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Igniting Ash

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"When the embers of pain transform into passion."

After a terrible start in life, Asher Harris picks himself up and manages to carve out a fairly decent future. Content with living alone in his bookshop, he shies away from relationships and keeps trust to a minimum.
Emma Carnes hasn’t seen Asher in years, though she’s never forgotten him. Their one interaction as teenagers became pivotal to them both. It gave her a career.
It saved his life.
Taking small steps, hoping to get him to open up, Emma finds Asher’s emotional walls hard to climb. He is far from receptive to her gentle persuasion, even when she seeks his help with a wounded child from the shelter she works in.
Emma sees the parallels between him and Asher, and tries to replicate the past. However, as she takes tentative steps with both of them, someone is taking steps toward her. Watching her for a pattern. Watching her to find out what she knows.
They each battle to stay together to keep what they’ve fought so hard to gain, will a cruel twist of fate finally show Asher what he could lose? Could it be too late to save the one person in life he trusts?

317 pages, Kindle Edition

First published August 4, 2015

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About the author

M.A. Stacie

11 books405 followers
M. A. Stacie is never without a book or her eReader. A voracious reader, with a love of sexy, yet angst ridden novels, she loves getting lost in new worlds. Her need to write did not grip her until after her second son was born, when her previous rambles became fully fledged stories.

She describes herself as one huge contradiction, and though not the most conventional of hobbies, she counts getting new tattoos as one of hers. Along with running, knitting, and listening to loud music. However, she is yet to work out how to do them all at the same time.

M. A. Stacie lives in the UK with her husband and three sons.

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5 stars
16 (20%)
4 stars
29 (37%)
3 stars
26 (33%)
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5 (6%)
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2 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 19 of 20 reviews
Profile Image for ✿kawehi.reviews.
1,453 reviews410 followers
August 25, 2015
☆ I received an ARC via StarAngels Reviews & Promo Stars Services in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! ☆

3.75 stars!!

A childhood connection transcending to the forefront many years later.

I've always loved and admired these types of reads and will without fail, be lining up for another young to adult lovers romance.

While I did like the read in general, one thing that drives me up the wall is reading books in third person. It is a tactful ploy I feel is best used in narrating events while not divulging characters' guts and feelings.

Otherwise, I enjoyed Asher and Emma's story immensely. For me, I think in everyday life, all it takes is for one simple moment to change your life. One simple act, or for this case, one act of kindness to impede your future.

Asher and Emma's rapport was like none other. They saw each other. They got each other and accepted the other for what they were. Not to mention, they (particularly, Emma) supported the other's cause.

That's not saying that each had their own demons and issues to hammer through, cause they did. Especially, Asher, Mr. “I have trust issues a mile and a half long.”

I really enjoyed this, in a sense, “coming of age,” story as it truly was one of letting go of your past and making a new start...and falling in love.

Profile Image for Janet.
549 reviews12 followers
July 27, 2015
* beta reader*

I totally loved Ashers' story .. one kind act long ago changed his whole outlook ...

After a terrible start in life, Asher Harris picks himself up and manages to carve out a fairly decent future. Content with living alone in his bookshop, he shies away from relationships and keeps trust to a minimum.

Emma Carnes hasn’t seen Asher in years, though she’s never forgotten him. Their one interaction as teenagers became pivotal to them both. It gave her a career.

It saved his life.

Asher was given a life line by 2 people in his life ..those two people will shape his future and he in-turn helps to turn around anothers.

I struggle with reviewing ..there's so much I want to say but I refuse to spoil the story !

Hot guy...bookshop .. who needs anything else?
Profile Image for Risbee.
429 reviews22 followers
August 1, 2015
Loved Asher and Emma and their story so much **puffy heart eyes**

Better review to come after I gather my thoughts.
August 10, 2015
★★★★ 1/2
Asher is one seriously complicated character, whenever something is said or done it's a toss up between how he's going to react to it, he is quite possibly one of the most complex characters I have come across so far... And the best bit? It just makes him even more lovable! Emma is a strong female character, I honestly can't imagine many people would put up with Asher and his many walls, and seeing as Asher is so lovable this just makes me like Emma all the more! Gabe is another character that really pulls on your heartstrings and his whole story had my heart lodged in my throat!

Asher and Emma's story isn't easy... In fact that's an understatement, their story is full of ups and downs, for most of the book it seems that for every step forward they take they're taking two backwards. Igniting Ash is a really emotional read and it wouldn't surprise me in the slightest to find out it had already claimed some tears, it just has that feel to it, you can't help but become attached to these characters so naturally they're going to hold your heart in the palm of their hands. I adored every little thing about their story, from teenagers to adults, it was just so uniquely them.

