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Beauty in the Ashes

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  742 ratings  ·  163 reviews
Standalone Dark Contemporary Romance

Some stories are a fairytale...but this isn't one.

Caelan Gregory’s life fell apart the night he went home and opened the door to find his whole family murdered. Since then, his life has held no meaning. He’s angry. He’s bitter. He’s barely human anymore. There’s nothing left to remind him of the straight A student, and football quarterb
Published July 15th 2014 (first published July 1st 2014)
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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 ·  742 ratings  ·  163 reviews

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May 03, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't. I tried I just couldn't. It didn't even start off good and got worse as I continued. I felt like a HS guy wrote this. Eff this, eff that, effing effer. If you need to curse that much in any book to make your point across then you need to reevaluate the English language and your feelings. Glad this book was given to me for free. Someone at the secondhand store will surely enjoy this. I just couldn't. ...more
Stephanie D
Jul 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
I should have never read the book. The previous reviews were all hinting it, I just thought it would be interesting. But ackkk!! I can't lie. It was heartbreaking for me. So, almost 2/3 of the story have been building about them. And suddenly, shit like that happens???

How do you expect readers to accept that 1/3 without that much build up. Not to mention, Memphis should have been mentioned at the synopsis from the start. It was unfair for readers to root for him.

I get that this book is about f
Natalie ✩★ The Biblioholic ★✩
It was really hard to rate this book in the end. Why? Because I almost didn't make it.

It doesn't happen often. It was written well and it was honest and for most of the story I was hovering close to a 5. Not quite there but I was really enjoying myself. I love broken heros and Caelen was devastating. The horrors of his past still haunted him and it seemed the only things he wanted in life were drugs and alcohol. That is utnil Sutton showed up in his life. From their first encounter I was rooting
Aug 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, overdrive
Well, damn.
I think there are many people who will love this story. I was ALMOST one of them. Unfortunately.....(view spoiler)
Jenny - TotallybookedBlog

Our Rating:
First 80% of story: 41/2 Stars
Last 20% of story: 1Star
Caelan: 5Stars for the majority of the story until his character was let down.
Sutton: 4stars until ‘that which shall not be named happened’ then ✯ Star
Writing: 4Stars

‘He was right. What we had…it couldn’t be defined as love. It was different…infinitely more.’

Gitte: You know what; there’s some books where you finish reading and you think…what the hell happened here? When a story suddenly doesn’t play out remotely how you expected, i
1-Click Addict Support Group
Jan 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Micalea Smeltzer is not a new to me author, having read her work previously, but Beauty in the Ashes was next level! I thought I was prepared going in, but I still had to put my iPad down a couple times because my heart hurt, and I couldn’t see through the tears. This wasn’t an easy read at times, but I am so glad that I read this beautiful book.

Caelan and Sutton are two broken people who are trying to make their way in the world. They happen to find each other at a time when each need someone
Sue Czarnomski
Jul 19, 2014 rated it liked it
What happened here? I loved this book up to the 2/3 point, but then it all went south for me. Not only was the ending an enormous disappointment, but it was rushed. This book had progressed so nicely, the story detailing the painful pasts that tormented both Caelan and Sutton. While their relationship was toxic at times, it wasn't just based on sex--it had grown to mutual love; both of them professing it to the other. They shared a bond and trusted each other with details of their devastating fa ...more
Nancy The book junkie
Review to come!
♡ Jeri's Book Attic ♡ Jeri the Romance Bibiliophile ♡

Its good that I did not read the GR opening line before I read the book – or else I might not have read Beauty in the Ashes by Micalea Smeltzer at all. As I am not a fan of dark romances.
From the beginning on you feel the whole story is darker and twisted – it never feels like unicorns and rainbows – but it always leaves you hoping.
The characters are incredible even with all their flaws – and flaws is a very nice and soft word for some stuff that is going on here.
I can not say to much about t
Gemma Weir
Jul 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Check out more of my reviews on my blog www.gemmareadstoomuchforittomenormal....

Beauty in The Ashes is the new standalone novel by Micalea Smeltzer; I was given this ARC by the author in exchange for an honest review so here goes...

Ok so the good bits...

• Caelan, he’s a tormented soul I wanted to give him a massive hug.

• Sutton, she’s almost as damaged as him and I wanted to hug her too.

