Book Review: From Ashes

From Ashes
Published By: William Morrow
Publication Date: December 11, 2012
Page Count: 416
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Audience: New Adult (17+) - Contemporary Romance

This was my first experience with Molly McAdams, but I have to say that I am eager for more. This wasn't the most creative story, but it has a certain addicting quality that kept me reading late into the night. In fact, it took me a little over 48 hours to polish this one off. I probably would have finished it sooner if it had not been for real life responsibilities and plans. This is one of those novels that made me crave being a hermit. I wanted to do nothing more than lose myself in Gage's eyes the story. I had to know how things were going to end; sleep seemed trivial when this novel hadn't been resolved.

From Ashes is the story of an interesting love triangle between Cassidy, Tyler, and Gage. I know, I know - love triangles are so overdone - but this one didn't bother me as much as some of the others. I suppose a huge part of that is you know going into this one that the triangle is going to be a prominent feature. There are no surprises on that front. The complexity of the relationships in this one kept me entertained and I kept hoping that things would end the way I wanted them to end.

One of the things I loved about this book was the characters. Well, to be perfectly honest, there is one character in particular that I loved most of all - Gage. He is truly the reason I couldn't put this one down. Gage is a Texan (with the ranch and horse to prove it) with a rough exterior and a heart of gold. He is truly one of the most swoon worthy fictional males I have encountered in awhile. Gage will steam up your Kindle for sure. He is certainly not the sort you would introduce to anyone under the age of seventeen. I do love how he's not afraid to show his feelings and he would do anything for those he loves. I also melted a little bit every time he said, Darlin'. Who doesn't want a hot cowboy with dark hair, green eyes, and dimples to call them that in a southern drawl? Seriously, are you still reading this review instead of buying the book?!?!

Another element I really enjoyed about this novel was the phoenix lore and symbolism. I won't go into details about it because I don't want to spoil anyone, but it is a dominant theme throughout the narrative.

As much as I loved Gage this novel, it wasn't without its flaws. There were some frustrating timing and plot issues; cheesy dialogue makes an appearance from time to time as well. These issues were minor blips of annoyance for me and didn't hinder my enjoyment of the novel for more than a minute or two.

 Another thing I had a hard time wrapping my brain around was Tyler. It was hard to fathom how he could watch the constant abuse Cassidy suffered and not intervene. It seemed cruel to me to keep silent when she was suffering so much. I also was appalled by his behavior through most of the book. He starts to redeem himself in the end, but I wanted to punch him in the throat for about 85% of the story. He made my skin crawl and I couldn't understand how Cassidy didn't see his lies sooner.

Another element that bugged me from time to time was Cassidy's decisions. I tried to be understanding based on her past, but some things just didn't make any sense to me. I didn't get why she didn't talk to Gage about the things she was hearing from Tyler sooner. Also, the segment with Connor made me want to throw my Kindle across the room. I was so angry with her about that. In fact, the Connor situation is why the book ended up getting a 4.5 instead of a 5. It seemed totally unnecessary.

All in all, this is a novel that I ended up loving, but it did put me through the emotional gauntlet. There were moments when I loved and hated it simultaneously. Tears, clenched fists, and frequent blushes weren't uncommon during our time together. I'm already thinking about rereading my favorite parts just to spend more time with Gage. 

I highly recommend this to fans of New Adult romances. As stated in the header of this review, this isn't a novel I would recommend to anyone under the age of 17. The intimate scenes are pretty frequent from the middle on and they are explicit. McAdams doesn't leave anything to the imagination. 

One Last Gripe: The insta-love was heavy in this one, but I decided to ignore the initial flare up of my irritation about that and just enjoy the ride.

My Favorite Thing About This Book: Gage

First Sentence: "Do you even know anyone who's going to be there, Ty?"

Favorite Character: Gage

Least Favorite Characters: Cassidy's Mom & Step Dad; Connor is in the running too

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?


  1. This one has been on my want list for a while. It sounds great even with insta love.

  2. This is a new-to-me author as well! It sounds like a good one.


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