Ashes by Sarah Gilman
Accidents happen for a reason...
Journalist Ambrosia Pellerin accepts an assignment involving the legendary phoenix, expecting, if nothing else, a little entertainment. Instead, she winds up pregnant—by a surprisingly human-looking firebird, Reece Bennu.
As the Phoenix prince, Reece is next in line to the throne and expected to marry a purebred royal. A common human such as Ambrosia is not in the cards. He swears, though, he'll never be an absentee father.
As Ambrosia's due date grows closer, so do the soon-to-be parents. But will their tentative love survive the prejudice of Reece's grandmother, who will stop at nothing to tear the two apart?
About the Author
Sarah Gilman writes paranormal romance. Her fascination with all things winged extends back to childhood, when images of the ancient Egyptian goddess Isis captured her imagination and never let go. She lives in Vermont with her supportive husband and two spoiled cats.
Read an Excerpt
By Sarah Gilman, Candace Havens and Marie Loggia-Kee
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2013 Sarah Gilman
All rights reserved.
Ambrosia Pellerin limped for ages along a dirt road, cursing everything — she cursed the hot New Mexico landscape, she cursed her dipshit boss and his "this will make us rich" ideas, and she cursed herself for taking this ridiculous assignment. The sun blew flames across her pale skin. Dirt concealed her makeup. Her feet ached and bled — she'd abandoned her broken, hundred-dollar heels.
"I'm going to strangle my boss," she muttered. "It'll be worth the jail time."
A house came into view, if a tiny camp with cacti growing on the roof could be called a house. Ugly shrubs and trees grew close to the building as if the owner had tried to hide from the view of passersby. If not for the gleaming Audi parked under a tent constructed from metal poles and burlap, she'd have assumed no one occupied the dump.
An extraordinary song filled the air. The chirps and whistles reminded her of a songbird, but the volume and timbre were that of something much larger — a lyrical, undulating sound more beautiful than anything she'd ever heard. Granted, after surviving this long in the desert and finding possible salvation, everything around her seemed brighter and lovelier than ever.
She beat on the door, flakes of rust-colored paint raining down on her ruined pedicure. Licking her cracked lips, she waited, praying the owner would help her.
No one answered.
"Anyone home? I need help!"
The bird's song ceased.
"Coming," an irritated male voice called out.
Ambrosia bit her lip. For all she knew, she could be interrupting a serial killer or a drug deal. Either seemed likely, considering the decrepit shack. But she'd never make it all the way back to town without help, and this was her only available option for at least five more miles — she hadn't noticed any other buildings on her drive in. She couldn't continue without shoes and water at the very least. Sweat dripped down her neck.
"What?" The door flew open and a man wearing only black boxer shorts filled the entrance. No sooner had the snapped word left his mouth, his jaw slackened. His golden-brown eyes widened. "Shit. What happened to you?"
"I need some water, please," she said, her throat scratchy.
The man held the door open, and she inched her way inside, expecting a sty. The scent hit her with the force of a Yankee Candle store during the holidays — cinnamon, balsam, citrus, and spices. The room itself gleamed — sparse and furnished only with a sofa, a table with two chairs, and a kitchenette, but clean. Clutches of herbs and plants, the source of the fragrance, hung from the walls and ceiling. Dozens. Hundreds.
"You make potpourri for a living?"
He walked past her into a tiny adjacent bathroom and pulled on a pair of jeans.
"Please, sit." He pulled out a chair at the polished pine table. "What's your name?"
She sank into the chair, her body aching. "Ambrosia."
"I'm Reece Bennu." He went to the sink, filled a glass, and soaked a chocolate-colored hand towel. He handed her the water, which she gulped.
He knelt at her side with the towel and wiped dried blood and dirt from scrapes on her arm. "What happened to you, Ambrosia?"
She ground her teeth from the memory of being pulled out of her car by her hair and dragged across the ground. "I misjudged a man's character."
Reece's frown deepened and he looked up at her, his golden-brown eyes shaded by his dark lashes. "Someone beat you? It looks more like you've been in a car accident."
"I beat him worse. Broke the heel of my shoe kicking his ass."
Reece grinned. "You wore heels out here?"
"It was supposed to be an interview. I'm a journalist." She propped her elbow on the table and dropped her face into her hand. "He sounded pleasant on the phone, but I should have brought someone with me. So stupid. I just wanted the job done quickly."
He said nothing, neither reassuring her nor condemning her behavior. He rinsed the cloth and continued smoothing the warm cotton over her skin. When he finished, fresh blood ran from her cuts. He disappeared into the bathroom, returned, and wrapped her arm in a cotton bandage.
"He knocked me out." She rubbed the lump on her head. "Took my cell phone and rental car keys when he left. I need to get back to my motel." She stared down her body. "I need a doctor."