• This book made me ugly cry!

And the not so good bits...

• I really disliked Memphis for me he just came across
Romance Readers Retreat
Dec 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars

I don't even know where to start with this review. I both loved and hated this book and I don't know which is greater. I loved the original cover but it is extremely misleading along with the blurb so I understand why the author decided to change it. The new cover is just as gorgeous yet more appropriate for the story.
This story was angsty and dark and emotional and had me on the edge of my seat the whole way through but it's the last 20-25% that I didn't really like. That ending came
Everything Marie
Jul 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Let's start off by saying that I am a HUGE fan of Micalea's and absolutely couldn't wait for this book! The cover and the blurb alone sucked me in and I just HAD to devour it! Okay, now that's been said...HOLY SHIT! What did I just read??!??? This book is FAR from what I ever expected! I thought this would be your typical romance, with a little angst....WRONG!!! So wrong! The author actually warned me in saying that this book was nothing like her previous works and I should have listened!

So, le
❤️Melanie G.
May 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
****4+ "I Live For You" Stars****

I must say this book took me by surprise. The writing was amazing and the story was phenomenal.

Sutton & Cael were both broken ans searching for an escape. They found that in each other however they could only escape for so long before reality came crashing back.

The supporting characters in this story were a perfect blend to the main characters and it made the story flow perfectly.

I will say that this story broke my heart time and time again. I cried, cheered f
Regina Bartley
Feb 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is not your average love story in the best possible way. Five gut wrenching, tear jerking, hate you, but love you forever stars. Micalea Smeltzer's best work yet! ...more
Karen Anderson
Jul 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Would have been a 5* for me IF the last part of the book was a different outcome, i jst don't understand how that happened, im confused & after reading a beautiful story very disappointed ...more
Stefanie Kral
✯✯6 Beautiful Stars!!✯✯

We were opposites in every way.
She was the Beauty to my Beast.-Caelan

There is such things I want to say about this book. I had the privilege of being a BETA reader for this book. And, it's the 3rd one I've done for Micalea. I honestly don't know why she needs them because she is such a talented fantastic author who puts everything into her books. It took her 5yrs to write this and I can honestly say I'm glad she did because I got to be a part of it. I know that might s
Kat DM
Apr 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Beauty In The Ashes
By Micalea Smeltzer
5-painting ✩★✩★✩'s

Gifted by the author in exchange for an honest review.

This book is a standalone.

Caelan & Sutton, what a rollercoaster ride. This is a tear-jerker type of read. Two broken and lost souls cross paths.

 photo BeautyInTheAshes1_zpscdf9f445.jpg

Caelan is a druggy and an alcoholic and is very attracted to Sutton but is very much in denial. Coming home to a house that you once called home with your whole family murdered, doesn't sound like you have much to live for. My heart broke f
Three Chicks
Jul 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
4 Star Review by Jen Skewes

Beauty in the Ashes is an emotional story about two broken people who are so damaged from their past that they are not sure if they will ever be whole again. I felt for both Caelen and Sutton and wanted them to find their HEA.

Caelan is living his life day by day and drowning himself in drugs and alcohol to numb the pain of this past. I don’t want to go into too much detail about what happened in his life to cause this pain and anger and for him to be in this dark worl
Kendall {Book Crazy}
Feb 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was desperate for this book! I was asked to beta read it by the author so I got to read it quite a bit earlier than when it was released! I love all this author's other books as well, so I always look forward to the next book from her! This book was absolutely amazing! I was always begging the author for more chapters I was enjoying it that much! The plot was brilliant! It developed at the perfect pace and everything about it was so beautiful, but so dark! I was expecting the plot to be quite ...more
N Swaffar
Jul 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing

Rating: 5 Wonderful Stars (but it so deserves more)

Reviewed by: Neilliza

This is the story about two broken souls finding each other and saving each other.

