2 stars

Kristen Ashley – The Will (Magdalene #1)

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.


After reading numerous books from the author I can declare that her book are either a hit or miss fir me. This one I fall into the later category. The only things that determines, whether I like the book or not, are the plot and the characters. Since her writing style is pretty consistence. She has quite a strange style with a couple of trademark move. These make the story relatable and more realistic but if the plot is not good enough can drove me up the walls with frustration. Her roundabout way to explain things (like my sister who can talk endlessly before getting to the point) or her thing where she meticulously explains her characters why think this or that. Oh and not to mention her repetitive overuse of conjunction. After the 10th thus, or perhaps or alas in a row sometimes I could threw the book across the room. BUT despite these things possible frustrating effect if there is a spectacular story behind it with loveable characters I can simply forget about it after a couple of chapters. Unfortunately, in The Will I couldn’t find either of the aforementioned qualities.

First of all my biggest problem was with Josephine. No matter how much I tried to relate to her, tried to like her I couldn’t. She is judgmental, rigid, a bit boastful and she kind of distanced herself from reality. Made herself a superficial life and carrier where she doesn’t have to open up to anybody. She tries to avoid any kind of connection to people; her only reprieve was her grandmother who recently died, cutting of her connection to the real world. She also talks like somebody out of a classic novel making her feel like older than she is, much older. It’s not really surprising because she is an old soul. Oh she softens up after encountering Jake and his family but still stays ‘above’ everybody else. She is brutally honest so much so that sometimes she touches hurtful territory and above all else she is clueless. Men everywhere throwing themselves at her and she acts like it is a new concept or just simply doesn’t read their signals. Cue her attraction toward Henry, she chooses an unreachable man to love, someone whom she, in the back of her mind, knew that there is no chance to work out. So yeah, I tried to sympathize with her, like her new personality but simply couldn’t.

Jake is a strong and grounded character with his view standing in strong foundation. He lived his life fully and learned his lessons and when he wants something he goes after it with everything he has. But he is a fantastic father so does everything with a consideration of his children. He knew everything about Josie past thanks to his connection to her grandmother so he knew how to approach the woman. Breach the possibility of a relationship. He plays a patient game and lets Josie to lead but doesn’t give up on any of his views. I liked him, he is one of the best characters in the story but he has his flaws, too.

The other characters don’t have so much depth to them and this was a disappointment to me. One of the other things I like about Kristen Ashley style is that she creates fantastic and deeply developed supportive characters around her main leads. For example Jake children, they are there and play an important part to Josephine change but I just didn’t feel them. This story doesn’t show the family dynamic it could have and I missed it.
Also I didn’t like the storyline much. Nothing really happened in it, at least anything exciting. The only conflict sprung from an absurd and out of place situation and I couldn’t understand it. Josie overreacts it like hell and after happening it simmers out of its own in a couple of pages. So the plot was boring for me, I didn’t expect anything overly dramatic but just something a little bit more would have been great. Toward the end I reached the point where I just skimmed over a lot of pages. Well no worry, looks like Magdalene is not for me. Let’s try something else later because I still loved the majority of her books.


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