Music of The Soul Review and Series Promo: Katie Ashley

Music of the Soul 
(Runaway Train #2.5)
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In Music of the Heart, an unexpected twist of fate caused Abby Renard to fall into womanizer Jake Slater’s bed. What started out as a small spark between the unlikely pair, grew into a deep and intense love. After a year-long engagement, the two have finally been able to set a wedding date. It’s off to Mexico for a destination ceremony on a private beach. After a heated week long honeymoon in a tropical paradise, the two return to the real world of touring and making music together. 

As the newlyweds settle into married life, another twist of fate challenges their love. For once, Abby isn’t able to be the rock of strength that Jake needs. Can the two of them hold on to the strong foundation of love they have built, or will it crumble under the pressure?

Preview video by Cris Soriaga Hadarly of The Book Avenue

Katie Ashley's suggested playlist:

Long after the last footsteps could be heard pattering down the hall or the sound of water in the pipes, I finally threw back the covers and hopped out of bed.

I knew exactly what I wanted to wear, and it only took two seconds to pull it out of my suitcase. I then slipped into the bathroom and got dressed. As soon as I was done, I crept out of the bedroom and down the hall. I could hear my dad snoring in the guest bedroom, while the sound of muted TV came from the office where Eli and Gabe were sleeping on an air mattress and the pullout couch. Grabbing a flashlight out of the hall closet, I then snuck out the front door. I jogged as fast as I could in my robe and slippers across the front lawn and down the hill. Thankfully, Angel had actually listened to me when I told her to stay on the porch. The last thing I needed was for her to start a barking marathon and alert everyone that I was running around half-naked outside.

When I got to the barn, I reached under one of the potted plants to get out the hide-a-key. Gently, I unlocked the door and stepped inside. When I closed the door behind me, I heard rustling in the bed upstairs. Without hesitation, I made my way across the living room toward the stairs. Of course, I didn’t expect Jake to have left his shoes in the middle of the floor, causing me to trip and bang into the ladder.

“Ow!” I cried before I could bite down on my lip.

“Abby?” Jake questioned. Within a few seconds, he was peering over the railing of the loft.

Gazing up at him, I teased, “Yes, it’s me. Were you expecting someone else?”

His brows furrowed. “I wasn’t expecting anyone, especially you.”


Jake gave me a funny look as I started climbing the stairs. When I got to the top rung of the ladder, he helped me off. “What are you doing here?”

To answer his question, I undid the tie on my robe. I then shimmied it off my shoulders and let it fall to the floor. Jake’s eyes widened while his mouth gaped open at my skimpy lingerie. “Abby…”
“Do you remember this?” I asked, running my hand over the silky material.

As the revelation washed over him, desire burned in his eyes. “You were wearing that the night we made love for the first time.”

“Yes, I was.” Stepping forward, I wrapped my arms around his neck. “I want you to finish what you started earlier this afternoon. But most of all, I want you to make love to me again on our wedding eve in the same place we first came together.”

Jake’s gaze left mine to momentarily flicker over to the clock on the nightstand. “But it’s after midnight. That means it’s our wedding day. What about the bad luck?”

“We make our own luck. But more than anything, we make our own memories, and I want to make one with you tonight.”

As his arms wrapped tighter around me, he cocked his head at me. “Trust me, Angel, I certainly don’t want to argue with you. I just don’t want you to regret it later.”

“There hasn’t been a single moment I’ve regretted with you.”

Jake’s brows rose in surprise. “Really?”

“I promise.”

He smiled. “I’m really glad to hear that.”

“So are you down with my plan?”

“Oh, hell yeah,” he said, as he backed us over to the bed.

We are cordially invited to attend the event we have been waiting for--Jake and Abby's destination wedding. Along the way there is sadness, humor, romance, and steam. Jake and Abby have been so good together since we met them in Music of the Heart. Abby pulled Jake from a dark place and continues to be his Angel.

