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.
5+ STARS FOR JAKE & JOSIE!
Stunning! This book was stunning.
I’m a mahoosive Kristen Ashley fan. She’s one of my Go-To Authors. If I want a fail-safe book that I know I’m going to fall in love with; if I’ve had a run of average reads; I read KA! So I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of The Will ever since I found out it was on the horizon. And I can tell you, I absolutely livedthis book. Yes, lived! Loved, too. But I lived every second, every word, every feeling, every scene.
“She wanted me for you.”
Josephine Malone has only one living relative. Her grandmother, Lydia Malone. So when Lydia passes away and leaves Josie totally alone, she feels completely lost. Returning to her grandmother’s home, Lavender House, in Magdelene, Maine, to deal with the funeral, Lydia’s possessions, finances, etc. Josephine is required to attend the reading of the will.
Josie doesn’t know Jake Spear, but it seems her grandmother did. Not only did she know him and his three children, he is the only other person to attend the reading of the will. But it’s not just that that Josie finds strange. It’s what is written in the will that is completely absurd.
Josie is a total snob. She uses ridiculous words like ‘alas’, ‘vexing’ and ‘sally forth’. She’s over the top, up her on ass and hiding behind a well erected front. She’s had a tough life, experienced untold amounts of loss, pain and devastation and has come to the conclusion that being alone is a far safer option. The only person to get beyond those walls was her grandmother.
Some people might have an issue with Josie. She’s pompous and haughty, and closed off. But you have to give her a chance, because once Jake starts bashing down those defences, this is a beautiful story and you will learn to love Josie.
It hit him in that moment in a way he knew he’d never forget that he could take that hand and she could lead him anywhere.
Jake is perfection personified. A fighter, an amazing father to three kids, a divorcee three times over and a man with a questionable occupation… but he is everything you could ever want in a book boyfriend, trust me. I almost wore myself out, swooning over this man. Seriously, I can not even explain how fantastic Jake is. He will set your panties on fire and melt your heart.
“Now I’ve got the taste for steak,” she changed the subject. “What do you have a taste for?”
Straight up, he had the taste for cute, klutzy, classy pussy, eating her and listening to her moan.
He didn’t tell her that.
Kristen Ashley has outdone herself with Jake Spear. If you’ve read KA before, you’ll know exactly what to expect from this protective, overbearing, super sweet, alpha male of hers! He is everything a Kristen Ashley book hero should be, and more.
“Honey, I’ll tell you this straight, a woman’s got it in her to handle a guy like Jake, like Junior, the reward…shoo-ee. Nothin’ better. They don’t give as good as they get. They get what they get and give better. Knock themselves out doin’ it. Work themsleves in the ground doin’ it. You give it good, he’ll rock your world and do it again and again.”
I adored Jake and Josie’s relationship from beginning to end. This is a stand-alone, mature, adult romance. The characters being in their late forties. And that maturity really is refreshing. There are no stupid misunderstandings, for the most part, the characters are honest and real with one another, they don’t over-react or betray one another’s trust. They just want to find happiness, loyalty and something real, to believe in.
“I never wanted anything but you, Jake,” I told him and he simply stared at me so I went on. “And I wanted you before I even know you. Someone handsome and strong and protective and fierce. You’re everything I ever wanted, darling.”
Jake finds Josie’s over-the-top vocabulary quite amusing and is totally smitten by her classy, expensive style, her clumsy, klutzy ways and her uppity attitude. I loved that he nicknames her ‘Slick’, because he thought she was just that. And I loved how she tried so hard to deny her feelings for him, failed dismally, but was completely oblivious to his steady but heart-warmingly sweet advances.
“Yes, I’m yours, Jake, but not that way.”
“You’re not mine in that way?”
“Am I yours in that way?”
And ohmygod, I have to words for you, ladies… Fight. Night!!! I want to find myself a boxer. Hot, sweaty, adrenaline fuelled, testosterone full, primal fucking. Just that. Do I need to go into detail? Well, I’m not going to, but don’t worry, KA does!! Love love love it! Super hot!!
“Why’d you come to the locker room?”
“Was in there maybe two minutes before you showed.”
“Babe, I was pissed at you but lookin’ back at it, not pissed and havin’ seen that look now more than once, you walked into that room lookin’ turned way the fuck on.”
“So you came in there to get yourself some.”
I can’t write this review without giving Conner, Amber and Ethan Spear a huge mention! They are Jake’s kids and they play a massive part in this story. The family dynamic in The Will just melted me from the inside out. I loved every single interaction. I loved what they each represented and what the walls that were penetrated with each sub-plot!
And I want to live in Lavender House!! I have such strong visuals in this place that I had to remind myself that the image of this place in my head, was just that; an image in my head. And that I hadn’t actually seen Lavender House. I feel like I’ve been there and sat in Lydie’s light room, tended to the plants in the greenhouse, looked out of the kitchen at the water and sat in the family room with Josie, Jake and the kids.
“Do you think it’s possible to fall in love with a man knowing him only a few weeks?” I asked.
As with all of KA’s books, the storyline, the surrounding characters, the sub-plots, etc. are all intricately woven and that makes for a lengthy novel. However, I couldn’t get enough of it. It wasn’t too long because it was fantastic. It wasn’t drawn out or slow. It was perfectly paced, beautifully written in true, unmistakable KA fashion and I can’t fault it. There was no massive action in The Will, though there is plenty of drama to get your teeth stuck into, but I actually quite enjoyed the class and subtlety of the plot. This is perhaps one of the best KA books I’ve read.
“It’s never too late to reach for happiness and no matter what life has done to you, it’s never too late to find it.”
I’m so excited to find out what else is in store for the Magdelene series. It always fascinates and impresses me, the way Kristen Ashley intertwines the characters in her novels, so I’ll be waiting with baited breath!
Have you read it? Comment below and tell us what you thought?
‘The Will’ Statistics
• Steam Rating (out of 5): ♥♥♥♥
• Ending: Happy ending
• Length: 375 pages
• POV: Alternates between Jake and Josie.
• Narrative: Josie, first person. Jake, third person. Past tense.
• Series: Yes
• Reading Order:
– Book #1 – The Will (Magdalene, #1)
Further details to come
• Can this be read as a standalone? Yes
• WARNING: This book contains…
• Writing: Brilliant
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