Reviewed by Louisa
TITLE: Letting Go
SERIES: Love By Design Book 1
AUTHOR: Morningstar Ashley
LENGTH: 315 Pages
RELEASE DATE: July 14, 2017
Years ago, before tragedy struck, Alex made a child’s promise to always protect and care for his little sister, Evie. Then piece by piece, all the good in his life was taken away until Alex was left alone as guardian to his much younger sister. Suffering and loss scarred Alex, causing him to withdraw from the world. Struggling with anxiety and trust issues, Alex attempts to help Evie heal from their shared traumatic past, but each day is harder than the last. To make matters worse, Alex’s best friend, Ben, is pushing him to get out of his rut, confronting him with the fact that what Alex thinks is contentment is just stagnation and fear. The last thing he needs is for an old acquaintance to reappear in his life, making him feel things he hadn’t dealt with in years.
The executive of the marketing department at graphic design firm Vivid, Kelley has his life together. While not perfect, he’s happy with his career and his three best friends. A chance encounter with Alex, the guy he was once attracted to, is icing on the cake. Fighting through Alex’s defenses to find the breathtaking man underneath will be hard, but Kelley is up to the challenge. Kelley believes that the things most worth fighting for never come easy.
To accept all that Kelley is offering means Alex must drop his barriers. Kelley will need to keep trying and prove that Alex can trust him, even when grief and anxiety try to pull him back.
Letting Go was Morningstar Ashley’s debut novel and I really enjoyed the idea of this novel. Alex is an emotionally scarred man who is looking after is 8 year old sister. He is emotionally distant and socially isolated by choice. Kelley is totally different, he is happy and has his life together.
The things I really liked about this book was the secondary characters. They are well rounded and interesting. Evie is a very complicated little girl, but she adds so much to the book. Ben is Alex’s pushy best friend and while I found him annoying on occasions he was a good character too. Kelley’s friends were also well rounded and interesting.
I thought the plot of the book was well thought out and had a ton of potential. For me it didn’t live up to it. The story had some moments where lists were made. Alex did this and then Alex did that and then Alex did something else. Several sections contained way too much description and I felt like it was just over the top. The book could have used a bit more editing, several times the tag lines for speaking didn’t match what was said. Another edit would have done this story good.
I really struggled to connect emotionally to the story and while I enjoyed the happy ending, it really wasn’t an easy book to get into. I spent a fair amount of reading time wondering why Alex was so hard to sympathise with when it was so obvious he had been through a lot.
Overall this was a good storyline, but the book didn’t work for me. I look forward to reading another book from Morningstar Ashley as I think with some editing and experience she will be writing great books.