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Dr. Astor Potter was everything I despised in a man.
It didn’t matter that he was my sister’s one-night stand or her closest colleague.
I wasn’t charmed by his philanthropy or the way he made babies laugh using those ridiculous voices.
Dr. Potter was cold, detached, and reeked of disdain.
Nothing mattered to him.
Not the messages I left.
Or the tears I shed.
Nothing brought him to life.
Until my sister died.
And I placed my newborn niece in his arms.
Her father’s arms.
He didn’t know about the baby.
Neither did I.
They say love can’t be born from hate and grief.
I’m inclined to agree.
But then he asked me to stay…


Published July 27, 2022

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About the author

Kristy Marie

20 books1,541 followers
Kristy Marie is an international bestselling author who loves writing temperamental heroes who fall hard for strong and witty heroines.

She enjoys harassing her three children and husband for all the hugs and will attempt to grow anything green. She also reads all things romance and can be caught being naughty by enjoying a chapter or two before her 9 p.m. bedtime.

When Kristy's not writing broody alphas or hugging babies, you can catch her in pajamas watching baseball and yelling at the TV. Go Braves!

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5 stars
1,075 (54%)
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229 (11%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 318 reviews
Profile Image for Jessica ❥Chatterbooks Book Blog❥.
797 reviews2,818 followers
October 14, 2022
Emotional, hilarious, and absolutely fucking beautiful, The Refiner surpassed all my expectations! In my opinion, it's some of this author's best work, and I've read every single book she's ever written. There isn't a single thing that I don't love about Astor and Key's story!

Profile Image for Keri Loves Books.
1,241 reviews188 followers
July 8, 2022
A profoundly beautiful love story that is born from tragedy but built from love. This book left me completely wrecked but the author pieces your heart back together and ultimately leaves you with the feeling of romantic bliss.

I have sat on this review for awhile, because this is the kind of story you continue to think about long after you turn the last page. The heartbreak is devastating but the love that blossomed in spite of incredible loss is profound.

She's the care-free, younger sister. He's the doctor who spends his life healing others even when he is suffering silently. He knows loss well. They came into each other's lives at the most difficult of times. Together they will heal and find a new normal.

Keagan is sassy. That woman will have you laughing one minute and in tears the next. Astor is a rock. He is strong and kind. The man is no stranger to pain, but he is her strength when she needs it most. Together they are exactly what the other needs to come out of their darkness and bring light back into their lives.

The author blew me away with this love story. She delivered a story of unconditional love and a second chance at happiness. It was written with so much heart and I felt the pain of each tear and their loss soul deep.

This one will require a box of tissues and copious amounts of the alcohol of your choice. I don't regret a single word I read because it was raw and real. It was true to life. It was beautiful.
Profile Image for *J* Too Many Books Too Little Time.
1,921 reviews3,457 followers
Shelved as 'i-m-a-quitter'
August 12, 2022
Time of Death 37%

I seem to be having trouble finding a book that will hold my attention.

Bottom-line Keagan was annoying. The humor felt forced and OTT to the point it was more eye roll inducing then actually funny.

Strike 2.
Profile Image for Ri.
5,032 reviews
July 7, 2022
Crikey, she did it again.
The very first time that I read this author, she was just starting out. I knew from that first book that there was something special about her and I couldn't wait to see her become well-known because she was just that good. With every book that she has written, her work continually improves, which says something because she is dang near perfect in my book. When it comes time for a new book, I know that she is going to challenge herself. And she does, EVERY time. She, also, seems to do it with ease. That was the case with this book.

I wasn't sure how she was going to be able to do this book justice without it seeming trite or cheesy. I mean a surprise baby AND sister's, baby daddy? Yet, I knew if someone could do it, it would be her. I was correct in that assumption because this book was everything and then some. It had all of the snark that I have come to expect from her heroines and all the swoon-worthy men who were a mixture of cocky and delicious. I have never been one that could call another man, Daddy, but I might have to make an exception for Astor because he was a daddy I would like to do so many naughty things with. SO MANY...

