Friday, May 1, 2015

4 Star Book Review | Ashes by Sophie H. Morgan | Giveaway

ASHES (The Divided Kingdom #1)
by Sophie H. Morgan
Published: April 21st, 2015
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Provided by the Publisher for Review
Purchase: Amazon

My Rating: ★★★★☆
Secrets can burn.

Reared from birth to rule the Phoenix territory, Ana fled her future and her past when her parents were murdered. Now she secretly leads a rebellion to stop the human ruler, Edward, from experimenting on supernaturals.

When she finds herself cornered by an assassin, she knows just what to do: Roast him and toast him. Then recognition sends blue-tipped flames licking through her veins. It’s Cade, the royal bodyguard who once rejected her youthful confession of love.

When Cade regains consciousness from the force of Ana’s punch, he’s still reeling from shock—and fury. He’d loved the princess, and for ten years he thought her dead. Though his inner jackal growls with desire for her, she is the key to completing his mission for Edward—hunt down the rebel known as Liberty.

Ana can’t believe Cade doesn’t know the truth about Edward. If she can convince him of it, his blade could turn the tide of the rebellion. But first they must get beyond their past, or the whole kingdom could go up in smoke.

Product Warnings: Contains incendiary sex between a phoenix princess with a secret identity, and a jackal shifter who can take a lot of heat. Boys from the “hood”, a king jacked up on enhanced DNA, and killer heels. Anybody got a match?

Cover Review:

I don't really have much to say about the cover, except that it didn't appeal to me as much as the story of the book did. So don't judge this book by it's cover!

Book Review:

Ashes brings us the story of a runaway princess hiding from her parents murderer and later leading a rebellion to save and protect those less fortunate from a mad ruler. Edward, the High Ruler of Edan, is secretly experimenting on Others, particularly children, and trying to splice their DNA with humans, to make the human race "better." Ana, leading a rebellion as Liberty, is determined to save his prisoners and stop him once and for all.

While this book as a little slow in the beginning, with all the world building and character development, it's incredible once it really picks up. 

Ana is a strong and real heroine, who loves the people she's vowed to protect. I love how she does everything in her power to protect those she loves, nothing can stop her. Her being a phoenix was really cool. I haven't read too many books that feature that particular supernatural creature. Plus she's the secret leader of a rebellion against the High Ruler of Edan, going by the name Liberty. I don't know how she could think that she wouldn't be a good ruler for her own people, when she did such an amazing job leading the rebellion. 

Cade was Ana's bodyguard when she was still Princess Alana, but after the death of her parents 10 years earlier and her disappearance, he became a Blade for the Treaty. They're like a secret branch that does all the undercover work, so he has a cover story as a merciless mercenary. But he also has a contract with the very man that Ana is fighting against for her capture, but he doesn't know who Liberty really is.  This adds to the tension between them when he learns that Ana is still alive (he thought she was either dead or kidnapped and sold). These two have a lot of baggage in their pasts and the fact that Cade believes that Edward, the High Ruler is a good man makes things even more complicated between them. But their love for each other, even after 10 years, still simmers beneath the surface. And it's intense!

There are some great supporting characters in Ashes. I really liked Ana's Hoods - Trick, Faer, Vander, and Sapphy. These four are the inner circle of her rebellion team, and she sees them as her family. If I'm going to be honest, Trick is my favorite member of the team. He's a prickly vampire, which is hilarious at times, but his loyalty and love for Ana is just beautiful.

I had a D'OH moment, when I finally realized that the Divided Kingdoms was the opposite of the United Kingdom. I really should have got it once they mentioned the Divided States. So here I was thinking that this book took place in a completely new made-up world, when really it just the opposite of our world, with of course the supernatural beings.

The world of this book has a lot of hierarchy and rich versus poor references. The rich have much, while the poor live in the gutter. Conspiracies abound, assassinations are carried out, and love and loyalty are tested in a world on the brink of war. Ana strives for peace and better living for all, while others just want more power. 

There is still so much of this world to be explored and I'm really looking forward to seeing where Sophie H. Morgan takes this story next.


