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Mystery Man (Dream Man Series #1)
     

Mystery Man (Dream Man Series #1)

4.4 290
by Kristen Ashley
 

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Night time is the right time...

Gwendolyn Kidd has met the man of her dreams. He's hot, he's sexy, and what started as a no-names-exchanged night of passion has blossomed into a year and a half-long pleasure fest. Sure, it's a little strange that he only appears in her bed at night, but Gwen is so sure he's the one, she just can't turn him away...

Hawk

Overview

Night time is the right time...

Gwendolyn Kidd has met the man of her dreams. He's hot, he's sexy, and what started as a no-names-exchanged night of passion has blossomed into a year and a half-long pleasure fest. Sure, it's a little strange that he only appears in her bed at night, but Gwen is so sure he's the one, she just can't turn him away...

Hawk Delgado knows more about Gwen than she could ever imagine. She's gorgeous, headstrong, and skittish about relationships. But Hawk is facing his own demons, demons that keep him from connecting with anyone. Yet when Gwen is drawn into Denver's lethal underground scene, Hawk's protective nature comes out full force. The problem is, when Gwen gets a dose of Hawk's Alpha attitude in the daylight, she's not so sure he's the one anymore....

130,000 words

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Ashley delivers a deeply emotional second installment of the Chaos contemporary romance series (after Own the Wind)... Punctuated by blistering-hot sex scenes and fascinating glimpses into the tough world of motorcycle clubs, this romance also delivers true heart and emotion, and a story that will stay with the reader long after the final page is turned."—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review, on Fire Inside"

[Kristen] Ashley captivates."—Publisher's Weekly"

With Brock's raw side contrasted with Tess's innocence, Wild Man delivers a passionate, opposites-attract romance."—Patricia Smith, Booklist"

There is something about them [Ashley's books] that I find crackalicious."—Kati Brown, DearAuthor.com"

I felt all of the rushes, the adrenaline surges, the anger spikes... my heart pumping in fury. My eyes tearing up when my heart (I mean... her heart) would break." (On Motorcycle Man)—Maryse's Book Blog, Maryse.net

Maryse's Book Blog - Maryse.net
"I felt all of the rushes, the adrenaline surges, the anger spikes... my heart pumping in fury. My eyes tearing up when my heart (I mean... her heart) would break." (On Motorcycle Man)
Kati Brown - DearAuthor.com
"There is something about them [Ashley's books] that I find crackalicious."
Patricia Smith - Booklist
"With Brock's raw side contrasted with Tess's innocence, Wild Man delivers a passionate, opposites-attract romance."
Kati Brown - DearAuthor.com
"There is something about them [Ashley's books] that I find crackalicious."
Maryse's Book Blog - Maryse.net
"I felt all of the rushes, the adrenaline surges, the anger spikes... my heart pumping in fury. My eyes tearing up when my heart (I mean... her heart) would break." (On Motorcycle Man)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781455599189
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
08/27/2013
Series:
Dream Man Series , #1
Pages:
528
Sales rank:
83,724
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.20(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Mystery Man


By Kristen Ashley

Grand Central Publishing

Copyright © 2013 Kristen Ashley
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4555-9918-9



CHAPTER 1

D-e-a-d, Dead


The next morning I was sitting at my computer in my home office.

I should have been working. I had three deadlines over the next two weeks and I'd barely begun the work. I was a freelance editor. I got paid by the hour and if I didn't work that hour, I didn't get paid. I had a mouth to feed, my own. I had a body to clothe, a body that liked all sorts of clothes, it craved them, so I had to feed the habit or things could get nasty. I had a cosmopolitan addiction, and cosmos didn't come cheap. And I had a house I was fixing up. Therefore, I needed to get paid.

Okay, that wasn't strictly true. I wasn't fixing up my house. My dad did some of the work. My friend Troy did the rest. So I should say that I had a house I was guilting, begging and emotionally blackmailing others into fixing up.

But still, it needed fixing up, and cabinets and tile didn't march from Cabinet and Tile Land into my house and say "We want to live with you, Gwendolyn Kidd, affix us to your walls!"

That only happened in my dreams, of which I had many, most of them daydreams.

Like right then, sitting at my computer, one heel on the seat, my chin to my knee, my eyes staring out the window, I was thinking about my Mystery Man, the Great MM. I was daydreaming about changing our first meeting. Being smarter, funnier and more mysterious. Being more alluring and interesting.

