“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.”
W-O-W!!! This book was EPIC. Absolutely PERFECT!!! ♥♥♥♥♥
Before anything else, I just want to say that if you’re already a Kristen Ashley fan, you’ll understand when I say that this book is “Vintage KA” style — PURE GOLD!!! And, if you’ve never read a KA book before, this would be an awesome book to start with!! It’s a standalone romance and is since it’s so fantabulous, it would be a wonderful introduction to this author’s amazing books 🙂
A few things right off the bat….
1) This might honestly be my favorite KA book. Or, gah, that’s like choosing a favorite child, but it’s definitely one of them. And without a doubt Jake and Josie are one of my favorite KA couples. This is coming from the perspective of someone who has read nearly every single book KA has written too!
2) This book is looooong!!! It was 9568 “locations” on my Kindle and every single word in them was brilliant!! I am so happy that it wasn’t edited down!
3) EPIC FEELS. This book has them. In bucket loads. From the very first page to the gorgeous, heartfelt, tear-enducing epilogue at the end, this book made me feel.
4) This is worth mentioning again: — VINTAGE KA, guys. ‘Nuff said ♥
Ok… on to the real review…
The pure joy felt when opening up a new KA book is just exhilarating. You know that you’re in for a wild ride filled with fantastic writing, Alpha males, and sexy romance… and this book had it all!!
Kristen Ashley truly is one of the most talented authors I’ve read. In my eyes, no one writes like her, and I really mean no one. If you’ve read her books, you know what I mean. Her descriptions and just the way she writes is so unique to her that it’s almost like she has her own language. If you were to give me ten random paragraphs of writing from various authors, I’d be able to pick out which one she wrote in a heartbeat. You feel it so strongly. Every word just sinks into your heart and soul.
The story takes place in the town of Magdalene where Josie returns for the funeral of her beloved grandmother. Her work takes her traveling all over the world but her grandmother was everything to her and she takes some time off to come back and stay at her house after. When she goes in for the reading of the will, she find that her grandmother put into motion a very unusual request which brings Jake Spear into her life in a way she never expected…. and so begins one of the very best romances I have ever read ♥
Less than two pages into this book and I already had shivers running through me and my heart was racing. There was this moment right at the beginning where their eyes meet across the cemetery and I didn’t even know the characters yet but the feels just hit so strongly and I was hooked!!!
I love all kinds of romance but lets be honest, a lot of them are about couples between 18-35 and I loved that this one was about a couple in their 40s. Jake actually had three kids (PS — I adored them) and both him and Josie had a certain… stability (?) and no-nonsense attitude to their characters that I guess came with simply having made a lot of mistakes in their lives and (more importantly) having learned from them. I loved that this book basically acknowledged that not everyone finds their forever love early on and what it also meant was that having lived without it for so long, both Jake and Josie valued it so highly when they got it, they both knew how precious what they had was and that was just beautiful.
“Never keep anything from me, I don’t give a shit how you think I’m gonna react. I’ll react how I react. I will NEVER harm you doin’ it. But I got enough experience with what doesn’t work between a man and a woman to know that keeping’ shit from each other is a big fuckin’ part of that….. Every inch of you, outside and any way you can get inside, baby, physically or emotionally, is mine.”
My heart felt full to bursting throughout the whole time I was reading this. There’s just no other way to describe it. I was just so with the story that like the randomest little things would make me tear up (even if they weren’t sad) just becauseI was feeling so much.
I love love loved Jake. Talk about ALPHA!!! He was bossy but in a loveable way with a total take-no-bullshit attitude. And yes, a few of you know already that he was a boxer but guys, he was so much more than that too. He had so many sides to him, so many roles, so many talents ( 😉 ) …. he was a great father and a gorgeous lover and yes, he was also one heckuva badass fighter, but at the end of the day, he was just a wonderful guy who cared for his loved ones more than anything else in the world and was willing to go to any lengths to bring them safety and happiness. He stole my heart… and he still has it.
“You good?” he asked into the top of my hair.
I stared at the shadowed wall of his chest.
“Josie?” he called when I didn’t answer.
“I’m afraid,” I admitted softly.
His arms pulled me closer and I felt his lips on my hair when he answered, “Beat that back, honey. No reason to be scared. Not with me.”
Josephine was all kinds of cool!! She was… gah, it’s hard to explain… she was a hoot! Very proper and she spoke in a very cultured manner — and by that I mean that words like illuminating, alas, distressing, prowess, vociferous, fibbed, ungentlemanly, await, hence, irksome, and more were all part of her regular vocabulary. But while she had this very collected side to her, she also had the biggest heart and had such a beautiful personality. She was feisty and smart and fun and I loved the way she cared so deeply not only for Jake but also for his children. She was just awesome!!
And the dynamic of the two of them playing off each other was pure gold!!! With her being so proper and him being so chill… they were so different but yet they just fit perfectly together. It was brilliant!!!!!!
“What’s next?” I queried.
“Don’t know, Josie. Just know whatever it is I want you to be a part of it and I hope like fuck you want the same.”
What I loved about them most though was how no matter what life threw at them, they didn’t let themselves get dragged down the wrong path. There was just a refreshing lack of ‘stupidity’ from either of them in this book. Don’t laugh, you know what I mean. Gosh, it was just such an amazing feeling to genuinely have that heartfelt respect for the characters. I not only liked them both as people but also agreed with and understood their decisions and the way they handled their lives, families, and relationships. They had each others’ back, supported each other, and didn’t let anything bring them down.
This book was one gorgeous, epic moment after another. I read so many scenes literally clutching at my heart or squeeing out loud with the hugest grin you can imagine on my face. I not only have whole paragraphs of text highlighted text but there are a few sections where I highlighted several pages on end.
Also, while Kristen Ashley is well known for her Alpha male characters, another thing that many of her fans will eagerly agree to is that she writes magical epilogues and I can say with full certainty that this was one of the most heartfelt, emotional, and deeply powerful epilogues she’s ever written. Tears were pouring down my face. It was just so beautiful!!
On a bit of a random note, I think was makes KA’s alphas so amazing is that they each perfectly ride that balance between dominant, possessive, caring, and badass — they’re family men, fighters, protectors, lovers, friends, everything. Some are a little ‘safer’, some are a little ‘edgier’, some more dangerous, others more swoony … and each one of them has a slightly different mix of all these qualities that makes them unique. They each ride that line between almost too much and just absolutely right. It’s like, they’re extreme enough to make your heart race but they feel just real enough to make you accept them. They’re not perfect people though, they have all kinds of flaws and vices and often even make us mad but we love them as they are. They really are the perfect Alpha males.
“To have what Jake had you had to be born the man he became. You couldn’t want it. You simply were going to be it until you were it.”
The Will is one of the most beautifully written and genuinely heart warming romances I have ever read. This is the kind of book you can lose yourself in. It had everything we have come to love from VintageKA — a loooooooong story, oodles of details, phenomenal dialogue, family dynamics unlike any other, hot & passionate romance and that special and totally unique language style that carries the weight, meaning, and heartfelt power that only a Kristen Ashley book can ever deliver.
This book was perfection. I do not have a single complaint. Quite simply, this was KA at her best!!
“I never wanted anything but you, Jake… And I wanted you before I even knew you… You’re everything I ever wanted, darling.”
Rating: 5+++ STARS!!!
** Note: This book is the first of a new 3-part series. Each book will be about a standalone romance about different couples!! This book can be read on it’s own — you don’t need to read any other book before it!!
And, if you’re new to Kristen Ashley books, here’s the complete reading order of all her series 🙂