Author: Kristen Ashley
Series: Magdalene #2
Release Date: March 16, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance
More Info: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon US
Purchase: Barnes & Noble
Purchase: Amazon UK
American heiress Amelia Hathaway needs to start anew.
Her husband cheated on her, and when everything she wanted in life slipped through her fingers, she fell apart. When she did, she took another heart wrenching hit as she lost the respect of her children.
When her ex took her family from California to live in the small town of Magdalene in Maine, Amelia decided it was time to sort herself out. In order to do that and win her children back, she moves to Cliff Blue, an architectural masterpiece on the rocky coast of Magdalene.
Her boxes aren’t even unpacked when she meets Mickey Donovan, a man who lives across the street, a man so beautiful Amelia takes one look at Mickey and knows she wants everything from him.
The problem is, she finds out swiftly that he’s friendly, he’s kind, but he doesn’t want everything back.
Amelia struggles to right past wrongs in her life at the same time find out who she wants to be. She also struggles with her attraction to the handsome firefighter who lives across the street.
But Amelia will face a surprise when her friendly neighbor becomes not-so-friendly. As Amelia and Mickey go head to head, Amelia must focus on winning back the hearts of her children.
She soon discovers she also must focus on winning the heart of a handsome firefighter who understands down to his soul the beautiful heiress who lives across the street is used to a life he cannot provide.
“Hello, Boston Stone,” I greeted because I had no idea what else to say.
“You are?” he asked as I put the bags to the ground and touched the button on the trunk that would open it keyless.
As it glided open, I opened my mouth, doing it uncertain if I’d share my name or continue to try to brush him off, but I didn’t have the chance to decide.
I heard the word, “Babe,” growled from behind me.
I turned and saw Mickey stalking our way.
Not simply walking.
And he didn’t look happy.
“Mickey,” I called tentatively as a greeting, uncertain at his demeanor.
I hadn’t seen him since he hadn’t seen me (I hoped) at the movies.
He was in his firefighter-not-fighting-a-fire uniform of blue khakis and tee. His eyes were moving up and down my body. He still was unbelievably beautiful (that uniform…seriously).
He didn’t greet me back.
When he stopped, his gaze cut to Boston Stone and it went flinty.
“You need somethin’?” he asked incomprehensibly inhospitably.
“I was just helping this lovely lady with her groceries,” Stone responded.
“I got it,” Mickey stated flatly and then he got it. As in, he carefully pulled me back, grabbed the bags I was perfectly capable of picking up myself and placed them in my trunk.
He then went for the bag Stone was carrying, caught hold, but Stone didn’t let go.
“I can put it in the trunk myself, Donovan,” Stone clipped.
So they knew each other.
“As I said, I got it, Stone,” Mickey clipped back.
Yes, they knew each other.
The handles flattened as they both kept hold and pulled.
“Please!” I exclaimed. “We already had a wine incident. The sidewalk of Magdalene has been anointed with one red, let’s not anoint Cross Street with four.”
Mickey instantly let go and stepped back, running into me but he didn’t apologize or move away.
He stayed close, the back of his left side touching the front of my right.
It was at that point I noticed Mickey gave off a lot of heat.
Stone put the bag in my trunk, shut it and turned slowly to Mickey and me.
But he had eyes on Mickey.
“Are you two seeing each other?”
“That’s your business how?” Mickey asked as reply.
“It’s my business because, if you’re not, I’d like to request you leave so I can ask her to dinner,” Stone returned.
My head jerked as my body locked in shock.
“That’s not gonna happen,” Mickey growled.
My body stayed locked in shock but that didn’t mean my eyes didn’t fly to Mickey’s stony-faced profile in more shock.
“So you are seeing each other,” Stone remarked.
“Again, not your business,” Mickey bit out.
Stone’s expression turned shrewd. “And that’s something that would lead me to believe that the beautiful woman standing behind you is free to go to dinner with me.”
“You forget English?” Mickey asked. “I already answered that too.”
I butted in, “I think I can speak for myself, Mickey.”
He moved nothing but his head (though his torso shifted an inch) so he could look down at me.
His eyes were communicating again.
