Thursday, November 6, 2014

Julia Reviews The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost

Title/Author: The Beautiful Ashes by Jeaniene Frost
Publisher/Year Published: August 2014 by Harlequin 
How I got this book: I was provided with an ARC in return for an honest review
Why I read this book: I was in the mood for paranormal in October... I wonder why?
Rating: 3.5 stars

This book leaves me a bit torn which is why I think it's taken me a few weeks to start this review. On one hand it has a very interesting paranormal plot line that I haven't read anything similar too. On the other hand the characters aren't very well written. Adrian is as cliche as they come - smoldering demon thing who can melt the pants off women with one look. Ivy is the inexperienced woman who finds herself in a situation she was destined for and somehow gets good at mastering things instantly. Then there is their romance which was very instant attraction that moves into the "I can fix him our love will save the world" cliche mix. But the plot was really interesting! 

Let's back up and talk about that plot. Ivy is a college age woman who's parents just died in a car accident and only other living relative, her sister, has gone missing. She is in New York looking for her when she is sort of kidnapped/rescued by Adrian, a humanish hunk who was sent to take her to this angel guy to start down the path of her destiny and save her from the clutches of demons. She is from some special bloodline and the last of the line and only she can do... something. I don't even really think that was clear... it of course is a series. 

Adrian didn't know who she was initially and was all trying to get in her pants, but once he realized she is the last of that line things change. You see, he is the last of another line whose paths were destined to cross with the first line but in like a betrayer way. 

It's sort of convoluted, but it is introduced easily enough. Things get answered along the way as the plot clips along. It's very much angels vs demons, heaven vs hell sort of book that pulls a lot of stuff from Christianity's history and lore. I really enjoyed that part and the vivid imagery of the demon world. 

But the characters were not as gripping. They were along the ride for the story, but just seemed like plot points or cardboard cutout cliches. I keep using that word, but it very much fits. Think of your normal leading hero in a paranormal book. That's Adrian. Think of your normal heroine in a YA paranormal. That's Ivy. 

That's another thing that bothered me. I thought this was paranormal romance, but it is more like new adultish paranormal romance sort of. When I start a romance novel, I go into it knowing a few things are going to happen. 1) The main characters fall in love (check) 2) They get a Happily Ever After or a Happy For Now (it's a HFN because I think these characters are going to run through the series) 3) They have the sexytimes. (no check) I was a little saddened when I got to the end and pants remained on. This is published by Harlequin, right? Well, I don't know if it will be a plot point later or something, but I was missing the romance part of this book. Not just the sex, but like the tension. It wasn't there for me in the subtext. She told me they were falling in love, but I sure as hell didn't see it.

So in summary, it wasn't horrid. I liked the creativity of the world where it was set. I liked the descriptions of some of the demon based characters. But I didn't like the lackluster leads and their lack of realistic chemistry. Apparently it is marketed as New Adult and not paranormal romance, so if you are looking to try a paranormal story with a dash of romance, I'd say give this a try. At least read the sample and see if it grips you. 


  1. The plot sounds pretty interesting, but it's a shame that the characters weren't very well written or interesting. I think I have to give it a miss because although I do like original plot ideas, I am a very character driven reader, and I think I wouldn't like it so much. Brilliant review regardless!

    Check out my latest review:

  2. I'm sad you didn't enjoy this book that much. I liked it just fine but honestly the characters didn't impress me, while I liked both of them I couldn't relate to them all that much. My main problem was that sometimes I felt like I was hearing Cat, from Frost's other series in Ivy, I know that most people don't feel this so maybe I'm the odd one out but this really annoyed me. Anyhow, the plot was really exciting, I loved this new world Frost created and of course I was saddened by the ending so now I can't wait for the next book. Hope it will be better and you'll enjoy it more than this. :)
    Great review!


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