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Ashes of Life

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  355 ratings  ·  51 reviews
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-wif ...more
Paperback, 268 pages
Published April 28th 2015 by Red Adept Publishing, LLC
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3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  355 ratings  ·  51 reviews

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Jun 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Ashes of Life by Erica Lucke Dean
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a book that I am sure to recommend. If you are
anything like
me, and a sucker for a sad, intriguing, thought
provoking, 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
Mar 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
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, ...more
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 for the opportunity to read and review this book.
Sarah (Workaday Reads)
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
Courtney Vasiliev
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,
Susie Q
Feb 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Dec 23, 2017 rated it liked it
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,
T.J. Fox
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
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
Mary Anita Hicks
QGood theme, could have been told differently

It 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.
Diane Baxter
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Andree Radzik
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 04, 2018 rated it liked it
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
Typical romance novel. It was a good change from the mysteries I usually read.
Janice Hurst
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
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Upgraded Harlequin

Whole premise is just wrong. Your husband dies and he’s barely cold in the grave and you done found another man? Laughable and ridiculous!
Kim Vrana
Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
Ashes of life

I 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
Good thoughtful story

I loved the story and had great difficulty stopping to go to sleep. Like all true life stories this could be totally true.
B Butterfield
To pat

Didn’t address the issues to pat. I felt it needed more involvement by each character. It needed more development. It was a good idea.
Jul 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Amberr Meadows
Apr 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Cresta McGowan
Jun 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: women-s-fiction
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 ...more
Jenn_COBB - Collector of Book Boyfriends
 photo ARC REVIEW_zpseu9cd4hh.jpgIncredibly 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
Charlotte Lynn
Jun 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
She’s a kid. Of course she wanted her parents to get back together. That’s practically the universal wish of all kids with divorced parents.

Maddie loved her parents and was devastated when they divorced and her father remarried Alex. She had high hopes that they would get back together again. They did get back together again, but in death and Maddie is angry, hurt and when the pain is of the heart she goes in destructive mode. She calls her step mother step monster and makes life even more diffi
Suze Lavender
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Alex marriage to David ended abruptly after three months because he died in a car accident together with his ex-wife. Alex is pregnant, she has just lost her husband and she also discovers that David has chosen her as the person who will take care of Maddie. Only Maddie doesn't like Alex, not at all. Maddie wanted her parents to get back together. She was already lashing out, but now that she has lost them both she's even angrier and Alex is the one she blames. Only, Alex is also the only one le ...more
Jul 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2015, kindle
At first glance, Ashes of Life seems like a departure from the standard fare for either of the co-authors. Laura M. Kolar's previous output was a coming of age story with paranormal aspects aimed at the young adult audience. Erica Lucke Dean's books are erotic romances, co-authored with Elise Delacroix, and her solo efforts, which straddle the line where romance meets chick-lit. That first impression is both right and wrong.

While Ashes isn't like what either author has done before, it plays to t
Aug 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nerdy-girls, y-2015
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. After I received the book, I was afraid to read it. The circumstances hit close to home and I was afraid it was going to tear me up. I decided the best course was to read it all in one day -- I'm glad I did.

The book starts out with a funeral. Alex is burying her husband and his ex-wife, while her step daughter stares daggers at her from across the aisle. Maddie is a teenager mourning the loss of her parents, Alex is mourning
Claire - The Coffeeholic Bookworm
Forgiveness doesn’t come easy when you’ve been deceived, betrayed, abandoned and hurt. But what’s harsher and more difficult is forgetting the hurt that came with all the pain you’ve been through.

Pregnant Alex struggled as she reeled on the tragedy that took his husband’s life. But she also had to deal with the wild and angsty daughter he left behind, Maddie. Both lost and devastated, they had no choice but to live, move on, compromise. Of course, it was easier said than done. Especially when Ma
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After walking away from her career as a business banker to pursue writing full-time, Erica moved from the hustle and bustle of the big city to a small tourist town in the North Georgia Mountains where she lives in a 90-year-old haunted farmhouse with her workaholic husband, her 180lb lap dog, and at least one ghost.

When she’s not busy writing or tending to her collection of crazy chickens, diaboli
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