I vacillated between wanting to cry, scream at the unjustness of this whole situation, and laugh all at the same time. The struggle was real. KM did an amazing job at showing the realness of this situation. This was not easy, and yet it was still one of the most poignant and beautiful things that I have been able to "witness." Everything was perfect, from both Keagan's and Astor's grief, (so many beautiful moments, but I am not sure I will ever get the funeral scene out of my head), names, unexpected "parenthood", grief, and ultimately navigating feelings that started in grief but completely eclipsed that and grew. Keys(gah-this nickname) was one of my favorite characters that this author has written. She had the same sass that I EXPECT but it was so much more. Her fight to make it in her career was impressive. As a former gamer, when at the time that was unheard of (I used to Beta games in production before they were released and long before they were popular), I applauded her drive in this male-dominated world.

Astor, good lord, this man. I wasn't sure what to make of him at first. I needed to figure out his secret. My heart broke, once I dug deeper into the story. Watching him be the strength for Keys and Tatum was heartwrenching. I, seriously, had to fan my face at how well he kept them afloat. Add in his DIRTY mouth. Crikey... I am not sure I will ever recover from the whole scene that started with gummy bears without needing a cold shower. That scene, in its entirety, will live forever in my jill-bank. The ending, and how the author bookended a pivotal scene and made it relevant again with notes that meant different things... PRICELESS, followed by the true ending...Yeah, I couldn't have asked this author for more.

There were the usual cameos that I live for in this book. The moments when I can catch a glimpse of Remington almost make me giddy. The power that he has over me is insane. I am not sure I have ever looked forward to when a character will get his book told more than this kid.

I cannot recommend this author enough. I truly cannot put into words what her stories offer my heart. In the month of June, I lost my furbaby and my Dad. My heart was broken. Hell, it is broken. Yet, this author proved, yet again, that books are magic. She gave me the chance to find beauty in grief and loss and made me remember why I love to read. That, in itself, is powerful.
Profile Image for queen_of_the_books_18.
803 reviews198 followers
June 26, 2022
Now if you’ve followed my reviews for a while you will know my absolute loathing of anything baby in books. Accidental pregnancy. No fucking thank you. Surprise babies, absolutely not. But I’ll let you in on a little secret. Kristy Marie is a 1-click author for me ever since she stole my heart with her humour and relatable characters. So when I saw that this book was a surprise baby book, I stopped and thought hell nah. I can’t read that. But then I sat and thought about it and realised that I trust Kristy’s writing and she’s never steered me wrong in the past, so I took a deep breath and opened the Refiner.

Let me tell you, it was the best decision I’ve ever made. Dr Astor Potter stole my heart with his alphaness and dirty mouth but the thing that stole my heart the most was his vulnerable moments. A man crying, will forever make me sob.

Keys is now my new favourite heroine after Bianca. I love a strong, takes no shit heroine and Kristy always delivers with that. Some of the stuff that came out of that woman’s mouth had me howling.

My favourite thing about this whole series though is Remington and his relationship with Vance. I have never laughed as hard as I have than when I read their banter.

Kristy Marie had no right making this book as equally heart breaking as it was lol funny.
So lesson learnt. I should never judge a book by it’s trope. Kristy Marie, I bow down to you.
Profile Image for NiCoLeTa E. {Addicted To Books}.
1,370 reviews85 followers
July 27, 2022
***4,5 "Hero mode!!!" stars***

"Sometimes, healing hurts worse than breaking."

I don't know how this woman can combine sadness and joy so effortless!!!
To be totally honest here, I wasn't expecting this story to be sooo beautifully damaged!!!
I wasn't expecting the sadness that was creeping slowly in my heart and I wasn't expecting after this said sadness, my mouth to form huge smiles!!!
I wasn't expecting Dr. Astor Potter, Mr. Fancy Pants, to be such a beautiful man on the inside!!! Yes, I took some glimpses of him in the first book, but they weren't enough to prepare me for this man!!!
As for his woman??? Keys were making the world brighter with her presence and I fell for her very hard!!!

"I am not the man you want me to be... but I am the man you need."

Keagan's world changed unexpectedly when her sister, her rock, had died and left behind an unexpected gift to her and to her sister's 'man', Key's nemesis!!!
Astor was lost in his own demons, and then he came back after six months away from home to find his best friend in death's doorstep and her sister ready to kill him!!!
The most unexpected thing was a baby that connected these two forever!!!