I'd hook him instantly with my rapier wit, my flair for conversation, my ability to discuss politics and world events intelligently. I'd tell my humble stories of expansive charity work all wrapped up with enticing looks that promised a lifetime of mind-blowing orgasms, making him declare his undying love for me.

Or at least tell me his name.

Instead, I was drunk when we met, and definitely not any of that.

I heard my doorbell go, a chime then a clunk and I started out of my elaborate daydream, which was beginning to get good.

I got up and walked through my office into the upstairs hall making a mental note, again, to call Troy and see if he'd fix my doorbell for a six-pack and a homemade pizza. This might mean he'd bring his annoying, whiny, constantly bitching new girlfriend though, so I changed my mind and decided to call my dad.

I got to the bottom of my stairs and walked through my living room, ignoring the state of it, which was decorated in Fix-Up Chic. In other words dust rags, paintbrushes, power tools, not-so-power tools, cans and tubes of practically everything, all of it jumbled and covered in a layer of dust. I made it through the area without my hands going to my head, fingers clenching my hair and mouth screaming, which I counted as progress.

I got to the entryway, which was delineated by two narrow walls both fit with gorgeous stained glass.

Two years ago, that stained glass was my undoing.

Two years ago, approximately six months and two weeks prior to meeting my Mystery Man, I'd walked one single step into this ramble and wreck of a house, saw that stained glass, turned to the Realtor and announced, "I'll take it."

The Realtor's face had lit up.

My father, who hadn't even made it into the house yet, turned his eyes to the heavens. His prayer lasted a long time. His lecture longer.

I still bought the house.

As usual, I should have listened to my dad.

I looked out the narrow side window at the door and saw Darla, my sister's friend, standing out there.

Shit.

Shit, shit, shit.

I hated Darla and Darla hated me. What the hell was she doing there?

I searched behind her to see if my sister was lurking or perhaps hiding in the shrubbery. I wouldn't put it past Ginger and Darla to jump me, tie me to the staircase and loot my house. In my darker daydreams, this was how Ginger and Darla spent their days. I was convinced this was not far from the truth. No joke.

Darla's eyes came to me at the window. Her face scrunched up, making what could be pretty, if she used a less heavy hand with the black eyeliner and her blush, and if her lip liner wasn't an entirely different shade as her lip gloss, not so pretty.

"I see you!" she shouted.

I sighed.

Then I went to the door because Darla would shout the house down and I liked my neighbors. They didn't need a biker bitch from hell standing on my doorstep and shouting the house down at ten thirty in the morning.

I opened it but not far and moved to stand between it and the jamb, keeping my hand on the handle.

"Hey, Darla," I greeted, trying to sound friendly and pretty pleased with my effort.

"Fuck 'hey,' is Ginger here?" Darla replied.

See!

Totally spent her days looting.

It took effort but I stopped my eyes from rolling.

"No," I answered.

"She's here, you better tell me," she warned then she looked beyond me and shouted, "Ginger! Bitch, if you're in there you better come out here, right fuckin' now!"

"Darla!" I snapped. "Keep your voice down!"

She craned her neck and bounced on her toes, yelling, "Ginger! Ginger, you crazy, stupid bitch! Get your ass out here!"

I shoved out the door, forcing her back and closed it behind me, hissing, "Seriously, Darla, shut up! Ginger isn't here. Ginger is never here. You know that. So shut up and go."

"You shut up," she shot back. "And you get smart. You're helpin' her ..." She lifted her hand, pointed her finger at me, thumb extended upward and then she crooked her thumb and made a gunshot noise that puffed out her cheeks and made her lips vibrate. I would have taken a moment to reflect on how good she was with verbal sound effects if the serious as shit look in her eye wasn't scaring the crap out of me.

So, instead of congratulating her on the only real talent I suspected she had, I whispered, "What?"

She dropped her hand, got up on her motorcycle-booted toes so we were eye to eye, and said in a soft, scary voice, "D-e-a-d, dead. You and her, you don't get smart. You get me?"

Then I asked a stupid question because the question was asked often and there was always only one answer. The answer being yes.

"Is Ginger in some kind of trouble?"

Darla stared at me like I had a screw loose. She lifted her hand, did the gun thing with the sound effect, finger pointed at my head. Then she turned around and walked swiftly down my front steps.

I stood on my front porch staring at her. My mind absently noted that she was wearing a tight tank top, an unzipped, black leather motorcycle jacket, a short, frayed jean skirt, the wearing of which was a crime in several states for a variety of reasons—both fashion and decency—black fishnet stockings and motorcycle boots. It was around forty degrees outside. She didn't even have on a scarf.

