Title: Amber to Ashes (Torn Hearts #1)
Author: Gail McHugh
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#ambertoashes #tornseries #gailmchugh #mustread #topfavorite
From the New York Times bestselling author of Collide and Pulse comes a gritty new novel about a shattered young woman who unexpectedly falls for two best friends as she struggles to overcome the trauma of her tormented childhood.
They were a storm I never saw coming, an unforeseen heartbreak on the edge of a dangerous cliff.
Amber Moretti’s life changes in the span of minutes. An orphaned outsider, she is desperate to start fresh the moment she walks onto campus. In the time it takes to cross the university’s dining hall, she meets two men who bring color, air, and light to her darkened world.
They became my addiction, each a needle to my next hit, my high.
Brock Cunningham’s appeal is dizzying, a potent force Amber can’t deny. A green-eyed smooth talker, he instantly attracts Amber. It doesn’t take long for him to consume her every thought, her every breath.
Ryder Ashcroft, a blue-eyed, tattooed, and pierced bad boy, turns Amber off immediately—that is, until he kisses her, stealing a piece of her heart, her soul.
They were as opposite as fire and ice, yet I ached for them equally.
Never knowing she could be broken down in so many unexpectedly beautiful yet petrifying ways, Amber finds herself falling for both men.
Immoral? Maybe. I say undeniable. Uncontained.
But one event changes everything, shattering each of their lives…and Amber isn’t sure she can come back from it.
Renery’s Rating: 5 of 5 Hearts
My head is spinning. My heart is getting ripped into two. I don’t think my heart, mind nor soul can survive this—my feelings and mantra while reading all throughout.
I can’t imagine everything Amber has gone through. All the lies. The revelations. Every single thing that just happened blew my mind out the window. I feel so bad for everything she had to endure, but I am in awe of how strong and brave this pretty Italian is. She may be scarred from a very young age, leaving her a shell of a girl—haunted and troubled for years—but her life never got easier. Throw in the two mighty fine men who are such opposite poles, trying to snag her attention and affection. They were both alpha men who knew what they wanted. At first, it’s definitely making me swing back and forth from Brock to Ryder to Brock again then Ryder. Hot damn, these two! It was like—will it be Brock Cunningham, the captain of the football team who’s so sweet and romantic on the outside yet so broken and dominating when it comes to the bedroom? Or Ryder Ashcroft, the captain’s best bud who’s such a huge, tempting asshole upfront, but a smart, sentimental and thoughtful wiseass once you get to know him better?
As I read further and went deeper into the story, I can’t help but fall head over heels for Ryder. His tough-guy act and sweet, tender side just slew me. I love him and it’s not just because he’s the forbidden fruit. No—he is the most loving and giving man ever. I saw him as a very selfless guy who never thought of himself and had put Amber first and/or his family before him. Ryder is not perfect. But then again, who really is? He has his fair share of skeletons in the closet haunting him, he has his own issues and insecurities eating at him, but he was wonderful. Just the way he was with Amber every single time just brought me to my knees. The words coming out of his mouth—and these are not just the declarations I’m talking about here. Another thing—wait till you see him with Casey, his little sister. That one part with her just had me melting into a huge puddle on the ground, making me love him even more.
On the other hand—I’m sure not everybody will agree with me on this, so forgive me—but the biggest shock to my existence? Brock freaking Cunningham. You have left me stunned speechless with how you turned out. I swung for you at the beginning, but after a couple
chapters in, you creeped the freak out of me. And it’s in a very disturbing way that bothered me so much. What happened to you? Why’d you turn out to be such a sick, demented son of a gun? I mean, you still do have your sweet, romantic moments and I know how broken and in pain you are as well, but that doesn’t justify much the fact on how you did things. The decisions you made. You realize how fast they backfired at you, didn’t ya? I don’t think I have ever cried more times in a book than this. You literally and physically shattered and shredded the piece of my heart that’s left.
