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. Broken. Hopeless. 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.
I slowly walk down the dark hallway and stop at Katie’s doorway. Her pink nightlight is on, illuminating the room. I don’t want to go in, but I can’t stop myself. The mix of her presence and her void is completely overwhelming, and I fall to my knees in the middle of the room. The pain in my chest is like nothing I have ever felt before, as if my heart is being ripped from my body and sliced into tiny pieces. I want her back so bad. I want to just feel her tiny hand in mine and tuck her into bed.
Lifting my head, my eyes fall on Teddy, Katie’s coveted bear that she left here to ‘take care of me’. I crawl to the small bed and lie my head next to the little bear that, just a few days ago, we tucked into her blankets together until she’d be back. Pressing my face against the little bear, I can’t hold back my tears anymore.
What I thought about Vandal
Late one night a devastating car accident takes the lives of three people, including Vandal's young daughter. The family pays off all the witnesses to keep Vandal's identity out of the press, and then he's left to handle his grief alone. He's a mess.
When he see the wife of one of the victims of the crash crying at the cemetery, he becomes obsessed with her and basically starts stalking her. Tabitha is in no better shape than Vandal, missing the husband she lost in the crash, and when Vandal offers her a ride on his bike to forget her grief for a little while she takes it.
Vandal takes her to his house by the lake and offers her release from her pain by submitting to him for a month long D/s scene and Tabitha agrees. She's looking for anything to release her pain and so these two damaged, grieving souls come together in a bizarre relationship. Vandal doesn't tell her that he's the one that caused the accident, and their relationship is akin to waiting for another crash to happen.
I wasn't quite sure who was more messed up here, but somehow it's just what the two of them need to break out of their grief and learn to live again. Unfortunately, Tabitha eventually learns Vandal's real identity and everything goes down the tubes.
Vandal is a complicated mess of a person. I wasn't surprised by him wanting to fix his life the way he did, and I loved that he developed some real feelings for a woman for the first time with Tabitha. I was very interested in how everything was going to work out for them once the truth came out, and I liked that Vandal gave Tabitha the time she needed to come to terms with the fact she was in love with the man that had killed her husband.
What I didn't expect was the twist in the last chapter, and unfortunately the twist, which I'm not going to spoil for you, changed how I felt about this story. For me, the revelation was so unexpected and hard to believe that it took something away from this story for me. You may read it and feel differently.
So overall, a nicely paced read that kept me turning the pages. The guys from Ashes & Embers are all intriguing and that's what keeps me coming back to this series. For me, I had a hard time believing the twist at the end, and that had me giving this a 3 1/2 star rating instead of a 4. This was a difficult book to rate since I really liked most of it, but that ending had me shaking my head in disbelief and it took something away from my enjoyment of the story.
ARC provided for review.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
(Storm, book 1 in ASHES AND EMBERS)
About the Author:
Carian Cole Bio: I have a passion for the bad boys, those covered in tattoos, sexy smirks, ripped jeans, fast cars, motorcycles and of course, the sweet girls that try to tame them and win their hearts. My debut series, Ashes & Embers, follows the lives of rock band members as they find, and sometimes lose, the loves of their lives. My first novel in the Ashes & Embers series, Storm, published on September of 2014. Vandal, the second novel in this series is publishing in February of 2015. I currently have approximately nine books slated for this series, as well as an MC series in the works, and a few stand-alones coming in 2015 onward. Born and raised a Jersey girl, I now reside in beautiful New Hampshire with my husband and our multitude of furry pets and spend most of my time writing, reading, and vacuuming.