Ashes of Life
Married for just three months, Alex Barrett is stunned when her husband, David, dies in a tragic accident. And the absolute last thing the pregnant young widow wants is to take on responsibility for his teenage daughter, Maddie. Reeling from loss, Alex struggles to deal with her grief and her troubled stepdaughter, but one question haunts her: why was David with his ex-wife when he died?All Maddie Barrett wanted was for her parents to get back together, but an icy road took that dream away. Afterward, Maddie is riddled with guilt that she can’t share with anyone. Feeling angry and alone, she lays all the blame on Alex.Alex and Maddie must find a way to move past their pain—shared, yet separate. Thrown together in an untenable arrangement, they fight through a frozen landscape of sorrow and redemption while redefining love, forgiveness, and family.

Ashes of Life Details

TitleAshes of Life
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 28th, 2015
PublisherRed Adept Publishing, LLC
ISBN-139781940215464
Rating
GenreFiction, Womens Fiction, Chick Lit, Death, Young Adult, Contemporary, Family

Ashes of Life Review

  • sue
    January 1, 1970
    Ashes of Life by Erica Lucke DeanMy rating: 4 of 5 starsThis is a book that I am sure to recommend. If you are anything like me, and a sucker for a sad, intriguing, thoughtprovoking, and as near to anyone's life as this can be, then this is the book for you.Tragedy can strike anyone at any time at any age. Alex has only been married to David for 3 months when he is killed in a tragic accident, on top of this she is pregnant. Oh, and did I mention he already had a teenage daughter? Well yes, he d Ashes of Life by Erica Lucke DeanMy rating: 4 of 5 starsThis is a book that I am sure to recommend. If you are anything like me, and a sucker for a sad, intriguing, thoughtprovoking, and as near to anyone's life as this can be, then this is the book for you.Tragedy can strike anyone at any time at any age. Alex has only been married to David for 3 months when he is killed in a tragic accident, on top of this she is pregnant. Oh, and did I mention he already had a teenage daughter? Well yes, he does, and Alex has not only to come to terms with her loss of her husband and Father to her unborn child, but also to console his daughter. Maddie.Maddie is a teenager and most of us parents know that teens are not a good age without anything else happening to put stress on your, but things to come to a head.Then on top of this, Alex finds out that her husbands was with his ex.Things come out.You know, I have always said that none of us know the inside outs of another person even if we have been living with them for years, and in this case, its true.Alex and Maddie have to keep going and somehow come through it and out the other end.This book had my attention throughout and I was so engrossed in it the time just flew by.I will be keeping a close eye on this author if she writes books like this again. Lots of intense, angst moments.My thanks go to Red Adept Publishing for allowing me to read and review this and give my honest thoughts about. And my kindness to the author for writing such a brilliant piece of work.
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  • Debbie
    January 1, 1970
    Married for just three months, Alex Barrett is stunned when her husband, David, dies in a tragic accident. And the absolute last thing the pregnant young widow wants is to take on responsibility for his teenage daughter, Maddie. Reeling from loss, Alex struggles to deal with her grief and her troubled stepdaughter, but one question haunts her: why was David with his ex-wife when he died?Maddie is a troubled teen that just lost both of her parents and all she really wants to do is forget life for Married for just three months, Alex Barrett is stunned when her husband, David, dies in a tragic accident. And the absolute last thing the pregnant young widow wants is to take on responsibility for his teenage daughter, Maddie. Reeling from loss, Alex struggles to deal with her grief and her troubled stepdaughter, but one question haunts her: why was David with his ex-wife when he died?Maddie is a troubled teen that just lost both of her parents and all she really wants to do is forget life for awhile. She tries her hardest to sink into depression, drugs and sex with boys that don't care about her. The worst is when she finds that she is now stuck with Alex her fathers new wife. She can't imagine anything worse. I have been following this author since my early days of reading and social media. Most of her work is in romance but this one just blew me away. I was literally riveted by this story. The sadness of moving on from loss, the realization that the ones you love aren't always the person you think they are and the discovery of new relationships that can sometimes mend the pain. A beautifully told story that deserves your attention. I recommend this read to anyone who loves literally fiction and wants to support an Indie author that writes beautifully!!
