Monday, November 29, 2021

✱✱Audio Book Review✱✱ Wake My Heart by Lydia Michaels


Wake My Heart
Jasper Falls, Book 1
By: Lydia Michaels
Narrated by: Ashley Trumpler
Publisher: Lydia Michaels Books, LLC

When Ryan Clooney moves to the outskirts of his small town, the last thing he expects to find is love. Cursed to always be single, he’s burned out on blind dates and pity “plus-ones”. He’s through waiting for "the One" to arrive. But once he meets Maggie - the beautiful, young widow next door - his plans change.

Maggie O’Malley is not looking for love. Since losing her husband, she has withdrawn from small-town life and prefers to be left alone. But her new neighbor doesn’t seem to understand personal privacy, and the more he intrudes in her solitary life, the more she remembers how wonderful friendship can be.

Determined to reach Maggie’s heart, Ryan has an awakening of his own and learns what love is all about.

Momma Says: 5 stars⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Wake My Heart was as hard for me to get through as it was compelling. I knew from the blurb that Maggie had lost her husband. What I didn't expect was just where in the healing process she would be, how raw her feelings would be, and just how thoroughly it would hit home for me. I can relate so well to the pain, the way you go through the various stages of grief only to start back at the beginning and do it all again. I can't really say how accurate her moving on would be because I haven't made it there yet, but it felt real to me. Maggie's back and forth as she struggled to reconcile her feelings for Nash with her new feelings for Ryan was so emotional and at the same time, it was somehow cathartic for me. And Ryan! Oh, my goodness, Ryan is everything a woman in Maggie's situation could want. He's sweet, he's patient, he's considerate... The list goes on, but I'm sure you get my point. I don't think I've ever rooted for a couple as hard as I rooted for this one.
As great as Maggie and Ryan are, they're just a drop in the bucket. This book has a whole passel of terrific characters. Well, there may be one or two flies in the ointment, but that's true of any group. As the start of a series, this first Jasper Falls book is full of possibilities for what's to come. And as impressed as I am with the story, I'm even more so with these characters who feel so real they practically leap off the page and as emotional as this story was, it wasn't without its humor. Several times, I would be bawling, and then something hilarious would happen, and I'd be laughing out loud. It's just that good.
Since I did listen to this one, I need to mention Ashley Trumpler. To the best of my recollection, this narrator was new to me, but she's now on my list of narrators to look for. She absolutely nailed the many emotions in this book. From a character drinking too much and slurring to another singing off-key to Maggie's grief and then the attraction between her and Ryan - Trumpler gives us all of that and more. I don't know how this author and narrator came together, but I can't imagine a more perfect pairing for this book.
I'll stop there before I give away too much, and just sum it up by saying this book is one of the best I've heard this year, and it's one I won't soon forget. If you haven't had the pleasure, I'd highly recommend it. I'm headed straight into book 2 because I can't wait to see what's next. Lydia Michaels has certainly set the bar high for this series, and she's done it right off the bat. 

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