REVIEWED by Caroline
TITLE: From Ashes
SERIES: Heathens Ink #3
AUTHOR: K.M. Neuhold
PUBLISHER: Self Published
LENGTH: 320 Pages
RELEASE DATE: August 22, 2017
BLURB: “When the broken man with scarred skin walked into Heathens, asked for a job, and showed me a sketch of a phoenix, it felt like fate.”~ Adam
It started with an anonymous post by someone who didn’t want to live anymore. I read it over and over again, unable to get it out of my mind. What if my brother Johnny had posted something like this before he’d taken his own life? Would someone have been able to save him?
I’ve been living a lie for 16 long years and I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be able to keep it up. And when a beautiful, broken man walks into my tattoo shop asking for a second chance at life, I know I’ll never be able to turn him away.
“When I was so far down I couldn’t even see the light, a stranger reached in to save me”~ Nox
I didn’t have anything to live for, until a kind stranger pulled me back from the brink. With physical and emotional scars I have nowhere to turn now but to that same stranger who saved my life without realizing it. But as my feelings for Adam grow, will I ever be anything other than a surrogate for the brother he couldn’t save? Am I even worthy of his love?
**From Ashes is the third book in the Heathens Ink series, each book in the series CAN be read as a standalone.
CAUTION: this book contains graphic descriptions of domestic violence and drug use that may be disturbing to some readers.
Adam is bisexual and has known and been comfortable with this fact for over a decade. It’s also something he has kept hidden and not been entirely honest about and the reasons why are complicated and tied up with grief, guilt and fear of what his best friend Gage will say. For the record Gage is gay but their pasts are entwined around something that has shaped the men they are today and that still lingers, with a deep sadness, in everything they do.
Nox is one of those characters you want to grab and run with to remove him from the awful situation he finds himself in. He has had such a hard time of just living that he’s got to the point where he doesn’t want to do it anymore. He lives with mental and physical abuse, he is an addict and he hurts himself down to the core everyday with what he has to do to earn the money for his addiction. I’m not always a fan of reading a story through text messages but I think it really worked here and was the perfect start to a friendship that changed these two men’s lives in ways they couldn’t have imagined.
When they finally come face to face there is a definite on page spark between them even though their relationship is slow and sometimes faltering and never really packs much heat. Nox fits in quickly with Adam’s friends and co-workers and slots into his life very easily. The only sticking point is Gage and their relationship is a work in progress until Nox’s past finds him and things turn dangerous once more.
This book had all the pieces there to be epic but just missed its mark for me in some places that I felt lacked depth and were skimmed over. It also would have benefited from a further round of editing to clean up some very obvious mistakes. I did however like Adam and Nox together, their relationship felt real and they had a lot of fun together. Next up is Gage’s story and I am really looking forward to seeing how the author fixes everything that is broken with him.