"Yes. Take a minute and rest, though." He brought the cloth to her neck.
The contact with her lacerated skin stung. She jerked.
"Sorry," he murmured. He rested his free hand over hers. Warm, comforting weight. "Where I come from, such treatment of a woman gets a man executed."
"Where do you come from?" His medium brown skin, several shades darker than her never-enough-sun pallor, suggested someplace exotic.
"Greece on my father's side. Egypt on my mother's."
She tsked. "They do not execute men in either of those countries for — "
"Shhh." He pressed the clean corner of the cloth to her lips. With gentle contact from his fingertips, he tilted her head to the side. Strands of hair fell into her face. He brushed them away and smoothed the warm cloth over her throat.
He tended to her wounds with the care of a lover, not a stranger. The heat and exhaustion had gone to her head. She half expected him to follow the path of the cloth with his lips. A tiny muscle in his tense jaw ticked, but the apparent anger — what was he thinking about, her idiocy, or the man who'd left her stranded? Hopefully the latter — stayed clear of his hands and his eyes. That golden-brown gaze met hers. "Something wrong?"
She swallowed. "How bad is my face?"
"Hmm." His breath whispered over her cheek. "Some scrapes. A bad bruise. Nothing that will scar."
Some tension eased from her shoulders.
He rinsed the cloth and returned to her side, standing, putting her eye level with the V of muscles that disappeared under the waist of his jeans. He lifted her chin with one hand. She stared up the expanse of his flat belly and wide chest — a wall of smooth skin over curves of muscles — to his face. With an even gentler touch than before, he cleaned her forehead and cheeks.
Ambrosia's mind blanked to everything but the sensation of the contact.
"There." He stepped back. "Do you feel better?"
Feel better? She might as well have just stepped out of a spa. Deep aches still filled her body — she feared she had bruised ribs — but still, the man had a gift.
"Yes, thank you," she whispered. "Nurse?"
"I asked you earlier what you did for a living." She pointed at the herbs hanging from the ceiling. "You have a great bedside manner and a setup here a witch would be jealous of, so, are you a nurse who specializes in alternative medicine? An herbalist?" She paused, grinned. "A witch?"
"None of the above." Reece tossed the towel in the sink and settled in the chair opposite her. He leaned back and stretched his legs forward. "Why were the two of you in the desert? There's nothing out here besides me for miles."
"He was camping. A stakeout, of sorts." She pointed roughly in the direction she'd come from. "He travels around, searching for proof of aliens and Bigfoot and other crazy things. I was assigned to write a story on him because my boss has a source who says he's actually on to something legit." She flicked her hand. "Which I doubt. He's nuts. He threw me on the ground, screaming about being there first and how I had no right to intrude on his discovery. I lost consciousness after he hit me and I woke up alone this morning."
Reece traced a finger along his jawline. "Short, bald guy, kind of looks like a miniature Bruce Willis?"
"Yeah, that's Lucas Wade." A grin pulled on her lips. "But, please don't insult Bruce Willis by comparing them."
"Apologies." Reece smiled for a second before sobering and staring out the window. "Wade has been around here for weeks. I've reported him for trespassing, but he disappears like a rat when the authorities come." He leaned toward her again. "What, exactly, was his supposed legit find?"
She flicked her hand again. "A phoenix," she said, making her voice dramatic. "A mythical bird that lives for hundreds of years and, after death, arises anew from its own ashes."
Reece's eyes widened. "Seriously?"
"I know, it's crazy. But I figured it'd be an entertaining assignment, if nothing else." She stared at her bruised hands and sighed.
Reece tapped his fingers on the tabletop and went back to staring out the window. A long moment went by in silence. He got to his feet — as he rose to his full height, the kitchen seemed to shrink. "Well, we should —"
He stumbled and clutched his chest as if someone had sucker punched him.
"Are you all right?" What was happening? She got to her feet, not that she'd be able to hold up someone his size if he collapsed.
He turned slowly and faced her, sweat beading on his forehead. "Do you think you can drive yourself?"
"Huh?" Certainly he didn't mean for her to take his Audi. Her injuries aside, no one let a stranger drive off with their car. He'd be stranded out here.
He went to the sink and splashed water on his face. "Unfortunately, the car is the only further help I can offer you at the moment."
"I can't take your car! I'm sorry to barge in on you, but under the circumstances — "
"It's not that. A lady in distress is never an inconvenience except, unfortunately, right this moment. Don't misunderstand. The timing is no fault of yours." He cursed and splashed more water on his arms and the back of his neck. "You need to take the car and go. Here." He went to the fridge and took out a couple water bottles. "Take these."
Lips parted, she stared at him. "If you have a phone, I can call for a ride."