"We're dysfuctional enemies who've been thrust together, fate demanding we become a team. We're all each other has."

Keys was impulsive and she didn't like men very much!!!
Astor was lost and he needed someone or something to pull him out of his funk!!!
These two couldn't be more different, but grief and a baby girl brought them together in a very unexpected way!!!
And when their feelings started to get deeper, they had to search deep inside of them to see if this connection was right or very wrong!!!
Can grief bring closer two different people and bound them together??? Or this kind of grief have the ability to doom them before they even begin???

"Love can't be born from grief..."

Astor was such a good man!!!
He was protective, caring and even though, he was scared of this baby that he had no idea for its existence, he embraced his role as a dad with such grace!!!
I love how he was with Keagan even though she wasn't making it easy for him!!!
He was good to the core and a very patient guy!!!!
Keagan brought light into his life, but love is the last thing on his book when fatherhood has taken front stage!!!

"This man isn't just a pretty face with an MD behind his name. This man has demons he's ignoring right now by taking care of his daughter and me."

Keagan was such a beautiful heroine... inside and out!!! She was sarcastic and she couldn't hold back her tongue!!! She was hillarious and very caring!!!
She wasn't liking Dr. Potter and what he was representing, but when she took the time to know him better, she realized that he was so much more than the world thought of him and she couldn't resist him anymore!!! Even though it was wrong!!!

"Mine and Astor's relationship is doomed -a disaster waiting to happen."

I adored and this story in "The hands of the Potters" series and I can not wait for the next story!!!
Keagan and Astor, along their little girl, had stolen my heart and I loved that I show the rest of the characters making an appearance!!!
Kristy Marie's writing is unique and I love how beautifully she handles her stories!!!
This story was emotional and hillarious at the same time and I enjoyed the ride very much!!!
If you haven't try Kristy's books yet, you don't know what you're missing!!!

"Dr. Astor Potter is the father of my sister's legacy -the only family I have left..."

**I received an ARC for the exchange of an honest review**
Profile Image for Michele McMullen .
2,281 reviews63 followers
August 18, 2022
The Refiner is the story of two people brought together out of circumstance and heartbreak.
Keagan finds herself in a devasting situation and also very surprised at the same time. Her sister is in critical condition, but they delivered the baby she was carrying successfully. She knew her sister had news but never in a million years could she have expected this. She is the aunt/caregiver but where and who is the father. While grieving she now needs to put the pieces together. When she finally realizes who she needs to come to terms with the fact that he too has no idea. He has been away practicing medicine in an underprivileged country.
Aston is a very complex man and the only one who has ever had a sliver of understanding him is his close friend and colleague. When he finds out about the tragedy, he is more than taken back when there is so much more to this story. Now as Aston and Keagan try to heal and move forward, they need to find a way to make this new normal work for them and their families. It is emotional, heartbreaking, funny and healing. They say that opposites attract but, in this case, they were thrown together and had to learn, live, heal and love.
~~Michele McMullen~~
Profile Image for Sarah.
764 reviews
July 27, 2022
Get out your tissues and be ready to cry-laugh your way through The Refiner!!!!
Gahhhhh I have read through it probably three times now and I have shed tears EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. And then I was laughing out loud in the next instant.
In true Kristy Marie fashion she has mastered the art of the perfect dramedy with wit, emotion and a HOT AF hero. Can anyone say Daddy Astor?!?

Whether you love romcom, emotional romance, single parent, or angsty romance - you will love this book! Read it today - you'll thank me later! Well done once again K Marie!!
Profile Image for nikki.
789 reviews91 followers
July 29, 2022
Oh my goodness - I really loved this story, so much! I'd never read anything from Kristy Marie before but had been seeing this book all over Bookstagram. I went in completely blind and became utterly hooked within the first few pages. Astor and Keagan's story was absolutely heartbreaking in parts and I found myself slightly emotional at only 11% in! On the flip side, there was plenty of banter between the two, and Keagan is extremely witty, which I adored.
This is a story of heartache, hope and finding love where you least expect or want it! I will for sure be reading more books by this author in the future.
Profile Image for SCBookAddict.
635 reviews48 followers
June 27, 2022
Grab your tissues, some chocolate and maybe someone to buddy read with because Kristy Marie has just delivered one of her most emotionally charged stories Don't worry if you are a fan of Kristy Marie's sass and sarcasm, because she delivers it in spades as well.

