Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Review: Kristen Ashley's "The Will (A Magdalene Novel)."

4.5 Hearts Review: Kristen Ashley's "The Will (A Magdalene Novel)."

Amazon UK:    http://amzn.to/W2sGuf
Amazon.com:   http://amzn.to/Z4Lb34


Early in her life, Josephine Malone learned the hard way that there was only one person she could love and trust: her grandmother, Lydia Malone. Out of necessity, unconsciously and very successfully, Josephine donned a disguise to keep all others at bay. She led a globetrotting lifestyle on the fringes of the fashion and music elite, but she kept herself distant.

While Josephine was trotting the globe, retired boxer Jake Spear was living in the same small town as Lydia. There was nothing disguised about Jake. Including the fact he made a habit of making very bad decisions about who to give his love.

But for Josephine and Jake, there was one person who adored them. One person who knew how to lead them to happiness. And one person who was intent on doing it.

Even if she had to do it as her final wish on this earth.

Review: Surj Harvey

Kristen Ashley's "The Will" was quite the remarkable read. In fact I would go as far as to say it was simply outstanding. Yes that's right, outstanding. If you're a fan of this author, you'll definitely want to get your hands on this book, that is, if you haven't already. Josephine and Jake's story was just beautiful. It was sweet, it was endearing and it most definitely had that feel good factor. Yes there was a back story that left me absolutely crushed but overall, this was quite the uplifting read even if I do say so myself. 

It's never too late to reach for happiness and no matter what life has done to you, 
it's never to late to find it.

This author's books are different. They're unique and the characters she gives us are as far from cliched as you could possibly get. Josephine Malone is a prime example of just that. This was her story. Her journey of letting go of her past, letting the walls she'd built so high to protect herself crumble and embracing life and all its wonders. At forty three, was that too late though? Hell no!!! However, it would take the most unconventional of nudges from her late grandmother Lydia and the perseverance of one very hot Jake Spears for her to finally realise that dreams can come true if you just reach out and grab a hold of them and have the courage to never let go. 

"You're not a fool," he whispered. "You can never be a fool. You're total class from top to toe. 
You're also a klutz. Own that, baby because it's cute and because it's you. If you learn to accept
yourself just as you are, learn to laugh at your quirks instead of hating them, show the world
all that's you without trying to hide things that aren't even a little unattractive, that makes you
even more attractive. What you got is a fuckuva lot." 

I didn't know how to take Josephine initially. Don't get me wrong, I didn't dislike her, she was just so different and that took some getting used to. The way she spoke (so very eloquently) and the way she behaved...so very lady like, it was almost as if I'd stepped onto the set of Downton Abbey. Lol. Some would say she had a stick up her ass but I found her quirky behaviour rather cute and as for her clumsiness... well that just added to her charm. But don't let that fool you into thinking this woman was a push over!!! Far from it. In fact you would not want to get into a verbal sparring match with Josephine Malone because you can bet your bottom dollar you would lose. She had a strength like you wouldn't believe and always fought the corner of those who were closest to her. 

"I know you've been hiding. I know why. I understand it, buttercup, 
but it's time to come into the light. I've found someone special to help guide the way."

And so on to Jake Spears... holy smokes you would definitely want this man fighting your corner. He was classic KA alpha and I loved it. He was strong, domineering, caring, generous, selfless protective and very much a man who liked to be in charge (but in the best possible way)... god the list could go on... this man was just perfection.  Yes he was older and yes he had baggage (hey that's life) but to be honest, I'd taken all that baggage and more for the person that he was. 

Jake was just the kind of man Josephine needed in her life. He was the sort of man who would put her first, who would never hurt her and who would always keep her safe. Unfortunately, Josephine was so guarded, so intent on protecting herself that she tried desperately to keep her distance, taking every opportunity to push our hottie away. Jake was persistent if nothing else and he was going to claim his woman come hell or high water (oh so swoon worthy). Honest to god, I read most of this book with the biggest goofy grin on my face, that warm fizzy feeling taking over my body. Their little spats had me giggling, the way he took charge made me weak at the knees and the way he took her in the changing room after his boxing match... I think I died and went to heaven!!! Oh yeah, sorry I forget to mention that bit.... he was a boxer (squeeeee)!!! 

It hit him in that moment in a way he knew he'd never forget 
that he could take that hand and she could lead him anywhere.

Despite the main focus of "The Will" being Josie's journey to finding her place in the world and Jake ensuring that place was right by his side, there was also a huge emphasis placed on family. Jake's kids were just adorable and I loved how much of a solid family unit they were. Josie slotted in with such ease and despite the kids initially finding her "weird," they took to her very quickly and embraced her into the fold. She was going to be a part of the family whether she liked it or not. 

“Trust your old man. A woman’s heart is fragile and it’s precious. 
Don’t be that asshole who kicks it around.”

I will admit, this first book in the Magdelene series, is very different to a lot of KA books in that it was very much a heart warming tale with very little action and although there was definitely drama, it wasn't of the shoot out/ kidnapping/ murdering kind. Instead it was of the family variety with teenagers getting into mischief, ex wives causing havoc and the past rearing its ugly head!!! Nothing was ever plain sailing in Magdeline that's for sure but I wanted to live there!!! Yes I did. Kristen Ashley sure has a way with her words because I could picture the beauty that was Lavender House clear as day in my mind and as for the town... the salon, Jake's house, the Shack ... it all sounded so inviting and as for the town's folk... I'm sure I could hear them whispering... "come on, come and join us, you'll have a blast" and I know for sure that I would. 

The epilogue in "The Will" was second to none and as much as my heart was overflowing with love and joy and happiness, that last little surprise had me in floods of tears. Just beautiful in every sense of the word. Josie was one hell of a special lady and Jake and the kids... this family will hold a very special place in my heart for many years to come.

"I never wanted anything but you, Jake," I told him and he simply stared at me so I went on. 
"And I wanted you before I even know you. Someone handsome and strong and 
protective and fierce. You're everything I ever wanted, darling."

I honestly can't wait to get more from this series, there are so many possibilities in terms of whose book we'll get next. I'm not fussed because whoever it is, I'll be one clicking. I have my feet firmly under the table when it comes to this town so bring it on!!! 

I rated "The Will" 4.5 Hearts. 

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