The Will by Kristen Ashley
Series: Magdalene #1
Also in this series: Soaring, The Time In Between
Published by Self-published on April 8, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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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.
With a pure alpha hero and a quirky, sweet and totally lost heroine, The Will is full of true, vintage Kristen Ashley goodness. The first time I read this I pulled an all-nighter. This time, I once again read it straight through, growling out loud if anyone dared to interrupt. I had completely forgotten how good it was.
Jake is a strip club owner who also owns a boxing gym. He’s almost the perfect mix of Max from the Gamble and Tack from Motorcycle Man: hot, growly, foul-mouthed, sexy, sweet, and knows when to go gentle and but also knows when to let it all hang out. He has three amazing kids that he (and I) adore, a boxing gym he runs, and a strip club that pays the bills. His one downfall is that in the past he’s had crap taste in women.
Josie, like many KA heroines, is more than a bit quirky and also completely lost. She had horrid parents and went through unbelievable trauma before fate finally smiled on her and she landed at Lavender House with her Grandmother Lydie. Unfortunately, lots of damage had already been done.
Josie left as soon as she could and seemed to have it all with her jet-setting lifestyle as a PA to a renowned fashion photographer. In a true Hail Mary move, Lydie, not being a woman who would let death cheat her out of her greatest dream, a happy Josie, gave Josie to Jake in her will. What comes after results in one of KA’s most beautiful stories ever. It is also one of the hottest stories of all of Kristen Ashley’s. The locker room scene alone is worthy of several rereads on its own…yeah, I’m getting steamed just thinking about it.
There were some memorable side characters, especially Jake’s children and Alyssa, a fellow boxer’s wife who was a diamond in the rough. The two Taylors added just a touch of fun of their own but the most important side character of all was Lydie even though she was dead. At times I missed the playfulness that a Tex or a Daisy gives a KA story but then I got caught up in the pure simplicity of the story. I decided a cute funny sidekick would have detracted from the sheer raw beauty I found. I don’t give 5 stars often, but this book deserves it and then some.
Rating: 5 Raw, Beautiful, and Hot Stars
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