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Vandal (Ashes & Embers Book 2) Kindle Edition
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★ "I loved this book. Carian's dialogue is so realistic, I can hear it in my head. She writes rich, flawed and relatable characters. Her storylines are detailed, paced well and easy to get into. She is one of my favorite authors!" ~ Reviewer
About the Author
Maxine Mitchell is passionate about animals, traveling, coffee, a good bottle of wine, and great stories. Raised an Army brat, she had a mobile childhood (affording her the opportunity to meet people from many different backgrounds) that she would not trade for anything. She currently lives in Los Angeles, California.
Joe Arden's narration has been described as "sensual," "sexy," and "hot." His recordings range from sweet and romantic to steamy and raw. In his spare time, Joe raises and trains rescue pitbulls and restores vintage motorcycles. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- ASIN : B00TZ8A0O4
- Publisher : Carian Cole (February 23, 2015)
- Publication date : February 23, 2015
- Language : English
- File size : 2923 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 314 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #18,241 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This was one of those reads that I blazed through, once I started I didn't want to put it down. However while, yes, it was devoured...after it was over all I felt was 'meh' and kind of annoyed at certain parts.
Content warnings/TW: Cutting. Drug/Alcohol use/abuse. Suicidal thoughts.
Vandal is a rockstar (although we barely see him doing anything band related), he is driving his daughter back to her mother's, ends up falling asleep, crashing, and killing his daughter, his passenger, and someone from another car. The someone in the other car...Tabitha's husband. Vandal does a little cyber stalking of her and eventually he comes across her and essentially offers to make her feel better and the two get involved in a D/s relationship.
Going into this I was expecting to have my heartstrings pulled, feel some angsty heart clenching type feels but the only time I did feel those things was in the second chapter when Vandal is told what happened.
Let's start with the major issue I had with this. When Tabitha "finds out" (I'll get to why that's in quotes in another section, because it was something else that bugged me) that Vandal is the one that was the cause of the accident, he emotionally manipulates her trying to make her stay with him. He essentially says he won't be able to live without her and he's going to kill himself if she leaves him. She wants/needs space just to think, she's not even saying she's officially breaking up with him, but she needs to think and he's not above trying to manipulate her into staying. It left such a bad taste in my mouth. I already wasn't loving, or really liking, Vandal but this just solidified my strong dislike of him.
The second issue I had was how hypocritical Vandal was on sooo many things. Almost every woman, except Tabitha, that he slept with were described as wh***s and s***s. Yet, he dipped his wick in anything thing that moved and had boobs. And he was jealous of the two relationships that Tabitha had before him, one being her husband, and yet as they were headed toward a club/small venue that he was going to playing at with the band Sugar Kiss, he casually mentioned, oh by the way I've slept with all the women in the band and we're going to be sitting in a room with all of them shortly.
And another aspect of this book that bugged me was the ending. The short epilogue that we got with Tabitha where apparently she knew the entire time who Vandal was, she knew that he was the one who caused the car accident and that she had also cyber stalked him to work toward getting revenge on him for what he had done. Now normally I would, hopefully, get to that ending and be excited and say 'I was wondering if that was going on'. However there was ZERO indication that that was the case. There was no hint of that. None. I'm all for a little bit of a twist to flip something on it's head but I also want there to be hints here and there. Especially when we got her point of view. Occasionally she would think, oh he doesn't know my secret or something like that but at most it didn't seem at all like she knew the extent of who he was.
So all in all this was not a great read for me. Yea, I zoomed through it but the story as a whole didn't deliver.
After seeing Tabitha at the cemetery a few times, Van ends up taking Tabitha away to a vacation home he has for a month where he introduces her to some soft BDSM to help ease her pain over her grief. Before long, they both start to develop deep feelings for each other but Van is also deathly afraid she will find out that he is responsible for her husband's death.
This book is very intense and erotic. I don't really like BDSM books and although I intellectually feel it's fine between two consenting adults, in my heart I think it can be emotionally abusive and demeaning, which I really don't get. But I kept on reading the book bc I wanted to see what happened to this couple when Tabitha found out the truth. While this is not something I could personally participate in and Van was dead wrong for not being able to be honest with her up front, this is still a love story, albeit a really different one.
The book has a real surprising twist at the end; I wont give it away but I definitely didn't see that coming. I think this is a book you will either love or hate, I found I couldn't put it down and ultimately , that's a sign of a well written story so I'm giving it 4 stars. The book doesn't end on a cliffhanger but the story of Van and Tabitha definitely isn't over, so I would say it ends on a TBC and I definitely plan to read the next book about Lukas and hope there is another book about Van and Tabitha.
Side bar complaint: the covers of both Storm and Vandal look like the same person; Van is supposed to look like a Native American and the model on the cover DOES NOT look Native American!!!!
Top reviews from other countries
This book isn't all hearts and flowers and although this story is tragic, it is a totally beautiful love story. I couldn't help but fall for Vandal, his dark domainant ways were just spell binding and you can see why Tabitha eventually couldn't do anything but fall in love him.
Another huge recommend for me.
I loved Storm it was edgy and humorous with some great characters, some of those characters join us in this next book in the Ashes & Embers series.
The Prologue to this book broke my heart.
I could literally feel Vandals pain seeping off the pages throughout this book, i wanted to reach out and hug him so hard.
This story has ugly parts, it has painful and gut-wrenching chapters, two individuals tied together, who are united by one twisted and devastating tragedy.
Two broken people devastated by the same event, lives destroyed, but some how they find they can be each others saviour, to find the light again after so much darkness.
I dont want to give any of the story away i will just say that this is a must read, a hauntingly beautiful plot that ripped my heart to shreds at times.
From reading the lighter hearted story that was Storm to this angsty heart breaker, Carian Cole has excelled herself with this book, i had not expected this story to go how it did and i cannot wait to read the next book in this wonderful series.
Vandal had a terrible childhood, eventually finding a family when his grandmother traced him. He found it difficult to connect to them though and at one point buried himself in drink and drugs. His only love was his tiny daughter. Then tragedy happens.
He meets Tabi and through deceit and manipulation, they find themselves living and healing each other, but not in a normal way.
This covers a lot of issues but they are well written and approached and I was thoroughly engrossed in the story. In fact I wanted to know more and would have liked the rest of the family to have been more involved.
Was the old lady Tabi talked of, his grandmother?
Suitable for older readers due to content.
After a tragic event, Vandal is at rock bottom when he hatches his plan...I think 1 of my comments to Carian was how I thought what a sick dude Vandal was...he may be sick but OMFG he does it in the best way that had me loving him! Tabi, so beautifully broken....can they mend each other?? You will need to find out! You will also meet Sterling...I want him! Storm, Evie and the other band members pop up to so you wont be disappointed!
This book has sex, lots of gritty dirty sex...I loved it (and needed a towel to sit on!!) Its also a heart warming story that keeps you on the edge of your seat guessing!
I loved Storm so much and Vandal is just so deliciously different...its a fantastic read!
The end/epilogue shocked the crap out of me, its one of those OH.MY.GOD. moments!!!
Carian has done it again - such a brilliant book!
However this book is a beaut! Not only is Vandal a bad boy in so many ways Tabi brings out the layers.
There was a piece in the story where I thought it was all going to turn around. Then that ENDING. What a shocker!
Very well played.
Favorite line - not all love is rainbows and unicorns. Brilliant.