The rest of my head was caught up with my sister and Darla's sound effect.

Shit. Shit. Shit.


As I drove, I kept trying to tell myself this was a good plan. Knowing that my first plan, the one where, after Darla left and I went back into my house, I walked directly to the phone and called my father, was the right plan and this plan was garbage.

But my father and his wife, Meredith, had disowned Ginger a while ago. It was approximately ten seconds after they came home from a vacation to Jamaica and lost their happy, island holiday mojo when they saw their daughter. She was on her knees in the living room, her head between the legs of a bare-chested man, his jeans opened, his head lolled on the back of the couch because he was passed out. Ginger was so whacked on whatever she was taking she had no idea her activities were getting her nowhere.

And, incidentally, the living room was a disaster, as was the rest of the house.

As you can probably see from this story, I was loath to bring my father into another situation involving Ginger. Especially since this wasn't the worst story I had, it was just, for Dad and Meredith, the last. They were currently living a carefree, Ginger-free existence and I didn't want to rock that boat.

Therefore, I didn't call Dad.

Instead I thought of Ginger's boyfriend, Dog. Dog was a member of a biker gang and Dog was as rough as they come. But I'd met Dog. I liked Dog. Dog was funny and he liked my sister. She was different around him. Not a lot, but at least she was palatable.

Okay, so Dog was likely a felon. As ironic as it was, he was a good influence on Ginger and those didn't come around very often. As in never. Not in twenty-five years. So, since I was getting the hint from Darla, Ginger's one and only friend, that Ginger's trouble was a little worse than normal, I needed firstly to do something about it. Secondly, since this was Ginger, call in reinforcements or better yet, lay the problem on their door.

Enter Dog.

I drove to the auto supply store on Broadway and found a spot on the street. Even before I knew Dog, and thus figured out this was probably a front for a biker gang's nefarious dealings, I knew about this store.

It was called Ride, and I'd shopped there mainly because I could find an excuse for shopping anywhere. But Ride was awesome. It had cool stuff in there. I bought my windshield wiper fluid there. I bought new car mats there last year and they were the bomb, supreme car mats, the best I'd ever had. And when I was in my twenties and going through one of my many phases, in an effort to pimp my ride, I went there and bought a fluffy, pink steering wheel cover and a glittery, pink Playboy Bunny thingie to hang from my rearview mirror.

Everyone knew Ride had a triple-bayed garage in the back but it wasn't for normal cars and motorcycles. It was for custom-built cars and motorcycles, and it was world famous. They built cars and bikes and they were extremely cool. I'd read an article in 5280 magazine about the place. Movie stars and celebrities bought cars and bikes from there and, from the pictures, I could see why. I wanted one but I didn't have hundreds of thousands of dollars so that was a bit down on my List of Things I Want, right under a Tiffany's diamond bracelet, which was directly under a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes.

I got out of my car and walked down the sidewalk to Ride hoping my outfit was okay. I'd put my hair in a girlie ponytail at the top back of my head, I was wearing low-rider jeans, low-heeled boots and my biker jacket. Mine wasn't like Darla's. It was a distressed tan leather, had a bit of quilting around the high waist, was lined with short, warm fur and had a six-inch tuft of fluffy fur at the sleeves. I thought it was hot and the deal I got on it was hotter. However, I wasn't sure about the fluffy fur. I didn't think bikers were concerned with animal rights. I thought they'd think it was an affront to their brotherhood and they might garrote me.

Welp! Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I straightened my shoulders, walked into the cavernous store and turned direct to the long counter at the front. It held one cash register even though sometimes the place could get packed. Since I didn't have his cell, my intention was to ask if someone there knew how I could get hold of Dog. I didn't expect to see tall, broad, inked-to-the-max, long-blond-haired Dog standing at the other side of the counter. There was one big, rough biker guy on his side of the counter, three on the outside, and all of them turned to me the minute I walked in.

"Hey, Dog," I called on a smile, walking toward him but stopping dead when his eyes sliced to me.

Uh-oh.

His eyes narrowed and his face didn't get near to hiding the fact that one look at me made him extremely pissed off.

"Do not shit me," he growled. I took the nanosecond before I peed my pants to try to remember the moves I'd learned in the one half-hour self-defense class I took.

When I made no response and didn't move, Dog repeated, "Do not come in here and fuckin' shit me."

