"April 18th, 2012...I remember it like it was yesterday. I accepted the most amazing gift; filling me more than I ever thought possible. I opened wide feeling something so intense, so new. It was on this day that I gave it up...I lost my Kristen Ashley virginity. It all started with The Gamble and after that came multiples and I do mean multiples...16 multiple Kristen Ashley books in one month!! They are like crack laced in heroine dipped in patron! I rated each story anywhere from two to four stars, but they were all five star books. I know that makes no sense, but when do I ever. I may not have loved every plot, but I loved the writing and the characters (aka alpha men) These books are so f--king addictive; they are the soap-operas of the book world, you just can't stop! Kristen Ashley invented the alpha male and as much as we love to claim female independence women's lib and all that shee-it EVERY woman secretly wants to be dominated!! And dominated you will be. K-Ash is a five star writer! Thanks for the pleasure!"
First off, let there be no mistake that I think Kristen Ashley is a phenomenally talented author. I stand by the fact that I think her writing is addictive beyond words and I will continue to read her books until I finish every single one. The biggest confusion has come with me rating her books anywhere from 2-4 stars (Please note that out of 548 books read I have only ever given 5 stars to 30 books). Wait a second, contradiction police. Yes, here is where I deserve to be cuffed and strip searched. Where I stated in the mollinese version that her books "are all five star books", I should have said that all of her books are filled with five star writing. That was my intent with that statement, but I know now that I was not clear. So what does that mean exactly?? I'm going to attempt to explain it (Lord help us)...
I have read 16 (now 17) Kristen Ashley books in about a months time. I think her writing is always 5 stars because there is always at least one aspect that I love about her books, but other things go into a books ratings such as plot, pacing, characters, etc. Here is where I'm going to attempt an analogy. I loved the movie Step Up. However, the sequels not so much. Step Up 3D was not even close to living up to the original and I didn't really care for the acting or plot, but I loved the dancing! Same thing with Step Up 2: The Streets, I have watched the dance scenes more times than I can count which kept me coming back for more. Regardless of the cheesy trailer for Step Up 4, I guarantee I will see that one too. Kristen Ashley books hook you in the same way; it's like a magnet. Each book possesses at least one thing I love (like the dancing in Step Up) that keeps me coming back for more. Think of the upcoming release Magic Mike, perhaps the movie might have some bad acting, maybe a weak plot, or possibly choppy dialogue, but some of my biggest man crushes are going to be dancing AND stripping!!! It may be a "2 star movie", but I can guarantee you that no matter what type of movie it is, I will own it, watch it repeatedly, and be there front and center for it's release. It's because of the "it" factor and Kristen Ashley has it!
That is why I'm blown away by her writing! No matter if I liked the book or not, she always gives that one thing that keeps me coming back for more! That's true talent. I can read a book that I would rate 2 stars, but regardless as soon as I'm done I can't wait to reach for the next one. How can you not respect an author that is able to keep you hooked even after what you consider to be a 2 star book. That's what I meant by calling even the lower rated books five star reads.
I also have called her books the soap operas of the book world. I use that to describe the addictive quality of her writing. Like a soap opera, most of her books have a predictable formula. However, even though we may know it's inevitable that Marlena is going to get kidnapped...again, we're hooked. We want more. We need more. We crave more!
Hindsight, since I read so many of her books in such close succession I think I may have ended up rating the books more against each other than as a whole. Either way, my mollinese statement was intended to express the fact that even though some of my ratings may have been low, this author knows how to write, this author knows how to hook an audience, damn it...this author invented the alpha male! I mean 17 books in a month, that speaks volumes! Hopefully this cleared some things up. If not and you're more confused than ever, then I truly apologize. I'm trying my best to communicate what's going on in that crazy place I call a brain, but I never intended for any of my recommendations to come across as anything less than insanely honest. Please forgive my poor communication and difficulty expressing my love for an author that I think truly rocks the romance world and even though I may not be in love with every single one of her books, I never regretted a single read.
Kristen Ashley, I love the way you have sucked me into your fictional world and how you let each book bleed into the next. Hell, I respect you just for being able to keep all of those characters straight. I may not always love the plot or some of the characters, but I love how you have managed to captivate me regardless. ROCK ON!!
I decided to put the Kristen Ashley books I've read so far in order from my favorite to least favorite. I've arranged them in tiers because some of them are just too darn close to separate (i.e. all the books listed in tier #1 are equal and so on and so on).
My Kristen Ashley Library
And because there's always the possibility I just made an even bigger mess of things....