Angie McLain's Reviews > Amber to Ashes

Amber to Ashes by Gail McHugh
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BEYOND 6 STARS - Prepare yourself...then get blown away!


“I fell for the two loves of my life when I was nineteen. Yes, two. Plural. More than one. Immoral? Maybe. I say undeniable. Uncontained. Some say I am wrong to feel this way about two men. Most call me a whore, a skank, or the town slut. I don’t care. Simply put… they each took a piece of what I wanted to give.”

I fell in love with Gail’s writing way back when I read the Collide and Pulse for the first time two years ago. I’ve been waiting for what seems like forever for her next book, and the wait was more than worth it. This book, what do you even say when you can’t seem to form thoughts and words about what you’ve just experienced? Well I’m going to give it a go, even though there is no way to do it justice. Not a chance in hell.

Amber Moretti is a nineteen years old, and she’s had a lot of disappointments in her young life, suffered the type of loss you can never fully recover from. She’s closed herself off from the idea of experiencing love and loving in return, having lost her parents in the most horrendous way at a very young age; it’s left a permanent scar on her heart and soul. She uses her body and sex to forget and numb the pain, to stifle the loneliness of being an orphan, and to deal with the agony of feeling insignificant. Having been bounced around within the foster care system for years, Amber is now leaving her last foster home, and starting out on her own at Hadley University, where she will be studying Psychology, with the hopes of being able to help others in a way she never was.

Amber has only just arrived when she lands in the lap of a man that is going to change her life forever. Ryder Ashcroft is one of the sexiest, most arrogant and cocky men she’s ever encountered. Problem being, she likes it, she’s drawn in by it. Amber doesn’t do relationships and she certainly does not do feelings. But from the moment they meet, Amber feels the very tight reign of control she grasps slipping, mere moments after meeting him. Oh but wait, it’s about to get even more complicated. Enter Brock Cunningham the equally sexy, arrogant and cocky best friend of Ryder. Can you say hot mess? I mean seriously…Both men make no attempts to hide their attraction to Amber and while she struggles with the intense, undeniable attraction to both men, she quickly realizes, it’s futile.

“What the hell’s wrong with me today? I’m convinced the Frappuccino I inhaled earlier was laced with some kind of date-rape drug, because this is the second time in ten minutes that the opposite sex has made me feel high.”

Brock and Ryder are loyal to each other, to a fault, have been for years, but it becomes clear very quickly that this situation is going to test the strength of their friendship in ways they’ve never before encountered. Both men have secrets, issues, and have suffered their own devastating losses in life. When Amber, Ryder and Brock collide, its’ going to get very messy. Passion, lust, longing, distrust, lies; omissions of truth, secrets, all make this already tedious situation more difficult than anyone would be able to comprehend. The chemistry that exists between Ryder and Amber is explosive, but the chemistry between Brock and Amber is just as powerful. As I was reading, I couldn’t choose between the two men, which never happens for me. I always have a favorite, one that I am rooting for to get the girl and this time, I was at a loss. Amber’s decision is a truly impossible one. I felt for her on every level, I understood her confusion and her desires. Having never experienced any real affection from a man before, and now confronted with two men who would do anything for her, makes an impossible situation even more impossible. One thing is certain though, as I read this book I became tenser with every passing page, I knew that we were heading for an explosive conclusion and I felt uneasy, but was unable to turn away. I needed to see how this story was going to end. I’d become so invested in the story and the characters, I was a mess. This cannot be healthy to become so involved in a book…

“Other than my parents, I’ve never loved anyone. Love is the mighty evil fall, and I refuse to willingly jump of its ledge of destruction into a cesspool of nothing but hurt and pain. For in that cesspool are vultures lying in wait to eat me alive.”

