I had never read anything by Kristen and after Own the Wind I thought: "Dang it! I've been missing out."
This book reminds me of Sons of Anarchy in some ways. Own the Wind is about a motorcycle club, per se, called Chaos. They have what they call brothers, lieutenants, and more, depending on how long each of the men has been with the club and what each of them has done to pay their due and deserve a higher ranking and the like.
That is where Shy Cage comes in [swoon]. He was a good boy turned bad and turned good back around again when he joins Chaos. He's been with Chaos for a while and all the men respect him, he's paid his dues, and he's moving up in their ranks.
The men always look out for each other and their families in sort of a "one for all and all for one" type thing. Whenever anyone is in trouble, whoever is closer (geographically at times) to the one in trouble gets called to go "rescue" him/her. And that is the case with Shy and Tabitha.
Tabitha is his friend's daughter, well, not just his friend. I mean, Tabby's dad is the "Head" of Chaos and no one messes with him or those who are his. Anyway, Tabby is in trouble and needs help and the one who can reach her faster than anyone else is Shy.
Shy doesn't like that he has to leave his two naked companions to go rescue Tabby as he's sure she deserves whatever trouble she is in, but he goes anyway. Tabby is used to getting herself in trouble and Shy has had it. He wants to teach her a lesson so that she decides to walk on the straight and narrow and no longer call trouble to herself.
The lesson Shy teaches her shakes up Tabby in a way that makes way mad at him. But before she leaves, she kisses him then dissappears for good.
That kiss remains in Shy's mind for months and months, actually a few years is more like it. Shy misses seeing her, he knows she's around but the darn woman will not set foot at the Compound for anything. She no longer joins any of the get togethers the men host, she's really just gone invisible.
Things happen, they cross paths on and off but no long enough for Shy to be able to ask Tabby what's been bothering her on years on end. Then, Tabby is about to get married when something awful happens and as destiny would have it, the two come together and rekindle their friendship.
Through their friendship their relationship grows, they not only discover things within themselves but also realize the feelings they've always had for each other. But not one of the two wants to take the first step because if one of them does and the other one doesn't feel the same way, then things would just be, um, AWKWARD.
Of course that only lasts until the moment they have a fight, Tabby gives him a cold shoulder and stops talking to him. Then, Shy discovers she's ready to leave but he won't have it. The time has come, and shine or rain she's gonna listen to what he has to say, which isn't much but short of: WTF are you doing and where are you going, and you're not leaving. Then, he grabs her and plants a kiss that makes her curl her toes.
Own the Wind is such an AWESOME read! I mean, I personally wouldn't let a man talk to me the way Shy talks to Tabby some times, I just wouldn't put up with it. BUT, he's all tough, don't give me this kinda shit type of guy, and so, so, sweet and loving (in his own way mind you) that I cheered for him each time. This story is one of those where the reader is taken through each of the steps/levels as Shy and Tabby build their relationship, that it feels too real to be fiction. But, yes, it is fiction.
Shy is protective of Tabby but doesn't get in her way of her being her. In fact, Shy wants Tabby to be herself and not pretend to be something she isn't, which is what she did with her ex fiance, though she was happy and loved him.
Shy wants Tabby to trust him, to be honest, open with him. He doesn't know where the heck he's going, and he tells her that, but the one thing he's sure of is that he wants to ride the way of life with her and discover where they're going together.
Tabby has trouble at first in letting go and understanding when she needs to stand up to Shy and when she shouldn't. There is this thing about "the woman is a reflection of her man" in the club and the last thing she wants is to embarrass him. Then again, don't get me wrong. It isn't anything like being a pushover or not being able to voice her opinion loud and openly, it is more about this sorta creed and respect for each other. Tabby isn't a timid young woman, she's very sure of herself and of what she wants, but like everyone else, she struggles with the things that they go through as their relationship grows until she reaches the point of being okay with who and what they are and where they're going. Their love for each other is stronger than anything in this world, and they prove that when everyone, including her dad, turns their back on them for keeping their relationship secret per her request.
I love, love, love this story and I'm looking forward not only to reading book two in these series but reading all of Kristen Ashley's books.