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  • megHan
    January 1, 1970
    I'm going to vent for a minute here so bear with me: I loved this book and absolutely hated this book all at the same time. The emotions that this story brought out of me were - wow. In fact, there were several times that I put my Kindle down and vowed not to pick it back up again. Now, I've only been through part of the situation - my father died when I was a freshman in high school, but my mother never remarried, or even dated, as far as my sister and I know - but the way that these two acted, I'm going to vent for a minute here so bear with me: I loved this book and absolutely hated this book all at the same time. The emotions that this story brought out of me were - wow. In fact, there were several times that I put my Kindle down and vowed not to pick it back up again. Now, I've only been through part of the situation - my father died when I was a freshman in high school, but my mother never remarried, or even dated, as far as my sister and I know - but the way that these two acted, as if they were the only ones hurting, just really peeved me off. I'm serious - there were times that I wanted to punch both of the main characters in the face, yell at them for their behavior ... and there were times when I really wanted to give them both a giant hug, help to take some of the burden that they were going through off their shoulders. I know, from seeing friends go through the whole step-parent thing, that this is a realistic depiction of the relationship that happens a lot between the child and the parent's new spouse - even more so because of the fact that Alex was the only parent Maddie had left - but they spent far too much time hating each other when they really could have - and should have - bonded together in both their times of sorrow. But I'm also someone looking in on their lives from the comfort of my couch, not actually having to live the life that they lived. But MAN they pissed me off.^^ That should tell you a lot about how well written this book is. I don't often get super emotional during a book like that, but this one sure did pull the feels out of me. It was eye-opening, to say the least. ^^The characters are great. Even though I spent quite a bit of time hating Alex and Maddie (when you read the book, you'll understand why), they were both good people and deserved better than what they got from each other. The two men that came into their lives - and both of their best friends - really helped to show the kind of people they were outside of the grief that they were dealing with, and were just as well written as the two main characters.Amazing job done by both of these authors. This is a great book from the very first to the very fast page. I definitely plan on searching out more from these two authors, and hope they produce something together again.
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  • Carlissa
    January 1, 1970
    When I requested this audiobook from Audiobookblast, it was listed as "Literary Fiction" and the description sounded like something I would like (and I did like most of it), but there was just too much romance for my taste (I'm not a fan of romance novels). The narrator, Laurel Schroeder, was excellent and this is what kept me going with this book.I wish to thank the authors, the narrator, and Audiobookblast.com for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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  • Sarah (Workaday Reads)
    January 1, 1970
    This book is amazing. I went into it thinking it was going to be really sad, but this turned out to be a beautiful romance. Yes, there were some sad and troubling parts, but the overall feel was hope and love. This caught me off guard, but was the best kind of surprise.This was a powerful story about love, and the power of family, and really highlighted that family is something you work for and create. It’s not always easy, but it’s always worth the effort.When I describe this as a romance, I do This book is amazing. I went into it thinking it was going to be really sad, but this turned out to be a beautiful romance. Yes, there were some sad and troubling parts, but the overall feel was hope and love. This caught me off guard, but was the best kind of surprise.This was a powerful story about love, and the power of family, and really highlighted that family is something you work for and create. It’s not always easy, but it’s always worth the effort.When I describe this as a romance, I don’t just mean the romance in a sexual relationship. The relationship and bond that Alex and Maddie start to form is a different type of romance, and it’s one that is even more powerful and satisfying than the ones that the women form with the men in the story. Of course, those were also good, and it feels almost wrong to love Grey so much since he’s only a teen, but he’s such a sweetheart.This was a very uplifting story, and it made me feel good reading it. It was something I really needed, and I’m so happy to have read it.
