The Time In Between by Kristen Ashley
Standalone Contemporary Romance, 3rd in an interrelated Series but stands well alone.
I was going through all the quotes I highlighted in The Time In Between by Kristen Ashley as I prepare to write my review. It’s so tempting to just post them all here and let you fall in love yourself, because just re-reading them gave me goosebumps and I got a little choked up. It will be so hard to choose which to use for this review. Kristen brought the magic again. While I pretty much fall in love with every Kristen Ashley book and she is the only author I am happy to re-read, I think the Magdalene Series was just cemented as my favorite with The Time In Between.
After a painful loss, Cady Moreland is coming to Magdalene to start the next chapter of her life. A chapter that began eighteen years ago but had a heartbreaking ending. The time in between was full of family and friendship, but Cady could never get the man she fell in love with all those years ago out of her heart.
Coert Yeager has learned to live without the girl who entered his life right when she shouldn’t and exited delivering a crippling blow he never would have suspected. The time in between was full of failing to find what he was missing…and life-altering betrayal.
But when that girl shows up in Magdalene and buys the town’s beloved lighthouse, even if Coert wants to avoid her, he can’t. A fire in town sparks a different kind of flame that won’t be ignored.
As Cady and Coert question the actions of the two young adults they once were thrown into earth-shattering circumstances, can they learn from what came in between and find each other again.
You MAY find there are some MINOR plot points in this review (not spoilers IMO). If you want to know nothing more, skip to the down and dirty at the bottom.
Cady fell in love 18 years ago in Denver. Young and stupid, hanging with a bad crowd and rejected by her family, she fell for “Tony”. While Cady might have had some loser friends, she was good, hardworking and a dreamer through and through. Until her best friend went crazy, she found out the guy she loved, “Tony” was really an undercover cop, and everything fell apart. Cady had nobody, until suddenly she was given a family. But in the 18 years since, she has never stopped thinking of Coert Yaeger, aka “Tony”.
“Christ, every time, every time I moved inside you and you called me Tony, I died a little.”
After a family loss, Cady, 41, has the money to go anywhere, and she buys a beautiful lighthouse in the coastal Maine town of Magdalene, where Coert happens to be sheriff. But he makes it VERY clear, he wants nothing to do with her.
“Right, I think it’s safe to say out loud that you went back there because you’re still in love with him and you wanted to see if that could be salvaged,” Kath said baldly.
I drew in a sharp breath and kept staring at the view.
“Right?” she pushed. “Is that safe to say?”
“Yes,” I whispered my admission.
“And that didn’t work out. In the meantime, you found that lighthouse and you feel right there, yeah?”
“Yes,” I answered. “And those two don’t fit together. I get that. I get how that’d be super confusing. It’s still the way it is.”
Coert is a single dad to the most adorable little girl ever, Janie. Kristen Ashley writes THE BEST kids, no matter what age. There was no way not to fall in love with her!
“In the time in between, you were loved and made something beautiful. So it might be difficult, but I know you had those things. So I can cope.”
As Cady and Coert get thrown together, and a threat looms over their heads, Coert’s protective instincts come out, and immediately he, like any good KA alpha, makes sure she is secure.
But now I was being confronted with all the time that had happened in between. Confronted with the fact Coert had lived a life where he got a toolbox, the tools in it and had learned how to do things because experience and years and life had taught him how. Experience and years and life I had not been a part of.
Midnight the dog became another lead role in the story. Not only does Kristen Ashley write kids well, but pets too! But still, despite being protective (that’s his job), Coert was still holding a lot of anger toward Cady.
Eighteen years ago Coert and I fell together against all odds. Then it ended. And neither of us got over it. No more missed opportunities. It was time to risk everything.
I have “the scene” here in my quote notes but you need to experience it yourself. Shit, I am tearing up (the good kind) just re-reading it.
The build up to togetherness was so amazing, I could not put the book down for a second. But once they are together, they are so healthy! As mature adults in their forties, they just KNEW.
“…they’d both jumped from their opposite sides of the shore into the raging waters of everything that came in between and neither of them had life vests. They just had to have the determination, since they’d made it through the rapids to each other, to hold the fuck on.”
The second half of the book moved a little slower while we lived with the couple and her wonderful adopted family visiting. I read the first half in one sitting and if the book ended at 50-60% I think I still would have loved it. But no, we were treated to so much more. There was so much story and years to make up for and we get to live with how they blend their lives. Kristen Ashley writes amazing families. They don’t have to be blood to be amazing and this book proved it. I also loved the way Coert’s ex, the mother of Janie, was portrayed. She could have been easily vilified, but seeing healthy co-parenting was a really wonderful thing to read about.