All in all I loved this book and these characters, they have firmly rooted themselves in my heart :)

***ARC received in exchange for honest review***
Profile Image for Kelly.
72 reviews
August 16, 2015
I enjoyed the story of Asher and Emma. The story was compelling. I also enjoyed the relationships that were developed throughout the story.
Profile Image for Mignon Mykel.
Author 95 books654 followers
August 13, 2015
Received a review copy through Tasty Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

One of the first things I noticed when beginning IGNITING ASH was that each chapter starts with a character's name -- Asher or Emma. That typically goes on to mean the chapter will be told in that person's voice, in first person. At least, this is how it's typically done.

Not so with IGNITING ASH. While yes, that chapter is done in the voice of that particular character, it is also done in third person -- something that I thought was kind of different, kind of neat, yet drove me just a bit batty.

I loved Asher (side note? If and when my books get written, one of my leading LADY'S name is Asher. I know it's a guy name and I'm not sure that I've ever seen that particular male name crossed over, but I've always loved it for a female). I loved that he blended in with the shadows and prefered to be there. He didn't want to shine light on his home life, and when he finally got out of it, didn't want his past to meld with his present so he stayed away from anyone that could possibly do that. Asher learns trust throughout this story -- his distrust of individuals and of what life gives him is heartbreaking. He looks at things twice and then again sideways and still doesn't believe that it could possibly true.

But beyond my love for Asher, is my love for Emma. While she wasn't vocal about it, she always saw him. She lended him a pencil, saw him in the cold and offered him help. She didn't draw attention to his cuts, bruises, scrapes, scars. She saw them, but she let Asher open up as he would -- which, as teens, he didn't, but she still didn't push. Asher's life is what drove Emma to go into her career path as an adult -- the drive and desire to help teens such as Asher had been, and Emma's interactions with him that winter night are what literally saved Asher's life.

When they randomly meet again some years later, Asher's first instinct was to run -- but Emma's always seen him and she wants to be his friend.

I've never heard of a lock-and-key party (perhaps it's an English thing). While it seemed like the "popular kids'" party in high school, I kind of felt that the idea was a tad juvenile for people in their twenties -- if you want to hook up at a party, you don't need a matching key to a girl's padlock... However, both Asher and Emma ended up at this party as adults because their friends dragged them -- friends that I hope to see have their own stories someday (hmm, M.A. Stacie??).

The synopsis of the story lead me to feel there would be more of suspensful feel for the story and while that aspect was there, it wasn't quite as profound and in your face as I'd have liked it to be. Regardless, those scenes help drive the reader to understand Asher, and his relationships.

I enjoyed this story and look forward to reading more from M.A. Stacie.
Profile Image for Mel (Reviews In A Pinch).
210 reviews35 followers
December 9, 2015
Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book as part of the Book Blast with Tasty Book Tours, in exchange for an honest review.

My Thoughts: Has someone changed your life with one small moment that was seemingly insignificant to them, but meant the world to you? That hasn’t happened to me, but I can definitely romanticize the idea. The description for Igniting Ash hooked me right away and I’m not usually much of a “romance” reader, especially if it looks like it’s heading into erotica territory (I’m trying to branch out, but it won’t happen overnight).

Where to start with that plot? It was pretty darsh gone good. There were some plot holes and I thought some parts were resolved too quickly, but that’s me being nit picky. I did expect Igniting Ash to be an intense book, but it was actually pretty tame. With the subject matter (abuse), everything felt a little too clean-cut to be believable. Life is messy and it’s okay to not end up with a perfect happily (or unhappily) ever after. In fact, having a clean-cut end, was an odd way to finish Igniting Ash.

The chemistry between Asher and Emma was slightly off. It was still enjoyable, but something in the build up fell flat and I didn’t quite believe them together. There are some sexual scenes (and I added the warning just to be safe), but it was pretty tame compared to some of the other contemporary fiction I’ve read lately. Before reading Igniting Ash, I would’ve called it a romance novel, but I think the contemporary category would be a better fit.

I loved Asher. He’s an incredible character that deserves all the credit in the world for overcoming his lot in life and trying to find something better for himself. I wasn’t quite as thrilled with Emma. I liked that she was trying to help both Asher and abused kids in general, but she came off as being too naive for her situation. She constantly pushed Asher in a way that I’m not sure was healthy, but the author resolved it as being okay and seemed to put more of the blame on Asher (for snapping). I don’t even have the same background as Asher and I would’ve snapped had someone from my past (that I barely knew) continually pushed me the way Emma did.

Overall, I enjoyed reading Igniting Ash. I do think it needed some more editing, but it wasn’t anything that slowed the reading process. If you’re looking for a contemporary romance that’s more about the plot and just dips your toes into the “romance” aspect, then I would recommend Igniting Ash.

For more reviews, check out Reviews In A Pinch today!
Profile Image for Leila Tualla.
Author 12 books68 followers
August 6, 2015
Igniting Ash is a story about overcoming our past, accepting the scars that stay with us and realizing that a little light and love into our
darkness saves us.