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  • Courtney Vasiliev
    January 1, 1970
    I DNF'ed this book at about 56%Not because the writing wasn't great because it really was. The author has a wonderful way with words. With that being said, this book just wasn't for me. I didn't enjoy the main character, I disliked her so much I couldn't even tell you her name. BUT, I do know a lot of people who would enjoy this book. It was just one of those, it's not you, it's me situations. Therefore, I am not rating the book at all, because I dont think its fair to rate a book that is good, I DNF'ed this book at about 56%Not because the writing wasn't great because it really was. The author has a wonderful way with words. With that being said, this book just wasn't for me. I didn't enjoy the main character, I disliked her so much I couldn't even tell you her name. BUT, I do know a lot of people who would enjoy this book. It was just one of those, it's not you, it's me situations. Therefore, I am not rating the book at all, because I dont think its fair to rate a book that is good, but wasnt to my liking. Me disliking the character wasnt because she was poorly written or anything, I just couldn't connect or care about her like I was hoping I would after reading the synopsis.
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  • Susie Q
    January 1, 1970
    Ashes of Life is a book that I didn't want to stop listening to because I almost felt as if I were right there with Alex and Maddy. Erica Lucke Dean does a beautiful job of making the characters real and believable with honest emotions. This story is so true with things that are happening in our world today. The emotions that Laura M. Kolar put into the voices of these characters was real! She is an amazing narrator! I look forward to listening to more books that she narrates as well as more boo Ashes of Life is a book that I didn't want to stop listening to because I almost felt as if I were right there with Alex and Maddy. Erica Lucke Dean does a beautiful job of making the characters real and believable with honest emotions. This story is so true with things that are happening in our world today. The emotions that Laura M. Kolar put into the voices of these characters was real! She is an amazing narrator! I look forward to listening to more books that she narrates as well as more books written by Erica Lucke Dean.I was given this book by the narrator in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    I guess I'm out of the norm in my lack of enthusiasm for this book. I liked it, but I didn't love it. The basic premise is heart-breaking. Three months after she married the love of her life, Alex's husband and his ex-wife died in a tragic accident together. Not only is Alex pregnant, but she suddenly finds herself legally responsible for her deceased husband's teenage daughter, Maddie. Maddie hates Alex and makes Alex's life miserable, but it seems that there are no other options for her care, I guess I'm out of the norm in my lack of enthusiasm for this book. I liked it, but I didn't love it. The basic premise is heart-breaking. Three months after she married the love of her life, Alex's husband and his ex-wife died in a tragic accident together. Not only is Alex pregnant, but she suddenly finds herself legally responsible for her deceased husband's teenage daughter, Maddie. Maddie hates Alex and makes Alex's life miserable, but it seems that there are no other options for her care, so they are forced to make it work. On top of having to deal with her grief and her step-daughter, Alex must grapple with questions about why her husband was with his ex-wife when they died. So, why didn't I love the book?• Maybe it's that I'm not a big fan of romance novels and there's a lot of romance in this novel. • Maybe it's that I work with teenagers and the circumstances around this teenager didn't ring true for me. The adults in her world seem far too casual about figuring out who was going to take responsibility for her and how she is going to get the care she needed. • Maybe it's that the relationship coincidences in this novel were a few too many for me to believe. It read more like a soap opera, where everyone was interconnected in ways that didn't seem believable. Don't get me wrong. It's not a bad story. If you love romance novels and a good heart-string pull, you may really enjoy this book.
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  • T.J. Fox
    January 1, 1970
    I just was not a fan of this. Neither of the two main characters were likable. No matter their situation, they were both pretty self absorbed, bratty and unwilling to look outside of their own bubble of existence. I really wasn't a fan of the romantic relationships on either of their parts either. Way too much yo-yo action going on. To the point that if these characters existed in real life, they should probably be seeking help for mental disorders.The writing itself wasn't bad, but I won't enjo I just was not a fan of this. Neither of the two main characters were likable. No matter their situation, they were both pretty self absorbed, bratty and unwilling to look outside of their own bubble of existence. I really wasn't a fan of the romantic relationships on either of their parts either. Way too much yo-yo action going on. To the point that if these characters existed in real life, they should probably be seeking help for mental disorders.The writing itself wasn't bad, but I won't enjoy a book if I don't like the characters or the believably of their situations. This just didn't do anything other than irritate me.