“Now I think I understand why you’re prettier when you look at Daddy. Because what’s inside is coming out.”
All right. That was it. I’d completely fallen in love with Coert’s daughter.
We were treated to a little family side romance that I loved, scenes with the Magdalene bad guy Boston Stone, and we were treated to the beauty of Magdalene again in the third book of the series. Kristen’s style is so visual and descriptive that I can see all of Magdalene so well! This would make for a gorgeous movie.
“She’s pretty,” Junior murmured.
“She’s everything,” Coert murmured back.
Once Coert gets over himself, holy crap, is he the perfect KA alpha.
“This is it. This is me. I’m your man. The man who loves you. The man you love. This is who I am. This is how it is. This is how it’s gonna be. And if you don’t understand what I’m saying to you, I’ll spell it out. My job is to look after you. My job is to protect you. From bad shit. Or just from the crap of life happening. It’s always been that since the first time we kissed. And when I don’t, and there will be times when that’s out of my control, like arguably that whole fiasco we endured, I’m gonna feel that. It’s gonna live in me. I’ll be able to hack it but that doesn’t mean it’ll go away. And you have to let me feel that because it’s just plain…me.”
They are older, and they missed so much time in between, they had a lot to make up for.
I’d spent half a lifetime wanting to take care of Coert Yeager and now that I had my chance, I wasn’t missing any of it.
I didn’t share all of that with Coert but I knew he got it when he asked gently, “Running to catch up?”
“As fast as I can.”
Damn….now I just want to read it all again.
- The visual beauty portrayed in the book.
- I fell in love with both characters and their families (mostly).
- The cutest little girl ever.
- Midnight the dog.
- The way it was told in present and past tense and it was always VERY clear where you were.
- We get some amazing cameos, and not just from the previous Magdalene books. Remember, Coert and Cady met in DENVER first!
- So many amazing quotes I want to use them all!
- Healthy co-parenting.
- How functional and strong they are once they get together…”Running to catch up”.
- 40 something year olds can still have great sex!
- WOW, what an epilogue. I ended with tears pouring sown my face and snot everywhere, and it was totally worth it.
- The first half of the book I gobbled up in one sitting. If it ended there I would have still loved it. The second half took another 3 days to read. While I still loved every word, I felt like I was waiting for something colossal to happen, so it did feel like it may have dragged a little. (Yet there isn’t anything I’d want to give up!)
Have “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman ready to listen to. (click link for lyric video)
The Down & Dirty:
Rating: 5 stars (really 4.75-5 because there was a slight drag), 4 Heat
Purchase The Time In Between by Kristen Ashley
I am so honored to have Kristen Ashley answer a few questions for us!
Can you tell us what the next few books you are working on are?
Weeeeellll, this is a really good question. I actually have a goodly number of books written. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever been this far ahead of the game! I have The Hookup, which comes out in December, the first part of a two-part brother/sister series (I’ll let the books explain that ditty) called the “Moonlight and Motor Oil Series.” And by the way, that’s an exclusive to you! I don’t think I’ve shared that much about the last book I’m sliding in to release in 2017!!
I also have two Chaos books done and dusted, both coming out next year. We’ll be working on definite dates they’re coming out with news on that soon.
And last (for now), I’m working on the final book in my Honey series, Stellan and Sixx’s story, The Greatest Risk, which again will come out next year.
After that, I have the choice of finishing out Chaos with Rush’s story or finishing out Colorado Mountain with Wood and Maggie’s story. In between writing The Greatest Risk and starting my next, I’m away from home for nearly three weeks so we’ll see what I’m in the mood for when I get back!
I know you’ve gotten into the Black Dagger Brotherhood lately, does that mean you may be bringing us some more Vampires?
I’ve already done vampires with my Three Series. I had hoped to find time to write more about the werewolves from With Everything I Am who had not yet found their mates, and that’s not out of the question, just on the back burner (like a lot of things).
However, just because I did vamps once, doesn’t mean I won’t redefine it and start a whole new world. I always say that I never say never when it comes to what books I’ll write. I never thought Nick Sebring would get a book (Sebring). I never thought I’d tell Daisy’s story (Rock Chick Reawakening). I never thought I’d give in to my urge to write an alpha-sub BDSM book (the Honey Series). So as you can see, I definitely never say never with that kind of thing!
I asked recently about toss pillows being in every book. Is there anything else you try to sneak in every book you write?
