Thursday, August 21, 2014

Blog Tour Review: Ash to Steele by Karen-Anne Stewart

Welcome to The Wormhole and my stop on the Ash to Steele Tour.
It is my great pleasure to again spotlight Karen-Anne Stewart and her great story.

Karen-Anne Stewart has always adored reading and has now fallen in love with writing. Her written works are The Rain Trilogy: Saving Rain, Healing Rain, and After the Rain, and the newly released stand alone novel, Ash to Steele. Her debut novel, Saving Rain: The First Novel in The Rain Trilogy, was a nominee for the Book Junkie’s Choice Awards, and Saving Rain and After the Rain were nominees for the 2014 RONE Awards.
When Karen-Anne isn’t writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, hiking, and visiting new places. She fuels her addiction of creating new stories by her only other addiction, caffeine, and listening to a myriad of musical genres. Tucked away near the Blue Ridge Mountains, Karen-Anne lives with her husband, daughter, two dogs, and their cat. She plans on writing new adult romance as long as her fingers maintain dexterity.
Visit her website at
(I received this book at no charge in exchange for an honest review and participation in this tour).

Who I am and all I believe is marred with just one glance into angry, steel blue eyes. He seems to control my air, my ability to breathe. He makes me crave everything I know is a sin. Pure becomes tainted and lines are blurred. It’s my fault; I’m the one who isn’t strong enough. I’ve been damaged…broken. Breck’s words haunt me…’There’s a consequence for every choice you make.’
I’ve had so many women I can’t even remember over half of their names, but none of them are mine; I make damn sure of that. I take what I desire and never look back. I don’t need or want anyone, ever…not until I met Emma. Those eyes bore into what’s left of my soul and her touch sears me, weakens me. I want to hate her for that. She is my ruin…my sweetest hell.
Disclaimer: Intended for readers 18+ due to strong language, mature scenes, and some violence.

My thoughts:
Wow!  I truly enjoyed this book!
I was expecting "that" story, you know the one...broken man meets wonderful, innocent woman - turns romantic and she "saves" him.  You know - that story.  

What I got was so much more than that.  
This story is "that"story, but it is also about courage (a lot about courage and bravery), choices, pride, self respect, belief, hope, friendship, family, faults, forgiveness, finding out who you are, accepting others for who they are, love and the power of love - so much about love.

All of the characters are fantastic.  Created with a realistic eye for details and a human eye for flaws, the author has filled the book with a host of people that any reader might know or  perhaps be.  The main characters are rich in personality; they are damaged by their pasts, driven by their desires, hoping for a future and bonded by their fierce desire to survive.  The secondary characters, although less detailed in the story, are still well built and draw an emotional reaction from the reader.  I found myself laughing, crying, worrying, hoping, angry, on the edge of my seat more than once - - but throughout the book, feeling.  

The world that these amazingly strong men and women live in is rife with challenges, some destined to make or break them.  They are haunted and shaped by the past, daring to hope for the future.  

I loved this story; the characters especially, but it is not for everyone.  
It is violent and scary, brutal and raw.  It is sexual and sensual, filled with emotions that run the reader ragged.  It is not all realistic and reasonable.  At times some of the ideas are larger than life. It has moments where we glimpse the honesty of the human creature - not all are impressive, but not all are ugly.  My favorite parts of the book won't be anyone else's favorite parts.  That of course is the best part of a well written book.