"Don't worry about the car. I'll find it later. Feel free to take the cash in the glove box if you need. There's also a gun, in case you run into Wade."
"You can't be serious."
"I'm absolutely serious when I say you have to leave right now." A flush spread across his cheeks and down his neck. He led her by the arm to the door — his hand burning hot to the touch — and pulled a set of keys off a shelf. He handed them to her and slumped onto the sofa. "Go."
"Um, maybe you should come with me to the hospital."
"Get out." His voice thinned. "I thought I had another day or two, but there's no more time."
"Out! Now!" He curled into a fetal position and grasped the edge of the mattress with a white-knuckled grip.
More startled from the shout than convinced, she hurried out the door. Clearly, the man required help. Perhaps she'd find a cell phone in the car? To hell with his protests; she was going to call an ambulance when she found a phone. She reached the Audi and fumbled with the door handle.
A male scream filled the air.
What the hell was happening to him? She rummaged through the car's interior but found no cell. She stared at the keys in her hand. He'd clearly refused her help, but damn it, she couldn't leave someone in that much pain. She headed back to the house.
An explosion knocked her backward to the ground.
Fresh pain shot through her body, but she struggled into a sitting position, the dry, sandy soil rough against her skin. Smoke and flames streamed out the windows of the little house. Ash filled the air and drifted to the ground like a light snowfall, covering her and the car. She coughed on the stuff and wiped her eyes.
Holy shit, no one could have survived that. She covered her mouth.
What the hell happened?
The shrubs and trees that grew along the foundation caught fire. An overwhelming scent of the burning spices filled the air. Choking, her lungs burning, she scrambled farther from the blaze until her back hit the car door.
An earsplitting screech joined the noise of the burning structure. It sounded like a hawk, if a hawk grew to the size of a bus. The wail persisted and she covered her ears, her own scream joining the din.
The noise died down a moment later. Flames poured out the windows. The roof collapsed. In contrast to the destruction, the beautiful bird song she'd heard earlier carried over the roar of the fire.
An eerie requiem.
Face wet with tears, she scrambled into the Audi, started the engine, and pressed the pedal to the floor.
* * *
One month later
Reece Bennu grasped the porch railing on the second floor of a grand old manse in Charleston, South Carolina. The wood creaked beneath his tense grip. Just yesterday, a young, recently married phoenix couple who'd spent the summer in the city had spotted Lucas Wade, and Reece had flown in overnight. However, the slimy human had already disappeared again. Reece had been hunting him since New Mexico, and the search was growing tiresome.
Wind whipped across the porch, carrying with it the scent of the flowering bushes below, and Reece shivered. He owned the house — his mother built it in the late eighteenth century — but he rarely visited the property where so many good memories of his family haunted the grounds. Remembering made his chest hurt.
Instead, he had staff maintain the home for traveling phoenix to use, such as the honeymooners currently sleeping within. Lucky devils. Every moment within the gates left Reece sleepless. But it mattered little. If Wade had moved on again, so would Reece. There was no way the human had given up his quest to prove the existence of phoenix. He had to be found and silenced.
Reece glanced up as the young man, dressed in heavy, black-striped flannel pajamas, joined him in the lamplight. He fidgeted with the hem of his shirt as if embarrassed.
"Uh, forgive me, sire —"
"There's nothing to forgive, Jonah." Reece couldn't have cared less. If anything, it was being treated as if he expected everyone to revere him as they would the Queen of England that annoyed him. "It's late and it's cold."
The late-summer night had dipped into the fifties and a steady wind blew. Not horribly chilly for most humans, but downright cold, almost dangerous, for phoenix.
"Right." Jonah kept smoothing his sleeves and adjusting his collar. "I'm sorry we couldn't be more helpful."
"You have nothing to be sorry for. I'm closer to finding Wade now than I was two days ago." Reece paused. "You have a human mother, don't you?"
Jonah's eyebrows shot up at the question. "Um, yes, sire."
Reece regretted bringing up that subject. He couldn't share the reason for his train of thought. He didn't know Jonah well, and Reece hadn't confided with anyone yet, not even his best friend who knew everything about him — even his ridiculous, paralyzing fear of snakes.
Jonah had been helpful in a second essential goal of Reece's: finding Ambrosia. She hadn't told Reece her last name, and her first name turned out to be more common than he'd expected. He'd been prepared to research every Ambrosia in the country until he found the journalist, but thanks to Jonah, and arguably Wade, that wouldn't be necessary.
The phoenix and his new wife had spotted Wade in a library, and it turned out the human's Internet search focused on one Ambrosia Pellerin.
Like Reece, the human had been searching for her home address.
Reece's next stop in his search for both Wade and Ms. Pellerin would be Sandwich, Massachusetts.