The amount of times she had me snorting with laughter while I'm in the middle of pouring my eyes out were too many to count. And on the flip side, she brought out the tears while I was fully enjoying a scene or two.

It's no secret that I love Kristy Marie's writing but this story is one of my new favorites of hers. The way she balanced the mix of emotions and the love story that she built out of a tragedy would seem almost impossible yet she freaking nailed it! I'm in complete awe of her ability to put words on a page that transforms into movie-like quality in my head.

Be prepared to fall in love with Astor and Keagan! Keys is a woman that you just can't help pulling for and wanting her to have her HEA. And Astor! This man - Can he be any better?!?!

Then there is the Potter clan which includes the infamous Remington! I am in love with this family and Kristy Marie made sure we got our fair share of these men and Halle.

If you are looking for a memorable read, one that just sticks with you and you find yourself not wanting it to end, READ THIS BOOK! It's phenomenal, beautifully told, and will have you falling in love with love all over again! Go in blind, avoid the spoilers, and enjoy it!
Profile Image for Bailey •.
101 reviews3 followers
June 27, 2022
I don't have enough eye cream to handle the tears Kristy doled out in The Refiner. I talk so much smack that I rarely cry while reading. Yeah, well, famous last words. What an extraordinary story of love and trust amid pain and suffering. I am positive I went through the entire spectrum of emotions, from joy to grief, in just a few chapters. However, what I was always doing was giggling because The Refiner is packed with moments that will leave you laughing at the time you need it most.

This book is filled with everything I need - sexy single dads, cute babies, and more Remington. Listen, if you know, you know. But seriously, we get more of the Potter brothers, which I can't get enough of, Halle, and a new female heroine that is a perfect fit for the Potter family.

Keagan is a girl after my own heart. Sarcastic, kind, and afraid of getting too emotional and tougher than she could ever give herself credit for. I joked before reading that, as an only child, I didn't understand siblings, but there is no way I could ever not understand the love Keagan has for her sister Piper. I'm getting emotional just thinking about their life together, shared moments, and bond. If there is one thing you can know about Keagan is that she fiercely loves her sister and will put aside her happiness to do what she knows Piper would want. My favorite aspect of Keagan's character was her authenticity. She might be a little sarcastic at times, but you can see she is just processing the shit storm that is her life. Her one-liners were filled with the witty sarcasm that is characteristically Kristy's charm.

But, Astor.
I love him.

What can I say? I'm a big ole' softie for a strong man who can dole out good sarcasm in times of grief - that is my love language. A good friend told me today that he is book-husband material because he is way too good for boyfriend status, and she could not be more right.

I adore his philanthropic heart, his desire to be strong for his friend in his grief, and his gentle persistence in being there for Keagan during the lowest points of their lives but what I love the most is his assertiveness. It's not in your face, but it's in times of need when you can feel Keagan unraveling that it really shines through.

"I don't mind a man in charge, Dr. Potter, as long as he's a good man."

And Astor is a good man dealing with more than life should throw at a person. I know Astor's pain intimately, and his character portrays the ebbs and flows flawlessly. His journey to fatherhood is anything but straightforward, but man, is it worth it. Watching him fall in love with his daughter and Keagan is beautiful.

Starting The Refiner, I was a little concerned I would have difficulty falling into the love story between Keagan and Astor. However, it happened so naturally that I was deep and overly invested before I realized it. Kristy did a fantastic job examining and addressing every angle of the complicated trio. Without that care and finesse, I know this would be a different review. Like Astor said, "Sometimes, healing hurts worse than breaking."