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  • Sharon Mitchell
    January 1, 1970
    As I started this book, I didn't like either of the main characters. So, why would I keep reading? Normally, when I find the characters annoying, I'd quit reading. But there was something about the author's writing that kept me there. The writing is wonderful! She portrays two young people who are hurting so much that they can't look past their own grief.Erica Lucke Dean is able to spin a tale so well and these two broken young women end up becoming a family. It takes a skillful writer to make y As I started this book, I didn't like either of the main characters. So, why would I keep reading? Normally, when I find the characters annoying, I'd quit reading. But there was something about the author's writing that kept me there. The writing is wonderful! She portrays two young people who are hurting so much that they can't look past their own grief.Erica Lucke Dean is able to spin a tale so well and these two broken young women end up becoming a family. It takes a skillful writer to make you want to keep reading even when none of the characters are appealing. Excellently done!
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  • Mary Anita Hicks
    January 1, 1970
    QGood theme, could have been told differentlyIt is probably the grandmother in me, but as I read, all I could think about, was, "is this really how the younger generation lives?" If so, I want to corral my grandchildren and immediately home school them. The reviews did not prepare me for the dialog or loose sexual encounters. If young folks really behave this way routinely, we need to work as a nation to change our society.
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  • Diane Baxter
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this read, especially the authentic imperfections of each character. The story evolved in a credible and engaging way, carrying me along all the way. My only reservations lie in a level of predictability that is perhaps just part of the genre. I wanted a surprise or two; some revelations that made me unsure of where the story would go. But there were a lot of twists and turns that kept the story a lot of fun.
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  • Andree Radzik
    January 1, 1970
    Good book. Enjoyed reading it!It was good and kept me engaged throughout! I would highly recommend this book. In fact, would love a series to find out what happens in the lives of all characters.
  • Beth Klein
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed the book and liked the characters . If I wonder what’s going on when I’m not reading ( think about the book) that’s a good sign . I found myself wanting more in the end -All the issues seemed to suddenly resolve too quickly
  • Gail Ramsden
    January 1, 1970
    Typical romance novel. It was a good change from the mysteries I usually read.
  • Janice Hurst
    January 1, 1970
    Really good story.Although I have been in a raging situation like this, I can believe the thoughts and dialogue were exactly like this.great easy read.
  • Mary C
    January 1, 1970
    Upgraded HarlequinWhole premise is just wrong. Your husband dies and he’s barely cold in the grave and you done found another man? Laughable and ridiculous!
  • Jeanne Johnston
    January 1, 1970
    Kind of sad that a depressing story with dead people, bitchy teenagers, and sadness should be the best book I've read all month, but there it is. I can't even bitch about crappy editing and typos.
  • Coco.V
    January 1, 1970
    🎁 FREE on Amazon today (7/29/2019)! 🎁
  • Kim Vrana
    January 1, 1970
    Sweet and original story. Would have given 5 stars but there were typos I couldn’t ignore and an UNNECESSARY suicide attempt scene that seemed to minimize the severity of suicide.
  • Evangelina Alanis
    January 1, 1970
    Ashes of lifeI highly recommend this book. It’s not often I read a book in one day. I love the author writing. A bit sad but happy ending.
  • Paulina Robbins van Rijn
    January 1, 1970
    Good thoughtful storyI loved the story and had great difficulty stopping to go to sleep. Like all true life stories this could be totally true.
  • B Butterfield
    January 1, 1970
    To patDidn’t address the issues to pat. I felt it needed more involvement by each character. It needed more development. It was a good idea.
  • Donna Coakley
    January 1, 1970
    SweetPredictable but enjoyable Saturday afternoon read. The characters are likeable and relatable. I don't think the title fits the story and it almost out me off reading it.
  • Kathleen J Kunkle
    January 1, 1970
    Good read!This story is about love, loss and moving on. The characters are not predictable and the plot is nicely done.
