From Ashes by Molly McAdams ✰✰✰

✰✰✰

When Cassidy Jameson’s best friend Tyler took her to Texas with him when he left for college, she was expecting his cousin, their new roommate, to be a Stetson-wearing cowboy since his family owned a ranch; not this incredibly gorgeous guy with a husky Southern drawl that seemed to make the world stop whenever she looked at him. Because of her past, she’s only ever trusted two men in her life, Tyler and her dad whom passed away when she was six. But there’s something about Gage that draws her to him in a way she can’t explain, only problem? He’s always telling Tyler that he doesn’t want Cassidy living there and sees her as nothing more than his little sister.

Gage Carson was excited his cousin Tyler was coming to live with, and go to college with him. When he’d called to ask if he could bring his friend Cassi with him, Gage didn’t care. Gage had heard about this mysterious friend since they were kids and felt like he already knew her. Nothing would prepare him for watching her jump out of Ty’s Jeep though. Not only was Cassi the most beautiful girl he’d ever seen, but there was something about her that within seconds of meeting her, made Gage want to protect her, and make her his. Too bad Tyler made it a point to remind Gage on a daily basis that he was dating her and she was completely off limits.

For a year and a half, Gage and Cassidy dance around their feelings for each other as Tyler continues to keep them apart; until one day Tyler unknowingly pushes her right into Gage’s arms. With Tyler unable to keep lying to them, they finally start a relationship both have been craving since their first meeting. But when an accident and disaster sends her back to Tyler and California, will Cassidy be able to come face to face with the demons from her past to live a life she and Gage deserve; or will the fact that she once again ran to Tyler be the final push that ends Cassidy and Gage for good?

 

I’ve been battling with how many stars to give this, but sticking by my ratings guide that I always try to abide by (✰ – Unfinished. ✰✰ – Disliked. ✰✰✰ – I liked it but didn’t love it. ✰✰✰✰ – I loved it but there are things that didn’t work for me. ✰✰✰✰✰ – I absolutely adored it!) I have to go with three. I didn’t dislike the book, but I didn’t love it either.

I haven’t read Molly McAdams’ other book, Taking Chances, as I found out, by accident, what happened and it took some of the appeal away. But I do know that it was a book that seemed to cause extreme reactions. It seemed like Marmite, people either absolutely adored it, despite the turmoil, or hated it with a vengeance. So I know, whenFrom Ashes came out, I had to read it to see what all of the fuss was about.

It’s true. Molly McAdams is a fantastic writer. The characters are well developed, the scenes are life like and the writing itself was addictive… but the characters drove me completely insane.

It was, very distinctly, a book of two halves for me. Or more like 60/40, actually. The first 60% was, quite honestly, one of the most frustrating pieces of reading I’ve ever come across. It seems in the world of From Ashes, communication is a foreign language and assumption is an every day occurrence. The misunderstandings were just ridiculous at times, not to mention the over reactions on Cassidy’s part.

Speaking of Cassidy… urgh! I’ve never wanted to slap someone hard between the eyes as much as I did her. I get that was supposed to be a tortured soul, but honestly? Sometimes she was beyond stupid and just a total bitch. I did grow to like her more by the end, but she just infuriated me so much in the beginning, that it was too much for her to entirely redeem herself.

And then there was Tyler. Cassidy’s supposed life long best friend. I didn’t get him at all! He was one of the things that was so obviously different in the two parts of this book. He was a complete dickhead throughout the first half and in my opinion, his behaviour was completely unforgivable and didn’t correspond with the guy that Cassidy seemed to depend upon so heavily. And then at around 60% he changed unrecognisably and became this sweet, dependable BFF… I had real trouble making the connection between the two sides of Tyler.

“It’s complicated; we really were just friends. But she needed me; I couldn’t just leave her. And I’m in love with her, man.”

For me, Gage saved the book. He was to die for. I felt so sorry for him at so many points in the book. There’s no way Cassidy deserved him, I don’t care how pretty her golden eyes are! He didn’t put a foot wrong. He was caring, considerate, protective, devoted, mature… just gorgeous. I think his Dad should had given him a kick up the ass and told him to get over this messer of a girl, rather than encouraged him!

“The first night I met her, I felt her before I even saw her. It’s like I had to look up at her, and when I did… I swear the world stopped moving.”

So, there we go. I really enjoyed the last 40% of the book, even with the complication of Detective Connor Green (who I couldn’t decide whether I loved or hated) which I think gave this book the juice it was missing, the juice that the author seemed to try and include by writing annoying miscommunication and inconsistent personalities. At least Cassidy seemed to grow some balls in the latter section of the book, and Tyler sorted his shit out. Gage, true to form, stayed as perfect as ever. *sigh*

 

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