The Refiner is a beautiful, heartwarming story of love - love between sisters, love between family, and love between soulmates. You need to read this book because the experience will leave your soul in a better place. I promise.
Profile Image for Mandyloves2read.
1,457 reviews145 followers
July 24, 2022
This was another phenomenal read from Kristy ! She knows how to write with just enough laughter emotions and spice I swear I was crying then laughing then fanning myself all in the span of a couple pages I love that about her writing! This was such a brilliantly written book! I am so thankful I took the plunge and read her 21 Rumors collection it was the start of my obsession for all her words she is a very talented author and has become a automatic one click for me !
Profile Image for Aundi Living That Book Life.
623 reviews53 followers
July 19, 2022
If I could give this book more than 5 stars I would!! Kristy shreds not only your heart and soul but your entire being with The Refiner. This story is so much more than just a book with words it’s a heart wrenching, soul healing experience that will have you bawling your eyes out. But each tear, each deep-seated sob stitches up what was torn. Only Kristy can infuse such unadulterated sadness mixed with pure hilarity into her stories it’s one of the reasons I love her writing so much.

Astor is one of my favorite book boyfriends of 2022. I expected him to be something else entirely after I read The Potter. But Kristy surprised me with his untainted heart and swoony ways. This man will break through each and every defense you have leaving your heart exposed. But he’ll cradle your heart with such care and humility, holding and comforting every part of you. And then he’ll talk dirty to you making your body temperature rise to coronary inducing levels, I would legit die for this man.

Keagan is my girl. Her sass and sarcasm are utter perfection. I could not have picked a more picture-perfect match for Astor. They just fit together, there’s no other ways to say it. When they are in the same room you can feel the connection burn from the pages. No matter how much Keys tries to fight it you can’t so no to a man like Astor. He could tear the defenses down on a solid steal wall.

This book is so much more than a romance, it’s a story filled with healing. It shows you that love can be born from tragedy and sometimes it’s the most important kind of love. It’s a love built from the ashes, it’s the kind of love that rebuilds. This book broke me in every conceivable way, but it also filled me with bliss. I could not put it down when I started and even though I cried my way through some of it, they were the kind of tears that are therapeutic. This book settled my soul in ways only Kristy can.

Profile Image for Christine~justlovemybooks.com blog~.
1,146 reviews55 followers
July 2, 2022
The moment I turned the last page I wanted to start over from the beginning immediately but I didn't. This was a book that I wanted, no needed, to savor. The high intense emotions, the perfectly placed and executed humor, the believable attraction, the slow burn and one of the most satisfying endings I've read. This author has never written a novel that I didn't love. Kristy Marie has that writing talent that I look for in the perfect read. All her novels are original premises with characters of individuality. You know how you'll read several works from an author and notice they use the same dialogues between characters and even the same inner thoughts in the monologue in each book? To me, Kristy is one of the rare that don't. Her stories are always refreshing, entertaining and I impatiently wait for the next.

The Refiner is book two in The Hands of the Potters series. I thought after reading book #1, The Potter, there was just no way this author could do better. I WAS WRONG! Without giving any spoilers I can tell you this is Astor and Keagan's story. Astor is the eldest of the Potter siblings. He is mature and arrogant and sexy. Astor has a secret. And it's not one you will guess right off. As a matter of fact I pride myself on my guessing the outcomes pretty early on. But with The Refiner it took much longer, and even then I was surprised. Astor's story broke me. I cried for this man. In itself this book has some extremely sad moments so keep some tissues handy. From the blurb you already know that Keagan's sister dies and leaves behind an infant which belongs to Astor. The first half of the book is character vulnerability then the development of Astor and Keagan's characters grow steadily. These two go through awfully dramatic moments together and separately. I'm sorry my review is so vague but I don't want to say anything here that will ruin your reading experience. And that is exactly what reading The Refiner is, a poignant literary experience.

You do not have to read the prior book in the series because they stand alone. However I recommend you do. There is just no way you can be disappointed.

While I have received an advanced reading copy go this novel, this is my unbiased and honest review and I thank you for taking the time to read it. :)

Profile Image for Kylee.
2,579 reviews37 followers
June 26, 2022
The Refiner had me needing to buy shares in a tissue company. This was a highly emotional story that at times had my heart soaring and at other times had it feeling shattered. Astor and Keagen's story is one showing us that love can be born from tragedy and possibly the universe making amends for the sad blows that we are sometimes dealt. Don't get me wrong there were times when the tears were from laughter as Keys shows us that this girl has a personality you just can't help but love and embrace. These two characters show us not only their strengths but their vulnerabilities ensuring that there is no way that you could not love both of these two. A story that buries itself deeply under your skin, grabs hold of your heart and ultimately becomes part of your soul. I cried, laughed and everything else in between but for the most part I just fell in love right along with these two. For all those that know this author, can I just say Astor just gave my man Theo a run for his money.
Profile Image for Bozena.
647 reviews24 followers
July 20, 2022
WOW! This book is yet another proof of why I love Kristy's books so much. I'm an emotional wreck and I don't know what to do with myself right now.

