Blog Tour and Giveaway: Vandal: Carian Cole

Vandal (Ashes & Embers #2)
Carian Cole
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She takes my breath away; she is so beautifully damaged.

Yes I had broken her, ravished her life, destroyed her happiness. I brought her to ultimate despair. I was responsible for all the pain and suffering that now brought her to her knees in front of me.

Reckless in her agony.

She is a mirror of my own tortured soul.

But what I took away I can give back.
In ways she cannot even begin to imagine.

She is everything right in all my wrongs.

She loves me. She needs me.

She has no idea I’m the one who wrecked her life.

Grief is an evil hungry monster that will eat you alive.

Ashes and Embers' bass player, Vandal Valentine has been through a difficult past, addiction, recovery, and is now facing the most devastating situation of his life. He is guilt ridden, angry, and consumed by the pain of his new nightmare. He chooses to cope in his old self destructive ways and pushes people even farther away. Everything he lives for is lost to him and he is left broken and wasted. He becomes fascinated by the only other person who he thinks can understand what he is going through. But she only adds to his guilt.

She absolutely takes my breath away. She is so beautifully damaged. She's wrecked. I can see it in her lifeless eyes. And now I want to fix her in the only way I know how.

Tabitha Bennett is living in her own nightmare dealing with pain and her life that is now completely changed. She is devastated, broken, depressed, and distant. She is also fueled by anger at the circumstances and person that ruined her life.

And when he decides to try to help her forget and bring her out of her darkness, he has no idea the effect it will truly have on his own bleak existence. He is someone totally different than she has ever been involved with. He is a man who needs control. She is lost and floundering. They begin a dance of dominance and submission, finding a new reality and hope, and developing trust. 

He's a Pandora's Box that I should probably not play with, but even after just one day, I feel hooked. 

Vandal is a complicated and often misunderstood man. He has abandonment, trust and control issues. He has definite ideas and needs in regards to women. And he has never really had a relationship. Feelings scare him. But underneath it all is a vulnerability and a need to be needed, wanted, and loved. But along with that a deep seated fear of rejection and further loss.

I think this girl may ruin me even more than I've ruined her.

She is sassy and sarcastic at times, but could also take on the submissive role. She was broken, but finding new purpose. And she had her own guilt, secrets, and issues to deal with. But she could also see beyond Vandal's tough exterior. 

She is rattling my cage so f***ing hard. She doesn't just take down my walls, she picks my locks and pulls a massive break-and-enter on them.

Together they had chemistry and a unique compatibility. They both have up walls that start to crumble. He takes the Dom role seriously and craves a bond based on care, devotion, and commitment that benefits both partners. And they are just what each other needs in a bad time when neither of them thought it was possible to find any kind of happiness again. They find a connection among their darkness and a reason to live, but it is all built on a bed of secrets and omissions. 

And what happens when the full truth is revealed? Will it end in hate or continue with forgiveness?

We got more with his cousins Storm and Asher, his brother Lukas, and the girlfriends Evie and Ivy. And the girls from Sugar Kiss are back as well...Sydni was especially featured. Vandal's relationships with his band members are inconsistent and tentative at best, but I enjoyed seeing him spend more time with his brother, Lukas. And also how Evie has become a big part of their band family. And I have to mention one of the sweetest sidekicks is Sterling the cat.

This one had a different feel than Storm, partially because Vandal is very different than the other guys. He was initially a loner and could be a real jerk. It was a different type of love connection built on tragedy and secrets. It was told in both points of view. It was heartbreaking, sexy, funny, and emotional. The characters have flaws, depth, and complications. The story line was unique and combined several story elements including tragedy, rock stars, and light BDSM.

There were some surprises and twists, one in particular that I am not really sure how I feel about and it kind of made me think about some things differently.  And honestly, I am not always a fan of the whole BDSM thing and sometimes I felt like it was so much the focus that it distracted me from their connection.  But overall, I enjoyed their story. And I think Carian Cole is a talented author that writes in an engaging style that draws you in and makes you feel. She has created a group of characters that are unique, interesting, and multi-faceted that you cannot help but become invested in.