My mind is such a mess. I felt so much emotions for this book that I feel so overwhelmed by all of it. I admit, I was scared shitless when I was on the earlier chapters, thinking what could happen or who would Amber eventually choose? I’ve been dreading it from the first time the two men have been introduced. I can’t stand it. And I was right. Everything that happened just killed me. It just went from bad to freaking worse. So fucking fast. To say the least, this has been by far the craziest, most intense and disturbing love triangle I have read about. Wait ’til you hit about 80%… You will know what I mean by then. I’m not new to books with these kinds of situations, but this one? OH. MY. GOD. I’m done. Hottest fucking scene ever. E-VER. And just a fair warning, the end will have your mouth dropping. I felt like I was chasing the pages without wanting them to move to the next one, knowing that I was nearing the actual end of the book. I literally had my eyes the size of saucers, my mouth hanging open, and gasping a big “hell no” once I read that last sentence. It just can’t end that way.
I never expected a book like this from Gail McHugh—what with Collide & Pulse—this is such a huge leap to the other side of the genre. Although this just shows Gail at her finest, doing what she does best. Putting together a mind blowing, heart wrenching and soul shattering story with a freaking love triangle. It’s a thrilling, suspenseful roller coaster ride that will leave you wondering and fearful for what will happen next. It will stir up emotions you never even thought existed within you and really fuck with your head. It was beautifully heartbreaking and I loved it. Did I mention it made me cry? I know I have, but the feels all throughout this entire book was just way up there—you wouldn’t be able to control it. My heart is ripped into a million shredded pieces. Totally obliterated. It freaked the crap out of me and then some, making me feel as insane as Amber felt when shit hit the fan, but I loved it. It was full of angst and action that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Oh, and just putting it out there yet again—#TeamRyder.
Cristina’s Rating: 5 of 5 Hearts
Damn! Damn! Damn to the moon & back! When I first read the blurb to this story it was TOTALLY not what I had expected! Seriously to date…the love story here went straight to the top of my list! Twisted, ugly, heartbreaking, and heartwarming are just some of the words that come to mind.
The heroine, Amber Moretti has experienced a rough start in life and deals with it the best way she knows how. Due to those traumatic experiences she is not a believer in/feeling/or nor cherished when it comes to love and lives in a way that satisfy her comforts of the reality she had to endure. Given an opportunity at a better chance in life, she takes attending Hadley University a new start. Unexpectedly it was a something that would change her whole world in the hidden shell she has always lived in.
Cue in Brock Cunningham. A sexy, greened-eye man with his persona capturing Amber’s attention becoming a force to be reckon with in her heart, mind, and soul. He is all tough guy and arrogant on the outside but there is more to him than meets the eye and that if you do not look close enough he can have you loving him and/or being screwed by him. Just reliving his actions has my blood boiling in both good and bad ways! His actions can have you making you seeing pissed off red or making you feel really special because of the reasoning behind his decisions.
Also cue in Ryder Jacob Ashcroft. He had such a sweet name for a broken, beautiful, blue-eyed, man. Just the flow of that name alone (regardless of his actions) itches me to be Team Ryder! He too has captured Amber’s attention in ways she had not planned. Also a tough and arrogant guy on the outside but anyone who know him and gets to know him on a deeper level will know that it goes beyond his physical features. I must throw in the absolute love for the ladies in his life (his little sister, Casey, his mom, and his grandmother) just melted my heart in more ways than I had least expected. I was in tears when it came to the close bond he had with Casey needing a breather and a must needed rant from my best book buddy also reading along with me. Do not even get me started on his actions towards Amber unless you have read the words that were written in this book!
Between #TeamBrock with the enchanting green eyes and #TeamRyder with the mesmerizing blue eyes they had my head constantly spinning! Each one unique with demons that make their personality in their own way! And #TeamAmber…WOW! This poor woman had me in tears on the life that she has encountered and dealing it in a way she felt was best for her. I have not had a story get me pulled in so many overwhelming directions all at once. Needless to say the connection between Amber and the men in her life kept me on my toes!
I just love how absolutely angsty the reading experience was. The emotional feels and the tingles I had felt while reading this 5 stars novel just blew it out the water for me! I need book two now. No scratch that…I needed it as soon as this book was released! No blurb, no cover, no release date is making the cliffy for me crazed and the wanting and needing to know what happens next as important a breathing! I am a new reader to this Gail McHugh’s books and one that did not definitely did not disappoint. I look forward to reading more and getting to experience more of her works. 😀
Gail McHugh is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Collide and Pulse. She is the mother of three beautiful children and has been married to her husband for fifteen years.