The Beautiful Ashes (Broken Destiny #1)
Harlequin / August 26, 2014 / $14.95 print, $7.99 digital
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 fateno 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.
Jeaniene Frost dives into a brand new world with the first book in her Broken Destiny trilogy, The Beautiful Ashes. With little preamble, we are thrown into Ivy’s world, where suddenly instead of the happy, cohesive family she’s always known, she now has a missing sister and dead parents—and can see into a parallel world made up of dark, disfigured facsimiles of our world and people.
Ivy is on the run, but things are about to get even uglier when a handsome-but-deadly stranger informs her she’s about to have a really bad night:
Gorgeous guys do not spend their evenings waiting around for me. That’s why I thought he was another hallucination until he spoke. My hallucinations had never spoken to me before.
“Hi,” the stranger said, his deep voice tinged with an accent I couldn’t place. “Sorry to tell you, but you’re about to have a really bad night.”
I knew I should turn around, open the door and run, preferably while screaming. That was the only logical response; but I stood there, somehow unafraid of my intruder. Great. My survival instincts must’ve secretly made a suicide pact.
Ivy’s survival instincts might not have been as suicidal as she thought, as the mysterious stranger reveals himself to be a guy named Adrian who's been sent to collect her (read: save her from demons).
The Beautiful Ashes reads like an awesome, fast-paced episode of Supernatural…with romance. Adrian, our reluctant hero, is destined to betray Ivy, but both Ivy and Adrian fight against their destiny, even when Angels and Demons alike tell them nothing good will come from their partnership—or from their involvement with the supernatural.
“I told you before, Ivy, we don’t win this way. Archons or demons do, but either way, there is no going back for us.”
My head dropped into my hands. Adrian was right. Even if I won, I didn’t really win. The Archons did, but Jasmine and I were still screwed.
Despite this dark period when Ivy thinks all hope is lost—even if she does win—she still has faith that she can have Adrian and beat her fate. Adrian also tries to fight their prophecy, but his efforts are no match for the chemistry he and Ivy cook up.
Then he pulled me across the seats until I was on top of him, his strong grip molding me against every muscled inch of his body.
“This is why I stayed away.” Growled against my mouth as his hands started to rove over me with knowing, ruthless passion. “Can’t be near you without wanting you. Can’t stop myself anymore—“
His words cut off as his kiss deepened, until I could hardly breathe from the erotic thrusts and delves of his tongue. I’d been kissed before, but never like this. He wasn’t exploring my mouth. He was claiming it.
Fanning yourself yet? Frost's signature voice is spot-on for New Adult, and while this book isn’t as sexually explicit as New Adult readers are accustomed to, the chemistry, pacing, and plot twists—not to mention humor or masterful worldbuilding—keep the reader too engrossed to notice. It’s an excellent first book and leaves me panting for the second…and third…books. The Beautiful Ashes is a sexy, funny, perfect read for lovers of paranormal and New Adult.
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Jennifer Proffitt is a Midwest transplant to New York City. She spends most of her time reading and writing about romance, but you can follow her other adventures on Twitter @JennProffitt. She works for Heroes and Heartbreakers and Criminal Element.