Review: The Will (Magdalene #1) by Kristen Ashley

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.

Whenever I read a book by Kristen Ashley, I wonder if it is really necessary for me to write a review. There hasn't been one book by her I haven't liked or loved. Reading her stories, you know upfront a bit what to expect. Though not by the plot, because that's always full of surprises. But about the emotions you will feel. Her writing just gets to me, and each and every time I feel somewhat drained after finishing one of her stories. Like I need a minute to recover.

For me it's also impossible to put her books down once I get started, unless I'm forced. The characters, their story, the setting, it's just all so well thought out and it feels so real. That for me is one of the biggest parts why I love her stories so much. They feel so real in a way, mostly the characters.

Josephine and Jake are both in their forties. Meaning they have already lived, they have a past, they made mistakes, and they are certainly not perfect. Josephine upbringing was horrible, but with the help of her grandmother she escaped that. Now leading a great life as the PA of a famous photographer. She has some friends and gets to travel around the world. Still when it comes to love, she has seen only the ugly side and decided for herself that she didn't want it. If she ever feels the need she will find someone, but Josephine will never give in.

Now with the passing of her grandmother, pretty much the only person she ever felt unconditional love from, Josephine is a bit lost. She returns back home, thinking she just finished organizing some stuff and be back on her way. What she hadn't counted on was the pull of the Lavender House, her grandmother's house, and the safety Josephine finds in that house. One other thing she hadn't expected was Jake.

Her grandmother had never mentioned him, but it looks like he was a big part of her life. Josephine doesn't know what to do with that information, but luckily Jake isn't afraid to take on the challenge that is Josephine. Now honestly it all moves kind of slow, but I liked that, because once again that adds to the realness of the story. And what a story it is!

We follow along as Josephine starts to place her grief of losing her grandmother, while dealing with Jake in her life. That connection between them isn't there suddenly, it grows and it has plenty of hurdles to keep things interesting. An unconventional love story, with characters I fell completely for. Just the way Josephine talks, was amazing and added this whole other dimension to the story. Jake past is a colourful one, and certainly adds plenty of drama. This one was another amazing book by Kristen Ashley. I just can not get enough of her writing.  

Magdalene - Reading order and purchase links
*All books can be read as a standalone*


The Author
Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA. She nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorise and she hadn't taken her first breath!).

Kristen 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.

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