Review: The Will (Magdalene, #1) by Kristen Ashley

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4.5 stars

It’s Kristen Ashley. What can I say that I haven’t said before? Absolutely nothing. KA has once again delivered a beautiful love story featuring a quirky, likeable heroine, and a gorgeously sexy, deeply loving alpha hero, and I absolutely loved it!

Both well into their 40s, Josie and Jake meet upon the death of Josie’s beloved grandmother. As the assistant to a famous photographer, Josie has lived a glamorous life of mingling with celebrities and travelling the world. Jake lives in the coastal town of Madeline, Maine with his three children. He hasn’t had much luck in love, with three marriages behind him, but he has created a good life for his kids, who mean the world to him. Unbeknownst to Josie, Jake and his family were a very special part of her grandmother’s life, and in her will, her grandmother makes a request that will alter both of their lives forever.

“My most precious possession, the thing I treasure above anything else in this world, that being my granddaughter, Josephine Diana Malone, I hereby bequeath to James Markham Spear.”

I love the premise of this book, absolutely love it! And as the book goes on, and you get to understand more about Josie’s grandmother, the players involved, and how the whole bequest came about, I loved it even more!

“Josie … She gave me you.”

“She wanted me for you.”

Josie has had horrible experiences in her past, and has lived a mostly solitary life because of it. She has few people in her life that she trusts, and has created a public disguise in order to protect herself. And then Jake Spear enters her life and, in true KA style, barges his way into her life.

Jake is made of awesome. A strong, protective alpha who knows what he wants and goes for it. He is loving and affectionate with a great sense of humour and he would do anything for his family, and OMG, I love, love, LOVE him! He wants Josie, but he also knows he has to go gentle, and the mix of alpha determination and tenderness is absolutely sensational!

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. Just tip up her lips, turn those eyes to him and hold out her hand and he’d go straight to hell with her and do it smiling.

“Don’t say anything, baby. Don’t think anything. Don’t be anything but with me. Not until I get you safe. Not until we can talk this out where I know you’re good. Promise me that.”

The development of their relationship is realistic and beautiful (and dual POV too – WIN!). They come to mean something very special to each other very quickly but, knowing her background, Jake goes slow with her and real feelings soon develop. It’s a slow build, with epic UST, and I was frantically flipping pages, NEEDING something to happen. Seriously, I needed something… anything… just a kiss! I was desperate for it!

And then Jake brings Josie’s walls crashing down in an epic scene which had me cheering for her big breakthrough, and then fanning myself madly at the aftermath. God. Damn!!!!

My back hit wall and my skirt hit my waist a half a second before Jake’s body hit mine.
“Panties off, Josie”

Jake and Josie together are absolute gold! Functional, very little angst, both accepting of what’s happening between them and happy to move forward together to create a future for themselves and Jake’s kids, and OMG, they are SO. FREAKING. HOT! They may be older, but these two can definitely steam it up, and with Jake’s dirty mouth, their openness, and their mad passion for each other, it’s all win!

“Look at me when I tell you I love you,” he ordered.
I focused on the man I loved who loved me in a return for an instant before he said the words.
“I love you, baby.”

It’s so refreshing that they are both so open with what they are feeling. Jake knows he’s finally found ‘the one’ and he embraces that and all that it means, and Josie is willing to open herself up to somebody for the first time in her adult life.

I’d give him anything.
I’d give him everything.
If I had the power, I’d give him the world. 

They do have some issues to work through, but they are so amazing together, that even when big drama hits, you’re just waiting for the resolution and you know it’s going to be epic. And it was! It’s not overly intense or dramatic, but the way it’s done, the way it’s written, my heart was pounding, and I thought it was perfect for them!

Jake’s kids are absolutely fantastic! I love that Connor, Amber and Ethan have their own storylines, and aren’t just there for decoration. They are an integral part of the overall story and, as always, KA has pulled the whole family in and made it something incredibly special. I love how they want the best for their Dad, and the way they accept Josie as part of their lives. And I love the way she just walks straight into the family, sharing her opinions, doing what she can to help Jake and his kids, and naturally taking on the protective momma bear role. Her no-nonsense manner with them is both endearing and hilarious.

“Trust me, you have a fabulous figure. You’ve made two mentions of losing weight and you’ve barely been here an hour. Cease doing that. It’s ridiculous. And if someone tells you differently, simply inform them of that ridiculousness.”

Which brings me to Josie’s speech – honestly, I found bizarre. I get that it’s part of her character. It makes her quirky, it makes her cute, it’s special and everybody loves it about her, but I thought it was weird. She’s a worldly, well travelled and mature woman who has been working with models, top designers, singers and entertainers, and yet she speaks like she’s from the 1800s. She got confused over the use of the word “seriously”. Seriously? But it does allow us to show her acclimatising to Jake’s world when she starts to speak like a normal person. And although strange, it didn’t lessen my love for the book.

He stared into my eyes and whispered, “Fuck, I love you.”
I’d never tire hearing that.
Even with the expletive.

This book is pure old-school KA. It’s long, it’s wordy, all of the guys speak exactly the same, and a lot of time is spent on the little moments that don’t have much of a point at all other than just to add to the overall feel of the story. And it’s absolutely awesome! Full of KA-isms that fans will recognise and love, this is KA at her self-published best, and this little speech had me laughing out loud…

“Is that your response?” I asked.
“No, my response is, babe, shut up and sleep but I already said that so I condensed it to just babe ‘cause that’s easier to say and might not piss you off.”
“I can’t read all that in babe, Jake.”
“You’ll learn to read my babes.”

There are fantastic side characters – Alyssa is hilarious, I loved the romantic entanglements of Jake’s kids, and even Amber’s friends “The Taylors” are great! And we are introduced to some of Jake’s friends – macho-alpha guys who are both total sweethearts, so I’m only assuming that Mickey and Coert will be getting the next books, and I can’t wait!

I was quickly swept up in Josie and Jake’s story, and loved every long, drawn out minute of it. There’s a bit of a bad guy situation going on, but it’s low on action (no explosions or kidnappings to be seen at all!), but it’s a beautiful love story with a bit of family drama and an ending that left me happily teary – and an absolutely beautiful epilogue! 


“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 loved it! 4.5 stars.


The Magdalene Series

The Will - 80  Soaring - 80  

The Will (#1)  (Jake & Josie)
Buy:  Kindle Ebook  |  Paperback  |  Audio

Soaring (#2) (Mickey & Amelia)
Buy:  Kindle Ebook  |  Paperback  |  Audio

The Time in Between (#3) (Coert & Cady)
Buy:  Kindle Ebook  |  Paperback  |  Audio



For more KA awesomeness, check out our Kristen Ashley Author Spotlight


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