by Kristen Ashley


Kristen Ashley really does romance right! I read and loved The Will and revelled in the fact that these forty something characters were getting a chance to have their stories heard, well what do you know-  Ms Ashley has only gone and done it again!

The ability to inject just about every word with the power of a love that was never prepared to take no for an answer is not a skill that many have but this author can wield it like a magic wand because when she sprinkled her magic over Mickey and Amelia – their story was brought to life right before my eyes. I felt as if I was watching their days unfold before me and the descriptive nature and demonstrative tone that Kristen is majestic at deploying was paramount in that experience.

Both characters had lived, they had loved and they had lost – Amelia I think it is safe to say was in many respects a victim of her own making but she had bottomed out on the self-pity scale that her husband’s infidelity had heaped upon her and the pain that she had allowed to consume her but she was finally fighting her way back to being a productive member of society again and she was absolutely giving it her best shot at being the mother that her she knew she needed to be for her kids. Although initially they were far from welcoming.

Amelia had always had everything she needed – coming from entitlement and money she wanted for nothing, she had a marriage that she considered to be strong, children she adored, friends and family that surrounded her and a husband that she trusted implicitly but what she didn’t have was a clue  that her solid , trustworthy husband was in fact a handsy philandering rat who was caught with his hand in the cookie jar on more than one occasion but always managed to keep it from the woman who was raising his kids and oblivious to the fact that she was playing second fiddle to his libido.

When the truth come to light and her marriage falls apart, Amelia doesn’t deal with it well and despite the fact that she has the children to consider she loses her way and she eventually loses her kids when her ex-husband moves them to Maine.

Finally she comes to her senses and kicks her own butt, because believe me by this time if I could have I would have kicked her tush all the way to Maine myself– yelling in her ear all the way that she needs grow a pair and put the cheating bastard in his place!!!

Getting a wiggle on she ups-sticks and moves across the country in order to be close to the kids and in a bid to build a relationship with them that will be sustainable. But when her ex rocks up on her doorstep on her first day, screaming and shouting at her – both he and Amelia are quickly introduced to her new neighbour and all round good guy – Mickey Donovan.

Mickey lives by pretty simple rules and no man should ever be threatening a woman, so when he hears the rumpus coming from his new neighbours front yard, he steps straight in and puts the guy in his place – ship up or ship out and leave the lady alone!

I loved Mickey this smoulderingly hot man works his butt off in his bid to insure that his two kids (who he shares custody of with his ex-wife) have everything they need, on top of his day to day job he also works as a volunteer at the local fire department – but it is the fire department that is his true passion. Although some of that may just have set its sights on the feisty little newbie on the block!

Amelia throws herself into finding her feet in Magdalene, she really does embrace the whole “fresh start” ethos and sets about proving to herself that she can be the woman that she has always dreamt of being and someone that her children can be proud to call mum.

Amelia may have more money than she could possibly spend but when you don’t like what you see each morning, all the dollars in the world mean nothing, Mickey on the other hand has claim to almost as much money as Amelia has but he is determined to earn his living and stand on his own two feet – and as with many situations money initially is the root of their issues- he feels that she would never be interested in him because he would never be able to provide for her in a way that she is used too and she feels that he is threatened by her money and as such is staying way – honestly I could have knocked their heads together.

But they both learn fairly quickly that no matter their age and experiences- love will not be denied – they just need to get with the program!

I thought the author handled the sensitivities that go along with two experienced adults embarking on a relationship, the situation on how them being together was going to impact no only the two of them but also four children with tact and diplomacy. She eased them into a relationship and showed that somethings really do need to be taken slowly, sensitivities have to be taken into account and nothing is more sensitive than the introduction of a lover to your children, because no matter their age they still need to know that they rank as the most important thing in your parents eyes.

I loved the text chat, the sneaking around and the “your house or mine” scenario’s, the fitting in with the kids timetables and the knockbacks that you take when you realise that there is more than just the two of you in your relationship – there is life getting in the way too.

The story really touched a nerve with me and made me smile, I actually managed to get through a book without being reduced to tears and all the while feeling that I was taking a walk through the  best that love has to offer – the chance to be happy and the chance for one broken woman to gather her heart up, lay it out before her and to begin to try and piece it back together – what she hadn’t realised was that her forever happiness meant that her puzzle was always one piece missing and that was because it was being held in the safe hands of Mickey and when he entered her life – her puzzle was complete – sometimes life is like that – you have what you can handle and when you need it the next piece of your life puzzle is handed over.