  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    I have read all of Ms. Lucke Dean’s books and Ms. Kolar’s Canvas Bound. And enjoyed them all. But the emotional impact this book had is something else completely. Ms. Lucke Dean’s stories are generally light-hearted and full of humor. You won’t find that here. Although a bit of humor is brought in with Alex’s best friend, Natalie, owner of the local coffee and bakery shop in town. She is everything you need in a friend, supportive, honest, and a strong shoulder you can cry on when the need arise I have read all of Ms. Lucke Dean’s books and Ms. Kolar’s Canvas Bound. And enjoyed them all. But the emotional impact this book had is something else completely. Ms. Lucke Dean’s stories are generally light-hearted and full of humor. You won’t find that here. Although a bit of humor is brought in with Alex’s best friend, Natalie, owner of the local coffee and bakery shop in town. She is everything you need in a friend, supportive, honest, and a strong shoulder you can cry on when the need arises.Alex is beside herself, buried in grief, and the question of why David had Sarah, his ex-wife, riding in the car with him is hounding at her insecurities. This story is told through alternating perspectives of Alex and Maddie so we are allowed to see all of their inner turmoil and insecurities up-close. It’s messy, ugly, and realistic. There were times when I wanted to shake Alex or bop her on the head and yell, “Snap out of it!” right in her face. Luckily, Natalie filled that role for me. I couldn’t help but love her. Ms. Lucke Dean’s secondary characters are always likable, outspoken, and have an inner strength that comes through.Maddie isn’t your typical teenager, she is a troubled teen acting out, even before her parents wreck that fateful night. Maddie is in self-destruct mode. She describes herself as a cutter who doesn’t cut. She is trying to destroy herself from the inside-out from guilt. She’s taking drugs, drinking, and skipping classes. She also starts things with a “bad boy” because she knows he will hurt her in the long run. Maddie lashes out at Alex every opportunity she gets and Alex unwittingly gives her plenty of ammo. Maddie is a hard character to like, but when she is alone it’s easy to see how broken she is and you want to help her.Then Grey gets Maddie’s attention, he is a quiet introspective nerd in one of her classes. Grey reaches out to her, he knows her pain. So, now Maddie has someone new to direct her anger at for a while. However, Grey is unrelenting in his pursuit to get through to the real Maddie. Slowly but surely he starts to chip away at the walls she has built around herself. Their relationship and the pace it grew was realistic and their dialogue was believable. Ms. Kolar excels at writing young adult themes and I think she captured Maddie and all of her classmates perfectly.Alex’s walls are a completely different story, she was constantly filling in any cracks that started to let a little light in. She feels she is too broken to enjoy any happiness. It was heartbreaking to watch. Even after Natalie read her the riot act (This is where I cheered Natalie on) Alex too quickly repaired her walls again to shield herself from life. Misunderstandings can suck the life right out of person as they did in this story. The moral is open your heart and seek the truth. Life is messy. If you don’t take risks, there is no reward. I would recommend this story to everyone, even if you don’t normally read contemporary fiction or young adult.FYI: **Originally written for "BigAl’s Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy.** July 15, 2015Format/Typo Issues: I found no significant issues in editing or formatting.
