Vandal : Ashes & Embers

  • by Carian Cole
  • Narrated by Joe Arden, Maxine Mitchell
  • Series: Ashes & Embers
  • 9 hrs and 0 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

She takes my breath away; she is so beautifully damaged. Yes, I had broken her, ravished her life, and destroyed her happiness. I brought her to the ultimate despair. I was responsible for all the pain and suffering that now brought her to her knees in front of me. Broken. Hopeless. Reckless in her agony.
She is a mirror of my own tortured soul. But what I took away I can give back, in ways she cannot even begin to imagine. She is everything right in all my wrongs. She loves me. She needs me. She has no idea I'm the one who wrecked her life.
Contains mature themes.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A LAYERED EMOTIONAL STORY & A TOUGH REVIEW TO MAKE

Well you're either going to love this listen or hate it and I am struggling to decide which way it falls myself.... do I give it 2 stars or 5? This isn't a 'nice' romance story - no, instead it's a tangled mess of a relationship built on loss, grief, heartbreak, twisted lies, deception, regrets, buried secrets and deep emotional scars that'll fade but never truly heal.

Vandal is the Bass Guitarist in Ashes & Embers, he had a rough upbringing and all through his lonely life he's never known love and so he just doesn't know how to be loved or love.... until Grammy claims him, renames him and introduces him to a ready made family of grown cousins and a brother. Sadly, even then he rebels, rejects and refuses to blend in to the 'happy family' even when they became a Band.... however that changed when he found out about his daughter who he then fought for, cleaned up for and opened his heart up for - just her... not the groupies, the one night stands, the faceless whores... no, just his precious 5 yr old daughter. But one terrible disastrous night hopes were wrecked, dreams were shattered, lives were lost and hearts were broken.

Vandal's life stopped too - eaten up with guilt, pain and raw heartbreak but he wasn't alone in his grief... there was a Widow equally broken by the tragedy and she became his focus, his sole purpose and his determination to make one person's life better. So Vandal found out all he could about the lost and heartbroken Tabitha through media pages and stalking the woman he'd nearly killed... the woman he made a Widow... and he watched and waited for his chance of redemption.

Tabitha had decided to end it all because she couldn't stand the grief, the memories and the loneliness anymore... and then a long haired, tattooed handsome stranger offered to take her away from her pain. And click, just like that, her life changed because this tall dark moody stranger gave her comfort, awakened feelings, showed her the other side of sex and the Sub/Dom relationship that she never knew she craved. However, she knew there were major secrets, she knew he was heartbroken too, she knew she was falling for him... but she didn't know his real name or that it had been him that had destroyed her perfect life. And for two weeks they were alone, gave and took each other's bodies, made rules, agreed terms and the 'safe' word, secretly dreamt and longed for more, fell in love - and then Pandora's Box was cruelly wrenched opened... the secrets flew out and the fall-out wasn't pretty.

See what I mean? It's a twisted romance built on twisted secrets, twisted emotions, twisted sex and twisted lies.... and then there's a WTF of a twist at the end too which you'll NEVER see coming and it'll change what you'd been thinking and feeling about the damaged misguided Hero and the grieving played Heroine. Dual POV's, various secondary characters who were either a help or a major hindrance to their relationship, a blind abused kitten (as explained in my review of Book 1 there's a reason why and a share of the profits will go to Animal Charities) and the narration was great.

Worth a credit? Oh I'm so confused... let me think it through - it's a romance built on lies, grief and tragedy but out of it came a damaged yet wiser and stronger couple who found, dared and chose to live and love again - so a positive. I liked the sex but didn't like parts of the Sub/Dom acts however I can appreciate and don't judge that this lifestyle works for others - so a negative. The relationship between Vandal and his Tabby Cat was often tender, sweet, tear-filled and touching - so a positive. Well I'm even more confused now - do I regret the purchase? - No, would I listen again? - No, did I enjoy it? - strangely Yes. You've heard the ramblings and views of this listener... they may help you or maybe not but the decision on its creditworthiness will have to be yours to take.
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- CAROLYN "I love being swept away by a new romance and thankfully Audible's ever growing Library means I get to indulge myself over and over again"

Get Vandalized!!!

I absolutely love Vandal, a story so beautiful and harsh, a contradiction just as its hero is. Vandal is a damaged, tortured man who believes that he unworthy and not redeemable. The beginning of the story is so heartbreaking and emotional.

“The mix of her presence and her void is completely overwhelming, and I fall to my knees in the middle of the room. The pain in my chest is like nothing I’ve ever felt before, as if my heart is being ripped from my body and sliced into tiny pieces. I want her back so bad. I want to just feel her tiny hand in mine and tuck her into bed”

When Vandal sees the young widow grieving at the cemetery, he is so drawn to her. He knows he should stay away from Tabitha, but the attraction is so strong and he wants to somehow find a way to help her heal.

“I can’t take my eyes off of her. She absolutely takes my breath away. She’s so beautifully damaged. She’s wrecked. I can see it in her lifeless eyes. And now I want to fix her in the only way I know how”

This book deals with the death of a child, BDSM, fetishes, cutting, addictions and many harsh realities of the human condition, but underlining it all is the feeling that hope can survive and grow in even the darkest corner (and I believe that Sterling is the perfect example of that.)

“you became the moon and stars in my dark nights. Your love is like a fire that burns into my soul. I can't lose you, too.”

For a re-read I listened to the audiobook of Vandal. The narrators, Joe Arden and Maxine Mitchell do an amazing job bringing to life this beautiful story and these amazing characters. Joe let us hear the tenderness that Vandal tries to keep hidden under his rough, alpha side. Maxine's perfect performance as Tabitha cemented her place in my heart.
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- Diane

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-23-2016
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio