Hmmmm. Looks like I’m going to live up to my Straight Shootin’ name today. It is with great…sadness that I write this review. I’m in the minority on this one and I’m still quite discombobulated about it. I finished this book on Thursday night and I was unable to pick up another book to read until Friday afternoon…something in me just broke. Gird your loins, kids…it’s about to get rough up in here.
See, I was super excited about this book. ARC reviews started coming in and everyone was giving it 5 and 6 stars, saying it was the best book KA has written. I thought…”great! something to look forward to! A new series to get excited about!”. I started it on Tuesday morning and by that afternoon, I was struggling. I was struggling with Josephine. Now, I’ve struggled mightily with KA heroines… Jet…was not a favorite. But I got through that one. I could not deal with Josie and her manner of speaking. Sometimes, it totally took me out of the story…words like “prevaricate”, “alas”, “sally forth” and if she said that one of the children or Jake was “lovely” one more time, I thought my brain was going to explode. I felt so out whack, reading an author that I loved and having such an opposite reaction to what I’m used to having.
My bar for Kristen Ashley books is exceptionally high. Games of the Heart and Broken Dove are probably my favorite books written by ANYONE. I love(d) Dusty…she was REAL and I identified with Dusty. Unfortunately, I could not connect with Josephine, she did not feel real to me. Who talks like that? Now….I am aware that what feels odd to me may not be an issue for anyone else and that’s the beauty of books. Everyone connects in their own way.
As for Jake… I liked him well enough. He felt familiar to me, maybe a little bit like Max but not as fabulous as Max. And familiar is OK! KA books are my comfort books because she has written H/h’s with depth and character that I admire and adore. I LOVE KA alphas and I love her ability to give details, like hair, shoes, clothing, and homes that completely envelope me in the story.
Kristen Ashley can write the Hell out of an epilogue and this one, I suppose was no exception but by the time I finally got to it… I didn’t care. I enjoyed it well enough but I mean, to this day, when I read Games of the Heart, I still cry. I’ve read that book at least 5 times. I’ve read reviews where people say that it’s “vintage KA” and as a colleague and I discussed today, we do not agree with that assessment. I want MORE from Kristen Ashley. It’s there… I know it is! I also want to know who is next in this series…. I have every intention of reading whatever is next in the Magdalene series. I hope it’s…different in some way. I will also be first in line for Frankie and Benny’s book and whatever else comes next.
So, if you’re a KA fan… by all means READ THE BOOK! You may LOVE Josephine, that’s the great things about opinions and assholes, everybody has one. I felt like I’d be remiss and not living up to the reasons I started this blog if I wasn’t completely honest. I may’ve just dug my own grave but… oh well.
2.75 stars. My rating scale for 2 stars is that I struggled with it and I did. 3- I enjoyed it and would read more by this author. Which is true, I don’t know that I “enjoyed” it. I did keep reading because it was KA and I had hope for the character and there were other plot lines I enjoyed. Straight Shootin' Book Reviews