the time in between, by kristen ashley

The Time in Between is classic KA. It’s reminiscent of books like Motorcycle Man and Sweet Dreams where the reader forms a life-like bond with the characters. Ashley’s ability to form a strong emotional connection with the fictional worlds that she builds is like no other author. I could not put this book down. As the 3rd and final installment in the Magdalene series, it did not disappoint.

Spanning the course of roughly 2 decades, The Time in Between chronicles the story of Coert and Cady. Young, misunderstood, and unappreciated by her family, Cady falls in with a tough crowd. And while they are by no means on the up and up, they embrace Cady and look out for her.

When Coert enters the picture, then known as Tony, he starts to run with the same crew. And while they too embrace him, it’s for a very different reason. Whereas Cady is looking for a replacement family, Coert/Tony is looking to rise up within the criminal enterprise that’s being built. What they find in each other is love and acceptance.

But the consequences of both Coert/Tony and Cady’s actions ultimately tear them apart–for 18 years. Told in alternating present day and year’s past voices, Ashley explores what happens when young love turns deadly and if it can truly stand the test of time after years of being apart.

Whether this is your 1st or 31st KA book, it will only leave you wanting more. Though this series is complete–and this book can be read as a stand alone–there’s plenty of KA goodness out there. Heart-wrenching throughout, I have nothing but good things to say about The Time in Between.

soaring, by kristen ashley

Big fan! I’m hoping my streak of bad reads is over. As I’ve stated, repeatedly, Kristen Ashley is one of my most fave romance authors. Her characters are real and more often than not, relatable. I’ve read almost all of her series and stand-alone’s, which comes to 20+ books, so when I say I’m a fan, I mean I’m a fan. Anyway…

Soaring is part of Ashley’s Magdalene series. Unfortunately, I did not love the 1st book, The Will. But I was very happy I stuck with this story-line because I really loved Soaring. I’ve noticed that while Ashley is still rather verbose when it comes to describing exactly what someone is wearing and how their homes are decorated–this is just part of her writing style–she has definitely heard her readers when it comes to the speech patterns of her alpha males. For quite a few books, they all had the exact same way of speaking and it was just above that of a cave-man. Just because you’re a man’s man, doesn’t mean you’re uneducated and can’t complete a sentence. Let’s dive in!

Amelia is a 47-year old, divorced, mother of 2 teenagers. Oh, she’s also an oil heiress–which in this case means she doesn’t have to work or worry about money, but that certainly does not put this in the category of other billionaire love stories. Amelia lost her children to her neurosurgeon ex-husband, Conrad, and his wife because of Amelia’s crazy public antics when she found out that Conrad had cheated on her and was leaving her for his girlfriend. She’s now followed them across the country, from CA to MA, to get her life back on track, prove to everyone, herself included, that she’s changed, and is worthy of being a custodian and mother to her children.

Cue Mickey, the 48-year old, divorced, father of 2–a teenage girl and an 11-year old boy–who lives across the street from Amelia. Mickey’s a construction worker and volunteer fireman. While he too is an heir–to a frozen seafood fortune–he has chosen to shun the money and find his own way, apart from the family business. It’s not the easy existence it could be, especially since his ex-wife is an alcoholic barely holding it together in the joint-custody agreement he has with her over their children.

Much of this story is about Amelia finding her way and who she is. How she can’t live her life for the approval of her parents, how her needs are important, and above all, being the best mother she can to her kids. Again, so many relatable topics. And of course, there is the fun and heart-warming love story of Amelia and Mickey. Which doesn’t have the smoothest start–especially since they initially date other people.

In today’s age of trying to do what’s right, divorce, starting over, finding yourself, and love, after 40–Ashley does an amazing job of addressing heavy current-day topics (bullying) while keeping the tone light-hearted and fun. Looking forward to the next and final installment in this series!

rating:

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Book Review: The Will

the willle sigh… My 2nd less than stellar review, The Will. This one saddens me because the book is by one of my most favorite romance authors–Kristen Ashley. Here goes.

In a Nutshell
Josie is an idiot and Jake is an alpha male who sometimes speaks in complete sentences. They fall in love, have drama, and live happily ever after. That about sums it up.

Tara’s Take
Honestly, I hate to be so harsh, but I really struggled reading this book. I actually took copious notes on how much I disliked it–primarily because of the heroine. Let me explain:

Josie is a big fan of hip hop music and is close personal friends with one of the rap game’s most prominent stars. But Josie knows NO slang and has to have everything explained to her. (Because hip hop never uses slang.)

She speaks like a robot who’s learning the English language. Instead of saying, I need to go to the mall and get some clothes for gardening…She says things like, “…I needed to go to the mall in order to acquire clothing that would be more suitable to tasks such as these.” Seriously, no one speaks like that! And it’s that way through the entire book! Even her thoughts were ‘proper.’ I don’t know who or what she was supposed to be channeling in her speech.

She’s refined, cultured, and traveled the world–but yet, she behaves like she has no common sense. The contradictions were all over the place and impossible to ignore.

Take for instance when she was sitting in restaurant. She could tell simply by the way a man was walking towards her that he was going to hit on her. Yet, she spent weeks holding hangs, cuddling, spending almost every waking hour with Jake (the hero) and had no idea he was interested in her romantically. WT*?!?!?

Again, because this is one of my most fave authors–I’ll stop right there. Suffice to say, I can’t recommend this book. BUT–here’s the thing, I am so committed to this author, I will read the next book in the series when it comes out. I just know she can do better!