6/8/15

REVIEW + EXCERPT: AMBER TO ASHES BY GAIL MCHUGH!!!!!

Title: Amber to Ashes
Author: Gail McHugh
Release Date: JUNE 9th, 2015!!

SYNOPSIS:
From the New York Times bestselling author of Collide and Pulse comes a gritty new novel about a shattered young woman who unexpectedly falls for two best friends as she struggles to overcome the trauma of her tormented childhood.
They were a storm I never saw coming, an unforeseen heartbreak on the edge of a dangerous cliff.
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 event changes everything, shattering each of their lives…and Amber isn’t sure she can come back from it.
PURCHASE HERE:
 What can I say?!

What the hell can I freaking say that will do this book justice?!

Nothing. There's nothing. Amber to Ashes is an experience. It's deeply emotional, turbulent, and will throw you in the trenches, toss you around, and spit you back out. The characters are broken, shattered, all searching for something to heal them and somehow through the fire that is life they find each other.

It's magical.
It's intense.
It's steamy.
It's riveting.
It's all consuming. 
It's pure brilliant bookish maddness. 

Gail McHugh can write. Her words are poetry, an emotional song written from the soul. You feel her lines. I swear, I read her words and I can sense them as they seep under my skin and scream at me. She's got a talent that astounds me. I can never get enough. I want to read her everyday, all day. I just love it. I love the flow, the flowery almost melodic pace of her sentences. It's pure word porn, IMO.

This story... 

God. God. God. 

It's going to gut you open. 
It's going to turn you on. 
It going to make you cry. 
It will have you mad as hell. 
It will make you smile and swoon. 

The EMOTION is off the charts. The feels almost seem tangible, as if you can literally reach out and touch the anger, the hurt, and the sizzle. 

It's explosive.

Amber is a broken woman. She's not easy to love, but I think every girl can relate to her in some way. We all have struggles, some tougher than others and we all use something as a crutch to get us through. For Amber, it's sex. For me, it's food. We ALL have something. And God, even if you can't find a similarity through her pain, she manages to weasels her way through your veins anyway. I just LOVE her. 

Brock and Ryder are both such different characters. I want to get into all that, but I'm afraid I'll spoil it. I'll tell you I have a favorite and when I think of him my heart just pumps with pure adrenaline. He's dreamy, flawed, but a gentle soul. Both boys are equally sexy. They're alpha, and all the things we love about our men. They're nothing like Gavin Blake. So ready yourself for something completely different yet unbelievably magnificent.

The story is dark. It's twisty. It will have you on the edge of your seat. It's gonna take ahold of your heart and squeeze the living fuck out of it.

You'll fall in love.
You'll fall deep.
And you'll be left DYING for more.

It is a cliffy, but don't let that scare you! You'll be okay! This author is guaranteed to make you whole at the end of this journey. Just dive in, soak in the tsunami of feels that are headed your way. Because OH MY GOD are you going to explode with lust, love, pain and swoon!

I have two words to describe this novel: AN EXPERIENCE.

And isn't that why we read?! 

Those are the type of books we feel to the bone and remain unforgettable.

Amber to Ashes is an UNFORGETTABLE ride.

Angie's Rating:


“What are you, Casey?” Ryder asks over his shoulder as he scrubs his hands with antibacterial soap.

“Your little cancer warrior,” she answers with a small smile.

“That’s right.” He dries his hands and turns, a proud grin cracking his mouth. “The bravest one ever.”

I grab Casey’s hand and hold it tight, knowing nothing I’ve ever seen, heard, or felt compares to what she’s facing. This child’s living with a fear I can’t comprehend. One that’d slay all of my fears put together.

“Ready?” Ryder asks, his tone soft and caring, everything it should be.

Casey nods, clenching my hand. My heart swells, anxiety building thick in my throat as Ryder slips on a pair of medical gloves and cleans the area around her port with Betadine swabs.

Casey looks at me, the cool blue of her eyes misting over. “Are you scared of needles?”

“No,” I say, running my free hand along the back of her neck. “Are you?”

“I used to be.” She sighs, a single tear slipping down her face. “But not so much anymore.”

It takes everything in me not to drag her little body off the table and run out of the apartment with her. I wipe the tear from her cheek, my need to hide her away, sheltering her from the sinister storm she’s in the middle of, growing with each unsteady breath.

“A little cold,” Ryder warns before spraying the anesthetic on her skin.

“Hurry, Ry,” Casey pleads, her voice weak yet panicked. “It doesn’t last that long.”

“I have to make sure you’re numb, Case.” Ryder ducks his head and stares into her eyes, trying to keep her focused on the silly faces he’s making.

His tactic works.

Casey’s tiny giggles bounce around the kitchen, their musical notes blocking out the sound of Ryder popping the cap off a weird-looking needle. With a small, clear tube like a tail—and plastic wings stretched out on either side—it reminds me of a dragonfly. Ryder presses his gloved finger against Casey’s port a few times, his attention honed in on her face as he says, “Knock, knock.”

“Who’s there?” Casey smiles at me, completely unaware that Ryder’s pricked her skin with the needle.