What a rollercoaster of brutal feelings and raw emotions.
I alternately laughed, cried, and then laughed again throughout the whole book.

I love the book so much, I don't even know how to describe the emotions this book triggers in me.
Hopelessness, grief, fear, loneliness, pain, hope, love and happiness.
I've experienced all of these feelings alternately, and sometimes all at the same time.

This book is like an avalanche falling over you and burying you under all this raw, real and brutal emotions.

This is not just a romance nor just a love story, this is a story born out of grief and going through all the stages of trauma and acceptance.

I love the characters.
They're stubborn and annoying more than often, but so amazing and heartbreakingly beautiful together ❤️

This book is definitely a must-read page-turner for all romance lovers
Profile Image for Rhonda Ziglar.
3,711 reviews33 followers
July 27, 2022
5 BEAUTIFUL STARS!! Beautiful is the first word that comes to my mind with this story. I freaking love this story between Keys and Astor, it touched all my feels buttons. There were times I was laughing so hard I woke my husband up, I was crying so hard I could not stop and most of the time I had a silly smile on my face. This is one book you must read....read it now.
Profile Image for Sarah.
1,666 reviews1,274 followers
July 18, 2022


I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this book. Kristy Marie has mastered the art of the dramedy. She consistently writes romances that pull on your heart strings and make you laugh.

What I loved most about this book (and the first standalone in the series, The Potter), is that she gives these themes that remind us of the hardships of life can be overcome, that we can endure and find happiness through the pain and that we don’t need to adhere to societal standards.

I also loved that she took something that she did a little gender issue, role reversal and I was here for it.

Of course we get the KM heroine shenanigans and steamy parts, but I’ve been loving the messages of Kristy’s novels so much that these always seem to be what stick with me when the novel ends.

***ARC review***
Profile Image for Jeeves Reads Romance.
1,434 reviews539 followers
August 5, 2022
A miss for me

Sister swap romances are not a favorite of mine by any means, but I can be won over by the right book. This wasn't it. Since I loved the first book in this series of interconnected standalones, I decided to take a chance on this installment. Unfortunately, the first 40ish percent is all about the heroine taking her sister off of life support and grappling with her sudden loss. Super heavy and not romantic. After that, much of the story is spent talking about the heroine's sister and the circumstances that lead to the hero having a baby with her. There was so much time spent talking about the sister and parenting a new baby that the romance was completely overshadowed. Sure, they bonded over the loss that connects them. Sure, they hooked up. But I never felt the romantic love.

The story follows Keagan, a woman whose entire life is upended when she discovers that her sister hid a pregnancy from her... and she didn't survive the birth. Grieving and reeling from all of the surprises, Keagan takes her anger out on the baby's father, Astor. But it turns out that Astor didn't know about the child either, and they're both shaken by the situation. As these two complete strangers process their emotions, they also have a new baby to think of. And as Keagan spends time with her niece's father, she realizes that he's actually a good man. But falling in love while grieving is never a good idea, and Keagan will never be able to forget that Astor was her sister's first.

Plot-wise, I wouldn't have picked up this book if I wasn't already a fan of Marie's work and had already started the series. I've been won over by books with semi-similar scenarios in the past, but they're always a tough sell for me. The essential component is developing the romantic relationship separate from the troublesome one - and this fails at that. There's a LOT of time spent reflecting on Astor's (non-romantic) relationship with the heroine's sister, more time than is spent on swoony moments. It's successful at showing Astor and Keagan bonding and getting closer, but I didn't feel the sparks there. And the tone was much heavier than anticipated. The first book in the series, The Potter, is a great mix of intensity, humor, and romance, with some emotional moments but an uplifting tone. This is almost somber, with only a few brighter moments to lighten it up. Certainly not the "humorous" book that the blurb hints at. Without those lighter, romantic moments, I didn't feel the right kind of vibes between Astor and Keagan - they felt more like friends who bonded over tragedy. It ended up being a bit of a miss for me, but I'm looking forward to reading more from Marie once this series is over - the tease about the next book didn't do it for me either, unfortunately.
Profile Image for Naadira  Moodley (BookedMercy) .
367 reviews79 followers
August 2, 2022
There's just something about Kristy's writing that speaks to my soul. I experience that with every book she writes. The Refiner was a book that gave me a wholesome feeling. It warmed my heart and touched my soul. It became my comfort read.

