Review: Asher by Carian Cole

Posted October 21, 2020 by Shari in Reviews / 6 Comments

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Review: Asher by Carian Cole
Asher

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three-half-flames


Series: Ashes & Embers #6
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Rock Band Romance
Published by Indie/Self Published
Released on May 31, 2020
Pages: 480
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
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The Delight

Faith. Love. Trust. Asher has loved Ember since they were 15, but when an accident happens, he puts all his faith, love, and trust in fate to save his wife.


Review

Ember and Asher’s story is shrouded in secrecy all through this series. When their daughter, Kenzi, gets her own story in a spin-off, I also spent over half of the book wondering what happened to Ember. Did she die? Did she run away? Was she insane? Divorced? What? All of this is answered in this love story that spans time, separation, new personalities, and near-death experiences.

When Toren meets the new girl in town, Ember, walks her to a park trying to get up the nerve to ask her out when Asher arrives. At first glance, Asher and Ember fell in love. The forever kind of love. Toren and Asher are best friends and soon they all are best friends. The first time these two have sex at 14, they get pregnant with Kenzi. They stayed together and married when they were 18 while starting up their band Ashes & Embers. Toren is the guitar player, but when his father dies suddenly, Toren becomes more of a caretaker for their daughter while running his father’s motorcycle shop. For more of Toren and Kenzi’s story, see my review of Torn.

“Asher, honey, I think you need to forget the past for a while. Focus on what you have now. If you keep looking behind you, you’re not going to see what—or who—is in front of you.”

Eventually, Ember leaves the band to create her own all-girl band. But at some point, Ember realizes she wants to home more with her daughter and to have another baby. During a discussion of where she wanted to move her life story, she has an accident and stops breathing. A hiker provides CPR, but Ember ends up in a coma. An eight-year-long coma, missing out of Kenzi going to prom, graduating, and ultimately falling in love with her best friend.

“I’ll wait for you,” I whisper to the dark room. “I love you.”

The agony that Asher feels is told through the story. There is comfort, but you have to believe in some mystical theories to gain that comfort. Asher keeps the band going and we see him as a sad but wise man through the series as his family finds love. He walks his SILs down the aisle, offers them advice in the park, grieves the loss of his 5-year-old niece, and deals with a daughter falling in love with his best friend. Through it all, Asher never gives up on Ember. He never cheats, telling everyone he is married. Visiting her is a trial in agony, watching her body degrade as she lays there.

Then there is an experimental drug they decide to try. Asher is cautiously optimistic almost to the point of not expecting things to change when she suddenly wakes up. The wake up happens in stages, but ultimately she doesn’t know who she is nor anyone else. And at times she forgets how to do things or what they are called. My heart broke for both of them as they adjust. Asher just wanting his wife and life back. Ember doesn’t see herself in the mirror or feel right in her own skin. Things don’t just go back to normal, and everything is felt deep in your gut.

“It’s okay to be confused and scared. But ya know what? Everything is going to get better soon. I’m going to take care of you just like I always have.”
“No.”
I flash her a grin, hoping it’ll win her over like it used to.
“Trust me, you really do like me. I know you don’t know that right now, but you’re crazy about me.”

Wow! This story is a kick in the butt, gut, and face. Both of them have valid feelings that don’t mesh quite the way either want them too. Asher’s agony to elation to confusion. Ember’s love to nothing to confusion to clarity and to even a different clarity. Not only is Ember getting back to a life she doesn’t remember, but she is also trying to build a body that went to pot over eight years. Asher shows her where her journals are, having never read them himself. Disassociation is the feeling you get as she reads what she wrote, but that woman isn’t her anymore. It felt like Ember had died once again in Asher’s life and he would have to love a new woman with his wife’s face.

“I don’t want to be alone anymore. I miss you—your love and your touch. And I hate missing you when you’re Right. Fucking. Here. It’s destroying me.”

This is an epic story. A once in a lifetime love…puff, gone. A family broken, but not destroyed. Learning to love again and find peace. I cried. Got angry. Laughed. I felt so many confusing emotions.

This can be read as a stand-alone. You meet other characters but they are introduced not assumed to be known. It helps that Ember doesn’t know them either so you meet them with her. Torn, their daughter’s story is a spin-off series. While you do learn in their story about the coma, there isn’t a ton about them in the book that would make an impact. I actually read this Asher right after Torn and then went back to read the series in order. So if this story is the only one you want to read, you will be fine without the others.


Challenges Met

Reading Challenge #168
Review Writing Challenge #67
Series That Never Ends #6 – Ashes & Embers
Bad Boys of Romance #33

Literary Pickers #58 – Yard Ornament
Books ‘N’ Tunes #35 – When I Look Into Your Eyes by Firehouse


Series

About the book
Asher by Carian ColeASHER BY CARIAN COLE

I should have died.
I should have been forgotten.

But I didn’t, and I wasn’t.

Living the life most women only dream about, I was madly in love with my soulmate—Asher Valentine—amazing husband, loving father, and rock’s favorite kick-ass frontman. A man who loved me every day, in every way, since we first met as teens. We were blessed with a beautiful daughter who was the light of our life. My all-female rock band was tearing up the charts.

Then tragedy struck, and I lost it all.

Now all I have is a stack of journals, an antique key, and a big black void where my memories should be.

Used to be.

And I have him—this man with wild hair, tattoos from head to toe, a soft voice, and an even softer touch that gives me butterflies. He’s clearly hopelessly in love with his wife.

I’m told that’s me.

But that wife is gone, and she took everything they once had, leaving me in her place.

A broken replacement. A new version that doesn’t quite fit.

I’m slowly falling in love with him, but will he ever truly love me? Or will he forever be in love with her, the phantom woman who haunts us both?

________________________________

Asher can be read standalone!

There is NO cheating in this book. The Hero stays 100% faithful to his wife from the time he meets her at 15, all through her 8 year coma, and forever after. This is a story of what marriage and true love is.


Preview

About Carian Cole

I have a passion for the bad boys, those covered in tattoos, sexy smirks, ripped jeans, fast cars, motorcycles and of course, the sweet girls that try to tame them and win their hearts. My debut series, Ashes & Embers, follows the lives of rock band members as they find, and sometimes lose, the loves of their lives.

My first novel in the Ashes & Embers series, Storm, was published in September of 2014, and I have lots of books planned for this series. The All Torn Up series is a spin off series, but all can be read standalone, and out of order.

Born and raised a Jersey girl, I now reside in beautiful New Hampshire with my husband and our multitude of furry pets and spend most of my time writing, reading, and vacuuming.

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Delighted Reader was founded in 2011 after Shari decided she wanted to review the books she loves so much. Constantly on the run, she still finds time to read in pick up lines, in the middle of the night, and sometimes hiding to get a chapter read before she is found. Check out her reviews at DelightedReader.com

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Melliane
1 month ago

It’s an author I really need to try

Shari
1 month ago
Reply to  Melliane

I have enjoyed all of her books!

Sophia Rose
1 month ago

OH man, that sounds like agony and continuous heartache, but breathtaking that he stuck by her and kept at it even after the changes.

Shari
1 month ago
Reply to  Sophia Rose

It was a story about the beauty and pain of true live and what happens when one person becomes another.

Carole Rae
1 month ago

Oooo agony love stories. I do love ’em.

Shari
1 month ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

It is pretty agonizing to watch them go through all of this.