What did Wade want with Ambrosia? Unfortunately, that wasn't hard to guess. Wade had attacked Ambrosia in New Mexico as if he thought she was stealing his discovery, his fame, his spot in the history books. Now he'd lost track of Reece, perhaps he thought Ambrosia might have her own information he could steal.
He'd likely become violent again when she denied having any such information.
"My mother? Is something wrong?"
"No, nothing's wrong." Reece turned around and leaned back against the porch railing. He had to find Ambrosia, not only because Wade was going after her, but because she'd witnessed him complete a phoenix life cycle. Witnessed the burning of the nest. Witnessed his rebirth.
Worse, she'd been exposed to the ashes and might have conceived a phoenix. For their race, that's all it took.
Ambrosia might be pregnant.
Reece sighed. He could tell Jonah half the truth. "There was a woman with Wade — involuntarily — who knows too much about us. I'm trying to decide what to do about that."
Jonah's eyes widened.
Excerpted from Ashes by Sarah Gilman, Candace Havens and Marie Loggia-Kee. Copyright © 2013 Sarah Gilman. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Wow! One of those books that make you feel the story. : )
Review: Four stars for Sarah Gilman’s Ashes, a flaming HOT, fascinating read! ASHES by Sarah Gilman is the first book by this author that I’ve read, but certainly not the last. The story of the Phoenix, the bird that is reborn time and again from fire, is one that is both fascinating and also the premise of Sarah Gilman’s book. A journalist unknowingly steps into the home of a phoenix who is about to expire. As she leaves, the home explodes and there are some very interesting consequences to her inhaling the ashes. The phoenix isn’t just any phoenix, but Reece is the king of his species - even if he hasn’t assumed the official role. When he tracks down the journalist, Ambrosia, he discovers that indeed his ashes took root and soon he will be a father. As the two of them flee a phoenix hunter to the warm Hawaiian Island refuge, they discover that there might be a bit of real passion between the two of them. However humans are considered less than phoenixes in this society and Reece, the king to be, is a pure blood. Certainly there could be no future to find in their mutual passion. Or could there be? Along the way there’s some inter-phoenix quarrels, some very hot love scenes, and a fascinating look at phoenix culture. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and hope that there will be subsequent books in a series. Four solid stars to Sarah Gilman’s ASHES , a passionate love affair that flames true! I received an eARC from the publisher through NetGalley for use in this review.
Finally, the woman in the story doesn't take the news lying down that the man she is attracted to is different! Ambrosia doesn't get all goofy and say ok, you're a Phoenix, great. No, she stops and questions and holds back until she truly believes Reece, her phoenix lover is real and not crazy. I would have loved to see more of this story fleshed out. It starts like a good mystery novel, with Ambrosia, a journalist, sent to interview the man who believes he has found proof of the existence of the Phoenix. Instead, Ambrosia is beaten and left in the desert. I would have loved to see more on this, but overall was insignificant in the story. It was just used to set the meeting between Reece and Ambrosia. I loved reading about a Phoenix, as this mythical creature is not over used like a vampire or werewolf. *I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Ashes was very a pleasing surprise for me. I found it to be a sweet and exciting PNR with a new kind of shifter for me - a phoenix. With PNRs being my preferred genre, it’s not often I come across new and unique shifter so when the opportunity is offered, I jump. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and the plot twists were fairly unique. The ending was more than satisfying. Over-all I fantastic read. Reece is a phoenix. Not any old phoenix, he’s royalty. Ambrosia is a journalist and a human. Now normally it wouldn’t be a big deal a shifter mixing it up with a human. There’s a little hip action and BAM! a half-breed baby. Reading through the blurb that is was I pretty much expected. However, that wasn‘t the case. I won’t spoil it on the how, but needless to say I was surprised. Actually, it was the whole phoenix phenomenon that had me half captivated. The other have were the characters. Ambrosia and Reese are really sweet together. The slow build up to their relationship and sexual heat between then very nicely done. The secondary characters were an added bonus (LOVED the tree!). Of course, there are the antagonist who manage to keep this story rolling. Happily, there is an epilogue at the end that completes Reese and Ambrosia’s story off very sweetly so I don’t have to wait around for a next book. From its beautiful cover to its beautiful story, Ashes by Sarah Gilman is a shifter story anyone will enjoy. I know I did. I received this book from JeepDiva for the express purposes of an honest review. The opinions and rating of this review are solely mine and in no way was I compensated. Stars – 4, Flames - 2
Ambrosia is a journalist who is trying to interview a man who claims he knows where there a true and live phoenix. At the interview with the insider, he leaves her stranded in the woods. As she walks a couple miles to the nearest house she meets a good looking guy who seems to want to do nothing but rush her out of the house. As she is leaving the house suddenly explodes. She goes home thinking that the handsome guy she met just perished. Reese the guy in the house is a true and live phoenix who is going through his rebirth. He thinks he gets Ambrosia out and away from the house in time, but he needs to contact her to make sure. Least they find out she is pregnant. They meet again and fall in love, but his family who is a long line of pure blooded royals might not approve of them having a child together, being the child is half blood. This is a great book to read. The author does a great job setting the scene, and making the story suspenseful.