I am looking forward to his brother Lukas and his cousin Asher's books. And according to the author's Facebook page both Storm and Vandal will get a second book. 

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.

The ties that bind us each to one another may not always be visible, but they’re there link thin, transparent veins. 

Vandal Valentine, bassist for Ashes & Embers, is in a dark place. But from his darkness, he is drawn to Tabitha’s light. Or at least the light she once had, before he ruined her life. 

Tabitha Bennett has never felt the depths of pain she’s been living, but before she can give up completely, she meets a dark stranger who promises to take her pain away.

Told from alternating points of view, Tabitha and Vandal develop a physical relationship to help them move past their grief. That physical relationship quickly turns deeper as they begin sharing bits of themselves from before. 

There were aspects of their relationship that just didn’t work for me. They have a Dom/sub relationship, but the foundation on which they build their physical relationship was shaky at best. Because of Vandal’s secrets, things felt unbalanced to me and I was uncomfortable with just how much power he held. It often felt like he was using her or taking advantage of her as a result of the secrets.

There was an unexpected revelation towards the last few chapters. In hindsight, it feels like it’s purpose was to balance power, but it didn’t feel like it fit with the character even in hindsight. I felt like the character I was reading in the last few chapters of the book was a completely different person than was narrating earlier in the book.

But if I can ignore those two aspects of the book, I loved everything else about the story. Both characters had a lot of heavy emotions to deal with, and in each other found a non-judgemental place to set down the burdens each are carrying. The secrets they carried both allowed them to let the other in, and ultimately served as a wall that had to be overcome before they could find true peace. I found myself pulled into their story, wondering how the secrets would come to light and what the fall out would look like.

The side characters, Lukas, Ivy, Evie, and Storm particularly add enough outside influence for Vandal to feel like a whole person with a past. The lack of characters attached to Tabitha made it easier to write her off as simple, but when one considers why she is so alone in the first place, her depth is created without the help of secondary characters.

I hadn’t read Storm before reading Vandal. As each book focuses on separate couples within the band, I was able to keep up just fine. There were a few instances when references to Vandal’s family were made that I wondered if I was missing details from the first book, but it didn’t hamper my ability to enjoy Vandal’s story on it’s own. 

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.

The calm before the storm…

I lived in the quiet stillness.

I felt the wind rustle, warning me, telling me to get out of its path.

But I didn’t.

I never stood a chance.

A series of weather and road mishaps leaves me trapped in the middle of a blizzard with a complete stranger. In the back of a pickup truck. For forty-eight freakin’ hours.

A stranger with long hair, tattoos, and rippling with muscle.

A stranger with an insanely sexy voice and a wicked smile that turned my insides to jelly.

A stranger who held me in his arms, calmed me, and then set a fire in me that I couldn’t put out.

Storm lives up to his name. Beautiful. Dangerously inviting. Tumultuous. Dark. A clash of hot and cold.

He’s used to getting everything he wants.

And now he wants me.

Some people chase storms for the beautiful thrill. What happens when the storm chases you?



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Carian Cole Website/FB/Twitter

I have a passion for the bad boys, those covered in tattoos, sexy smirks, ripped jeans, fast cars, motorcycles and of course, the sweet girls that try to tame them and win their hearts. My debut series, Ashes & Embers, follows the lives of rock band members as they find, and sometimes lose, the loves of their lives.

My first novel in the Ashes & Embers series, Storm, was published in September of 2014. Book 2, Vandal, is expected early 2015.

Born and raised a Jersey girl, I now reside in beautiful New Hampshire with my husband and our multitude of furry pets and spend most of my time writing, reading, and vacuuming.

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1 comment:

  1. I loved what I read about this book!! The cover is gorgeous as well!!!


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