I used to always try to sneak in a scene that is foreshadowing for the reader of a story that it wouldn’t be possible for them to get…how the hero and heroine’s day-to-day lives will be after the drama ends. For instance, in At Peace when Joe, Violet and the girls are in the kitchen laughing about how Violet went off on Susie. Or in Rock Chick Redemption when Hank and Roxie are watching a movie on the couch and he’s tickling her. Or in Motorcycle Man when Tack and Tyra are out on his deck, drinking coffee and he’s giving her shit.
These scenes, I hope, flow with the story but they’re also deliberately placed to say to my readers, “Here it is…this is how they’ll share their lives. No worries. It’s all good.”
You have great taste in music, do you listen when you write?
Only when I’m writing a scene with music. Other than that, I need quiet and peace and utterly no distractions. When I was still married and living in England, my husband used to wear headphones to watch TV when I was writing. He also preferred it (I’m not that big of a diva). But I was glad he preferred it!
I know your favorite book is usually the one you are currently working on, but can you tell me your favorite series of yours? How about your top three favorite couples and top three characters?
The Rock Chicks will always be my favorite series. They were where I let go and found my writing style, my voice, decided to break the rules, go for it and let it all hang out there. Not to mention, there are a lot of memories of really good times and characters based on people I love in those books. So yeah…the RCs for sure.
As for favorite couples, I’m going to cheat and just give you my favorite RC couples because I couldn’t do it for all my books, I might have a seizure. So, Lee and Indy, Jet and Eddie and Luke and Ava. And seriously, that nearly gave me a seizure because I also wanna pick Ren and Ally (and Hector and Sadie) (and Hank and Roxie) (and Stella and Mace) (and Vance and Jules) (and Daisy and Marcus) (and don’t take that parenthetical list in order…because the first I was going to type was “Vance and Jules” but I looked over at the books and saw I don’t have Revolution on the shelves so Ren and Ally came to mind!).
As for three favorite characters, that’s easier: Tex, Daisy and Elvira. I also adore Tod and Stevie but they’re based on real people, so although characters in real life, and they are mine, I didn’t make them up!
You always look so classy, confident and put together. Where do you do all your shopping?
What a gorgeous compliment. Thank you!
I’m a girlie girl. I was lying in bed last night, reading LOVER AT LAST and thinking I need more badass heroines that aren’t into clothes and makeup and don’t give themselves facials all the time, like Xhex and Payne. HA! Then I realized I probably would not be able to do that. It’s just such a part of who I am (including the facials) that it flows into my books (that doesn’t mean you won’t get future heroines from me who are badass, not so into clothes and makeup and the word ‘facial’ isn’t in their vocabulary).
So I love shopping, in stores and online. And I’m totally digging on this revolution of curvy girls being able to find quality, stylish clothes. I’m a big fan of Nordstrom and Target. I also love Athleta and buy both workout gear and streetwear from them (their T-dresses come in petite, tall and plus and they are amazing—I have three and I just bought two more). I also now get a lot of pieces from Eloquii, which I’ve found are knockout looks that get a lot of attention any time I wear them out.
And lately, to shake things up a bit, I’ve been following style and lifestyle Instagrammers, like Style by Malia and Vilma Iris, and getting lots of super cool ideas. Not to mention I just flat-out hired Malia from Style by Malia to help me out with some big events coming up.
But the bottom line of this is that I get juiced looking after myself. It could be feeling good after getting on the treadmill or putting together an outfit that makes me look cute or buying a new makeup palette that I dig.
And everyone needs to find their brand of juice. It doesn’t really matter what form that “looking after yourself” comes in. If you take some time out for you to read or do affirmations or meditate or kick a boot camp’s ass or retile a bathroom or macramé a plant holder. For me, I dig on taking time to make myself look cute. It puts me in a fab headspace, straightens my shoulders and frankly, it’s all about me. And we women need to realize that’s not a bad thing to be all about ourselves on a regular basis and do whatever it takes to get a little juiced up or give yourself a little peace of mind. Trust me, you’ll hit such a high, it’ll shine through, affect your mood and those around you, and the people in your life will thank you!
And now we know why all of Kristen Ashley’s heroines are so freaking awesome, because SHE is, and parts of her are in every character. Thank you so much Kristen!
Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA and nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorize and she hadn’t taken her first breath!). Her mother said they took Kristen away, put her Mom back in her room, her mother looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). Kristen’s Mom remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning.
Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus, she’s blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. They all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. She grew up with Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).
Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.
And as she keeps growing, it keeps getting better.