Vandal (Ashes & Embers # 2)

By Carian Cole

BR Vandal 1


She takes my breath away; she is so beautifully damaged. Yes, I had broken her, ravished her life and destroyed her happiness. I brought her to the 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 I’m the one who wrecked her life. 


Vandal was involved in an accident where three people died and one of them was Tabitha’s husband.  When he sees her grieving at the cemetery, he sees something he wants but doesn’t think he deserves: someone who will love him as much as Tabi loved her husband.  Watching her mourn is too much for him to bear; he wants to see her smile, to show her that her life didn’t end when her husband died.  So he takes a chance and offers her an escape, which she accepts.

We knew from STORM that Vandal was a dark and mysterious man, but I had no idea just how dark he really was.  I found him unlikeable most of the time, unless he was grieving.  Only then did he come across as human.  There were just so many traits and actions that I didn’t like, a couple even came off as creepy.  He wants to feel loved yet he pushes his family away because he’s bitter.  Thankfully, his relationship with Tabi changed him for the better and I kind of liked him by the time we got to the end.

On the other hand, I liked Tabi throughout the entire book.  Her grief brought tears to my eyes.  Despite submitting to Vandal and opening herself up to a new type of relationship, when her heart was on the line she stood up for herself and I really liked that.  Unfortunately, my positive feelings for her were ruined in the final chapter.  While the twist at the end was shocking and unexpected, I didn’t like it and it quickly changed my opinion of her.

Sometimes when I’m not sure how I feel about a book, I take a few days before writing my review.  If after a few days I remember more good than bad, it’ll get 4 or 5 hearts.  But if all I can focus on is what I didn’t like about it, it usually ends up with 3 hearts or less, which is sadly what happened with VANDAL.  The D/s part of story was fine, but I don’t see how it could possibly work between them when both are guilty of not honouring what is probably the most important part of a D/s relationship…trust.  Both are guilty of deceit, which I guess makes them perfect for each other.  But the story kept me engaged and I thought Carian did a great job in writing the grief scenes.  I’m going to continue on with the series, but I for one am hoping they’re a little bit lighter, like the first book was.

Vandal (Ashes & Embers # 2)

My Rating:  3 Hearts

Buy Links:  Amazon

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Ashes & Embers Series