I received this book for free from the TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost
Series: Broken Destiny #1
Published by HQN Books on September 29, 2015 (1st published August 26, 2014)
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Source: TLC Book Tours
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In a world of shadows, anything is possible. Except escaping your fate.
Ever since she was a child, Ivy has been gripped by visions of strange realms just beyond her own. But when her sister goes missing, Ivy discovers the truth is far worse—her hallucinations are real, and her sister is trapped in a parallel realm. And the one person who believes her is the dangerously attractive guy who's bound by an ancient legacy to betray her.
Adrian might have turned his back on those who raised him, but that doesn't mean he can change his fate…no matter how strong a pull he feels toward Ivy. Together they search for the powerful relic that can save her sister, but Adrian knows what Ivy doesn't: that every step brings Ivy closer to the truth about her own destiny, and a war that could doom the world. Sooner or later, it will be Ivy on one side and Adrian on the other. And nothing but ashes in between…
I’m not sure when I read an urban fantasy or a paranormal romance last, and Jeaniene Frost has always been a favorite author of mine. I loved her vampire series, and I do have a paperback copy of The Beautiful Ashes that I’d preordered back in 2014. But for whatever reason I never read the book, and I was approached for the TLC Book Tours tour for book two in this series, The Sweetest Burn, so now was the perfect time to finally go back and read book one so I could tackle book two. Angels and demons are something that I usually don’t read, so The Beautiful Ashes is my first road into this topic in a while.
Ivy is a college student who’s had visions of another world her entire life, and doctors have chalked them up to hallucinations and medicated her. But that never helped, so she just pretended that the prescriptions helped so she could live as normal a life as possible. The only person who didn’t think that she was crazy and actually believed that the visions were real was her younger sister, and she has just gone missing. Ivy sets out to find her missing sister, going to every hotel and hole in the wall in the city her sister was last seen.
But then the bed and breakfast where Ivy is asking about her sister morphs into a dark, frozen house complete with her sister screaming for help, and Ivy knows that she has to do whatever she can to rescue her sister–even if the manager with the strange shadows across her face tries to kill her as she asks more questions. Enter tall, tanned, and handsome Adrian, who swoops in at just the right time to save Ivy from a police officer who wants to take Ivy to the same realm that her sister is trapped in. As Adrian basically leaves Ivy no choice but to go with him after he explains that her visions are real and demons’ minions are after her now, she finds out what part both she and Adrian have to play in this battle between Archons (angels) and demons.
I found Ivy to be headstrong yet barely holding it together at times, so she was pretty realistic in that regard. She refused to give up on her sister, and she wouldn’t back down even when Adrian keeps her in the dark about so much of her lineage and her abilities because of her line. She was spunky and sarcastic, and I really enjoyed how she saw the world and commented about things. But she was so in the dark about how things worked, and she had to rely on Adrian to fill her in–and that made her vulnerable and quite irritated.
Adrian was shrouded in mystery and his secrets were revealed slowly. He’s an alpha male with ties to the demons, but he bands together with Ivy to take them down. He’s brooding, a quite capable fighter, very knowledgeable when it comes to the demons, and is handy with weapons. But he’s always pushing her away when she tries to get close or asks personal questions, and he’s definitely keeping her at arms length for very good reasons.
I give The Beautiful Ashes a four out of five. As Ivy, Adrian, and their cohorts travel from demon world portal to portal across the United States, I did enjoy how this story unfolded and you learned more about Adrian’s past. Ivy stuck to her guns when it came to rescuing her sister, and in the end, she made the right choice for herself. This book goes by rather quickly once you get past the initial world building–which takes up a good half of the book–but it does suffer from a bit of an identity crisis when it comes to what it is–is it adult or is it new adult or is it even just older YA when you get down to the details of Ivy and Adrian’s relationship?
Look for my review of The Sweetest Burn, book two in the Broken Destiny series, on Monday, July 17!
Find THE BEAUTIFUL ASHES
About Jeaniene Frost
Jeaniene Frost is the New York Times, USA TODAY, and international bestselling author of the Night Huntress and Night Prince series for Avon and the Broken Destiny series for Harlequin HQN. Jeaniene’s books have sold in twenty different countries to date. She lives in North Carolina and Florida with her husband.
Connect with Jeaniene Frost
Make sure to pop on over to my excerpt post for TLC Book Tours tour stop for THE SWEETEST BURN for a sneak peak at the beginning of book 2. You can enter the Rafflecopter widget there for your chance to win a $25 gift card to celebrate the release of THE SWEETEST BURN.
Jeaniene Frost’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, July 3rd: Bewitched Bookworms – excerpt
Wednesday, July 5th: Smexy Books
Thursday, July 6th: Romancing the Readers – excerpt
Monday, July 10th: Stuck in Books – excerpt
Wednesday, July 12th: Mama Reads Blog
Thursday, July 13th: Books That Hook
Monday, July 17th: Bewitched Bookworms – review
Wednesday, July 19th: Lovely Reads
Monday, July 24th: Tome Tender
Thursday, July 27th: All Roads Lead to the Kitchen – excerpt
Friday, July 28th: Becky on Books
Monday, July 31st: A Dream Within a Dream – excerpt
Wednesday, August 2nd: Becca the Bibliophile – excerpt
Monday, August 7th: Books and Spoons – excerpt
Wednesday, August 9th: A Chick Who Reads
Thursday, August 10th: From the TBR Pile
Thursday, August 10th: Brooke Blogs – excerpt
Monday, August 14th: Read Love Blog