TBR Challenge Review: Motorcycle Man by Kristen Ashley

Format: ebook
Pub Date: December 2012
Publisher: Forever (Hachette)
FTC: purchased myself
Length: 136,000 words
Why it was in the TBR: Comparisons to crack. Not sure why that influenced me, except I wanted a massive reading glom.

This month's TBR Challenge theme is All About the Hype and this book really qualifies. Everyone is in love with Kristen Ashley's books.

Everyone, it seems, but me.

I went in hoping to love this book because I really wanted to start a reading glom. I wanted to be sucked in. Unfortunately, this book pushed so many buttons that I nearly quit reading it...twice. The "hero" is so irritating, so awful that I wanted to kneecap him.

Also, I no longer want to hear about how paranormal romances are filled with ridiculous, over-the-top alpha males. Because Tack puts all but maybe Barrons to shame. And that's only because Barrons literally pees a circle around Mac. Thank goodness we escaped that, but it was darn close. Not even Carpathian douchebags can hold a candle to Tack.

Tack is physically and emotionally manipulative. He's stereotypically coarse. He's controlling.  Scene after scene that began like this:

"Please, get off me."
"You want this," he informed me.
I pushed harder, against his chest. "Please, Tack, get off me." 
It was like I didn't even speak when he went on, "I want this."
"Please," it was barely audible, "you're scaring me."

Which, of course, makes him angry. Nuh uh. Doesn't work for me.

By about 45% in, I was convinced the story should be over. It went on FOREVER.  The pacing sucked. The roller coasterish melodrama was exhausting. Too much was happening that by the time I hit midway,  I was worn out.

But what bothered me most, which is probably what everyone else was so enamored with, was the biker culture deified here. Maybe it's because I'm familiar with biker culture that I find the recent trend that celebrates it so disturbing.  I'm not a Sons of Anarchy fan. Women in particular have a problematic role in most biker clubs, and I'm quite sure that interfered with my enjoyment of the novel.

I don't mind rough bad boys. I don't mind facial hair. Tats and motorcycles are fine. It's the entire club social structure and culture that bothers me.  In particular, the phrase "old lady" drives me right up the freaking wall. I can't stand it. At all. Add in the other endearments that also hit my "do not like" buttons, and my dislike was probably a sure thing.

Stuff like this: "I've claimed you. This means you're my woman." Double barf.

The entire novel seemed to involve Tack manipulating Tyra into accepting whatever he decided should happen. Convincing her she is arguing simply to argue. Not letting her have any control over anything after she had just escaped a toxic workplace situation. Barking orders at her like she's a dog. Or a child. Just...ugh.

I will definitely put this entire series on my "not my cuppa" list. It may be edgy and fresh for some. For me, it wasn't romantic or compelling.

My Grade: D

The Blurb:

Get ready to ride . . . Tyra Masters has had enough drama to last a lifetime. Now, she's back on track and looking forward to her new, quiet life. Until she meets the man of her dreams. The tattooed, muscled biker plies her with tequila-and the best sex of her life. She knows it isn't the tequila and hot sex talking. He's the kind of man she's always wanted. Unfortunately, he's also her new boss . . .

Kane "Tack" Allen has a rule. He doesn't employ someone he's slept with. So when he learns he spent last night in bed with his new office manager, he quickly fires Tyra. Yet when Tyra stands up to him and fights for her job, Tack is intrigued. He tells her she can keep her job on one condition: no more sex. Ever. But as things heat up between them, Tack finds that he'll be the one breaking all the rules...


  1. There's an audience for this author and her books. I'm just not one of them. I don't much care for paranormal romances either. Just call me an outlier. I don't mind at all.

    1. I'm actually ok with certain paranormal books because I can buy into the fantasy element. But this one confirmed I am definitely NOT the target audience for Kristen Ashley books. LOL.

  2. What Keishon said. Great review!

    1. Thank you! I'm fine being an outlier for this one, too. I can see why it would appeal to some, but I just can't stand it.

  3. I tried. I really tried with this one. But I had all the same issues you did. I third Keishon's comment.

    1. I did, too. I stuck it out hoping something towards the end would dramatically shift my opinion. It didn't happen.

  4. The fact that it's NOT paranormal makes the behavior worse IMO. I just can't get my head around violent criminals as heroes.

    1. For me, too. In paranormal, there's an element of fantasy. And any overbearing nature is usually attributed to long lived men who have no one to tell them no. But in nearly every one of those, the hero is forced to back off. That doesn't happen here.

      The violence for me is secondary to the status of women as whores and "bitches." They're accessories, and even though this is supposed to be a romance, that doesn't change!

  5. Hmm, well, I am thankful I didn't even notice this book then. How annoying. Bad boys are only likable when they have a heart of gold.

    1. There's an attempt to have the hero be more likeable, but that paled in comparison to the lifestyle being celebrated. I just can't read a romantic story where the women aren't given the same opportunity to be strong and equal.

  6. "But what bothered me most, which is probably what everyone else was so enamored with, was the biker culture deified here."

    That's the main thing keeping me away from these books, even when they're about "good" MCs (i.e. they don't deal drugs or are pimps -those are jaw-dropping 'No way!'s on their own). I couldn't accept a hero who'd voluntarily want to belong to a group so misogynistic.

    1. Yeah. I'm not clear on why these non drug running/pimping gangs are ok with so many authors and readers. So many treat women like cattle. That's not something I'm willing to accept in the romance genre.