beauty in the ashes


Standalone Dark Contemporary Romance

Some stories are a fairytale…but this isn’t one.

Caelan Gregory’s life fell apart the night he went home and opened the door to find his whole family murdered. Since then, his life has held no meaning. He’s angry. He’s bitter. He’s barely human anymore. There’s nothing left to remind him of the straight A student, and football quarterback he once was…but he wasn’t a good person then, and he’s certainly not a good person now. He’s retreated into a world where all that exists is numbness and his passion for painting.When Sutton Hale moves into the apartment across the hall from Caelan she’s not prepared for her reaction to him. Something in his broken blue eyes calls to her—after all she’s always had an irrational need to fix everything.But Caelan doesn’t do relationships or feelings. He does drugs and alcohol. However, he can’t ignore his desire to get to know the raven-haired woman across the hall.

Two broken souls trying to mend one another.

But not everything can be fixed.

In the end, Caelan and Sutton will have to learn that there is beauty in the ashes.

 ´♥ ´♥ ´♥

beauty in the ashes collage

Reviewed by Jenny and Gitte 

‘He was right. What we had…it couldn’t be defined as love. It was different…infinitely more.’

Gitte: You know what; there’s some books where you finish reading and you think…what the hell happened here? When a story suddenly doesn’t play out remotely how you expected, in respect to how it actually unfolded for the majority of the storyline. How, the bloody hell, am I suddenly meant to feel a brand new connection and emotion when it punches me by surprise?

The writing was brilliant; many highlighted quotes poetic in their sheer beauty. The intense and harrowing subjects were hard to read about and my heart bled several times whilst crying tears of pain and anguish! I was loving it right from the first hard hitting words which tore at my heart and made me care so very deeply……then……

Upon finishing just now, I feel cheated and angry; defeated and confused! I ended up disliking Sutton fiercely; yes my heart broke for her, believe me, with what she’s been through, wow. BUT what a selfish, weak and frustrating girl she turned into! I did not understand her ‘split personality’ character towards the end!

This story had such a slow and beautiful build up and I was completely immersed and invested in Sutton and Caelan. Then it all turned around two thirds through, after an emotionally harrowing scene, and it became a different book altogether. This kind of ruined the whole experience for me in many ways. I felt the Author let her characters down; both of them. Love became cheapened and the characters had a complete change which didn’t seem natural nor convincing. I don’t know why it went this way…it was a truly beautiful fucked up mess until then when it just went….well strange and pointless really. The message got lost amongst the turning of characters.

I loved Caelan so very much; he took a huge part of my heart and I cared deeply for him. Then ‘that’ happened and suddenly everything I’d invested my emotions in became redundant. I had the rug pulled from underneath my feet and not necessarily in a good way! I don’t even know what to say, Jenny…..

Jenny:  Gitte I have to admit I’m at loss for words and feeling a bit despondent at the moment. I can’t believe how differently I feel now compared to how I felt through for 80% of this story. For the most part I was moved and emotionally invested in Sutton and Caelan’s relationship. The slow build up, the outpouring of emotion, the beauty, the despair, the sadness and meaning behind the words this author brought to their story held me spellbound. I believed it, I felt it, I lived it but now I’ve come to the end and I’m feeling somewhat let down.

After one of the most horrific and heart-breaking starts to a book I’ve read in a while, I was immediately drawn in. I felt an instant connection to Caelan and let me tell you this man held my heart. I cared about him on a deeply emotional level. The pain, suffering, guilt and wretched emotional state this man was forced to endure seared my soul right through the story.

Through her tragic and cruel backstory I was made to care for Sutton, and so I became dedicated to these two very broken people.  I shared their ups and downs, torments, struggles and moments of happiness. I. Was. Invested.

Then….80% happened and I was gobsmacked. Angry. Gutted. Confused. My feelings for Caelan never faltered and like you, I sadly found myself disconnecting with Sutton. It was as though I had been put through the emotional wringer for nothing.

I had highlighted most of this book up to about 80%, it was so moving and emotional.  There were so many beautiful moments, so many powerfully meaningful words that went straight to my heart; I held every one of those quotes dear.  And now I feel as if those words are devoid of meaning to me because I was made to care and then…I wasn’t. That may sound harsh, but that’s how I’m feeling.

The event that led to ‘that’ moment felt unnecessary. What happened afterwards……I still can’t think about it without getting upset. I so, so wish I felt differently about it all because the first 2/3rds of this book held me in its grip.

J&G: Beauty in the Ashes had some truly outstanding, emotional, sad and beautiful moments and it would be unfair of us to rate and review this book solely on our feelings over the last 20% because this book was so much more than that.

“I’m as addicted to you as I am the drugs and alcohol. It’s unhealthy.”

In saying that, it’s hard to give it an overall rating because our feelings at the end differed so dramatically from our feelings through most of the book. Therefore we’ve decided to go with a split rating on this one.

“I don’t drink or do drugs to forget them, I do it to numb the pain remembering causes, because I never want to pretend that they didn’t exist. If I don’t remember, who will?”

Beauty In The Ashes is one of those books you have to read for yourself and decide how YOU feel. Everyone will have a different opinion on how the story unfolded and only YOU can decide if the outcome leaves you feeling content as everyone’s feelings will differ.

‘We were both two entirely fucked up people, who’d been dealt a bad hand, if we couldn’t trust each other with our sins then they’d stay bottled inside us until one day we exploded.’

Don’t get us wrong, we’re not cookie cutter. We like to be surprised. We love being blindsided. When the outcome of a story unfold very different to what we imagined we normally applaud the author for giving us the unpredictable but that was not the case in this story because the feelings elicited felt null and void by the end of the story.

Our Rating :
First 80% of story:
✯✯✯✯1/2 Stars
Last 20% of story: Star
Caelan: ✯✯✯✯✯  Stars for the majority of the story until his character was let down.
Sutton: ✯✯✯✯stars until ‘that which shall not be named happened’ then  Star
Writing: ✯✯✯✯ Stars

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte


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