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  • Amberr Meadows
    January 1, 1970
    I adore beautiful cover art, and the Ashes of Life cover is one of the most surreal and mesmerizing I've seen this year. I've even coaxed and wheedled my way into getting a poster featuring the cover, because I think it is hauntingly appropriate to the story, and it will be beautiful in a complimentary frame placed on a wall I'll see on a daily basis. The old adage of not judging a book by its cover doesn't hold true here, because the story is as surreal and invokes deep emotion much like the bo I adore beautiful cover art, and the Ashes of Life cover is one of the most surreal and mesmerizing I've seen this year. I've even coaxed and wheedled my way into getting a poster featuring the cover, because I think it is hauntingly appropriate to the story, and it will be beautiful in a complimentary frame placed on a wall I'll see on a daily basis. The old adage of not judging a book by its cover doesn't hold true here, because the story is as surreal and invokes deep emotion much like the book. The first thing I look for in novels like Ashes of Life is the "believable factor." Is the story realistic, and do the characters' personalities and internal conflicts align with their ages, situations, and stages in life?For this novel the answer is a resounding yes. Ashes of Life is absolutely believable and realistic, and even the strong language is true to life and appropriate to the storyline. Maddie is a grieving 17-yr-old teenager who's lost both of her parents, and for lack of more delicate phrasing, she is an absolute train wreck coping with her grief. A few times I wanted to throttle her for the careless decisions she made, but then I remembered burying my own mother at the age of 16, and I certainly felt like a train wreck, too. Fortunately, I had a decent high school boyfriend to keep me tethered from getting as wild as Maddie, but I still harbored rage and grief at being made an orphan overnight. Maddie's actions and responses demonstrate the reality of a teenager feeling lost and alienated, and I'm relieved when she finds her own anchor.I'm a mother, and I identified with Alex and her frustration of dealing with Maddie (and why she wasn't well-equipped emotionally to do so), and I understand the grief of losing someone you love so much you feel as though you might die from the pain of heartbreak. It resonates deeply within me, and anyone who's had a few hard knocks or many will feel the intensity of emotion in this novel. As Maddie and Alex battle internally and with one another through a series of missteps, they deal with their grief differently but are alike in that they have only a small network of real support. Ultimately, a cathartic climax finally helps them move past their differences, and although still mourning, they do find redemption in love and begin the healing process.The logistics: Ashes of Life was well-developed with three-dimensional characters who experienced more than their share of conflict, but it didn't continue ad nauseam. The misery ended at an ideal juncture, and the ending left me secure in the knowledge of hope being eternal, life continues, and even the most devastated and wounded of us all can rise from the ashes. I loved this book. Well done, Erica and Laura.Disclosure: I received this novel in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Cresta McGowan
    January 1, 1970
    This book rating surprised me. When I started the novel - I thought I was going to have to walk away. There is very little likable about Maddie, the spoiled, complicated, trouble-causing teen that narrates every other chapter. And honestly, Alex was hard for me to make peace with because I found her to be weak. BUT - when I viewed the context as a whole, the characters perfectly compliment one another. Maddie needs Alex, Alex needs Maddie and given the circumstances of their lives - they are a p This book rating surprised me. When I started the novel - I thought I was going to have to walk away. There is very little likable about Maddie, the spoiled, complicated, trouble-causing teen that narrates every other chapter. And honestly, Alex was hard for me to make peace with because I found her to be weak. BUT - when I viewed the context as a whole, the characters perfectly compliment one another. Maddie needs Alex, Alex needs Maddie and given the circumstances of their lives - they are a perfect fit for a family.Married for just three months, Alex Barrett is stunned when her husband, David, dies in a tragic accident. And the absolute last thing the pregnant young widow wants is to take on responsibility for his teenage daughter, Maddie. Reeling from loss, Alex struggles to deal with her grief and her troubled stepdaughter, but one question haunts her: why was David with his ex-wife when he died?All Maddie Barrett wanted was for her parents to get back together, but an icy road took that dream away. Afterward, Maddie is riddled with guilt that she can’t share with anyone. Feeling angry and alone, she lays all the blame on Alex. Alex and Maddie must find a way to move past their pain—shared, yet separate. Thrown together in an untenable arrangement, they fight through a frozen landscape of sorrow and redemption while redefining love, forgiveness, and family. Can we just say "poor Alex?" I mean, really - how heartbreaking is it to find true happiness and then have it just ripped away. And having a teenager as a step-daughter only adds insult to injury. Maddie is a tough character to find compassion for - but as a person who works with teens, she is accurately written. Teens, especially girls, are compulsive and lash out in ways that make your jaw drop because they aren't sure how to handle their grief. The drug use and alcohol in the book, while frustrating, isn't out of the norm for a teen that has just lost both her parents. Now - my favorite character hands down was Grey. I know people may read this and think there are high school boys like him out there, but there are. They exist in the shadows and shy away from the mainstream drama of high school, and if a young lady is lucky enough to get this young man's attention - then she is truly blessed. Grey was a charming and much needed kindness amidst the destructive forces of Alex and Maddie.This book turned out to be an excellent read that I didn't want to put down - I consider it a page turner. If you head over to my blog, you can read a preview from Chapters 1 & 2 - a meeting of both voices: www.crestamcgown.blogspot.comHappy Reading!