Astor Potter fascinated me. He had so many insecurities and damaged bits that made my heart ache for him. A miracle was bestowed upon him in the form of his little girl and slowly the healing process began.

Keagan and Astors meet cute was done in typical Kristy fashion-full of banter, one liners and the perfect blend of tension and chemistry. It left a lasting impression on us readers.

Going into this book, I was highly intrigued and was anticipating how Kristy will bring this couple together. Because going for your recently deceased sister's baby daddy is kind of sus and disrespectful but this couple's journey to love was effortless and harmonizing. They healed each other after they both experienced grief and became an unconventional family. Their problems were not pushed to the side or overlooked. We got to feel their grief, their heartache, their worries, their self judgement, their happiness, their love and their healing. Astor and Keagan formed a healthy relationship. They repected each other and gave each other space and time when needed. There was no miscommunication or big blow out. It was two mature individuals who knew time and love was what they needed to heal.

Although reading through my review might make this book seem a bit heavy especially on the heart but I assure you, it's not. It had the perfect dose of everything you could wish for in a book. The heroine was quirky, lovable and quick with words. Her banter with Astor was on point and made me laugh throughout the book. I wholeheartedly enjoyed this couple and so look forward to Duke's story. Let's see what the playboy Doctor gets up to now that he put himself in such an entanglement. Can't wait!
Profile Image for Julie's Book Land Reviews.
354 reviews32 followers
August 3, 2022
While I was reading The Refiner, I noticed that Kristy Marie sprinkled in some humor with her emotional scenes and then gave us a HEA that I absolutely adored between these characters. Once again Kristy, you have blown me away with your creativity in any situation that you put your characters in and that's why I keep wanting to read every single release that you drop. To everyone whose looking for a dramedy filled with emotional elements and angsty elements with some steam sprinkled in, then you need to read Astor and Keagan's story because it gives you all that and more.
Profile Image for Vanessa (When Vane Reads).
615 reviews236 followers
July 13, 2022
Infinite stars for this story!
Brilliant, majestic, angst, captivating, a beautiful love story that pierced the depths of my soul, I feel emotionally spent, so drained, I can't stop thinking about these characters, this book is my new obsession, I am moved beyond words, still crying and with swollen eyes. The Refiner is Perfection, contains all the elements that I love in a great story, exceptional characters, complex and intriguing plot, intense emotions. A top read ever!

Astor, gosh, he won the award for Book Boyfriend of the Year, I love him so much, he is beyond perfect, sweet, patient, loyal, so protective of those he loves, Keagan is so brave and so strong, an epic heroine, I love the way they help each other to bear the loss, the suffering. With a unique and heartbreak plot, the author does an exceptional job narrating the intense emotions, capturing all their pain and the way in which little by little they help each other heal, their emotionally charged scenes took my breath away.

This book is a masterpiece, a roller coaster of emotions, about second chances, hope, love, loyalty, pain, healing, a story that reminds us that through pain the most beautiful things arise, through grieve we can find happiness, and that love is the force that overcomes everything, this is a story that will remain engraved in my heart forever.
Profile Image for Basak.
720 reviews34 followers
July 18, 2022
The Refiner by Kristy Marie was the sweetest romance I have read in a long while and I read almost 300 books a year. I fell in love with Astor and Keagan’s journey of love, loss and companionship. From the first few chapters, I rooted for them and got my wish though through sad times. I actually have shed tears for quite a few times but the ending was totally worth it. And the easy way Astor was showing his affection was quite the treat knowing that most MCs are written as aloof and arrogant and not too fond of displaying their feelings. The Refiner is definitely a must-read for romance fans like me❤️
Profile Image for Stephanie.
1,008 reviews119 followers
July 27, 2022
Calling it now, this is probably in my top 5 books I’ve read all year. My phone is streaked with tears. Such a fantastic read!