"I'm not shitting you," I told him because, well, I wasn't.

His brows flew up. "That cunt sent you?"

Uh-oh again. Dog was using the c-word. I suspected that the c-word wasn't worda non grata in Biker Club Land like it was in the rest of the English-speaking world but still, it said a lot.

Before I could speak, Dog did. "She sent you. Jesus, Gwen. You got one warning, woman. Get your head outta your ass, turn that sweet tail a' yours and get ... outta ... here."

Wow. Dog thought I had a sweet tail. He was scaring me but he wasn't entirely unattractive so I thought that was kind of nice.

I focused on the matter at hand, took a deep breath and walked forward. All of the bikers went on alert or, more accurately, scary biker guy alert, so I stopped moving.

Then I said to Dog, "Ginger didn't send me."

"I'm bein' cool with you, babe, go," Dog replied.

"No, really, she didn't. Darla came around this morning and she freaked me out. She did this." I lifted my hand up and did the gun thing with the sound effect thing and my gun blast was nowhere near as good as hers but I forged ahead. "She seemed serious so I thought I'd check in with you, make sure Ginger is all right."

"Ginger is not all right," Dog returned instantly. "Ginger is far from all right."

I closed my eyes. Then I sighed. I did the sigh thing loudly. I was good at that since my sister made me sigh a lot and I had practice. Then I opened my eyes.

"I take it you two aren't together anymore," I surmised.

"No, babe, we are not," Dog confirmed.

Damn.

"What'd she do now?" I asked.

"You don't wanna know," Dog answered.

"Are the police after her?"

"Probably."

I studied him. Then I asked, "But that's not why she's in trouble?"

"Ginger's got all kinds 'a trouble, babe. But if the cops are after her, that's the least of her worries."

"Oh boy," I whispered.

"That's about right," Dog remarked then his eyes shifted over my shoulder.

I was turning to see what he was looking at when I heard a deep, gravelly voice ask, "Who's this?"

Then I saw him.

I wasn't into biker dudes but I could seriously make a turn to the Harley side for this guy.

He was tallish. He was broad and ripped and there was no "ish" about either of those. He had a lot of tattoos up his arms and neck that I instantly wanted to examine, up close, to the point of cataloguing them and maybe writing books about them. He had salt-and-pepper hair, mainly pepper, black pepper, and it was long with a bit of wave but not too long or too wavy. Ditto with the pepper in his salt-and-pepper goatee that hung a bit long at his chin in a biker way that was mammoth cool. His cheeks were a couple days' past needing a shave, which looked good on him too. He had spikes of pale radiating in the tan skin around his blue eyes.

There were only two words to describe all that was him: Biker Yummy.

"Hey," I whispered, and his eyes went from over my shoulder, looking at Dog, to me and my whole body did a shiver.

Then his blue eyes did a body scan and it shivered again.

They locked on mine and his gravelly voice growled, "Hey."

Another shiver.

Yowza!

"Tack, she's cool. She's with me," Dog stated. My body did a lurch and I turned to see he was around the counter and heading my way.

"I am?" I asked, and Dog's gaze pinned me to the spot and said without words, "Shut the fuck up!"

I shut the fuck up and turned back to Biker Hottie.

"Sheila know about her?" Biker Hottie asked.

I turned to look at Dog who was standing next to me. "Sheila?"

"How many bitches you need?" Biker Hottie went on.

"She's not my woman, brother, she's a friend. She's cool," Dog answered.

"All right. So who is she?" Biker Hottie, otherwise known as Tack, pushed.

"Her name's Gwen," Dog answered. Tack looked at me and I froze.

Then I watched his lips move to form my name softly.

"Gwen."

Another shiver.

I'd always kind of liked my name. I always thought it was pretty. Tack saying it made me freaking love it.

"So who are you, Gwen?" he asked me directly.

"I'm, um ... a friend of Dog's," I told him.

"We established that, darlin'," he informed me. "How do you know my boy here?"

"She's Ginger's sister," Dog said quickly. Tack's entire, powerfully built frame went wired instantly and it was so damned scary, I forgot how to breathe.

"Tell me she's here to drop the money, brother," Tack whispered in a voice that was as scary as the way he was holding his body, if not more.

"She and Ginger aren't tight," Dog explained. "Like I said, she's cool. She's good people."

"She's blood of the enemy, Dog," Tack whispered.

Uh-oh-uh-oh-uh-oh.

