen to keep in your memory banks.

But I digress.

Do not read Kristen Ashley’s books if you like the friends-to-lovers trope or the lovers-who-didn’t-work-then-come-back-20-years-later-still-in-love-with-one-another trope or the girl-who-falls-for-older-guy-when-she’s-too-young-is-now-grown-up-and-he’s-into-her-too trope or good-girl-who-tames-wild-man trope or the family-is-where-you-make-it trope-o-topia. Don’t read her books if you don’t like a huge cast of characters that occasionally require a re-read here and there to remember who fits where. Ditto big, complicated families with serious drama that just makes everything that much more juicy.

Motorcycle Man

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Do not read Kristen Ashley’s Chaos series books if riding on a Harley Davidson motorcycle is absolutely anywhere on your bucket list. And really, do not read Kristen Ashley’s Chaos series if you have, or ever have had, a bad-boy-biker-with-an-inner-emo-core jones because that bad-boy-biker-with-an-inner-emo-core jones will freak the fuck out. Trust me on this. Do not read her books if that jones includes alpha commandos or alpha cops or alpha DEA agents all of whom have secrets and damage and nearly unbelievably big hearts and incongruous soft sides brought out by fashion-forward, independent, damaged, possibly stuck in their own heads, immersed in BFD drama and momentarily overwhelmed by the sudden insertions of said hot alphas in that drama until they get themselves together and figure their shit out, honest-to-God self-rescuing heroines. 

Say that ten times fast.

Do not read Kristen Ashley’s books if you are a series slut, because you will quickly find yourself seeped in the reader equivalent of lying back and happily taking it over and over again because there are a fuckuva lot of her books and one way or another, they spread into each other so that, for a “random” example, you could find yourself reading Own the Wind and wondering about Tack and Tyra’s story while you’re reading about their kid and her bad boy, and then you realize Tack and Tyra’s story is in Motorcycle Man and say, that’s the fourth book of another series whose characters’ names are now familiar because they keep showing up and hey, maybe just take a peak and see how that book folds out, and fuck me it’s 4 AM. Again.

Do ya feel me?

Walk Through Fire

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In one week (okay, maybe 10 days) I’ve read eight Kristen Ashley books, (four of them twice), including all of the Dream Man series and all of the (as yet available) Chaos novels. Thirty minutes ago, I gasped aloud to see that the next Chaos book, Walk Through Fire, is now available on NetGalley (which is how I got in this “no sleep” hot mess in the first place). And yeah, when you read ’em that fast and back-to-back-to-back, you start to see some similarities carrying through, phrases and descriptions and whatnot, but that’s called “voice”, y’all, and it’s what keeps us reading the Krentzs and the Banks and the Crusies and the Phillips and the Roberts of Romancelandia, and boy, howdy, will it keep you reading Kristen Ashley.

Just don’t say you were never warned.


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  • Kemberlee
    September 14, 2015 at 7:18 am

    I do like a good biker…story! Miss riding Harleys. Reading about folks who do is a good ‘settle for.’

    • Kiersten Hallie Krum
      September 16, 2015 at 12:45 pm

      Riding bikes is on my bucket list–something I plan to start chipping away at in 2016

      • Kemberlee
        September 16, 2015 at 12:56 pm

        I was always a passenger. Loved it though. Nothing like a big Harley between your thighs.

  • adrianaanders
    September 14, 2015 at 8:09 am

    Hilarious! And so, so true. I read the Dream Man series once upon a time and couldn’t put it down. Thank you for reminding me (not) to add the new Kristen Ashleys to my TBR pile!

    • Kiersten Hallie Krum
      September 16, 2015 at 12:46 pm

      Ha back. The Chaos series is so good. Deep and layered and emotional. It delivers too as a series, the overarching external plot that connects them is a long fuse with high stakes and each book reveals another big piece

  • madeline iva
    September 14, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Oh my god. She sounds soooo good. Okay, checking her out now.

    • Kiersten Hallie Krum
      September 16, 2015 at 12:44 pm

      Make sure you clear your life of everything else for at least a week. Trust me on this.

  • Jen Doyle
    September 14, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    I feel exactly the same way. I have to space out my Kristen Ashley books carefully, as I need time to put all the pieces of my life back together again since I drop EVERYTHING no matter how much I try to pretend I can control it this time. She is so freaking amazing…

    • Kiersten Hallie Krum
      September 14, 2015 at 11:11 pm

      Confirm. Can’t imagine spacing them out but putting pieces of your life back together afterwards? I feel you.

  • Grace
    September 14, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    Ha, I enjoyed this but your warning came too late. I’ve devoured her entire library atleast twice, have nothing new of hers to read, am Jonesing like crazy for a fix, and am totally ruined for other authors. Sigh. But, it is oh so worth it!! You get me? 😉

  • amy2read89
    September 16, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    I’m working my way through all her books right now and I’ve loved every single one so far 🙂 can’t wait until the new ones come out

    • Kiersten Hallie Krum
      September 16, 2015 at 12:43 pm

      I got the new one from NetGalley last night and was up till 6:30AM reading it. So dramatic and painfully emotional. Big dramatic scenes which is SO my crack.

  • Anna Scott
    September 26, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    Okay Ladies, you need to find the beauty of an audible book! Most of Kristen Ashley’s books are available there now, all of the Rock Chicks, Dream Man, Colorado Mountain Man, Chaos, Magdelena and that new one…what’s that one? Anyway, oh, and of course, Knight, Raid, Creed and Deacon. Yes, I’ve read/listened to them all…some multiple times. No, I don’t sleep, but audible is the ONLY way I have clean laundry! (or remember to pick my kids up from school) I frequently ask my children if they “feel me” or “get me” all the time! I am honestly Kristen Ashley’s bitch, if she told me to do something, I’d probably do it, as long as I didn’t die because then I couldn’t listen to her books. Do you think I can take my earbuds to the afterlife? Hmmm….pondering this!

    Yes, I love to read too, love to sit and enjoy a book, but when I start, I don’t stop…for days! I listen/read about 10 hours a day…no not really kidding…go to sleep with my sleeping earbuds, wake up and put in my wireless ones. Yes, ridiculous! But true…point is, it’s safer to drive with earbuds than a kindle in your face 🙂

    • Madeline Iva
      September 27, 2015 at 2:17 pm

      Listening to radio/books + chores = puttering heaven. LOL!

    • Kiersten Hallie Krum
      January 24, 2016 at 1:34 pm

      I love audio books, but I find it weird to hear another’s voice in my head beside my own when I’ve already read the book. I tried an audio sample of one of the Rock Chick books and didn’t make it 5 minutes b/c the voice just didn’t suit what I had in my head for the character/story. *shrug* Guess I have to start with the audio on a fresh title next time!

  • deborahkehoe
    January 24, 2016 at 8:06 am

    I, too am a HUGE fan! I actually named my blog A Chick Who Reads as an homage to Kristen Ashley. I started reading The Rock Chick series and was hooked! Check out my blogs This Chck Read: Who Doesn’t Want to be a Rock Chick? And my review of Sebring in This Chick Read :Sebring. Love her!

  • Amanda
    January 24, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    So, so, so true! Kristen Ashley books are my current drug of choice…. Can’t stop reading.
    It feels good to know I’m not alone.

  • Bethany Lopez (@BethanyLopez2)
    April 28, 2016 at 10:04 am

    I love this so much! She is The Best!!


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