Profile Image for Andi Isack.
402 reviews14 followers
August 1, 2022
This book is definitely the most tear jeker book of KMs catalogue. But it worth all those tears. It's an incredible story. Written to challenge your heart. It will break your heart and pick up the pieces and put it back together. You will live this story not just read it. And I garantieren you, that it will leave a mark on your heart. Even all that emotion roller, the book has a happy ending, and what an ending, let me anticiped you this. Is really dynamic, but never rush the story, focused a lot on the realistic and unpredictable life moments. This story is definitely an original and incredible proof of unconditional love. In fact it will show you a hundred shades of this feeling called love. You'll be impressed. And to add to all this the high quality of Kristy writing style, her talent to play with her characters emotions and with yours as well. To show the right card at the right moment. To make you cry and smile, to make you believe in the power of love, no matter what. I run out of words to say how much this book will give you.
And of course the love story is something else. You will find out way. Just let me tell you this:you'll fangirl the heroine from the very first moment.
I love every single page of this book. It's an unforgettable story, beautiful and fragile.
*ARC kindly provided by the author in exchange of an honest review *
Profile Image for ˗ˏˋsofia´ˎ˗.
395 reviews106 followers
August 14, 2022

Astor Potter and Keagan Mckellan, my new obsession.

This book gave everything it was supposed to give and so much more. It was emotional, adorable, steamy and i loved it so much!

Please consider starting this series it is so good!
Profile Image for Alley Ciz.
Author 83 books2,261 followers
July 25, 2022
These two will give you ALL the feels. Your emotions will run a gambit while reading this book; you'll laugh then cry then rage and need to fan yourself and swoon.
Profile Image for Jenifer Briggs.
1,372 reviews155 followers
August 10, 2022
Maybe it's because I just had a baby not too long ago, and that I was an anxiety ridden mess through all my pregnancies convinced the worst that could happen, would, buuuut damn this book tore at my heart. I was an absolute mess and bundled my babies extra close to me. I think both Keys & Astor handed their loss and newfound parenthood as graciously as they could in their situation. They had to really lean on each other, and I loved their connection. And as heavy as the book was, there was definitely some funny and steamy moments as well. For being the first time reading this author, I was definitely impressed.

This trope won't be everyone's favorite-- i get it, sister sharing isn't always something that's done well. But the thing is, Astor was never in love with Keagan's sister, nor were they ever in a relationship. It was a one night stand that turned into a beautiful creation. So I never felt like Keys was his second choice or consolation prize. That being said, I wish there was more focus on *their* relationship and not Astors friendship with her sister. I get why there was, and exactly why he felt so grateful and indebted to her,but still, I felt there should have been more fixation on Keys.

All in all, this was a truly wonderful romance and I'm totally going back and reading more from this author!

**I received an ARC of this book and these are my honest opinions **
Profile Image for Julie.
179 reviews
July 16, 2022
My emotions! My emotions! I don’t know how else to put it, but Kristy Marie has written an absolute masterpiece in The Refiner!

This story made me cry no less than twenty times, tears of grief, tears of joy, tears of laughter, tears of sorrow and understanding. But in between the tears, there was so much laughter and joy and heart! Every emotion you can go through, I did in The Refiner! The story of Keagan, Piper, Astor, and Tatum is one that will NOT leave me any time soon. I have no words for it. The Refiner was an absolutely beautiful story.

The Refiner is easily one of my favorite reads this year! Keagan was sassy and hilarious and oh my god, did I feel for her! Astor was beyond perfect! Listen to me when I tell you, Kristy Marie KNOWS how to write a swoon worthy book boyfriend, and Astor is no exception! His strength and vulnerability were beautiful and refreshing to read! I loved the way the two were able to push each other’s buttons! I was absolutely rooting for these two!

I always worry I will spoil too much, so just trust me when I say you want to read The Refiner! It’s heartbreaking and healing and sheer perfection! I loved it! 5+ Stars!!!
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