Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Liquid & Ash

Title: Liquid & Ash
Author: E.M. Abel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
 Release Date: March 1, 2016


Love was my weakness. 
In the light of the truth, no one can hide. 

Derek had ignited a spark inside of my heart, a hope for a love I never expected to find. However, our connection lacked the substance it needed to burn. Weakened with resentment, our relationship crumbled under deception, slowly dissolving into ash.

I had sacrificed myself for him and paid the price.

By the time Brandon entered into my life, the longing in my heart had turned cold. But fate was not done with me. His crystal blue eyes and fluid touch revived a wish that had been frozen in time. He gave me hope once again. 

Hope is a dangerous thing, especially when you dare to dream.

**WARNING: This book contains adult content and drug use.

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Liquid & Ash ended up being way more than a romance book for me, it was the story of a broken woman's determination to make herself whole again. I connected with these characters in a way that I never expected to, and loved them like they were real people. 

"All my dreams, my life, my love, had been reduced to liquid and ash."

Penelope's life changed dramatically after she met Derek in college. She put her career and goals on hold to marry the man she thought she would spend her life with, without even thinking twice about it. But years later she realizes it was the worst mistake she ever made. Now she's stuck in a loveless marriage with a husband that's cheating on her. She feels nothing but pain and to numb it she smokes weed, and pops some Xanax each day. That's when she meets Brandon, her dealer, and maybe her savior.

Penelope finally has enough of the life she currently lives, so she leaves. Leaves her home, her marriage, and her past. She reinvents herself to become someone she can stand to look at in the mirror each morning, without wanting to pop a pill to become numb. Months later she see's Brandon again and realizes that he has his own past that he's running from, and that maybe two broken people can actually fix one another. 

Honestly I'm not even sure if I would consider this book a romance. Sure, there were romantic aspects in the story but, to me at least, the main focus of it wasn't the relationship between Brandon and Penelope, it was about Penelope finding herself and becoming a better person than she was in her marriage. I really enjoyed getting to know her character and it may be crazy, but I actually really connected with her. I'm young, never been married or in a relationship like hers, and yet I found Penelope's character very relatable. I was rooting for her the whole time and couldn't wait to see her finally become the person she strived to be.

This book broke so many of my rules, went back in time for some passages, didn't have much romance, had drug use...and yet none of that mattered. I was so caught up in the story that nothing that usually bothers me affected me at all. Penelope's journey needed all of that stuff and it all worked with the story, so it didn't change how I felt about the book. I think any author that can write a book with so many things in it that would almost always make me hate a character, or a story, and instead make me love all of those things - that right there is an amazing author. 

The reason for my four star rating, instead of five, is because of the ending. The way the story finished didn't seem to fit with the rest of the story, and was a little rushed. I would have liked to see a lot more than what we got at the end, in order to feel like Penelope's journey was complete. It just felt a little too rushed, for me.

Bottom line, this book is a must read. I urge everyone that comes across this book to pick it up and read it, even if it means going out of your comfort zone. Trust me, it is going to be so worth it. 

Author Bio

E.M. Abel was born and raised a Marine Corps brat. She spent a large portion of her life moving and living in her mother's home country, Japan. As a result, she gained independence and a unique perspective on the world. The youngest of three girls, E.M. Abel spent a lot of time alone in her room writing or sketching in her journals and dreaming up stories. Growing up, she wrote poems, short stories and articles for her high school newspaper. She also fell in love with art and discovered her deep need for self-expression.

Now, a Navy wife with two small children of her own, she still loves being creative and most of all translating her stories into novels. E.M. Abel, now referred to as E or Em by her friends and readers, can often be found with her headphones on jamming out to punk rock, in a chair getting tattooed or cooking dinner for her kids and attending gymnastics practice. No matter what she's doing in her life, she's always sure to do it her way.

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