This time they were communicating the fact that he really didn’t like Boston Stone.
Considering what I knew of Mickey, this would be something that, along with my own natural aversion to Mr. Stone, would have made me decline the man’s invitation.
Unfortunately, Mickey added words to his look so this didn’t happen.
“You’re not goin’ out with this guy.”
Was he being serious?
He couldn’t tell me what to do. He wasn’t my father, my brother or my lover.
Heck, he barely knew me!
All he knew about me was that he didn’t want me. I was his…“attractive” neighbor who he now did not even walk over to beg recipes from (okay, so Aisling didn’t know of any other recipes I had, but whatever).
He didn’t even return my email!
And he was off with beautiful, statuesque redheads, smiling at them, taking them to movies.
He couldn’t tell me who I could and could not see.
“I’m not?” I snapped.
“No,” he turned fully to me, an ominous fully. “You are not,” he enunciated each word clearly.
“Sorry?” I asked sarcastically. “When did you become my big brother?”
He was still enunciating clearly, and dangerously, when he stated, “I absolutely am not your big brother.”
“No, you’re not,” I retorted, tossing my hair, which I hoped was shining in the sun. And with my hair toss, I further hoped my fabulous highlights caught the rays and gleamed. “You’re my neighbor. And if I want to go out with someone, you can’t say boo to the contrary.”
“This guy is an asshole,” he bit off, jerking his thumb at Boston Stone.
I felt my eyes get big and I got up on my toes, leaning into him, hissing, “That’s insufferably rude, Mickey Donovan.”
“It isn’t rude if it’s the truth.”
“You may think so but you don’t say it in front of the man in question.”
“You do if he’s as big of an asshole as this asshole is,” Mickey shot back.
My eyes got wider and I leaned closer. “Stop being nasty!” I demanded.
“You been in town, what?” he asked then answered with another question he didn’t expect a reply to. “A coupla months? I lived here my whole life and trust me, I’m savin’ you from a load of misery, this guy gets interested in you,” he returned.
I rocked down to my stilettos. “I am a big girl, Mickey. All grown up and everything. I do think I can make such decisions for myself.”
“You do, and they’re not what I’m tellin’ you to do, you’d be wrong.”
I glared at him.
Then I pushed right past him, hand lifted and got in the space of Boston Stone.
“Boston,” I said as he took my hand, grinning arrogantly and more than a little obnoxiously at me. “A belated nice to meet you. I’m Amelia Hathaway.”
His hand tightened in mine as he murmured, “Amelia.”
I pulled my hand from his, asking, “Do you know Cliff Blue?”
“Of course,” he replied, inclining his head in a pompous way that actually was kind of creepy.
“I live there,” I announced, doing another hair toss and powering beyond the creepy. “And I have plans this evening but I’m free tomorrow. Are you?”
“I wasn’t,” he replied. “But I’ll be making a phone call and I will be.”
“Excellent,” I decreed. “Seven?” I went on to ask.
“I’d be delighted,” he said softly, his eyes dancing with humor and I could see that too was relatively malicious.
I didn’t care.
I’d go out with him once, just to stick it to Mickey.
Then I’d be done with Boston Stone.
And anyway, I had about seven new outfits that would be perfect for a date and I knew this even though I hadn’t been on a date in two decades.
“I’ll see you then,” I said.
“You will, Amelia.” He dipped his chin to me. “Looking forward to it.”
“And me,” I replied.
He gave me another arrogant grin then transferred it to Mickey.
“Donovan,” he murmured.
Mickey didn’t reply.
Stone looked back to me. “Until tomorrow, Amelia.”
“Yes, Boston. And please, feel free to call me Amy.”
Boston smiled before he turned and sauntered away.
I whirled on Mickey and tipped my head to the side. “See? All grown up and able to make decisions for myself.”
“What I see is a pattern here,” he retorted unpleasantly.
“Oh?” I asked with mock interest. “Do tell.”
Then Mickey told.
