Monday, November 23, 2015

REVIEW - Vandal (Ashes & Embers #2) - Carian Cole

TITLE - Vandal (Ashes & Embers #2)AUTHOR - Carian Cole


She takes my breath away; she is so beautifully damaged.  
Yes I had broken her, ravished her life, destroyed her happiness. I brought her to ultimate despair. I was responsible for all the pain and suffering that now brought her to her knees in front of me. 

Reckless in her agony. 

She is a mirror of my own tortured soul.

But what I took away I can give back.
In ways she cannot even begin to imagine.
She is everything right in all my wrongs.

She loves me. She needs me.

She has no idea I’m the one who wrecked her life.

My Review:

Vandal is the second installment in the Ashes & Embers series by Carian Cole.  First, let me say that Carian Cole is an amazing writer. The first book in this series was good, but Vandal blew my mind. I had no idea that she would take a while new direction with the new book. She definitely surprised me in a very good way.

Vandal is all about going through tragedy and learning how to heal. The beginning of the book jumps right into serious topics. I was surprised that there wasn’t more padding before the original tragedy in the book. With that being said, I think that Carian made the right decision with the layout of this book. I think the shock factor was a good technique to use in this story. I feel it added to the tone of the book.

Vandal is the main character in the book. We first meet him in the first book, but only briefly. With that being said, this book can be read as a standalone.  Vandal has a lot of issues. He has a troubled past that effects his day to day life. He only cares about one thing in life. When an incident takes away the only thing in life he cares about, his life ceases to mean anything. He uses destruction to try and make sense of the way his life is now. Enter Tabitha. Tabitha is broken as well. Her life was altered completely after a catastrophic event. She is lost and looking for her way in her new life as well. When these two meet, they see the same pain reflected in the other’s eyes. This starts them down a road of no return.

These characters both develop slowly. Each character has their own agenda for taking the actions that they take. They both hold their own secrets while trying to use each other to help heal themselves. I think that the fact that they are both trying to handle grief and loss translate directly into how they interact with each other. Vandal thinks he knows what he is doing, but I think he gets in over his head, which forces him to change his thinking. These characters are like watching a train wreck. You want to look away but at the same time you can’t.

There is a lot of heat between these two characters. They use their physical attraction as a form of control. I think that when someone experiences tragedy, they need to find some aspect of their life that they can understand and manipulate. Most of the time, I feel like people feel that they are not in control of their own lives when unexpected events occur. This tends to make them look for something in their life that they can control. I believe that for many people, they realize they can use their bodies as a weapon in this context. This is where I think these two characters are.

Overall, I loved this book. The dark content, while surprising, was refreshing. I thought I knew what to expect when I started reading this book. I thought for sure that this book would be similar to the first, as many books in series are. While the first book was good, I liked this book better. The content of the book was raw and very emotional which I love in a book. I would recommend to my friends.

Star Ratings:
Plot = 5/5
Characters = 5/5
Heat = 5/5
Writing Style = 5/5
Overall Rating = 5/5

Favorite Quotes:

“The ties that bind us to one another may not always be visible, but they’re like thin, transparent veins. I don’t know why, but this is one vein I don’t want to slit.” Vandal

“Don’t apologize. Even the sky cries.” Vandal

“We wait for love to come to us; we don’t make love wait for us.” Asher


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