I didn’t care if she bossed me around for the next fifty years just as long as she was in my life. I’d never imagined loving anyone as much as I did Abby. Without flinching, she had reached into the very darkest places of my soul to bring me back to the light. She’d shown me what the true, unfailing love of a good woman was. I would be forever in her debt.

We go on their honeymoon and the beginning of their married lives together. They are young, successful, share a love of music and performing, have great friends, smoking chemistry, and a good rapport. They are living their dreams together. But just because they are committed and married does not mean that their  future is always going to be easy. They have diverging life scripts at times and both have some different needs and insecurities. Their lives are good, but Abby still has a longing for something more and Jake still resists for his own reasons. And situations occur that cause fear, mistrust, misunderstandings, and pain. There are plot twists, difficult issues, and challenges that these two have to navigate and they are not always easily resolved.

Abby and Jake really have to face their insecurities and fears in order to find common ground at times. Jake has a lot of emotional baggage still lurking under the surface and Abby is fearful she will not be able to have the one thing her heart truly desires. They may not have been a couple that argued a lot normally, but they differ on some big issues. And even when things seem to be heading in the right direction, roadblocks and potholes can change their direction quickly. 

“I’m no good for her.”~Jake
“That’s not true, Jake. Abby loves you with all her heart and soul.”~Mia
 “Sometimes I think I’m a curse for her.”

This was an emotional journey. It really showed the maturing of Jake and Abby and their relationship. Their relationship shifted at times on who was giving and who was taking and they had to strike a balance. My heart literally broke for each of them at various times. So much happened that I do not think Katie would have been able to give us this much detail and emotion if the story had been built into the background of one of the other full books. This novella really bridges the gap between Beat of the Heart (AJ's story) and the upcoming Strings of the Heart (Rhys'story). Even though Rhys was not that big a part of this novella, there is teasing for his upcoming story and we see what happens to the other couples during the time period between the two books.  I am totally interested  in his story and can see all kinds of drama unfolding. 

I really loved this one even more than I thought I would. It packed so much in and had my emotions all over the place! There are so many life events, not just for Jake and Abby, but for the rest of the band as well. This one had some joy, sweetness, romance, drama, tension, steaminess, and pain. I cried from being happy at times and just heartbroken or emotional at others. There were times that I literally gasped out loud(I think I even cursed at my kindle). My heart was beat up and bruised a bit. But there were also times of humor and  playfulness as well.

I loved getting more of the boys of the band and Rhys, AJ, Brayden, and their sassy women Mia and Lily. The friendship, love, and humor between these characters make me smile and laugh out loud.  Even though I wanted to smack Jake at times during this one, it also made me remember how much I really do like him. He can be an asshat, but can also be sweet, romantic, and protective. He really had a lot of soul searching to do in this one.  I love him and Abby together and was rooting for their happiness the whole time. And I still adore...yes, adore AJ. He cracks me up and I love seeing him with his "girls". Rhys also had me laughing as he is the last man standing alone beside all of his domesticated band mates. And the women are tough and feisty, but also so caring and nurturing to all of the guys. I really enjoy spending time with them and I love how closely tied they all are. They support, they love, they fight, but they stay together and are a family. I cannot wait for more of the whole crew and Rhys' story in Strings of the Heart.(Check out the brand new synopsis for his story at the end of this post!)

When you fell into my life, I was shattered beyond repair
But as the shining angel of redemption, you didn’t seem to care
While the tempest swirled around me, you led me to solid ground
You’re the purest, deepest love a man like me has ever found.
There is a fire that burns within me that only you can ignite
You’re the light that fills my soul in the darkest, bleakest night
You’re the balm that cures the wound; the life-line in the storm.
You are the song of my heart, the music of my soul

Thanks to Katie Ashley for providing me with a beta copy of this novella in exchange for an honest review

Other books in this series:

Music of Heart (Runaway Train#1)
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For Abby Renard, the plan was supposed to be simple—join her brothers’ band on the last leg of their summer tour and decide if she’s finally ready for the limelight by becoming its fourth member. Of course, she never imagined stumbling onto the wrong tour bus at Rock Nation would accidentally land her in the bed of Jake Slater, the notorious womanizing lead singer of Runaway Train. When he mistakes her for one of his groupie’s, Abby quickly lets him know she sure as hell isn't in his bed on purpose.

