From the New York Times bestselling author of Collide and Pulse comes a gritty new novel about a shattered young woman who unexpectedly falls for two best friends as she struggles to overcome the trauma of her tormented childhood.
They were a storm I never saw coming, an unforeseen heartbreak on the edge of a dangerous cliff.
Amber Moretti's life changes in the span of minutes. An orphaned outsider, she is desperate to start fresh the moment she walks onto campus. In the time it takes to cross the university’s dining hall, she meets two men who bring color, air, and light to her darkened world.
They became my addiction, each a needle to my next hit, my high.
Brock Cunningham’s appeal is dizzying, a potent force Amber can’t deny. A green-eyed smooth talker, he instantly attracts Amber. It doesn’t take long for him to consume her every thought, her every breath.
Ryder Ashcroft, a blue-eyed, tattooed, and pierced bad boy, turns Amber off immediately—that is, until he kisses her, stealing a piece of her heart, her soul.
They were as opposite as fire and ice, yet I ached for them equally.
Never knowing she could be broken down in so many unexpectedly beautiful yet petrifying ways, Amber finds herself falling for both men.
Immoral? Maybe. I say undeniable. Uncontained.
But one event changes everything, shattering each of their lives…and Amber isn’t sure she can come back from it.
Amber To Ashes drew me in and became an addiction of mine from the start of it's dark and ominous prologue to the last 10% of the book when I was reading, PANICKING, and thinking "No! It can't end yet! There has to be more!".
Raw, gritty, intense, and not necessarily for the faint of heart, this love-triangle romance is a fantastic new read by Collide and Pulse author Gail McHugh.
Alright so down to the basics. The story is about a broken woman with a twisted past. She meets two men who equally change her life for very different reasons. Most of the time, when you read a love triangle, there's a clear cut choice for which man you want to win the girl's heart. While yes, I was a bit partial to Ryder (that bad boy persona gets me every time), these flawed and tortured characters are presented in such a way that it really isn't a simple choice. I found myself torn, along with Amber. With explosive chemistry and sexual tension across the board, both Brock and Ryder are perfectly imperfect contenders for our heroine's heart. I think it takes some true talent to rip a reader's heart straight down the middle and Gail McHugh did a fantastic job accomplishing this feat.
The plot was extremely well done, not slowing down much at all from start to finish. Each character is complex in their own right. I also liked that Gail could take the taboo issue of loving two people at the same time, and turn it into the fiction-lover's wildest fantasy.
One of the most notable pieces of this book is the sex scenes. Holy freaking hell!! No lie, this book contains some of the most fantastically raunchy and detailed sex scenes I have ever read! My inner perve literally wants to go back and just reread THAT scene...the pivotal one between Ryder, Amber, and Brock that changes everything...
There are only a few reasons that Amber to Ashes didn't earn a full 5-star rating from me, the main one being a personal issue with the writing. While I am a sucker for poetic writing, I felt that it went a little bit overboard with unnecessary wordiness. A lot of the time I found myself skimming for the dialogue just wanting to get to the heart of what the characters were experiencing, sometimes having to go back to make sure I understood the point the author was trying to make with each lengthy sentence. I liked the concept behind the plot enough that a lot of the time, the writing just seemed to overdo it a bit.
I really didn't connect with Amber at all. She's written to be an incomplete person, torn up from the inside out by her past. While I did feel for her at times, as the book went on, I felt myself disconnecting from her character and scratching my head, wondering how these two men could possibly be so enthralled by her. She was an enigma, sometimes owning her actions and other times just being plain selfish and annoying. I definitely didn't feel she was a rare gem as she was so often referred to. I also found the insta-love-connection between her and her two boys a bit unrealistic, the extreme emotions they all felt, coming on a bit too soon. What kept me riveted was Brock and Ryder 100%. I couldn't get enough of them and I was definitely pleased to see that all 3 POV's are seen in this story.
Most of the feedback I've seen on Amber To Ashes is love or hate. There are some darker themes dealing with drug use and murder that may sway some people. The content was never an issue for me, but I'm a sucker for dark romance. If the description of this book piques your interest at all, I definitely urge you to read this book. It's far from any love-triangle I've encountered before and will leave you absolutely craving more!
About Gail McHugh:
“The first of two sexy contemporary romances about a woman torn between her seemingly perfect boyfriend and a dark, mysterious stranger who will stop at nothing to have her.” – Publishers Weekly on COLLIDE, a Top 10 Romance pick!
Gail’s next novel, also publishing through Atria Books, AMBER TO ASHES: Part One in the Torn Heart Series, is slated to release June 9th, 2015.
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