I was given an ARC ebook by Entangled Publishing for an honest review. At first I thought it funny how this story started and how the 2 main characters came together (I'm not going to say how because I don't want to give any spoilers away). But the more I read I was pulled in. Ambrosia and Reece have to try and figure out so many things dealing with their little problem, deal with things that happened in their past, and stay alive when a pissed off Grandmother tries to keep the Royal Phoenix line pure. I am still trying to get better at writing my reviews but I can say that this is a good read and if you want a different kind of supernatural then this is for you. I know that I will be reading more from Sarah Gilman.
Ambrosia is a journalist and her job is to find the truth. On assignment after the legendary phoenix she is sure she will just find a story that isn't true. When she is attacked, she gets saved by a strange man and sees him die. Later on she finds out she is pregnant. If that wasn't a shock enough she finds the man she thought had died is alive and the father of her child. He is also a phoenix and wants to help her with the baby. Reece never wanted to be father to a half phoenix child. He has always been careful and his people don't like to see him with a common human. As he tells his self he is only with her for the baby he soon finds he feels more for her. They begin to fall for each other but his grandmother will not let go of the past of their people to give them a chance at love. They have to be strong if they are going to work things out. Ambrosia is a very truthful person. She doesn't like to lie or hide anything. Finding out there are real phoenix she has a hard time with the fact she has to be quiet about it. She is also faced with prejudice people that do not like her one bit. Being pregnant is knew to her and she wants the baby safe no matter what. Reece at time while a phoenix can seem cold hearted, He tries to hold back his feeling from Ambrosia to keep her safe. He is a very caring person and wants what is best for his people and those he cares about. He doesn't like to be faced with leading his people and has put that to the side for a long time. If you read a lot of paranormal books you are always looking for something new. I have to say this book is one for me. While I have read a few books with phoenix in them, nothing like this. The phoenix in this book have a human side and not just a bird like I am used to. I loved every bit of this book as it brought a refreshing new take I couldn't put down. I liked both Reece and Ambrosia. They both had a few things you didn't like about them and it made them more real. They have lots of heat between them and not just because he is a phoenix. Her getting pregnant is another thing that will stand out to you as it is unusual. You get to know them both as you read this fascinating book. I also have to say I liked how you really had not one but two bad guys to read about. They have to deal with a lot. Be prepared to hate Reece's grandmother as I know I did. She is a horrible woman. If you want a different take on phoenix pick this up and give it a try. You won't regret it.
I really enjoyed this book. I love shifter stories and haven’t read any about a phoenix before. It was a refreshing change from the types of shifter stories I usually read. My one complaint is that I wish it had been longer. There are some parts that felt a bit rushed, especially the ending. I would have liked to see a few things developed a bit more. But all in all, it was entertaining and had me reading into the wee hours to finish it. Would love to see a sequel.
***Received from Entangled Publishing for an honest review*** Reece and Ambrosia are as different as night and day--he's a phoenix, she's a human--yet they share one commonality throughout their story: the need to rise above their circumstances to accept a destiny they are meant to have. This story, admittedly, was slow at the beginning and it often felt like most of the narrative was unnecessary. Reading through it again and again though, I've come to appreciate the slow pace. There was a lot of groundwork that needed to be laid before the story could pick up pace and move even a little bit faster. The explanations and character insights at the beginning proved to be incredibly helpful as I watched Reece and Ambrosia grow as individuals and as a couple. They were together for the sake of their unborn child, and it seemed plainly obvious that was the only reason they were together. But the changes they made, reluctant or not, throughout the story paved the way for mutual respect and feelings that went deeper than like. Ms. Gilman wrote an intriguing romance of a creature I rarely hear about outside of comic books and pure fantasy. Pairing the phoenix with a human woman who didn't fall over her feet for him was brilliant. The end result was a well-thought out love story that has earned its place of honor on my "Keep" bookshelf.
