A Modern Day Fairy Tale

Faith. Family. Fiction. Fun.

Carry Me Away by Ashley Weston: Book Review

 **Book received for consideration. All thoughts are my own.

Sometimes the unexpected is just what the doctor ordered...

Harper Mason finds solace in hiding. She spends all her days as a school teacher, and spends all her nights reading to her heart's content. It's easier to focus on the happy endings of fictional characters than focus on the realization that she may never have it. That is, until she follows a whim to go visit her big brother, and best friend, Jasper. He lives in Mountain Creek, Colorado working at Marlow Boy's Ranch and he convinces her to stay for the summer-- forcing her to interact and be seen. What she doesn't know is her brother's best friend Everett, who disappeared after high school, is now working there too.
Everett Jones is the ranch's music teacher. He's quiet and reserved and sometimes-- downright grumpy. Hiding from his own past hurts, he loves spending his days with needy boys and away from the heartache he carries. Harper and him were friends growing up, and now he avoids her. He is kind and personable to everyone at the ranch but her, and yet, all she wants is the truth.
With a lifetime of health issues and self doubt, Harper doesn't believe love will conquer all. But, is she wrong? She is falling in love with this place, these boys, and if she isn't careful-- with the brooding talented friend she used to know who a voice of an angel, instead of a man.

Born and raised in Gilbert, AZ, Ashley Weston loves her family, God, and the ability to dream.

Ashley has dreamed of writing a novel since she was in the third grade when she wrote her first story. It wasn’t until she began working with incredible people and having a good support system that she realized her dreams could become reality.

Ashley loves being a mom to four passionate souls, making friends, having dance parties, baking to her hearts content, and reading till all hours of the morning. Her hope is to convey emotions that uplift and encourage you, while making you swoon, through the art of story telling.

Oh my goodness, what a book!

Though this book was quite different than the more lighthearted contemporary romances that I have been enjoying most recently, I was drawn in right from the very beginning and felt myself connecting with Harper's character. As someone who deals with chronic joint pain, I couldn't help but feel like I could have written so many of these words myself. Words such as this quote from the prologue:

"My body felt much older. The joints didn't bend right, the movements felt stiff, and if I was being honest, I sometimes felt more understood by my sixty-year-old adopted grandmother than anyone my age."

Oh yes, I felt that... deeply! The author did such a wonderful job of portraying that struggle with chronic pain in a way that could only be told by someone who had experienced it herself, and I so very much appreciated that aspect of the story especially as I was reading it during a high pain day. But it was also so much more than that. This story took on some really tough topics of trauma and abuse... with a beautiful message of healing and love. The romance was absolutely perfection. I loved how Harper and Everett were with one another. Both of these characters had their fair share of pain--- both physical and emotional--- and seeing how they looked out for one another!? Well, I absolutely adored them. The story flashed back to moments in their past that only helped to strengthen my love of their relationship. And the chemistry was absolutely flying off the pages! While this is certainly a romance story--- it also touches on all types of love: family, found family, friendships and love of self... pulling at all of my heartstrings. I truly didn't want to say goodbye to any of these characters at the end. 

Carry Me Away is closed-door romance. It has some fairly descriptive make-outs that I would say put it at a 
Clean & Wholesome Level 3 but goes no further than that.  There was also a fair amount of language throughout the story. While this is obviously not Christian fiction, there were a few moments that bring up faith in a beautiful, real way that I loved. 

Truthfully, I cannot say enough about this book. It was emotional and at times difficult, but this is one that I know will stick with me for a very long time. 


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