“You gotta learn there’s no safer place than in my arms…”
Soaring was a beautiful story of second chances, rebuilding family after messy divorces, finding yourself again, and realizing that sometimes the best things come later in life. I’ve read almost every single book KA has written and I have to say that I think this is the quietest of them all. It’s a slow build, and a slow burn, but the story has all the depth and heart that we’ve come to love from Kristen Ashley’s books.
This book is a standalone telling Mickey and Amelia’s story. We first met Mickey as a secondary character in The Will (the first standalone in this series). While this book, Soaring, can indeed be read as a complete standalone, I would still personally recommend reading The Will first just because I loved it so incredibly much and because the background characters’ stories do build with every book.
Amelia was an American heiress who once had the perfect life — she had a husband she loved, was raising two beautiful children, and her life was filled with everything she ever could have wanted. But all that came crashing down when her husband threw away their 16 year marriage when he cheated on her with a woman half her age, promptly divorced her, and then re-married almost instantly to the same woman he cheated on her with. Needless to say, the pain of this betrayal tore her apart. Unfortunately, the people in her life also encouraged her to try react in an unsavory manner and so she made some public scenes she wasn’t proud of and consequently lost her children’s respect — which was for her, the biggest blow of all.
When her douchebag ex husband then moved her kids across the country, it served as her wake up call. She realized that she’d lived her life for too long being the person everyone else wanted her to be and this was her last chance to be her — to find herself and win back the hearts of her children. So she packed up her life and moved after them, willing to do whatever it took to heal her relationship with them.
What she didn’t count on was her smoking hot, fire-fighter next door neighbor, Mickey Donovan. She met him one day not long after she moved in when her ex-husband had taken it upon himself to give her a less-then-pleasant welcome to the town. Mickey seemingly came out of nowhere and defended her.
I’d seen him move, I had to. Yet it happened so fast, it almost seemed like I didn’t.
But it happened and there he was, this stranger unknowingly standing between me and my [ex husband].
I’d never had that. Not in my… life.
He lived across her street and was also divorced with two kids. While his story was very different than hers it was no less painful. It wasn’t an easy road for either of them them — they came from completely different worlds. Her inheritance insured that she was loaded, he worked three jobs and barely had a free moment. She didn’t care, even though he worried he wouldn’t be able to fit into her world. But their feelings for each other were strong enough to over come that. And this is their story of second chances.
“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…
I had to let go of the old.
I had to pull myself together and start anew.”
I have to say that I think the reason I love KA books so incredibly much is the way she really GETS people. If you’ve read her writing, you know exactly what I mean. It comes across so strongly in everything she writes. She just gets interactions, emotions, perspectives, and relationships of all kinds on a very deep level. She makes you able to see each side of the story regardless of whether you identify with it, she makes you genuinely connect with all the characters, and more importantly, she mades you care for them.
Every single time I read a Kristen Ashley book, I’m reminded of why I love her writing so much. It just speaks straight to your heart and soul. She truly is an absolute genius with character development.
Side note: For the love of all that’s holy I hope KA starts to include recipes with these books because OMG I swear I wanted to eat every single thing Amelia cooked and baked. I was reading half the scenes drooling over the meals she prepared! Recipes. I need recipes!!!!!!
But back to talking about the book…. I will say that Mickey’s frustration at being attracted to Amelia but not feeling like he was good enough for her, plus her frustration at being attracted to him but not caring even remotely about his financial situation led to some pretty awesome angry banter between them…
“You need to get checked,” I snapped. “You clearly have an overabundance of testosterone in a way it’s harmful to your health.”
“Not sure that can even happen,” he replied smoothly.
“The harmful to your health part is me murdering you.”
As I mentioned, their romance was a slow build and a slow burn, but like with all KA books, it was worth every word. With these books, you don’t just get the highlights of these characters’ lives, instead, for the duration of the book, you live their lives with them in full detail. You go shopping with them, decorate their houses, pick up kids from activities, and all the normal every day stuff…. and you also fall in love.
“I’ll warn you, might make me crazy, might make me a dick, don’t give a shit, but I get off on goin’ head to head with you. So if you feel like keepin’ your gloves up, baby, bring it. ‘Cause I know after doin’ it for a while and then gettin’ that kiss from you, you keep doin’ it, when I finally fuck you it’s gonna,” he leaned keep into me, “wreck you.”
“Have dinner with me,” he whispered.
All in all this was a really great but also really quiet KA book. It was a story of two single, divorced parents with kids getting a second chance at love together while trying to rebuild and heal what was left of their families. It tackles what happens when the life you planned gets ripped away, how you can heal and find happiness again. I would have ideally wished that it had had a little but more intensity to it — as much as I enjoyed so much of this book, I also found it easy to put down. Luckily, it was just as easily to pick back up again and it was filled with many deep emotions — caring, romance, family, love, siblings, self healing — and all the heart that KA’s writing never fails to capture. I can’t wait for the next standalone in the series!
Rating: 4.5 stars. Standalone within a series.
*** FULL SERIES (STANDALONES) ***
And, if you’re new to Kristen Ashley books, here’s the complete reading order of all her series 😀