I received this book for free from the author or publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
“I had to figure out what I wanted. I had to figure out who I was. I had to create a home. I had to win back my children.”
After renewing my notes, I realized that this just wasn’t the book for me. I hate that too, because I am a huge Kristen Ashley fan. It bums me out, but most of my notes are not good. I got bored, I was disgusted with the way certain adults behaved and overall, I just wanted it to end. It took me two weeks to write this review because I just didn’t want to revisit this book and still feel the same way. But, alas, I do. So here are my notes, polished up and ready for you… sans spoilers.
I had trouble connecting with Amy. I never really understood her situation. Her behavior- I never sympathized with her. As I read the story, I found her endearing, but that made it all the more difficult to understand her past issues. I didn’t like that her behavior was blamed on her upbringing and others encouraging her. As a woman in her forties, she should own her actions. I just never really connected. Mickey, on the other hand, was great. I really liked him. He was a good father and sexy as hell. There were times I felt he was a bit heavy-handed. Other than that, he was a solid hero. Who doesn’t love a fireman/construction worker?
It was the kids who really stole the show in this book. I loved Auden and Cillian. I adored the girls too. As a book highlighting single parents, I loved that the story actively included the children and that they came first before the developing relationship. Obviously, the Ex’s left something to be desired and I liked how the storylines behind the Ex’s unfolded differently and realistically. This was part of what made the story feel complete. Like I said, the kids were great, so I liked that they found stability in their lives without the book having to spit rainbows at the reader.
The plot was fine. There were somethings in the fore story that never made sense to me. I don’t want to write any spoilers, but Amy’s upbringing contradicted her justifications for her bad behavior later. I also wasn’t a fan with Mickey’s hang-up over the money thing. It got old. I understood it at first, but then I was over it. While Mickey and Amy were courting, I was in love with the story. They had plenty of drama and lots of good times too. Not to mention the appearance of some old friends from Lavender House. 😉
I love Magdalene and the community within. I find the town and its inhabitants charming. Even the “bad guys” are entertaining and fun. This book was written in the old KA fashion and that always makes it feel welcoming to read. I enjoyed that sense of family and knowing that Amy would be backed by a great group of people when all her issues came to a head.
My biggest hang-up was with the shopping, decorating and descriptions. I was pretty sure that the author was trying to suffocate me with words at one point. Plus, it seemed odd to be starting over and not wanting to be so materialistic and then spending pages upon pages of describing how awesome all of her new name brand items were… and then mentioning them again and again throughout the book. Here are a few quotes to demonstrate the word overkill situation:
“A long, wide, carefully distressed dark wood, rectangular coffee table with drawers on the sides ran the middle of the sectional. It held a lovely globe filled burgundy-colored sand in which a fat candle was positioned that had tiers of blue, purple and forest green.”
“I threw my phone on the bed and it bounced on my duvet cover, which was subtle floral swirls in a soft gray porcelain blue, gentle taupe and mute apple green.”
“’I…okay,’ I said, not knowing what else to say and not saying what I wanted to say, which was that I didn’t know what she was going to say but I still wished she wouldn’t say it.”
The ending was great and as always, Kristen Ashley delivered a wonderful epilogue. I needed those kids to get a HEA and they did. It was important.
My favorite part of the book was when Auden stepped up and protected his sister and even his mom. As the story progressed, he become more and more mature. There was a storyline happening behind the scenes that is revealed later that makes you realize how much you respect and appreciate Auden and his character. Being a teenager is hard enough, but Auden handles it with grace.
The part that broke my heart a little was when Mickey went on his trip and his behavior on said trip. It was explained, but I just didn’t agree with it. I asked my husband if it was normal for a man his age and absolutely stated that it wasn’t. (Again, sorry, no spoilers.) I also had major issues with Mickey’s ex and the way he was handling that. I was uncomfortable with the whole thing. I understood that he felt like he was stuck between a rock and a hard place, but it was not working for me.
Happiness, disappointment and surprise were among the emotions I felt as I read this book. I wanted to love it more, but not being able to connect with the main character makes that difficult. I was most invested in the storyline involving the kids and what would become of them.
I still want to read the third book. There some hints as to what the story would entail and I am curious. I will always read what KA writes. She is still a favorite.
2 stars for this one. A glass of pinot if you are an Amy fan and a cold Killian’s Red for the Mickey fans out there!
Purchase Link – Soaring (The Magdalene Series Book 2)
Looking for more KA? Click on the book covers below for more info
The Three Series
The Three Series is a trilogy which follow the three couples, mixtures of immortal and mortal, prophesied to save humanity. We start with a vampire and a human. We move onto werewolves. And after that… surprise!
The ‘Burg Series
Rock Chick Series
Based in Denver, the Rock Chick Series is eight books that take you on the wild ride of the courtships of the Rock Chicks and the Hot Bunch.
The Mystery Man Series
The Colorado Mountain Series
The Colorado Mountain Series takes place in two fictional Colorado towns situated close to each other, Gnaw Bone and Carnal. This series that will be eight novels follows the stories of eight connected men on their rocky road to second chances.
The Unfinished Hero Series
The Unfinished Hero Series is very new (first book published in April 2012) and as yet, I have not quite decided how many books will make up this series. At the very least, it will be three. Perhaps five. However, these stories will be interweaving.
They are also not my usual steamy romances, they are erotic romances. Not erotica, as such, but the sex in these books, starting with Knight is quite explicit and explores the intricacies of love and trust in a relationship including sexually. As the tales unfold, I don’t know how this will continue. However, as it stands in my head, this series will continue to explore these themes however they come about for my characters.
That said, these are love stories. It isn’t about sex, it is about happily ever after. As always.
And last, one final warning, the heroes of these books are anti-heroes. They are good men who do bad things. They have their reasons. They have their own codes. They may seek (and find) redemption. Or they may not. They simply are who they are, do what they do and find love along the way.
Follows the Dream Man series
The Magdalene Series
Here is the recommended reading list for KA books:
Dream Man Series
Rock Chick Series
Colorado Mountain Series
The Burg Series
The Threes Series
Unfinished Heroes Series