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  • Jenn_COBB - Collector of Book Boyfriends
    January 1, 1970
    Incredibly emotional story that will hold your heart tightly all the way.I loved it and will definitely have to read it again. Alex Barett is a beautiful, young woman who just married the man she loves and is expecting their love child. Everything is a pure bliss until one moment changes her happiness to despair. Her husband dies in a car crash and if things could ever be worse than that, David's ex-wife Sarah was with him in the car and they died together leaving their teen daughter Maddie be Incredibly emotional story that will hold your heart tightly all the way.I loved it and will definitely have to read it again. Alex Barett is a beautiful, young woman who just married the man she loves and is expecting their love child. Everything is a pure bliss until one moment changes her happiness to despair. Her husband dies in a car crash and if things could ever be worse than that, David's ex-wife Sarah was with him in the car and they died together leaving their teen daughter Maddie behind.David leaves everything to Alex and since Sarah also died with him Maddie is left without a legal guardian and is all alone just like Alex.Heartbroken Alex is suffering enormous pain and wallowing in her sorrow and is now to take care of her late husband's daughter that can't stand her at all.Maddie has hated Alex since the first day they got introduced so things doesn't goes as smoothly for either one of them.I have never heard of these two authors before and quite frankly I don't have the best experiences with authors co-writing so I took this book on with huge caution.But I was so pleasantly surprised that their way of writing this story was just the way I like it.I was blown away with the story that might not be the most innovative one but it sure touched my heart deeply and I was really feeling the characters emotion on a very personal level.I liked the story line, I liked how it was perfectly executed and I only have the words of praises to extend to both authors and the narrator Laurel Schroeder.This was also the first time listening to Laurel narrating a book and it will most definitely not be the last one. She did an excellent work here and made this listening so joyful for me and I connected with characters really well thanks to her.I can recommend this book whole heartedly and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.
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  • Charlotte Lynn
    January 1, 1970
    I cannot imagine not recommending this book. It intrigued me, made me sad, and had me cheering for the characters from the very beginning. I felt for these characters, I needed them to find themselves and then find each other. While this is a love story, there is so much more to it than that. Ashes of Life start as a sad story. A wife, Alex, loses her husband while he is in a car with his ex-wife. This wife is also pregnant and left to care for her dead husband’s wild teenage daughter, Maddie. I I cannot imagine not recommending this book. It intrigued me, made me sad, and had me cheering for the characters from the very beginning. I felt for these characters, I needed them to find themselves and then find each other. While this is a love story, there is so much more to it than that. Ashes of Life start as a sad story. A wife, Alex, loses her husband while he is in a car with his ex-wife. This wife is also pregnant and left to care for her dead husband’s wild teenage daughter, Maddie. It may sound like a lot going on but Erica Lucke Dean and Laura M. Kolar tied it all together expertly and perfectly. I felt like it was an honest story told from a widow’s point of view and a daughter who loses both parents leaving her alone in the world. When I pick up a book I find myself checking out the cover first. This is a beautiful cover. It grabbed me and made me want to check out what was on the pages inside. It didn’t take long to figure out who the gorgeous dancer on the cover was depicting. I love when I get a peek into the authors mind, seeing what they perceive the characters to look like. While I have been fortunate enough to not lose my parents, I cannot imagine at sixteen losing them both in such a tragic accident. I have two teenage daughters and they rely on me and their dad (my husband) so much that for them to lose us would shatter their world. Maddie is left alone. No other stable family to raise her other than a step-mother that she never bonded with. I was so thankful for her friends. I could understand how she stumbled in her life yet her friends always seemed to have her back and guide her back onto the right path. I did feel bad for Alex but Maddie was the one that truly tugged at my heart. Erica Lucke Dean and Laura M. Kolar wrote a great book. I have a feeling that this is one that will stay with me, tug at my heart each time I think of it, and one that I cannot wait to share with my friends.
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