I received this book for free from Forever in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Dream Keeper by Kristen Ashley
Also in this series: Dream Maker, Dream Chaser
Series: Dream Team #4
Published by Forever on November 30, 2021
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Spinning off from the bestselling Dream Man and Rock Chick series, this is the emotional and steamy contemporary romance fans of the Dream Team series have been waiting for!
Pepper Hannigan is determined to keep any romance off the table—and out of her bedroom—while her daughter Juno is still young. Sure, a certain handsome commando is thoughtful, funny, and undeniably hot, but Pepper’s had her heart broken before, and she won’t let it happen again. Not to her or her little girl, even if this hero could melt any woman’s resolve.
Augustus “Auggie” Hero can’t deny his attraction to beautiful, warm-hearted Pepper or how much he wants to make a home with her and her little girl, but Pepper’s mixed signals have kept him away. That is, until Juno decides to play matchmaker. Her efforts finally bring Pepper into his arms, but they expose the danger Pepper is in. To protect Pepper and Juno, Auggie will have to live up to his last name and prove happy endings aren’t just for fairy tales.
This review may contain spoilers, so fair warning, upon reading the review.
Dream Keeper is the fourth book in the series and at first I thought that this would be the finale in the series, but alas, it isn’t haha but you don’t really see signs for others books until this book because the previous book didn’t really hint at it that much or I might have just missed the signs that was conveyed there. In Dream Keeper, this is a romance that has been teased all the way through the series so its definitely highly anticipated for sure, but I will say that it did start out slower than I expected it too. Normally Kristen Ashley will sweep me up so quickly, but I don’t know if its just me or maybe her writing is changing, but they aren’t hooking me in as much as her previous works but I still enjoyed this one quite a bit, it just wasn’t quite as engaging as the previous books in the series. But there were so many aspects of this story that truly worked for me in so many ways and I was thrilled to finally get Auggie and Pepper’s romance.
Dream Keeper is a slow and steady romance that features:
- Auggie -Ex Military-current working as a commando for Hawke, alpha male, protective, loves kids, family issue
- Pepper-Exotic dancer, divorcee, single mother, nurturing and creative, has vulnerabilities in self esteem
Dream Keeper is a romance that takes us back to Auggie and Pepper and actually begin’s with Pepper’s daughter, Juno. Juno wants her mom to have a husband that will truly love and cherish her and she wants a true family. She knows that her parents won’t be getting back together and trying to live with that reality. So Juno convinces a man she knows that she can trust to help her bring Auggie and Pepper together. She sees the way that Auggie looks at her mom, and her mom is being “stupid” in resisting him and so she begins to work her innocent magic in bringing these two unrequited lovers together. Auggie has been trying to get Pepper to go on a date with him, but Pepper is resistant. At first it was for her daughter’s sake, but in reality, Pepper has so much drama in her family and in her past that she doesn’t feel like she could ever be worthy of Auggie. Her life is rough and the drama is extreme and no man should have to deal what she has to on a regular basis so she intends on driving him away. Only it doesn’t work the way she expected to, and before she realizes it she shows how she cares for him, and he sees through her defenses and is more than determined to prove to her they are worth taking a risk on….
Dream Keeper was such a powerhouse of a romance and I had a blast with this book and I am so grateful that I was able to get this in ARC format (although I would have purchased it too) I have really been so entertained by this series and they are reminiscent of the Dream Man and Rock Chick series, but they are in the same world, so you see all the connecting characters throughout these books and its such fun. This series is the rest of the men on “Hawke”s team and seeing these commando’s get their HEA. I love that Kristen Ashley wrote these books, and they definitely showcase the similar vibe that we found in those connecting books. I absolutely adored this one though. Pepper drove me nuts though, just the way that she treats Auggie, was too much in my opinion, it was a bit of emotional abuse. But then she realizes what she does to him and course corrects so I did like seeing her growth in that. There is some political stuff (nothing too obvious or anything, and I only noticed it in the beginning so fair warning on that aspect. But this portion doesn’t reflect on my review at all, since it wasn’t anything controversial or soap box-like, just common sense.
The romance that builds between Auggie and Pepper is so sweet once we get all the angst out of the way. The one aspect I really adore in this author is that the inner conflict between the main couple gets resolved pretty quickly, and then we get to see the growth in their relationship, the HOT smexy times (some of the hottest scenes I have read from this author I swear she put in this book), Juno’s matchmaking, family drama that builds with each chapter, it really comes together. I enjoyed seeing how the first half of the story is the focus of the romantic intimacy between Auggie and Pepper, and then the second half, is where we get to all the family drama and dealing with religious cults. Now these are true cults dealing with abuse, manipulation, polygamy. (Polygamy and the way she wrote is was correct as I am LDS (the non polygamy one) so I know the difference in the various religions that practice and don’t so I respect that this author did her research correctly) I really felt for the heroine and what her family has to deal with this cult. Because wow it was really bad here. Kristen Ashley really showed healthy religion versus toxic cult like religion and how one is positive and uplifting and the other is damaging and abusive to the people involved.
Overall I found Dream Keeper to be a stunning addition to this series that is so reminiscent of previous sagas we have loved from this author, its a story that will entertain you with its plot, charming characters to bring a smile to your face, and a love story that will have you swooning on each page….DELECTABLE IN EVERY MOMENT!