“First time I laid eyes on you, your ex was up in your face, cursing at you, threatening you, shouting right at you and acting like a total fucking dick. It’s obvious he’s rich and up his own ass and didn’t give a shit you were alone, and because of that, you probably felt unsafe. It was just as obvious you were lettin’ him use you as his punching bag. Even if no woman deserves the way he was speakin’ to you, he just kept right on punching. Now, you know that guy you just made a date with is a total asshole and you made that date anyway. So that’s your pattern. You open yourself up for assholes to shit all over you. And if that’s the way you like it, baby, then no way in fuck I’m gonna get in there to show you there’s another way.”
Before I could retort, he turned on his boot and prowled away.
I am completely, and utterly wrecked in a way that I’ve thoroughly learned only a Kristen Ashley book can do. There is something so phenomenal about her stories that others just simply cannot compare. They are real and multi-dimensional in a way that I’ve yet to find in others. There’s no adjustment period; from the first word you are mindlessly sucked into a tale woven so delicately and intricate, it’s impossible to eradicate yourself from her world, not that you’d ever want to. Case in point? I’ve spent the last forty eight hours doing little else but living in Magdelene, Maine and devouring every single detail. I’ve spent forty eight hours falling hopelessly in love with fictional characters that are now as real to me as anything else tangible. You see, when you delve into the pages of one of Ashley’s stories, you are greeted with characters you won’t see anywhere else but in your own actual life. Characters that are in their 30’s and 40’s. Characters that hold blue collar jobs. Characters that are broken, but not decimated. Characters filled with wonder, hope, and most of all, unbelievable romances. Because that’s what Ashley excels at; romance. Romance in its truest form, the kind that fills you with wonder, excitement, and most of all the belief that dreams do come true. Even when you are in your darkest hour, your shooting star could be right around the corner. And maybe, just maybe, all the crap you’ve had to dredge through to get there made you the person you were supposed to be, in that moment, at that exact time, because it was then you were ready for your other half. There are no coincidences, no mistakes to big, just fate. And it’s those characteristics that rang all the more true in Soaring.
I stared into his eyes and that got to me.
I wanted to be wrecked.
I wanted to be wrecked by Mickey.
We were introduced to Mickey in The Will, the first book in Ashley’s Magdelene series, and by the time that book was over, I was more than ready for the Irishman. He was an every man’s man, taking pride in is work, making sacrifices for his kids, and eating crow when he had to, all for those he loved. His need to provide and be enough for someone were his driving forces. As the bulk of this story was told through Amelia’s words, we see him through her eyes. He’s infuriating, bossy, stubborn, and completely alpha, exactly how I love my Ashley men. But he isn’t overbearing; he simply is Mickey, and everything that makes up Mickey is glorious. Because when he feels, he feels deep, and it cuts you to your core.
“If this is not the time, it’s not. But I’ll say now, this is what this feels like it might be, you gotta learn there’s no safer place than in my arms and when you’re here, Amy, you can give me anything.”
Amelia, from the start, just broke my heart. There were scenes throughout the book, but especially in the beginning, that had me in tears. Ashley writes and you are IN that world; it’s impossible not to feel everything her characters so. And when Amelia bled, I did as well. I found myself wanting to slay all her dragons, but knew not only was Mickey there to do that, more importantly, she could slay her own. Her growth throughout the story was astounding; it was awe-inspiring. More than that though, when she finally came to the realizations that helped her towards this growth, it warmed my heart to see her fight for herself. And let’s just take a minute to talk about the heat. One of my favorite parts of books is the build-up to that first time. The longer the author makes me wait, the more satisfying the result. Let’s just say that I was left completely sated from these two. I need a little of that Fight Night action of my own. Whew… Alpha men take charge, and they do it oh so well. Fans were needed, cold showers once or twice, and I pretty much had a continual blush/smile. These two just did it for me, in a big way.
Honestly though, the big stars of this story were the kids. Auden, Pippa, Ash, and Cillian. All products of divorce, all in the midst of being teenagers and navigating those waters as well. They were the heart and soul of this beautiful book, and witnessing the adults dealing with the fallout ripped my heart to shreds in the best possible way. The vulnerability in their souls touched me in ways that are difficult to describe. So to say that I loved this book, well, love just isn’t a strong enough word. Words just haven’t yet been invented for how much I have loved every single one of her books, and this one is no different.
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.