I love all the characters in this book, except for Marcus. Who is a real piece of work, which you will find when you read the book. Of course I cannot forget about Memphis, the very hot and understanding friend. Who also helped Sutton out, without asking for anything in return. Even though I loved Caelan, I cannot help but also love Memphis. I

Jun 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Micalea Smeltzer has absolutely slayed me! Beauty in the Ashes is without a doubt one of my favorite books of all time. Writing a review that does this novel justice seems almost impossible because I honestly don’t know what to say to describe my experience with this beautiful story. Just as our lives are all incredibly unique, this book will touch every reader in a different way. For me, reading Sutton and Caelan’s journey was incredibly eye-opening as I grew to recognize pieces of myself in th ...more
Jul 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was gifted this copy of Beauty in the Ashes, and so in return I am writing an honest review. This story starts out with a tragedy with Caelan and his family, this immediately had me hooked, pulled into this story in a way I had been missing for a long time. This first chapter gave me the feeling that I was going to be drawn into this book and I was. I am not a very fast ready, life just gets in my way sometimes so it took me a couple of days to read this book and I hated putting it down to dea ...more
Jul 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Let me just start this review off by saying, I have never read a book like this and nor do I ever want to. Anything I predicted would happen, didn't. I wish I had payed more attention to the description, because its all there. This is not a fairytale romance and it really is a dark contemporary romance.

I went into this book expecting a romance of two people with broken pasts who fight and resist, but eventually come together and fall in love. It was not even close to that. This is more on the da
Valia Lind
Jul 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
There's so much to say about this book. And I will say it. Once I come to terms with my emotions. Because I'm going to need a minute. Or a few days. SO GOOD!


This book is NOT for everyone. I know Micalea has said it and it's worth repeating. This book is not a fairytale, it's not about two people living happily ever after. At least not in the way conventional books write about. It is a NA Standalone Dark C
Jul 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Beauty In The Ashes we meet Sutton and Caelan, They live across the hall from each other. It all starts with Caelan being an Arties wanting his quiet so he can work and Sutton making too much noise, And Caelan just busting in to Sutton’s Apartment to tell her to keep the noise down…. Well not in them nice of words. Sutton turns it into a game with Cael, She likes to get under his skin. Everyone on their floor cowers to him but her, she’s not scared. In fact she finds herself looking for ways to ...more
Jul 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars. I'm really impressed with this book. Caelan and Sutton are 2 broken people who live across the hall from each other. They start out antagonizing each other and eventually settle into a physical relationship. From there, they start to reveal their demons to each other. As much I enjoyed Caelan's POV and felt his pain and suffering, I hated how he treated Sutton and he wasn't winning any points with me on rooting for him to be Sutton's love interest. He didn't have much to offer her and ...more
May 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: five-stars, artists
An honest story of life, love, living, and learning with the MOST fantastic ending!

Have you ever heard The Fray's lyric: "Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same"? I feel like that lyric encompasses Beauty in the Ashes to a tee. What a beautiful book! Thank you, thank you, thank you, Micalea Smeltzer, for surprising me in the most fantastic way with the ending to this story. Thank you for taking a risk to make a credible and truly worthwhile statement. Thank you for a gritty
Magic Within the Pages
Jul 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Reviewer: Donna
Rating: 5 Stars

**Copy received from author in exchange for an honest review**

I'm not usually one for crying through books but this book had me so tied up in knots! It was emotionally draining and i will confess, my eyes did well up on a few occasions.

The story is based around the lives of Caelan and Sutton. They both have really dark pasts and find it hard to live in the world and put the past behind them. Caelan was a popular kid at school and one night, while he sneaks out of hi
Parlethia Browning
Jul 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing

I know a lot of people didn't like the ending of this book. But my interpretation of the story is this:

We have Caelan who's tragic event would send anybody into a dark world of drugs and alcohol. Then there's Sutton who's tragic event is every women's nightmare. So we have two badly broken people who are drawn to each other because of these tragic events. They see and feel the pain they each carry with them everyday. They helped bring one another out of their darken worlds and into
Kim Walker
Jul 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Having the word beauty in the title of this was perfect because it was a beautiful book. It made me laugh and made me cry.

The book introduces you to Sutton and Calean. Two people who have had lives that have been nothing short of easy. These two meet in an apartment complex where they live and the story follows them trying to become better people, overcoming their pasts, and trying to move forward. But life is difficult, moving on can be hard, and trying to learn to live again is a huge challen
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Micalea Smeltzer is a twenty-something author from Northern Virginia. She has four dogs, which is as crazy as it sounds. As a recent kidney transplant recipient she's dedicated to raising awareness around the effects of kidney disease, dialysis, and transplant as well as educating people on living donation. When she's not writing you can catch her with her nose buried in a book. ...more

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