The book starts with a simple kind act that Emma bestows on Asher. An act that we would learn later, changed his life. Asher’s story moved me. I could feel his suffering, his defeat, his complete distrust of people and knew that he knew every wounds by name. Where he was the dark, Emma is the light. She gives him a little ray of hope every now and again that slowly seeped into his darkness. There is pushing and pulling; a tug of war of emotions and I found myself tearing up at the thought that there are people out there with stories far worse than Asher and most of them will never meet another kind soul like Emma.

I didn’t grow up rich but I was still pretty privilege and completely sheltered. People like Asher didn’t (and don’t) exist in my world. If they did, as awful as this sounds, I would have turned my back and ignored him. And that’s pretty much how it’s been for his life, growing up ignored by people who turned their backs to him; people who shouldn’t have been the cause for his pain and his suffering. Kids like Asher and Gabe would break my heart, but I’m not as strong as Emma or as patient enough to try to chip down the fortress they built themselves.

Igniting Ash is a quiet read. The story moves along in its wonderful pace, pulsing and speeding up at the right moments and slowing down enough to let you catch your breath. It was a privilege to read the interworking of Asher’s mind and be humbled and in awe. And after all that he went through, every single light that Emma shared, he began to accept that he was worthy of being loved and being ignited in every single possible way.
Profile Image for Jannie Lund.
Author 25 books35 followers
July 29, 2015
Asher Harris grabbed me by the throat and heart from page one. That’s how M.A. Stacie writes her characters. You love them, let them frustrate you, and you invest your feelings in them to a degree where putting the book down is extremely difficult. Dinnertime? Not now. I’m reading.

”Igniting Ash” is a beautiful story of overcoming, the power of love, and the courage to fight for what you want. The strength of the characters is inspiring, and let’s face it -- Asher is just damn hot. Smooth, cocky, and adorably insecure at the same time. The perfect match for Emma, the good girl coming out of her shell by going after what she wants. And Gabe. I don’t think I’m above bribing Miss Stacie so the young man gets a story of his own.

I love M.A. Stacie’s clear voice in everything she writes, her beautiful fingerprint on the romance genre.
Profile Image for Johanna Sawyer.
3,369 reviews37 followers
August 14, 2015
Thanks to the author for a copy to read and review.

"His hand trembled as he pushed her key into his padlock. It fit perfectly. Two halves of a whole. She stared to cry. They were the happiest tears she’d ever shed."

I'm stumped by this beautifully written story! Pivotal and inspiring just remember to lend a hand to those who need it because you'll never know when it will come back with love. Asher and Emma made a beautiful love story that tested the limits on time and tragic instances. Two halves of a whole and each lost without the missing piece. I really enjoyed this contemporary romance giving it four romantic entertainment stars!
August 19, 2015
Received this in exchange for an honest review on behalf of 2 Girls Who Love Books Blog! ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

What a beautiful story of Asher and Emma. Asher had hit a rough spot in life, Emma was there for him when no one else cared.

Years later they happen to run into each other again. Asher now owns a bookstore that holds the book Emma has been looking for for her father's birthday.
Little did they know it would spark a complicated relationship/friendship. Call it fate or destiny. call it whatever you want but I call it true love!!!!!!
excellent story and very strong characters.
Profile Image for Jo.
1,458 reviews11 followers
September 30, 2015
Sometimes, I receive a request to review a book, from an author I haven't come across, and the blurb is intriguing,so I agree. And then the book turns out to be so much better than I was expecting. This was one of those books.

From the outset really, this was a book which totally drew me in. Characters who were flawed, but likeable. A storyline which kept my attention. But the best thing about this book, for me at least, was the development of the relationship between Emma and Ash. Equally stubborn and determined, the evolving intimacy between these two was addictive to read.

Overall, a thoroughly seductive read.

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Celine.
174 reviews13 followers
August 18, 2015
The way the story was told (even at 30%) was too vague for me to enjoy. There wasn't enough details as the story progressed, like what Emma did for a living or what course did she graduated from. All it said was she a volunteer at the shelter for abused kids. Sometimes, its ok to hint at something that is going to be revealed at some point but just to insinuate at something and to let the reader assume whatever is just frustrating. This is just me wanting details to complete the pictures in my head when I read a story.
Profile Image for katherine.
345 reviews7 followers
August 14, 2015
What and emotional ride this one was but I loved every minute of it. Ash's character endeared himself to me right from the start he kept you wanting good things for him to the end. When Emma re-enters his life, it turns his world on end but in such a good way. She just needs to convince him of that. A wonderful read, you won't be disappointed.
Profile Image for Kerry Richardson.
1,568 reviews15 followers
August 10, 2015
This was a good book. The characters of Asher and Emma were very strong and they were great together. The story was emotive and hard hitting and was well written apart from quite a few grammatical errors and mistakes.
Displaying 1 - 19 of 20 reviews

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