Title – Amber to Ashes
Author – Gail McHugh
Publication Date – June 9, 2015
Series – Torn Hearts, #1
They were a storm I never saw coming, an unforeseen heartbreak on the edge of a dangerous cliff.
In AMBER TO ASHES, 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 devastating event changes everything, shattering each of their lives…and Amber isn’t sure she can recover from it.
Amber to Ashes is, without a doubt, one of those books that will stay deeply rooted in my heart for a long time. It is a darker read than Gail McHugh’s previous novels, but the writing is just as exquisite and emotionally-charged as what readers have come to expect from her. The words seeped into the crevices of my soul and brought out all of these emotions I didn’t even know that I had.
“Our past is what shapes us, the scars it leaves behind mold us, and what we do with the shit that’s left over is what defines us.”
There were so many complications to these characters that it became a web readers had to untangle layer by layer. In a twisted sort of way, I loved Brock, Ryder, and Amber. There were moments while reading this book, with Amber purging her feelings or the boys putting pieces together, that I felt like McHugh was holding a mirror to my innermost thoughts and fears. There were such realistic emotions and thought processes portrayed for what Amber had been through that I couldn’t help but fall in love with her. McHugh did an excellent job in making Brock and Ryder so different, yet incredibly similar. As a reader, I could understand how Amber came to feel for both these men, how they each fulfilled her in different ways.
“My heart’s no less bulletproof than yours. Believe me. But if you feel like you have nothing, then you have nothing to lose, right? Give yourself a shot at being my…different.”
The path from beginning to end was such a tumultuous one filled with twists and turns. I felt like I was diving deeper into this world and I didn’t want to escape. As the author left pieces of herself scattered amongst the pages, I was sucked in, desiring to leave pieces of myself behind too. The plot is certainly a bit dark and more twisted than your average romance, but if you stick with it, the ride is so worth it!
“I just…I need the both of you right now, and you both need me. We can heal each other from this nightmare. I know we can.”
I know that Amber to Ashes by Gail McHugh is not going to be for everyone. I can also safely say that if you’re expecting to get the same writing and feelings that you did with her beloved character Gavin, you’re going to be disappointed. However, what I most firmly believe is that if you can expand your mind and stick through the difficult and darker pieces, there is something about McHugh’s writing and these characters that will blow you away. Amber to Ashes stole pieces of my very heart and soul, but I found myself willingly handing over each and every one. I am definitely a bigger fan of this author than I was before, and I’m anxious to see where this author takes the next book in the series!
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Don’t Miss the Rest of the Series!
From the Storm (Torn Hearts, #2)
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Gail McHugh is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Collide and Pulse. She is the mother of three beautiful children and has been married to her husband for fifteen years.