“Aardvark.” Ryder pushes the medicine through the syringe, his attention cutting between Casey’s face and the needle.

“Aardvark who?” she manages, a thin sheen of sweat dotting her upper lip.

“Aardvark a hundred miles for one of your pretty smiles.” Ryder pulls the needle from her chest, and before she can blink, he rests his lips against her forehead, kissing away her remaining fear.

Close to immobile, my heart tugs, the magnitude of what this man means to this little girl—what they mean to each other—scraping tears up my dry throat. I swallow the sound before it can leave me, warmth pinching my stomach into a beautiful knot as I observe them.

“It’s over?” Casey asks, uncertainty flashing in her eyes.

“Yeah, kiddo. It’s over,” Ryder answers, his voice heavy with relief as he applies a small piece of gauze over her port. “You’re all set, warrior. Go get cleaned up, and we’ll get ready to leave.”

With Ryder’s aid, Casey slides off the table and heads for the bathroom, the bounce in her step less tangible as she slips around the corner. Quiet reigns, the events from the last few minutes whispering across my mind as Ryder looks at me with exhausted eyes. Stress lines cut across his forehead, wariness drowning his beautiful features. Overcome, I watch him swipe a tired hand over his face and turn, resting his palms against the counter. As though having no control over my body—a magnet pulling in my gut—I stand and move toward him, each tentative step I take carried out with shallow, quick breaths. I come up behind him, lift a shaky hand and tap his shoulder, my pulse lurching as he turns and meets my gaze. Our connection strikes, a bolt of emotions paralyzing us as we stare at each other.

I touch my fingers to his stubbled cheek, my conscience crying out that my actions are wrong, so very wrong, but my heart mutes the warning as I move my palm to the back of his neck.

His muscles go taut, restraint lighting the fiery blue of his eyes. “Amber, don’t.” The words come out not as a rough warning but a soft plea. “Don’t do this.”

“I have to,” I whisper, trembling. “You’re . . . amazing, Ryder. What you did for her, everything you do for her . . . I just . . .” I drop my eyes to his chest, my heart galloping as I register his hands gripping my waist. Their heat sears through me, a thrill jumping from cell to cell. “You’re tender, cocky, gentle, and an asshole all at the same time. You’re kind, giving, nurturing. You’re . . . everything.”

My lips find his, testing, teasing, barely touching. Our breathing comes faster, harder as I pull him down, our foreheads pressed together as we stare into each other’s eyes. “Please . . . I just . . . Just once more. That’s all I need.”

I think . . . hope.

With hunger demolishing all traces of restraint from his gaze, Ryder buries his hands in my wavy curls and looks at me a beat before capturing my lips in a slow, passionate kiss. I sigh into his mouth, my senses drowning in his familiar flavor as I fall in step with his calculated strokes. On a deep groan, he draws me closer, his tongue dipping in and out, out and in. Still, nothing about his touch is rough, yet everything in it screams that he needs me in this moment.

In this wicked space and time of his life.

Every lick and nip is a soft caress, like he’s trying to burn the sensation of my lips into his memory. My pulse hammers in staccato mode as I melt the full weight of my body into his. With my blood swimming through my veins, and sinking further into everything that is Ryder, I feel the emptiness of his soul slice through me. A dull ache pinches my heart, spreading its misery through my muscles as he cups my cheeks and deepens the kiss with a gentleness I never knew he possessed. My breath catches, wiped from my lungs as he glides his lips along my jaw, down the base of my throat. The cadence of his exotic growl slips through my ears, dizzying my head in the sweetest way.

“Christ, I fucking want you so bad,” Ryder whispers hoarsely. He drags his lips back to mine, his kiss urgent, greedy. However, he brings it down a notch, his movements revisiting slow, sensual, worshipping this moment for everything it is. Worshipping me for all I am. “So badly, peach. More than I’ve ever wanted anything or anyone. You drive me crazy. Your smell, skin, eyes.” He sucks my lip between his teeth, a groan punching from his chest as he runs his fingertips along my bare arms.

Goose bumps pop, deliciously pricking my skin as I tighten my grip in his hair.

“Your little giggles, pouts, personality. Every single fucked-up scar you own in and out. All of it. All of you.” He licks into my mouth, his tongue exploring mine with precision as his hands find my nape, their hold possessive. “Fuck. It should’ve been me. Not him. Me.”

And just like that, our moral compasses spring due north, Brock the center of its attention—our attention. We slowly break the kiss, our breathing choppy from the loss.


A self-proclaimed chocoholic, married mother of three, and a lover of writing for as far back as she can remember, Gail McHugh is the author of two New York Times bestselling novels. The COLLIDE series (which includes COLLIDE and PULSE), was acquired by Atria Books on September 17th, 2013.

"The first of two sexy contemporary romances about a woman torn between her seemingly perfect boyfriend and a dark, mysterious stranger who will stop at nothing to have her." - Publishers Weekly on COLLIDE, a Top 10 Romance pick! 

You can follow Gail on the below social media sites: 

0 comments:

Post a Comment