Soaring by Kristen Ashley (Magdalene 2)
Adult Contemporary. Second in a series. Can stand alone.
I was just reviewing my notes to write this review, about a week after finishing Soaring. I was brought to tears (good ones) again, and I want to re-read it already. I spent a few days reading Soaring by Kristen Ashley. This is not a one-sitting read, and I’m so glad for that, because I wish it took me even longer. I never wanted it to end. It’s another example of a perfect book by Kristen Ashley. I don’t know how she does it. Every one I read is my new favorite! I highly recommend you read The Will before this, though you don’t have to, it was my top favorite for 2014, and though I know a few didn’t like the formal way Josie spoke, I loved watching that armor fade away. We were first introduced to Mickey in The Will, and I knew he’s be the perfect hero for his own book.
How refreshing! Amelia (Amy) is my age! She’s a 47 year old heiress who was left by her doctor husband for another woman. She has two teenaged kids, and she basically turned into the ex-wife from hell that we love to hate in most books. And she did not hide her behavior from her kids. Therefore, her ex got custody, and moved from California to Maine. Well that was the wake-up call she needed, so she went ahead and bought a beautiful oceanfront home in Magdalene, Maine, right across the street from the sexy, boxing firefighter, Mickey.
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 build a life.
I had to get some self-respect.
I had to stop acting like an idiot, weak and selfish and stupid.
I had to start looking out for me.”
Amelia was broken. It was refreshing reading about a woman who has made some major mistakes, but wants to change. She was real, she was relatable. Her self confidence was so low, and she was filled with self hatred, but she was strong enough to move across country alone to start over and win her kids back. When her ex comes to her door to yell at her for moving there, her neighbor stepped in.
I heard a deep voice demand, “Step back. Now.”
Conrad jerked around.
I looked beyond him and the world suspended
This was because, five feet away from Conrad, standing on my front walk, was a tall, muscular man with dark hair clipped short to his skull and the most beautiful blue eyes I’d ever seen in my life.
Those eyes were on Conrad. They were irate.
But I didn’t take that in.
I took him in.”
Oh yeah, the connection was strong, and it was immediate. But they both had a lot going on. Mickey had his own ex from hell, and was raising two kids. He was a strong, proud man, and a super rich heiress is a bit more than most macho men can handle. But Mickey’s rejection made her really hit rock bottom, inspiring a change in Amy with the help of Josie (from The Will) and Alyssa.
I was going to be me.
I had absolutely no idea what that me would turn out to be.
I just knew whoever she was, for the first time in her life, she’d be real.”
Amy had spent her life getting beaten down, thinking she could only fuck everything up. But she has a good heart. With parents like hers, she turned out way better than she could have. Watching her personal growth in Magdalene was the best part of the book. Watching her be a great mother, despite her children being little bitches was inspiring. Watching her realize she has some self-worth, and that maybe her behavior wasn’t quite as uncalled for as she thought was cheer inducing. And watching Mickey give in and go for it was AWESOME.
Best kiss I ever had,” he told me.
I drew in a sharp breath, those five words thrilling down to my belly, straight to the tips of my toes.
“Want more,” he went on. “You with me?”
I loved that they took their time. They had kids to protect, baggage that needed to be dealt with, and not a lot of alone time, but the time they did have was HOT!
He ate me, hungry, voracious, no mercy until I came in his mouth…Still soaring, he was up, I was up, and he was fucking me against cinderblock.”
Kristen Ashley writes great kids, even when they are not so great, and I love the added dimension they gave to the story. Soaring was a sweeping saga about family, redemption, healing, self-worth, parenting, and most of all love.
All my life,” I whispered, “I was the girl who everyone thought had everything or could get it. But the only thing I ever wanted was a man like you. You’re the best man I’ve ever met, Mickey Donovan.” I felt another tear and the words trembled when I finished, “And you’re mine”.
- An older couple with kids.
- A very flawed female lead.
- So much personal growth that was wonderful to watch.
- The Kristen Ashley visuals are so vivid. I feel like I can picture Cliff Blue and Magdalene so well!
- All of the kids.
- How it was similar to The Will, yet so different. They go very well together.
- Mickey was a great dad, but still a traditional alpha (I loved how no woman could drive him!)
- The theme of redemption carried to a number of characters.
- Visits with characters from the first book.
- It was a long, sweeping tale, I wasn’t left wanting.
- I loved how 47 year olds were still hot as fuck!
- 654 pages, and not once did it drag.
- I can’t find one thing!
Rating: 5+++ Stars, 4 heat
The Down and Dirty
There is nothing guaranteed in life. But the only leaps really worth taking are leaps of faith on love. So look where you leap, beautiful, and happy landing.”
“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.
Purchase Soaring by Kristen Ashley
Click to go to Amazon
3) Three winners will receive SOARING in eBook.