REVIEW**~**Illusion by Ashley Beale


What if everything you thought you knew was just an illusion?

Everything in Zoey’s life was destroyed the day her fiance never made it home from the war. Now being a year later, and still dealing with the horrible tragedy, she makes a move to New York City for her job, hoping to finally start healing.

The last thing Zoey ever expects to find is someone she can feel so comfortable and happy with. Everything about Harvey draws her attention, and she can finally feel herself heal. There are times things seem too perfect, but she tries not to question it much as she holds onto the passion she has for him.

When everything unravels and Zoey is forced to face a truth she can’t seem to grasp, she has to make a choice to finally move on, or stay lost in a world of illusion.

Sometimes life is simple, sometimes love is unexpected. Sometimes we’re exactly where we need to be, when we need to be there.
Then sometimes everything we thought we knew is just an illusion.

This [New Adult] Contemporary Romance novel contains mature themes, graphic sex and language, and is recommended for readers, 18+ in age. Please be advised, this story also deals with PTSD, depression, infertility, attempted suicide, and other very mature situations, and is not recommended for all readers.


** An ARC was provided by the author in exchange for an Honest Review**

~~5 Emotionally Packed Stars~~

You were given this life because you’re strong enough to live it.”….Harvey

Let me start by saying I’m in awe of Ashley Beale.  This is my first book by her and it won’t be my last.  This book touches on some very serious subjects and I have to say the amount of research Ashley must of done for this book is amazing.  I learned so many new things regarding…depression, PTSD, and other topics.  This book was an emotionally charged story.  You will feel every emotion while reading this book, I laughed, I cried, I was pissed, I was sad, but overall I felt LOVE!!!  This story was executed very well.  It flowed nicely and it was told in such a way that it made it feel like a book I have never read before.  I can’t explain that to much because it would spoil the big twist in this story….just know that this book will keep you on your toes 🙂 This storyline was so unique, in that, it showed a whole nother side to Depression and PTSD.  It showed that these 2 things can happen to anyone and that we all cope in our own way.  This story was truly about learning to love yourself and moving on and coping with tragedy.  It was also a story about love, we actually got to see 2 love stories in this book.  No that doesn’t mean this is a love triangle, but you will fall in love with all the characters of this book.

The story starts off with Zoey losing her fiancé in the war and her moving to New York for a job to help her heal and move on.  During the course of the book we get glimpses into her life with Kirt ( Ex-Fiance’) through flashbacks.  Now normally I am not a fan of flashbacks in a story, but the way Ashley incorporated them into the story worked really well.  She had me falling in love with Kirt, even though he was deceased.  While Zoey is living and working in New York she meets Harvey and Brice.  Again, Ashley makes it so easy to fall in love with both of these characters.  Like I said before….this isn’t a love triangle, but I can’t explain it anymore with out ruining the twist to this story.  The story that unfolds once she meets these 2 men is like none I have ever read before.  She added such a twist to this book, I never saw it coming.  I would never have been able to guess it either.  What I loved about Zoey is even though she has her moments of weakness, she is a strong character.  I loved watching her grow as the story continued, but I also loved that she finally learned to lean on others for help and that not everyone leaves.  She also learned that even though God took Kirt from her that there is a reason for everything and you just have to ride it out.  I know this is pretty vague but this is one of those books you really need to read for yourself to truly feel all the emotion that is packed into this book.

As for the secondary characters…Emi is the one that really stuck out.  She was an amazing sister to Zoey.  Even though she was the younger sibling she was such a strong support to Zoey.   We do meet other character in the book, but they didn’t really stand out to me….they just played a part to the story.  I will say that even though we get a great love story out of this book, the story really is about Zoey learning to get past the tragedy of losing Kirt and learning to love herself and others again.

I would definitely recommend this book to everyone.  It was such an emotional read that when I finished, I had to just sit for a moment and let it just sink in.  The ending to the epilogue was just amazing!!!!!  To me this book truly is awe-inspiring!!!!

~Jennifer H.


Ashley Beale, 25, is an indie author and self-publisher from the state of Maine. She comes from a large, loving family, which she adores completely, is a mother of two, has the best of friends, and really enjoys connecting with her fans!

Ashley has a love for reading and writing, traveling, watching great movies and addictive TV series, doing crafts, exploring, or just laying back with a glass of wine.


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