ARC Review…Out of the Ashes by Diana Gardin

Out of the Ashes releases December 12




Out of the frying pan and into the fire…

Paige Hill is discovering who she is again after losing everything she loves in a tragic fire. She’s endured a long road to recovery with the help of her best fiend Gillian and is finally beginning her life again: college, a job, and a blossoming love she never even saw coming.

Clay Forbes is the notorious campus playboy. He’s a star athlete, a senior architecture major, and the only son in a family with power and money back in his hometown. When he crashes into Paige, his whole perspective on life shifts, and his world as he knew it becomes nonexistent. He’s wrapped up in her.

They’re both learning how to love, but Clay’s ex-girlfriend Hannah won’t make it easy for them. She puts a target on Paige’s back, and won’t stop until she’s derailed their budding romance once and for all. Who will be left standing after the ashes settle for the second time?


My review:

Out of the Ashes is the first in a new series from author Diana Gardin and a book I really enjoyed.

After a horrific fire took her entire family from her, Paige Hill enrolls in college with her best friend and is trying her best to live her life.   The scars that mar her skin have healed pretty well, but the scars that mar her soul will never go away.  It’s those emotional scars she wants to keep buried deep.   Keeping people at a distance is always a safe bet but when Paige meets a gorgeous soccer player at the beginning of the semester and, after spending more and more time with him, she finds herself wanting to share her secret pain.  Can this gorgeous, blue-eyed soccer jock look past her scars and grow to love her?  Not if his vindictive ex-girlfriend has anything to say about it….

Running into the beautiful stranger at the bookstore has been on Clay’s mind for the last few days.  Never had he been so affected by a girl before.  On a mission to find out who she is, he’s surprised when she turns up at a party at his apartment.  Turning on the charm he’s known for, he can’t help but feel that she’s special and she won’t be like any other girl he’s ever been with.  With her shy smile and her understated beauty, he knows he will do whatever it takes to gain her trust and her heart.  Now he just has to make sure his ex-girlfriend knows it’s over between then for good.

Paige and Clay have more than a few obstacles in their way.  Paige’s family tragedy, Clay’s hateful ex-girlfriend, raw emotions and navigating a new love are just a few of them.  They have found something special, but will it be strong enough to withstand all that life throws at them?

Ok, so I will say it now: this book has a cliffhanger ending.  Now, I don’t mind them but I know a lot of people do.  If you’re one of them, I suggest waiting until the second book comes out and read both books back to back.  That being said, the ending had me gasping and my eyes bugging out when I read it.  Not in a bad way….quite the opposite.  It was a huge twist and I loved it.  Paige has been through so much and I admire her will to live and to pick up her pieces and move forward as best she can.  Clay is so amazing with her and treats her exactly how she needs to be treated.  He is really in-tune with her needs and emotion states.  He’s gentle, loving and kind but knows when he can give her a little push.  I really enjoyed watching their relationship grow.  Paige’s best friend, Gillian, is a friend anyone would be lucky to have.  She’s strong and loyal and is the rock Paige needs at her lowest moments.  Clay’s has two close friends that also some great people.  However, the ex-girlfriend, Hannah, is a raging psycho and tormented poor Paige.  I wish I could hunt her down and give her a piece of my mind.  Grrrrr.  All of the relationship building and ups and downs leads us to an ending I never saw coming.  Whoa.  Diana really shocked me and I loved it!

Overall, Out of the Ashes is an enjoyable story about new love, letting go of the bad and letting in the good and overcoming the worst life can throw at you.  If you don’t mind the cliffhanger ending, I definitely recommend this book.  Thank you, Diana, for a fabulous story.  I cannot WAIT to see what book #2 holds for us!


4LovesRLBFour Loves


About the author:

Books are my passion. Whether I’m writing them or reading them, they have always been a big part of my life. As an adult who just entered my thirties, I realize that it’s something I can’t live without, and what I really want to do for a living every day. It’s, for me, the job that doesn’t feel like work. So now, I’m proudly able to say that I’m a crazy wife, a worrywart mama of two, and a passionate writer. Love this life!

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