A romantic paranormal romance with phoenix shapeshifter Ashes is my second try to Sarah Gilman's book. I'd read her novella, Ghost in the Fall and liked it. So, when Entangled offer me this, I read the blurb and request it. The story is about phoenix shapeshifter, a breed that rarely told in paranormal romance world (usually it's about wolf, lion, etc). Ambrosia Pellerin is a journalist, and when she dragged out by crazy man in the middle of nowhere, hurt and battered, she meet Reece Bennu. Reece tend her wound but then something happen to him and he order Ambrosia to get the hell out. After that, an explosion consume Reece and Reece's home. Ambrosia believed Reece was dead back to her home. Surprisely, weeks later she found herself pregnant, and Reece is the father! Turn that Reece is a phoenix shapeshifter and the explosion that Ambrosia witness is part of his reborn stage. Because Ambrosia inhaled the ashes from Reece's, she become pregnant with his child. This is a "huh" and "say what??" moment , since I never read about women to be pregnant after inhaled something. But this is fiction, and also paranormal romance, so anything can happen. Another complication for Ambrosia, because Reece is actually a pureblood phoenix, and he expected to take a phoenese (it's phoenix women) for mate. Reece try to coax Ambrosia to go to Hawaii, his domain, and so Ambrosia must leave her life behind. Worse, Reece's grandmother, Marian, and his kin didn't approve Ambrosia and Reece's relationship. Ashes is like a traditional Harlequin novel with sprinkle of paranormal . You just switch a billionaire with baby theme, with a powerfull and well respected phoenix shapeshifter. The story is short, and enjoyable to read. Didn't take a long time to read , so this one is perfect for a short and quick read. Reece and Ambrosia also likable characters and Ms Gilman write their conflict and relationship well. Reece is kinda mix of alpha and beta hero, make me gratefull for he's not fall into "jerk"kind of alpha. Ambrosia had guts and doesn't back away from threat, even the last part kinda change that. What make me a little disappointed and reduce the rating, it's because the confict between Reece and his grandma is too easy. Not any further development and no epic scene. It's also weak. Anyway, if you love a traditional paranormal romance with some cliche and need a short read, you can try Ashes. Thanks for Entangled for providing the e-ARC copy
This book was a great read. If you like paranormal romance and a shape shifting Phoenix that's really hot. Some mystery and a big surprise, this is the book for you.
We have so many great books that came out in December of this year and ASHES is right there at the top with many others. I wanted to read ASHES because it sounded unique and it was that and more. Ambrosia stumbles upon the house that Reece is in as she is searching for help after she was attacked. She's surprised by Reece's sudden need for her to leave after he was so tender and caring taking care of her injuries and when the house Reece is in blows up as she is getting in his borrowed car she's horrified he didn't make it out. She has no clue how that event is going to change her life forever. I really enjoyed Ambrosia's character. She's suitably skeptical when Reece explains who he is and how she got pregnant. She doesn't blindly jump on board but makes him prove himself. There is nothing worse in a story as having someone blindly and immediately believe anything that comes out of a strangers mouth so this made me like Ambrosia right away. I also liked Reece. He is honest from the beginning and although I thought he was a bit of an ass at times I understood where he was coming from and he redeemed himself in the end. The romance was well written and the couples struggles felt genuine. The story was fast paced, smooth and kept me interested. I loved the world that ASHES takes place in. I loved the Phoenix storyline and everything that Sarah put into their history and way of life. I don't see anything that makes me think this will be part of a series and the ending completed the story nicely but I can't help wish there was more to read about Ambrosia and Reese. I gave it 4/5 stars * This book was provided free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Lovers of paranormal romances will find this a definitely treat. Phoenixes, people … that’s a new one for me, but I’m digging it. You do need to be ok with the paranormal part to be able to truly enjoy it but the nice thing is that at its heart there is a more basic story too. It’s not all about the woo-woo world they live in, it also about two people falling in love and facing a choice of whether what they could have is worth fighting for. Full review available at Romantic Reads and Such on wordpress.
I'm a complete sucker for the odd shifter types, and I've never run across a phoenix shifter before. This book took the lore of the Phoenix and owned it, integrating it perfectly into a new shifter species. The majority of this story covers the first couple months of Ambrosia's pregnancy and her coming to terms with the fact that she'll be having a phoenix baby. There are a few good freak outs before being forced (in a good way) into believing. Reece is a great guy - willing to step up and take responsibility for his new family, while protecting them from the prejudices of his old family. The blurb really doesn't do the book justice at all. There is plenty of action at the beginning, but it settles down into a very beautiful and emotional romance. Perhaps Sarah Gilman could write another beautiful Phoenix story about Reece's sister. She sounded like she needed a little love in her life.
