The Will (The Magdalene Series)
Awwwwwww!!!! Can this author start and end a book, or what?! From the synopsis, I had a completely different “take” on how this one would go, going into it. It sounded good (cute), but it didn’t quite sound like a “Kristen-Ashley” read, ya know? I don’t know, it’s hard to explain, but I was imagining a jet-setting woman with a “laissez-faire” attitude, her grandmother (that she’d visit on occasion) and a brooding ex-boxer.
Well… wait. My description doesn’t work at all, ’cause it was that, but sooooo much better!
I was imagining a more “homey” visit-time with grandma (in fact, I wondered if she’d end up being the main character… if this would be mostly from her POV), while she meddled into trying to get the two together, and maybe the jet-setter and the brooder didn’t quite get along (you know… lifestyle issues and all that). Maybe it would be a comedy (sweet meddling elderly lady trying to connect to her posh granddaughter), or maybe it would have a more somber edge (due to the moody ex-boxer?).
Like I said, *some* of it was along those lines, but this one was pure “Kristen Ashley” style, and had me chuckling from the get-go. Immediately, from the introduction of the characters, their “headspace”, his hot and infuriating (yet fun!) alpha-ness, I knew… yep. This one would be right up our alley, and I connected immediately.
Now… if you want to go into this book “blind” stop reading my review right about here. I don’t spoil the middle or the ending or anything like that, but I do give away the *oooomph* of a premise that happens right at the beginning. And it is THAT premise that had me so excited to continue, ’cause I had NO idea it would “go there” by the synopsis of the book on Amazon. But!! I DID enjoy that surprise “Whaaaaaa!!??” (was delighted, actually), so if you want to be surprised too, stop reading right about here. P.S. I enjoyed it immensely, and gave it 4 stars!
—> Okay for those of you that don’t mind “knowing” the start of the book… the premise that starts this story off with a bang (and that, had I know about it going in, I would have been even more excited), continue reading:
Because, you see, while the grandmother (Lydie) IS extremely important in this story, by the time WE (the reader) jump in, she’s already gone. The two main characters (Josephine, the jet-setting woman and Jake, the alpha-male ex-boxer) meet at the reading of her will. And it is her “Will” that sets this one off with a bang.
‘Cause… Jake and his three children have been living in the same town as Josephine’s grandmother, and visiting with her regularly, for years. They’ve all become family, and he’s been hearing alllllllllll about her amazing, beautiful (but perhaps lonely and needs to settle down) granddaughter. And while Josie has no clue her grandmother has a “secret” family on the side (LOL!), she soon discovers it at the reading of her Will.
Sure, she finds the massive, scary-ish, brooding male standing next to her… attractive (especially when she trips right into him! I loved that about her… a klutz, just like me!),
He also smelled good. I’d inhaled the scent of a variety of men’s colognes but one that was that alluring. It was, as was everything about him, aggressively masculine, assaulting my sense, making it hard for me to breathe.
And last, his body was far bigger and more imposing than it was from a distance.
And it was very hard.
“You all right?” his deep voice rumbled.
…but she’s blown away when she finds out that he was that close to her sweet grandmother.
But what blows her away even more is when her grandmother WILLS HER to HIM.
“My most precious possession, the thing I treasure above anything else in this world, that being my granddaughter, Josephine Diana Malone, I hereby bequeath to James Markham Spear.”
After these words were read, unprepared for them and even if I had been, I would still be unprepared for them mostly because they were just plain mad, I gasped.
James Markham Spear muttered a rumbling, amused, “What the f$%k?”
“Did Lydie give me you in her will?”
YESSSSSSSSSSSS what a KICK!! What a premise!!!! I was SO IN!
“You can hardly think you can own a woman, Jake.” Ms. Baginski snapped dismissively.
“Own her, no.” Mr. Spear stated, his eyes still holding mine captive. “Do precisely what Lydie wanted me to do with her, yes.”
Oh my God.
The way he said those word sounded suggestive.
Tee heeeeeeeeee!!! <— Me. And my GLEE!!! WOW!!!! How clever was that start?
And I know it may sound a bit like a spoiler for me to tell you that part (even though it happens in the beginning of the book) had I known THAT, I would have been *squeeing* with even more glee, to read it. Oh sure, just the fact that it was a new Kristen Ashley book had me rushing to start it (there was no “putting this on my TBR list” and getting to it eventually). It was an IMMEDIATE read, for me. But… knowing that little fun tidbit of a premise would have had me anticipating all sorts of things. Still though, it was a delightful surprise and once that reveal “hit”, I couldn’t wait to “live” them.
And boy do we live them, a la Kristen-Ashley style, through and through.
Every thought, action, introduction, conversation, observation, we get to be them 100% in their entirety and well… I just love that about this author’s writing style. Sometimes I skim a bit, here and there, and some character’s personalities at times, might not quite mesh with me (some of ‘em can be outrageous, and sometimes the heroine might seem toooo perfect). Her magnetism, her level-headedness, (all wisdom-y and such). You know what I mean. And sure, Josie’s way of speaking. at times, was a bit much, and certain financial circumstances a bit… er… convenient (although feasible), but I still relished getting to be her.
There is just something so fun when I get to dig in for hours (maybe even a few days) with one group of characters, discovering every nuance, and every “thing” about a new town, and that cozy small-town feel (right down to the bullies and the gossipers… and the EX WIVES). Oh they always come in and disrupt my romance. And I love it, ’cause come on… that is so true to life, is it not?
And you know what? That up there… is what it’s about. A woman forced to slow down, as she gets to know her grandmother’s life. The small town in Maine, and her beautiful house, her beautiful surroundings, her friends (especially one family, in particular, that loved her with all of their hearts). And the predators that have been circling them. Certain troubles are brewing from a few different avenues for this heroine, (romantically, financially, and personally), and as in real life, she must contend with it all.
Very good!! It may not be my absolute favorite in this author’s repertoire (as I found myself able to set it aside every once in awhile, when the adrenaline spikes settled down), but I was happy to pick it back up, and “be them” again. And that ending? Ohhhh WOW!!! I JUST LOVED IT!!!!! This author is the queen of exciting beginnings and fulfilling endings.
This is the ultimate fantasy, even in it’s more cozy way, and for many hours, I got to live it!