Updated: Sep 13
A sweet romance with ankylosing spondylitis representation and #OwnVoices :) This is my first read from Ashley Weston and it won't be my last! One of my top reads of the year. ❤️
Title: Carry Me Away
Author: Ashley Weston
Pub Date: July 24, 2023
Length: 414 pages
Genres: Romance, Contemporary, OwnVoices, Women's Fiction, Religious, Sweet Romance
Tropes: childhood friends, friends to lovers, learning to love, gentle love, love yourself, small town, faith, representation,
Representation: Yes! Ankylosing spondylitis & domestic abuse
Character/plot: Character Driven
Feeling: Sweet, Tender, Gentle
TW/CWs: Depictions of chronic pain and discussions of domestic abuse.
Romance: Sweet, Steamy Kisses & some cursing
"This ailment of yours, it’s just a small piece of who you are. It doesn’t define you. There is so much more to love than just this part. And I love this part because it’s made you who you are.”
"Believing in someone else was encouraging. It was kind. Believing in yourself, that was pure bravery. I wanted to spend the rest of my life being brave and the rest of my life sharing that bravery with others."
"The desire to be loved, the desire to have my own family one day—those desires might never go away. I would have dreams at night of being held so tightly by man with no face, who would love me unconditionally and lie with me on those bad days. It seemed like the most natural thing in the world. It would give me a glimmer of hope when I dared not to hope. Then I would wake up—tears streaming down my face, a hollowness inside me where the hope had been. For now, I would continue to hide away in my stories, where anything was possible. It was safe. It was comfortable. It was less excruciating."
"But I think you’ve spent too much time giving yourself mental limitations because of what you’ve been told your entire life. Sometimes it takes someone believing in us first before we can see it and believe it in ourselves.”
“I realized that nothing was going to change my situation. There wasn’t a miracle that would heal me or change my circumstances. I had to shift my perspective.”
"But somehow, when you put them together, one couldn’t be without the other. They needed each other. Seeing light couldn’t be without the darkness first. It was a balance. That was how I saw life. True joy couldn’t be appreciated without excruciating pain. Or complete, overwhelming love without heartbreak. The negative was necessary to have the positive shine brightly. That was what I had to believe. I had to believe that—knowing this pain all my life would lead to insurmountable joy."
Things I adored:
🩺 The representation!!!! 🙌
💋 Steamy Kisses
💌 The letter to pain
🎼 Everett's song!!!
❤️The faith aspects!!!
☺️The boy’s home on the ranch
🚫Domestic abuse rep!!!
📖 Honestly everything! READ THIS BOOK!!!
This is by far one of the easiest 5 stars I’ve ever given!! And one of my favorite reads of the year!! And I’ve read and listened to a lot of books this year due to being in chronic pain. This book resonated with me on so many levels: spiritually, emotionally, and from a chronic illness perspective. I used to work as an Education Specialist for underprivileged high school students in rural areas, so the story line at the boy’s home was absolutely amazing. It was woven so well and I loved how their story arcs echoed Everett’s (our MMC).
This is just a gorgeous story. A love story between two beautiful souls, a love story of faith, and a love story about learning to accept your own body. I can’t say enough good things about this book!!!! And I’m so glad I own it. But I am now in need of a signed copy! Lol. And I will be going to find a way to purchase!!
If you know me, then you know that one of my pet peeves is not enough representation in books. Many books talk about having representation but it’s hardly there. This book HAS IT ALL!!! And I loved every moment!!!! This is a true disability and representation read from start to finish. One where I felt seen and honestly probably highlighted more than ever out of this book!!! Thank you to the author for being brave enough to deliver this content. For sharing a part of her heart, soul, and story!! ❤️❤️❤️
READ THIS BOOK!!!