Title: The Will (Magdalene Series, #1)
Author: Kristen Ashley
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 8 2014
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.
Happy Birthday Kristen!!
5 “Old School KA” Stars!
“It’s never too late to reach for happiness and no matter what life has done to you, it’s never too late to find it.”
When I first commenced reading Kristen Ashley books, I began many of my earlier reviews by declaring my love and undying devotion to her. Therefore, since this book is reminiscent of old school KA, I find it very appropriate that I return to my roots so to speak and give you a little old school Lisa P.
Dear Ms. Ashley,
I love you. You own me.
That. Is. All.
Hearts and flowers,
The Will is a beautiful and tender romance that I was easily absorbed into and completely lost myself in. This book was truly KA at her absolute best proving to me that she will forever reign as the literary Queen of my heart. This stand-alone love story encompassed everything that made me fall into a crazy obsession with Kristen Ashley in the first place – a brilliant storyline, a descriptive and wordy writing style, a sexy alpha-male, an endearing heroine, humorous and witty dialogue, some passionate sexy times and family dynamics told with a flare that only this author can create. This book is one that is not under her publisher and I am ecstatic about this. When I began reading The Will, it was like coming home. The recent books released by this author under her publisher, while I enjoyed them, have not been the same. I realize that the job of a publisher is to tweak a writer’s work and present it as a more polished finished piece but it is nice to have KA back without someone going in and editing out her essence. Any attempt to curtail this author’s writing and somehow present it in a more mainstream fashion takes away from all that is KA. With all this being said, I do think that old school KA shines through in this book in utter brilliant glory and for that reason this book is going down as one of her best in my humble opinion.
Josephine Malone has led a jet-setting lifestyle as the assistant to a famous photographer for the last twenty-three years living a lavish life with many indulgences. She learned early in her life from the school of hard knocks and has had no real relationships with anyone with the exception of her grandmother. Lydia Malone was Josie’s saving grace rescuing her from abuse and giving her unconditional love and a safe harbor. Josie has kept herself at a distance from those around her donning a cold façade. She is a valuable employee and a wonderful friend but there is only so much she is willing to invest emotionally. When Josie’s grandmother passes away bringing her back to the small town of Magdalene, Josie is at a loss and grieving at the profound loss of the one person who gave her everything. She is vulnerable and alone. What Josie does not expect is for her grandmother to reach beyond the grave and continue to provide Josie with the same safe harbor she has always provided.
Jake Spears is a complete stranger to Josie despite the fact that he has lived his life in Magdalene and was very close with Lydia Malone. With a successful former boxing career behind him, Jake is now a local business owner trying to do right by his three children. While Jake has proven time and time again that he is willing to do anything for his children, his decisions in the love department have been less than stellar considering the fact that he is a three-time divorcee. Jake and his children are hit hard when Lydia passes away. The one thing that Lydia’s death sets in motion is bringing Josie to Magdalene and to the Spears family.
“She wanted me for you.”
Following the funeral Josie and Jake both discover that Lydia has requested something very unique in her Last Will and Testament. The content of Lydia’s Will is unusual and astonishing to both Josie and Jake and it leaves Josie torn between wanting to fulfill her grandmother’s last wishes on the one hand and completely confounded by what her grandmother actually wants on the other hand. Jake and Josie have led two very different lives and where Jake is all hard edges and emotion Josie is aloof and can seem uncaring and cold. Further, Jake’s small-town life could not be more different than the jet-setting one Josie has led. Despite all this, Josie and Jake are drawn to one another. Josie has spent the last twenty-three years focused on her career trying her best to escape the demons of her past that continuously haunt her. In doing so, she has distanced herself emotionally from everyone. As Josie begins to spend time with Jake and his family the long forgotten dreams of family, love and emotional safety she once had come to the surface. For the first time ever, Josie is confronted with the very real possibility of having all these dreams come true. But, will Josie be brave enough to reach for the stars? Josie trusted her grandmother with absolutely all of who she was but can she trust that her grandmother is leading her to happiness?
“Every inch of you, outside and any way you can get inside, baby, physically or emotionally, is mine.” ~Jake
“I’d give him anything. I’d give him everything. If I had the power, I’d give him the world.” ~Josie
Josie and Jake have a chance at true happiness and love. Both of them have been through enough in their lives to recognize that what they soon begin to develop with one another is profound, deep ad special. Both recognize it as something beautiful and want to hold on with both hands no matter what obstacles come their way or what demons they have to push back. I adored the fact that this book is about a couple in their forties. Gone is the melodramatic bullshit and over-the-top angst very present in many books today. Granted, as the characters are older in this book what they deal with is very different from what their younger counterparts would experience. Still, Josie and Jake were straight-forward and honest never beating around the bush to express their desires and needs. And this, my friends, is pure KA greatness. The intensity of their connection, their profound chemistry and passion, the wonderful character development and incomparable prose – all this made up a beautiful story that had me laughing, crying, struggling to catch my breath and touched me at a very powerful level. I connected with Jake and Josie. I was so immersed in their story that when the end came I did not want to let go. Talk about a huge book hang-over!
Kristen Ashley has this innate ability to evoke some powerful emotions from me. Very few authors do this to me. Jake and Josie’s story is a slow-burning epic journey where an ex-boxer learns how much he truly has to offer and where a proper lady of fashion learns to let go of her past and live the life she has always dreamed of. This story is real and it comes from the heart. By the time you hit the classic KA epilogue in this book, you will realize that what this author has weaved is nothing short of brilliant and magic story-telling. It’s a story that simply wraps around your heart and teaches you that it is never too late to take a chance on love. A knight-in-shining-armor can appear at any time in a lady’s life sweeping her off her feet and giving her a breathtaking forever.
Kristen Ashley books exist on a separate level for me. They are like the holy grail of books. There is no comparing this author’s masterful writing skills to anyone else. With this being said, I can honestly state that The Will is one of my absolute favorite books by this author. Yes, this says a lot considering the obscene amount of love I have for KA. This book resonated with my heart and soul and left me sighing happily in the la-la land that KA books usually leave me in. There is nothing wrong with that except for the fact that I now have to read a few older books by this author to get her out of my system. ;)
About The Author
Kristen Ashley grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana but 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 multi-generational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland and existed amongst the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).
Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.
And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.
Connect with Kristen Online:
Official Website: www.kristenashley.net
Follow Kristen on Twitter: KristenAshley68
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