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Monday, September 19, 2011

The Calling - Ashley Lynn Willis

Published: To be published October 2011
Format: eArc, provided by author.

Mandy Hardy lost more than a breast to cancer; she lost her fiancĂ© when he dumped her a week before her mastectomy. Her ego bruised and her self-esteem battered, Mandy’s sure she’ll never fall in love again. 

Justin Seward is a headstrong Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer with a heart of gold and the supernatural ability to command the seas. He had to hide his feelings while Mandy was engaged to his best friend. Now that she’s free, he’s vowed to make her his.

Together, they may hold the key to each other’s salvation. But when Justin’s past catches up with him, and Mandy’s ex-fiancĂ© wants vengeance, they realize they might not live long enough for happily ever after

Right away I was excited to read this book.  I’ve read a lot of PNR, and this sounded like a premise that was totally new to me.  I was completely right!  I loved it!  Seriously, I started it Saturday morning and finished it Sunday morning – I couldn’t put it down!  And just a moment here to acknowledge the cover – it’s sweet and beautiful and I love the concept that the man is made of water.  I would love to see some fan art someday depicting his tattoo!

First thing, first chapter we learn just what type of strong, stand up man Justin is.  And we get a hint of what’s to come.  The author really made me feel like I was right there doing a Coast Guard rescue with him.  I could feel the fear of the people being rescued, feel the splashing cold of the water, and the courage of our hero.

Then Mandy and Justin reunite.  I like that this wasn’t a situation where they meet on day one and are forever soul mates on day two.  A good fire doesn’t start with an explosion, it starts with a spark.  This book definitely delivers on its promises.

There was a steady build up to the climax.  No pun intended, because those steamy scenes were certainly steamy! A single event caused a whirlwind of events and it left my daughter begging me to come play hide and seek in her room that went something like this: “mommy, come play hide and seek” and I replied “OK, I will – go hide and wait for me” and I didn’t go seek!  I just had to find out what was going to happen next!  (Yes, I did eventually play the game with her for those that may be worried ;) )

And then this story ended with a very well written epilogue, which made me so happy.  So many books just forego the epilogue altogether.  I am definitely not one of those people who likes to make my own ending up. 

All in all, I just want to say again that I loved this book.  So click on the link, or in my sidebar and show the author some love. 

This is a story that I’d love to see built into a series!


  1. Hi Liz! Thanks for the great review. I loved that you wanted to see fan art of Justin's tattoo. In my mind, I visualize it perfectly, so it'd be fun to see if other's imagine it the same way. Probably not. Oh, and I'm very happy that you enjoyed the epilogue. I actually wrote it with the thought of someday doing Cece's story. Have a great weekend!

  2. Oooh, Cece's story would be a great choice :) And heck yeah, who wouldn't want to see some fan art with a hunky guy and a tattoo? Bring it on! :)

  3. Yours is the third awesome review that I have read for this book. I avoided it at first because of the cancer element hitting to close to home for our family, but I can see by the review that I would remain curious until I read it for myself.

    Thanks for the posting.

  4. Hello Sophia,

    I highly recommend this book. Yes, it does have a cancer survivor as the main character. But I think Ashley Willis does a fantastic job of painting the character as a survivor, not a victim. And while breast cancer is a part of this story, it is not the whole story - just like it is not anyone's whole story. Many pieces to make a whole. And the way that Mandy, Justin, and her friends deal with it is just like life. There are ups and downs, and fears, but it is real. This book will definitely make you feel a million different emotions, and I can bet that it will be one of your favorites when you are done reading! :)


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