When Ambrosia Pellerin is attacked and left for dead, she seeks help at an isolated farm house in the desert of New Mexico. She didn't know this would change the course of her life. The man who helped her was Reece Bennu. He is a Phoenix and royalty to his community of shapeshifters. Now she is pregnant with his child. She has to leave her family and everything she loves. Can she find happiness with Reece? Will his family accept her and her child? I love this book. The sexy and caring Phoenix is such a wonderful hero. He has his faults and his weaknesses but love changes him and makes him stronger. Ambrosia is a strong woman who will do everything that is necessary to protect her child and her lover. She has the courage to face the truth and work to make things better. I love Reece's tree. It added such a light touch to the story. I couldn't put this book down. It had everything I enjoy. This book is a keeper.
Ambrosia almost gets killed in the desert where she briefly meets a stranger who helps her with tenderness. The encounter ends in tragedy. Suddenly, she finds herself alone and pregnant. The worst thing of all is that she's never had sex with this gorgeous man blubbering about firebirds that burst in flames and sing like dying swans. Would she anyway considering he's crazy and threatens to turn her world upside down? Nevertheless, the pregnancy raises all kinds of ugly questions. Do they want to keep the baby? Where would they live? Is it safe in this world for a mixed-blood? Even though it's all too much for Ambrosia, the situation cannot be ignored, so she agrees to Reece's plan. That's when things start to get scorching hot between them. While sparks of passion fly, they will have to face danger from all sides. I've never read any novel about a phoenix race living among humans. Of course, I was hooked on this premise and the provocative issue of unwanted pregnancy that changes this unorthodox couple forever. Besides the reversed relationship, which starts with the result and goes forward from that intense point, there is plenty of room for other elements. I thought it was very interesting to see so many tough issues being raised. Racism, family rejection, psychological trauma, physical disabilities, and media exposure were all tackled as real threats to the main characters' relationship and evolution. Despite the insurmountable odds, what Ambrosia and Reece share goes from lustful heat to a deep connection. I loved Reece's sense of honour, though his initial emotional detachment infuriated me for a while. Ambrosia's reaction to the discovery of human firebirds was mild at times, but still presented very understandable stages of acceptance and disbelief. The story has got a good plot that's constantly moving along and the ending is sweet. I loved all the folklore around the phoenix people, the burgeoning romance and a very special place in the ocean where most of the drama takes place. Very nice reading.
Though I love a good paranormal book i don't get to read them as often as i'd like but i am extremely glad i got to read this one. Having a Phoenix as the shifter Hero was pure genius on Ms Gilmans part and i loved the world that she built. I also loved the way Ambrosia didn't just roll over and do his bidding but still let him have control at the same time. Reece of course was totally swoon worthy and caring at the same time. My only one complaint is this book finished too soon i'd reached the end before i even realised it. If you are looking for a great book outside the normal paranormal genres then this is for you. Overall i give this 4 out of 5
Ashes (Entangled Covet) Sarah Gilman Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews. I hadn't realised this book was so short, I tend to avoid those, feeling they don't really allow the reader time to get deep into the story, and I like to be fully immersed in the plot and characters. What attracted me and made me miss the length constraints though was the Phoenix slant. I love paranormal but can't ever remember reading one with this in it. I'm glad I did as it was an enjoyable read. Anyway the book...I enjoyed the story, good plot, good characters and a fun read. It had the characters I feel necessary for a good romance, Ambrosia and Reece of course, but also a good “bad” person in the form of the controlling and wicked grandmother. I loved the phoenix slant, and the way it shaped so much of the action. The mysterious Trees too were a fun touch, along with the reasonable ( its fiction, so truth and believe needs a bit of suspension!) explanations as to how they cope with humans, and keep the secret of the species from them. It all wrapped up neatly to a HEA. I just wish it was longer – in my view Sarah has used all the elements that would make a great series and if this could have been strung out into one longer book, with some follow ups either of Ambrosia and Reece in the near future – a “what happened next” scenario, or the family or relatives and their stories, or even just spin off adventures of these characters, maybe how certain forces are out to release their secret... anything like that – I’d love to have read it. Still, I enjoyed this even despite the space limitations. Stars: four. ARC supplied via publisher
I enjoyed this novel very much, and I'm looking forward to reading the author's other books. This was a fun, romantic read, with just enough suspense mixed in to make things very interesting. I loved the ending!
