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review 2017-09-03 17:37
Review: Letting Go (Love By Design #1) by Morningstar Ashley
Letting Go (Love By Design) (Volume 1) - Ashley Morningstar

 

Very nice debut novel. The health issues were handled pretty good. So much that it came close to my own experience. I would've probably rated it higher had I enjoyed reading about that. I didn't particulary enjoy it. So not the book's fault but my own.

The sex scenes felt very intimate and I really loved Kelley's patience with Alex. Alex wasn't ready for a lot of things and he needed to make his own choice for happiness. Kelley was there to support him.

 

 

Hope Peter will be the next story. He seems like a troubled man. Would be nice to see him find a piece of happiness too.

 

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review 2017-08-31 18:00
Letting Go
Letting Go (Love By Design) (Volume 1) - Ashley Morningstar

He didn’t do anything inappropriate but his touch, whether it was the hand on his thigh or when he draped his arm across the couch and drew circles on the exposed skin of his neck with his fingertips, spread chill bumps across Alex’s skin making his skin feel alive and sensitive. It was all innocent, except to Alex’s body, because it felt like Kelley was playing him like an instrument. Tweaking and strumming and fine tuning it to hit every note in a song only Kelley knew.

 

 

I have to say I was not sure what to expect from this at all. I rarely read reviews and even find myself avoiding blurbs.  But I had met Morningstar Ashley at GRL and have since interacted with her on Facebook.  So picking up her book seemed like a logical step.  But what if I hated her book?  It is a difficult position to be in as a reader when you become acquaintances with authors on FB. But in the end, I had to dive in and I am so thankful that I did, because this was better than I ever could have expected.

 

First off, as a debut novel, I can say that I was thoroughly impressed overall by not only the story itself but the writing style.  Yes, for me there were some inconsistencies in some timing of a few things, the lack of understanding about this intern program (which frankly was unnecessary) or paragraphs that did not seem to flow as smoothly as others, but regardless, these moments were few and far between. In the end it was the emotional connection made, not only between these characters but the connection made between these characters and me as the reader.  I fell in love with Kelley, Alex and Evie. 

 

Kids in books can be a challenge, but sweet Evie never felt anything but real for me.  And as a parent with a child with high anxiety I could relate to this sweet child.  And the fact that she doesn’t miss anything is absolutely true. Kids are perceptive on a level some adults never give them credit for.

 

Alex’s internal struggles were beautifully captured and told.  Morningstar dealt with these mental challenges amazingly well and I felt ever barrier that was built up over the years and understood quite well the reasons.  I loved how Kelley had glimpsed years ago the smile and life that was Alex and could see that he was buried under years of grief and internal abuse as he denied himself true emotion.

 

I do wish we could have had less of Kelley’s work and more about him.  I know nothing about his personal story other than his friends.  Had he even dated anyone in the past at all? Are his parents living?  If these things were said, they were definitely in passing.  But regardless, his caring and “mother hen” persona was just so well matched to Evie and Alex.

 

And the sex…good gawd.  I absolutely loved the sexual connection between these two.  These scenes were so hot but at the same time so emotionally driven that I loved every moment. I do wish we could have avoided the time jump at the very end and had a few more steamy scenes…but hey…I will take what I can get. 

 

 

So what is next? I have to say if Morningstar is not already writing Peter’s story I will begin hounding her now for this book. I am fascinated and intrigued by this man for sure!!

 

Oh and for what it is worth...the paper plate scene will be one I remember for years to come.  Sweet Kelley.  LOL

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text 2017-08-30 13:46
Reading progress update: I've read 61%.
Letting Go (Love By Design) (Volume 1) - Ashley Morningstar

He didn’t do anything inappropriate but his touch, whether it was the hand on his thigh or when he draped his arm across the couch and drew circles on the exposed skin of his neck with his fingertips, spread chill bumps across Alex’s skin making his skin feel alive and sensitive. It was all innocent, except to Alex’s body, because it felt like Kelley was playing him like an instrument. Tweaking and strumming and fine tuning it to hit every note in a song only Kelley knew.

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text 2017-08-28 16:19
Reading progress update: I've read 1%.
Letting Go (Love By Design) (Volume 1) - Ashley Morningstar

BR with Teri, Elsbeth and Eszter...let's do this ladies!!

 

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review 2017-06-06 18:28
Book Review: The Way of Letting Go by Wilma Derksen
The Way of Letting Go (One Woman's Walk toward Forgiveness) - Wilma Derksen

I bought this book because exploring what forgiveness means is a passion of mine. I'm left ambivalent - relating my trauma to her trauma seems petty, but a trauma that requires the sheer hard work of learning to forgive on a soul level takes many shapes & sizes. I have to admire Derksen's commitment to this long (never ending) journey towards forgiveness - quite an amazing inspirational feat to take the terrible darkness that came into her life and turn it into a beacon of hope for others. To give (or at least find) meaning in a cruel meaningless act must take incredible courage & inner strength (& yes, a deep faith.) Derksen gives an excellent account of the process that forgiveness is but, as a Mennonite, her approach to forgiveness is strictly based on the Christian faith and that puts two strikes against the book (1) the odd and somewhat jarring interspersion of excerpts from the Bible too often came across as preaching and (2) forgiveness as a path to healing the brokenness within us is a human need - not just a Christian need. What about all the broken people of other faiths who may need to forgive? Is it only Christians who can find peace & redeem their lives through forgiveness? I would've liked to see Derksen explore what forgiveness means on a broader scale, rather than just from a narrow Christian perspective. Her trauma also comes across as intellectualised rather then allowing the reader to feel the depths of her emotional pain as Ralph Bulger did in "My James: The Heartrending Story of James Bulger by His Father, which was a howl of raw emotion from the first page to the last. But then Wilma Derksen has managed to do what the Bulger family are apparently struggling to do - her struggle toward forgiveness has given her daughter Candace's terrible death meaning & purpose while keeping her family and marriage together during the decades that have passed since her daughter's awful murder. That's a fantastic achievement and Derksen's struggle not to let hate & unforgiveness drag her down into the darkness is hugely admirable. The book is definitely worth the read (& I'll be re-reading it at some later stage) - a complex abstract concept (to forgive) is made simple and presented in an easy to read style.

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