I am a big Kristen Ashley fan so it is hard for me to admit that I am not in love with one of her books. Unfortunately, I have to confess that The Will will not be going on my list of favorite books. The basic story is great, but it is very reminiscent of The Gamble which I absolutely loved. An American woman lives abroad becoming polished, well traveled, and sophisticated. Said woman returns to America and falls in love with a wonderful alpha male, experiences some obstacles to happiness that she must overcome, but in the end achieves her happily ever after.
I don't have a problem with this story line. As a matter of fact, I thoroughly enjoyed it in The Gamble, however what made this version mostly just an okay read for me is the main character, Josie. The way she speaks is rather stilted and reserved and makes her come of as having little personality which doesn't make for good tension as well as making her less likable. The first forty to fifty percent of this book was difficult to push through for even this avid KA fan. As Josie loosened up a bit I was able to enjoy the story more, even though the enjoyment was mostly due to Jake and his family. I did enjoy the way Josie interacted with Jake's children, it was very sweet. The epilogue of The Will was my favorite part of the whole book and left me with a happy warm feeling which immediately made me want to rate this book a five start read. But with a cooling off period and some time to reflect on my overall experience of this book I just can't in good conscious say that this was a home run read with me. I really wanted it to be, but it just wasn't. Unfortunately, I once again found myself in the position of loving the hero and not the heroine and that makes me very sad. One of the things that I love about KA's writing is that I have thus far enjoyed all of her female leads as well as the men, so it was a little disappointing to end up with a character like Josie who I had to talk myself into liking.
All in all this was a decent read and I will definitely continue on with the series. There are still many more KA books out there I haven't read yet that I am sure I will absolutely love so I will survive this one small disappointment. Kristen Ashley is an amazingly entertaining writer and I am looking forward to seeing how book 2 in the Magdalene plays out, there's a single sheriff that I am sure will get his own story, and after all a strong alpha sheriff with a tortured past is always a winner with me! (And yes, I know there's a hot sheriff in the Colorado Mountain series too!)
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.