Series: Ashes & Embers #2
on February 26, 2015
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I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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 IÔÇÖm the one who wrecked her life.
Vandal by Carian Cole starts out with a bang. A heart-breaking, sobfest-inducing bang. And despite knowing that this bang was coming after reading “Lukas” and “Storm”, it did nothing to soften the blow. This book obliterated me. It made me curl into fetal position and weep.
There was so much pain, grief, and sorrow that my heart bled for the characters. And trust me, there were enough reasons to make my heart bleed dry. I don’t want to give too much of the story away, in no way wanting to soften the blow you’ll experience when reading it.
What I can tell you is that Vandal made a mistake. One mistake and one moments that changed numerous lives forever. Destroying, breaking, leaving behind two broken, tortured soulsÔÇöhim and Tabi.
And now he’s hell-bent on healing the heart of the woman he single-handedly destroyed in the hopes of putting his soul back together as well. Not telling her the truth, he takes her on a journey of healingÔÇöthrough trust, passion, and submission.
A journey that quickly becomes more than that when feelings neither of them expected come to life. But secrets always end up digging their way to the surface, no matter how deep they have been buried and when they do, the damage can be irreparable. It’s up to Vandal and Tabi to fight and rebuild or to burn everything to ashes.
I was so intrigued by the story. The mix of passion and heart-ache was intense, not just for Vandal and Tabi, but for me as the reader as well.
The BDSM elements were intriguing and really classy. To be honest, Vandal can dominate me anytime he wants.
I absolutely love the characters that Carian Cole creates. They are multi-dimensional and their personalities have many layers. They have flaws and they make mistakes which makes them feel so real. Vandal and Tabi are no different.
God knows, Vandal has many flaws. He’s not an easy man to love, but one that needs to be loved desperately and deserves it, too.
He’s had a really crappy life with people abandoning him, abusing him and letting him down. He only knows disappointment – both from others as well as from himself. But underneath all that pain, anger and control issues is a sweet, loving guy. A guy who once he loves he does so with abandon and that is what scares him so much. He can be harsh and mean, hurting and lashing out at people, but at the same time he understands pain like no one else does. Through that he can perfectly relate and help others. He’s so beautifully broken. And seeing him fall for TabiÔÇöhard & fastÔÇöhas wrecked my heart with the intensity and rawness.
He’s not the flowers and walks on the beach type of guy. Chains, handcuffs, and a good spanking are more his thing. But damn me, if it isn’t hot as hell and really romantic.
Tabi seems to think so as well, as she can’t resist or deny him. He’s her chance to feel alive again, after her life was destroyed, nothing staying the way it used to be. Caught in a depression that makes her want to give up, it’s her adventure with Vandal that reawakens her hunger of life and brings on a hunger for Vandal and all that he offers.
Despite being utterly heart-broken and in the clutches of paralyzing despair, she starts finding joy in the little things again. I loved her sassy attitude that couldn’t be subduedÔÇönot even by all the pain. I also loved that she challenged Vandal and talked back, giving the control-freak a run for his money. She was fragile and at the same time strong. I adored herÔÇöeven despite the things she was hiding.
Vandal is so much rougher around the edges than Storm & Lukas. That goes for bothÔÇöthe story and the character. And this proves the versatility of Carian Cole’s writing. She doesn’t just go with the tried and trusted concepts but does something new with every single book. Her stories aren’t cookie-cutter. They can be uncomfortable and at times agonizing. They feel real. And that’s what makes them so good.
5 “this-story-vandalized-my-heart-and-soul” stars.
~Review by Paula
(Previously posted on TBE)