Gail McHugh wrote a book that is truly spectacular. Her writing is superb, the words flow effortlessly it’s polished and perfect. We get the story from: Amber’s, Ryder’s and Brock’s perspectives and it’s done perfectly; the timing is flawless and crucial in order to experience this story to its fullest potential. It’s never confusing; it only enhances the story in the best possible ways. You don’t get to feel one person’s feelings or hear one person’s thoughts, you get to feel and hear them all making it layered and even more poignant. Amber to Ashes is meticulous in its unapologetic truths and imperfections, this story is messy, raw, brutal, and extremely compelling, but it’s not pretty, be forewarned. Love triangles are never pretty and always emotional but this one is so much more. The truthful and unapologetic way the author bleeds her story on the page is irresistibly spellbinding. Prepare and brace yourself, this book is going to hammer the emotions out of you, one strike after another, after another, leaving you with an intense book hangover, and screaming for MORE MORE MORE!

“…there’s one undeniable truth I can’t run from, one petrifying fact that’s about to change all of our lives: the hourglass is on the table, two beautiful hearts awaiting my decision…”
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Quotes Angie Liked

Gail McHugh
“Just like that, she chipped away my resolve, crumbling me in her hands like a weakened rock. When it comes down to it, all I wanna do is please her, rip away the pain that haunts her days and terrorizes her nights. That pain, the one that burns like acid behind her eyes, kills me. I need to make this jewel happy, even if it comes at the expense of me being miserable.”
Gail McHugh, Amber to Ashes


Reading Progress

October 29, 2013 – Shelved
October 29, 2013 – Shelved as: to-read
April 28, 2015 – Shelved as: omfg-need-now
April 28, 2015 – Shelved as: favorite-authors
May 1, 2015 – Shelved (Paperback Edition)
May 1, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read (Paperback Edition)
Started Reading
June 13, 2015 – Shelved as: 6-stars
June 13, 2015 – Shelved as: all-time-favorite
June 13, 2015 – Shelved as: beautiful-and-heartbreaking
June 13, 2015 – Shelved as: 6-stars-beyond
June 13, 2015 – Shelved as: broke-my-heart
June 13, 2015 – Shelved as: major-cliffy
June 13, 2015 – Shelved as: dark-and-twisted
June 13, 2015 – Shelved as: drove-me-out-of-my-mind
June 13, 2015 – Shelved as: eleventy-three
June 13, 2015 – Shelved as: epic-read
June 13, 2015 – Shelved as: favorite-book-couples
June 13, 2015 – Shelved as: favorite-of-2015
June 13, 2015 – Shelved as: favorites
June 13, 2015 – Shelved as: favorite-series
June 13, 2015 – Shelved as: golden-unicorn
June 13, 2015 – Shelved as: hawt
June 13, 2015 – Shelved as: heartbreaking
June 13, 2015 – Shelved as: laugh-out-loud-funny
June 13, 2015 – Shelved as: laughed-my-ass-off
June 13, 2015 – Shelved as: left-me-broken
June 13, 2015 – Shelved as: may-require-therapy-after-reading
June 13, 2015 – Shelved as: mind-f-uck
June 13, 2015 – Shelved as: must-reads
June 13, 2015 – Shelved as: not-for-the-faint-of-heart
June 13, 2015 – Shelved as: panty-melter
June 13, 2015 – Shelved as: one-handed-read
June 13, 2015 – Shelved as: to-be-re-read
June 13, 2015 – Shelved as: wth-ending
June 13, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by m • (new) - added it

m • professional fangirl  God, this makes me feel like I've been missing out on a lot of Gail McHugh! I haven't read ANY of her books yet! Got to get started soon, your review was GREAT!


message 2: by Angie (new) - added it

Angie  McLain Marjorie wrote: "God, this makes me feel like I've been missing out on a lot of Gail McHugh! I haven't read ANY of her books yet! Got to get started soon, your review was GREAT! "

Gail is amazing and this book is AMAZING! You should definitely read it... and Collide and Pulse Gavin Blake is one of my all time fave BBF!


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