Jake Slater never imagined the angel who fell into his bed would resist his charms by promptly kneeing him in the balls. Of course, the fact she seems like a prissy choir girl makes her anything but his type. So he is more than surprised when after betting Abby she wouldn’t last a week on their tour bus, she is more than willing to prove him wrong. But as Jake’s personal life begins to implode around him, he finds an unlikely ally in Abby. He’s never met a woman he can talk to, joke with, or most importantly make music with.

As the week starts comes to a close, neither Abby nor Jake is ready to let go. Can a sweetheart Country songstress and a bad boy of Rock N Roll actually have a future together?

Beat of the Heart (Runaway Train #2)

After years of bad relationships and a cheating ex-fiancé, twenty-eight-year-old Mia Martinelli prefers healing her patients’ hearts on the Cardiac Care floor rather than risking having her heart broken again. But that all comes to a screeching halt when caring for the head roadie for Runaway Train puts her into the orbit of drummer and Latin Lover, AJ Resendiz. After a scorching weekend of steamy passion, Mia’s intention of getting out with her heart unscathed is challenged by the stud with the wicked sense of humor, especially when he wants to continue seeing her. But when the harsh reality of AJ’s hoard of female admirers sends her insecurities into overdrive, Mia bails, leaving him handcuffed to his bathroom shower. 

AJ never imagined that after two weeks of the best sex and female companionship he’d ever experienced, he would need rescued by his band mates from his shower prison. Although he tries to forget the sensual brunette whose curves made his mouth water, AJ can’t get her out of his mind…or his heart. Months later when he finally seeks Mia for answers as to why she left, nothing could prepare him for their life-altering reunion.

Can AJ prove to Mia that regardless of the women after his body, his heart belongs only to her?

Strings of the Heart (Runaway Train #3)
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Expected April 2014

Twenty year old, Allison Slater has been in love with her brother’s bandmate, Rhys McGowan, since she was fifteen years old. But to him, she’ll always be Jake’s little sister and off limits. Now a college sophomore and licking her wounds from a bad breakup, she sets her sights on making Rhys see her as someone he could date…maybe even love. Her opportunity comes when Rhys visits his parents in Savannah where she is attending college. But the night she’s dreamed of turns to heart-break, and she realizes she’ll never be the one for Rhys.

For Rhys McGowan, his nightmare began when he woke up, naked and hung-over, next to his best friend's little sister. Unable to remember a thing from the previous night, he only makes matters worse by lying to Allison about not being interested in her. The truth is he’s spent the last year trying to ignore his body’s reaction whenever Allison is around. His resolve is tested when Allison comes on tour with Runaway Train, as both Jake and Abby’s nanny and to fulfill her fashion design internship. The more time he spends with her in the close quarters of the bus, the harder it is for him to resist.

Will Rhys realize that having a relationship with Allison is worth fighting for even if it means that he has to fight his best friend for a chance?

Melody of the Heart (Runaway Train #3.5)
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Expected July 2014
This is a prequel novella for Brayden and Lily

Katie Ashley is the New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon Best-Selling author of The Proposition. She lives outside of Atlanta, Georgia with her two very spoiled dogs and one outnumbered cat. She has a slight obsession with Pinterest, The Golden Girls, Harry Potter, Shakespeare, Supernatural, Designing Women, and Scooby-Doo.

She spent 11 1/2 years educating the Youth of America aka teaching MS and HS English until she left to write full time in December 2012.


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