I gave Ashes a 4 STAR rating. The beginning was a bit slow, but once it picks up you won't want to put the book down. The world is interesting with the different social classes so prevolent. You can't help but love the heroes of this story, and hating the evil baddies. I'm looking forward to more in this series.

A smile played over his lips, a knowing one. “You were mine, once.”

When his thumb brushed her cheekbone, dipping down to rub her bottom lip, it was all she could do not to purr. For whatever reasons, this man could get beneath her barriers. He could make her lose control.

But he made her remember the past, something that threatened the foundation of the life she’d built for herself.

The door swinging into darkness. Cold, oozing puddles that cling stickily to bare feet. A young voice, wavering as she called out for her parents.

With effort, Ana jerked her chin away from his touch. “Get your hands off me, Cade.” With a thin smile, she added, “Only the vampire has those rights.”

That flash of anger. For some reason, the man in front still viewed her as partly his—the jackal, maybe, claiming her. Except jackals were solitary animals.

A growl rumbled through his chest. Keeping eye contact, he stood. When he leaned forward, she flinched, unable to help herself. Whether she was afraid of being touched or tortured, she didn’t know.

His arms flexed with muscle as he worked at something about her head. Something clunked, and the chains fell away from her with a heavy jangle. They lay on the bedspread, innocent and coiled like a false snake.

Grasping she was free, Ana slid from the bed. “Son of a bitch,” she spat, putting out a hand to help steady her. “Iron?”

She lunged at him, confused when her body refused to cooperate. Her biker boots hit the floor as she landed, tottering, two feet away from her intended target.

Focusing inward, she registered how cold her embers were. They barely glittered, a few halfhearted sparks at her prompting. A breath hissed from her.

Phoenixes radiated at around one hundred and twenty degrees; she’d wager she was operating on about human temperature. The lack of heat in the room and lack of food and water equaled her core running on empty. Even as she thought it, the sparks began to disintegrate, sucking inward to preserve the embers at her core.

Determined, she fought through the weakness, charging Cade.

He allowed himself to be thrust backward. “You’re too cold,” he commented. “Hungry. You can’t hurt me.”

“You wanna bet?”

Her knee jerked upward, narrowly blocked by Cade’s hand.

“Don’t even try it.” He pushed her away, making her stagger from weak knees. “You’ll be on your back quicker than an eager whore. Then again,” he continued, the jackal’s obvious pleasure at the verbal sparring spinning through his wicked smile, “maybe you’d enjoy that.”

With a vengeful shriek, Ana went for him. She jabbed with her fists, using her elbows when that didn’t work. He avoided all her blows, laughing with a gut-deep amusement.

When she used her scissor-kick, she saw her mistake too late as he caught her legs and flipped her to the dirty gray carpet. He was on top of her before she could curse, lazy amusement swirling like phoenix smoke.

His arms caged her as an old dimple flashed. “What did I say?”

His weight suddenly pressed down on her abdomen slashes. A wince tugged at her face before she could stop it, a hiss pouring from between her teeth.

His face changed immediately. “Fires above, Alana, you should have said something.”

“I thought you’d hurt me if it was necessary.” She shoved him off her. He let her, a hunter tracking her as she stumbled away. She dropped into the chair he’d claimed earlier, unwilling to admit her jelly limbs. “You’re all mouth.”

A slow smile spread over his face while his eyes altered to a dark velvet. Damn. She’d always been a sucker for the shadow-drenched eyes.

He stalked nearer, the jackal’s satisfied rumble curling out of his mouth as strong hands came down over hers on the chair’s arms.

She couldn’t dislodge him. Curses spilled from her as panic, not for her life but for something more prized, surged up her throat. “Don’t you come near me, Cade Lorin.”

“All mouth?” he repeated, his voice that dark drawl he’d once whispered her name with. “I’ll show you all mouth.”

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Sophie H. Morgan is a paranormal romance author with a love for hot guys, sassy heroines and HEAs that seem impossible. Currently residing in England, Sophie divides her time between her two crazy spaniels and plotting how best to drive her characters into each other’s arms. Ashes is her first book.

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the great review!!! I really appreciate it, and I'm pleased you enjoyed Ashes! :-)


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