This is the first book that I have read involving Phoenix. I really love the whole mythos behind these unusual creatures and it was a nice break from the standard fare of wolf and big cat shifters. The story starts out with our heroine Ambrosia showing up at the hero's house after an attack by a man she was sent to interview who believes he has proof of the existence of a Phoenix. He helps tend to her wounds but quickly tries to send her on her way. Reece is about to go through his "rebirth" something that happens every 100 years of a Phoenix's life. I won't give out any spoilers as to how (loved it), but Ambrosia ends up pregnant after their encounter. Reece who is the Phoenix prince and next in line for the throne, can't stop thinking of Amby while he is searching for the man that claims he has proof of his race. After tracking her down and finding out that she is pregnant with his child, Reece convinces Amby to come back to his home so he can take care of her and the baby. Although he is developing feelings for her he believes that he can never take her as a mate because his family will never accept her or a half breed child. As they grow closer Reece's grandmother enters the picture determined to get rid of Ambrosia and keep the Bennu line pure. I enjoyed this story, Ambrosia had a difficult childhood but rolled with the punches and was determined to do what was best for her child. And although Reece was determined to take care of Amby and his child, my only complaint was that I wished Reece would have gotten his act together a little quicker and fought harder for her at the end. But I am hoping that the author will write more books set in this world. The uniqueness of the Phoenix storyline is definitely worth continuing. *I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Journalist Ambrosia Pellerin accepts an assignment involving the legendary phoenix, expecting, if nothing else, a little entertainment. Instead, she gets pregnant—by a surprisingly human-looking firebird, Reece Bennu. Ambrosia and Reece struggle to make the best of their predicament, igniting a tentative romance despite Reece’s furious and powerful relatives who resent the mixed-blood child, a violent human out to prove the existence of phoenixes at any cost, and Ambrosia’s forced separation from her family and isolation in her new home. Reece’s relatives plot murder while Ambrosia’s family faces a dire medical situation and ask her to return. Will the couple survive when Reece denies Ambrosia his trust and her freedom when she needs both more than anything? Review: It must be hard to come up with new and inventive stories, but Ms.Gilman sure did with this one. I don't think I have read a story about a Phoenix before and I really enjoyed it. Ambrosia is a reporter who after being knocked out while on assignment comes across Reece in the middle of the desert. Reece helps her and tries to send her away quickly, it does not work and Ambrosia is there when the building explodes and unbeknownst to her Reece is reborn. In a interesting twist fertile woman can get pregnant from the ashes of the phoenix; which is what happens to Ambrosia. Now, Reece is "back from dead" and at her door saying he needs to protect her from the man who hurt her in the desert and explain what he is. Now, I think the part where he protecting her and the "bad guy" were kind of glossed over and somewhat unfinished. Yes, he destroys the guys evidence of Phoenix's but if the guy was that much into finding the truth wouldn't he just start over and try to pursue them? So, Reece uproots Amby and tells her she will be looked down on because she is human and not pure blooded, that pissed me off and I think she should have been a little stronger with Reece about it. The longer they are together the stronger their feelings grow, as well as Reece's grandmother, who is pretty much a racist. Grandmother does some terrible things in the name of an untainted blood line, which sends Amby running. But you know Reece goes running after her once he has his grandmother taken care of and they have their HEA. A great inventive storyline that kept me entertained and entranced until the very end. 3.5 stars
This book has such details that I felt like I could see everything as perfect as it was described. This was the first book I have read about a Phoenix and really enjoyed the experience. I couldn't find anything I would change in this book and hope to see more of all the characters soon.
This story had more potential than it delivered. The story centered around a journalist who had set up an interview with a guy who claimed he had stumbled upon proof that their was the existence of a legendary and magical species... the Phoenix. Ambrosia Pellerin set out for the desert to meet with this guy who ends up attacking her. Seeking out help for her injuries she arrives at a shack and is met by a handsome stranger. After he attends to her Injuries, he abruptly ends the treatment and tells her that she has to leave immediately , giving her the keys to his car and access to the money that is in the car. It is during this haste that she is sure she will never see him again. A month later he finds her and the story takes on another direction. The original story that involved mystery and suspense is thrown out the window and a new story evolves. Although I wish there was a bit more to the plotline that was established from the beginning, overall the story is enjoyable. What if you were introduced to a new species? How would you handle it? These are all things Ambrosia has to deal with and when she finds out the extent of her new involvement with this species, the stakes become even greater. Will she be accepted? Will she be able to live happily? These are questions that need answers. Ashes by Sarah Gilman receives 3.5 stars from me.
I was given an ARC by Entangled Covet in exchange for an honest review. This was the first book by Sarah Gilman for me, and I'll definitely check out her books in the future. I'm the type that when I like I book, I tend to finish it one sitting. I did that with Ashes. I really liked the fact that she wrote about something different. It made getting sucked in so much easier since you don't read about a phoenix everyday. I think it's harder to take something new like a phoenix and buil everything around it, and I think she did a good job. Everything was so descriptive. I'm hoping this is a series and we'll continue to get to read about the phoenix community. The only thing, and it's not even a bad thing about the book, is the blurb. I read the blurb first, then I read the book. Then I went back and read the blurb to make sure that the one I was thinking of was for the book I read. Now I'm kind of scratching my head. There were things in the blurb, that weren't in the book. I'm not sure how to explain it without giving spoilers, and I don't want to do that because I really liked it and want other people to read it.