Reviewed by Tori
Note: This book was originally self published in 2011. It is now being re released through Forever Publishing and will be available in print on 12/17/2013.
Favorite Quote: “I was made to protect you and you were made in a way that it would always be worth the effort.”
Love is just around the corner . . .
Law Man has to be my second favorite book in Kristen Ashley’s Dream Man series; Motorcycle Man being my favorite. Law Man is Detective Mitch Lawson’s story. We first met Mitch in book one-Mystery Man. He too was mesmerized by Gwen’s luscious blond hair and apparently magical hoo-haa. Seriously folks, every man that met her wanted to ride that train. Gwen of course chooses to stay with her hot commando guy, Hawk Delgado, because nothing says I love you like a year long non communicative weekly booty call. Mitch is DE-NIED a train ticket for that ride and rides off in to the sunset, sad and alone.
*sob* Poor Mitch.
Mitch soon hops back into the luuurrrvvveee saddle when he spies his luscious but shy neighbor, Mara Hanover, in need of some help. Mitch fixes her “plumbing” and uses his other manly skills to maneuver his way into her home and bed. A place he’s wanted to be since first seeing her a few years ago. But Mara has some serious baggage. Baggage that Mitch may not be willing to help her carry. Mara survived an abusive childhood only to emerge with an extremely low and warped self esteem. She views herself, a view reinforced by her mother every day she was growing up, that she is trash and not worthy of being loved.
“I’d once had a long-term relationship with a Five Point Five that got nowhere near living together. This was because I was a Two Point Five, he was a Five Point Five and he wanted a Nine Point Five. Therefore, we were both destined for a broken heart. He gave me mine. He later found a Six Point Five that wanted a Nine Point Five. She got herself a breast enhancement and nose job which made her a firm Seven (if you didn’t count the fact that she thought she was a Ten point Five and acted like it which really knocked her down to a Six) who broke his heart.”
When her cousin Bill, a drug dealing addict, puts his children into a dangerous situation, Mara jumps in head first to save the kids with no thoughts for her own safety. Mitch uses his connections to help her gain temporary custody and soon Mitch, Mara, and the kids are playing house. As the fallout from Bill’s troubles land on Mara’s doorstep, we learn just how willing Mitch is to carry all the baggage Mara has.
“I’ll go gentle, baby,” he whispered against my lips. “I promise. You’ll always be safe with me.”
“Mitch,” I breathed.
His soulful eyes held mine captive as he repeated firmly, “Always.”
I enjoyed Mitch and Mara’s story. They are a great couple; well matched in all ways. Both are intelligent, good looking, loyal, and hard working. Though Mitch is as alpha as his fellow Dream Men, he’s more adaptable. More modern. Not to say he won’t drop hell on anyone who threatens those he loves, but he’s not unreasonable. He never tries to control Mara. Unlike Hawk and Brock, he doesn’t bulldoze his woman into submission. He listens to her and accepts that she is his equal in and out of bed. I don’t honestly think Hawk or Brock see their better halves as their equals.
Mara is delightful. Sweet and kind, she is velvet wrapped around steel. She’ll say she’s scared but takes on the world single handedly. Not one for TSTL moments, she knows when to give and when to stand toe to toe with someone. She does have issues that cause Mitch to become heavy handed verbally at times, but you sense his words are used more to shock her from her frequent journeys down memory lane then to hurt her.
The chemistry between them is SCORCHING HAWT with some very nice detailed love scenes *wink* but the evolution of the romance is what makes the story so real. Mitch knows Mara is the one for him and makes no bones about it. I love how Ashley incorporates starting a new romantic relationship under the noses of two young children. It’s not just Mitch and Mara falling in love…it’s Mitch, Mara, Billy, and Billie all falling in love. Mitch wants it all with Mara and the kids and he shows it in many different ways. The kids and Mara have had difficult lives but Mitch uses everything he has to convince them they are loved and worthy of that love.
“… I didn’t fall in love with you all as a whole. I fell in love with each of you because of who you are. I don’t care about you because you come with Mara. I care about you because you’re a good kid. You’re smart. You’re loyal. And you love and look out for your sister and Mara. I know grown men who do not have a character as fine as yours. Those are the reasons I love you. There are different reasons I love Billie. And there are different reasons I love Mara. Today, what we had together was good. But the feelings I feel for you aren’t feelings I have to have in order to have Mara. They’re feelings you earned. Now, you with me?”
Fun outrageous secondary characters bring even more life and drama to the story. Mara’s trailer trash mom and aunt bring us dramatic hi-jinks while Mara’s friends (at home and at work) show us and Mara that she isn’t the 2 point five she has always considered herself. The kids carry strong roles in the story though I admit, reading that the little girl only screams and screeches annoyed me for some reason. Cameos are made by new and former characters-Tack, Hawk, Brock, and of course Elvira because her nose into everything-offering us more laughs, major eye rolling, and helps to tie the series altogether.
Law Man engages the reader even with the predictable over the top behavior and situations. If there is one aspect I love about Ms. Ashley’s writing is the drama and details she adds to her stories. Nothing is alluded to and then dropped. Nothing escapes with only minor detailing. No one is forgotten. It’s very easy to get invested in her characters lives and share in their triumphs and disappointments in their everyday activities. The ending comes at us fast and furious with a climactic action packed finale that resolves the main conflict, ties up the various sub plots, and ushers us into book four-Motorcycle Man.