I didn't want to be blood of the enemy, not anyone's enemy, but especially not this guy's enemy. He was hot but he was also freaking scary.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Mystery Man by Kristen Ashley. Copyright © 2013 Kristen Ashley. Excerpted by permission of Grand Central Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Kristen Ashley grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana, and has lived in Denver, Colorado, and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write.

Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multigenerational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland, and Kristen grew up listening to the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon, and Whitesnake.

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.

You can learn more at:
KristenAshley.net
Twitter @KristenAshley68
Facebook.com/kristenashleybooks

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Mystery Man 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 290 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have never heard of Kristen Ashley until I found and read this book. Now I'm saying, I can't believe I have never head of Kristen Ashley! I loved this book and all the characters and drama! The first few pages had me hooked with how hilarious Gwen was and I fell in love with Hawk right along with her! This book was never dull and had me laughing the whole way. I can NOT wait for the rest of her Dream Man series to come out, and I am now reading the Colorado Mountain series. Go Kristen! My new favorite author!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow! What an excellent story. This is the second book Ive read by Kristen Ashley- Knight being my first- and I loved both of them! She is definitely on my to-read list from now on. Hawk was so freaking hott!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loooooooved this story and can I just saw WOW, I want a MM of my own. Hawk is HOT!!!!!! But can I just say if Gwen said " oh boy" or "0kay" one more time I was going to throw my nook at the wall. She thought every guy was hot and went from man to man which bothered me. Really!!! She was always crying to some guy and letting them kiss her. Hawk is to good for her!
amywhittington More than 1 year ago
I LOVED this book, could not put it down!! I can't wait for the sequel Motorcycle Man to come out!!! If you like books with the alpha male this is the BEST
ChrysthePirate More than 1 year ago
I love Kristen Ashley's books. They hook you quickly, the hero is ALWAYS a stud, and I'm a sucker for a damsel in distress story. The only thing I dislike about this book is the fact that the heroine randomly sleeps with a man that creeps into her bed for a year? Puh-lease. Still, Hawk and Gwen are on fire and the book's worth your $3.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tried to read after Motorcycle Man, loved Tack, thought he was in this book too. Just couldn't get into dumb a-- acting Gwen!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! Loved, loved, loved this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed other books by this author, but not this one. Gwen was just a nitwit. The alpha stuff can sometimes get on my nerves, but seriously, a man sleeping with you for that amount of time and you don't even know his name?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book
mavandcody More than 1 year ago
I love the trouble she finds herself in and can't wait to read the rest of this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldnt put it down. Great book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kristen Ashleys novels are very easy to LOVE! She's somewhat of an Indie writer, once you get used to the way she writes you'll love her ! You'll know the characters in depth with each book, she'll have you laughing, crying & wanting more I promise !! Keep writing Ms Ashley, you have a fan for life!!
Readingdiva1991 11 months ago
This Rock chick fell for Mystery Man hard. Loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book in the nook version first after having been introduced to this author in her book -- Own the Wind. Kristen Ashley has an updated version of how a real alpha hero might talk and act in the present time. Cabe Delgoto is a tough guy who takes care of his girl, but will also listen to her wish to be strong in her own right. I bought this book in the paper back version too, and I can't wait for the other books in the series to come out.
MissRaeRae More than 1 year ago
Hot commandos, bikers and cops oh my! This book had them all. What more could a girl ask for? I won this book from Goodreads and I can't say how glad I am. This is my first Kristen Ashley. Great story, nonstop action, and I love a book that makes me laugh out loud. I like how she gives you a small taste of the characters from her other books, just enough to make you want more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why would B &N charge me for the this book again just because it has a new cover?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its hard to read a book when you cant stand both main characters. The hero supposedly cares for the heroine but its okay to have sex with random girls along the way. Its okay to leave her in a vulnerable situation when you know someine is aster her with nothing but a snowglobe to protect herself. Furthermore its okay to end things when he feels afraid.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After reading two other well written series by this author, I honesrly didn't think I'd like this as much. Wow, how wrong was I. Outstanding!
Anonymous 12 days ago
The story sucks you in. The characters suck you in and before you know it, its 3am and you are still reading.
Anonymous 19 days ago
Great book! Looking forward to reading this authors other books!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ive read this book twice already at different times. It had a lot of emotions in this book. But like all KA books you get sucked in..Loved it ywicw over..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book the most out of the Dream Man series. Hawk Delgado is on my top ten list with Gideon Cross and Christian Grey! Just superb!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago