Review: Vandal by Carian Cole

Posted October 17, 2020 by Shari in Reviews / 4 Comments

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Review: Vandal by Carian Cole

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Series: Ashes & Embers #2
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Rock Band Romance, BDSM Romance
Published by Indie/Self Published
Released on February 23, 2015
Pages: 314
Format: eBook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
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The Delight

A tragic story is what you get with Vandal. People die, trust is betrayed, and pain is felt deeply. It’s hard to say I enjoyed this story and a part of it is just plain fucked up. This story can destroy your faith in love or it can restore it. Your choice.


Vandal is the story of a troubled man who falls asleep at the wheel. Killing three people with one of them being his five-year-old daughter, Katie. While Vandal isn’t a great man, he got clean for his daughter. He changed his life around for his daughter. But when her mother demands he bring her home even though he admits he is exhausted, it sets the stage for a horrific nightmare.

Tabitha had it all. A loving husband, a good job, a family, but it is all taken away in a car accident. How do you recover? Lost in the depth of her grieving, she can’t move on with her life. When a handsome and scary man approaches her, she agrees to go with him if only to escape the sorrow that has become her life.

Thus starts a beautifully flawed story. A man haunted by his childhood, inflicting pain to both himself and to others, and enduring the pain of losing the one good thing in his life. He knows who Tabitha, or Tabi, is and embarks upon a path to free her from her pain through D/s. This is a BDSM story that is more about dominance and submission with light pain than chains and whips. Although chains are used. Vandal uses his dominance to free Tabi’s mind off the pain and in a way helps him deal with his own pain.

“I’m sorry . . . I cry a lot lately . . .” I lean my head down and rest my forehead against hers.
“Don’t apologize. Even the sky cries.”

Vandal is a scarred, tattooed, broken man. His father is a Valentine, but he fathered two sons he abandoned by two different women. When their grandmother locates them, she instantly brings them into the family and their inheritance of $5 million. But having a wonderful family doesn’t erase their pasts. Vandal is dark. Into dominating to escape the feeling of being out of control. Sadly, he is also a cutter. He does cut at least twice during the story and is drawn to it a few more times. Unfortunately, the author allows this to be glossed over instead of dealing with what has to be scars on his legs. He didn’t want a kid, was hopped up on drugs and alcohol when he has sex with Katie’s mother, producing a child he can’t seem to care for at first. But he fights to get clean. He fights for his daughter. The one good light in his life. Imagine the darkness he falls into when her life is gone.

The ties that bind us each to one another may not always be visible, but they’re there like thin, transparent veins. I don’t know why, but this is one vein I don’t want to slit.

Tabitha is a little lighter. She was in love with her husband. They were trying to get pregnant. But we also learn that maybe her dreams were being smothered by this relationship and she wasn’t aware of it. Now her husband is dead and no hope for a child with a dead husband. She quits her job. Cries at his headstone. Mail unanswered. What do you have to feel like to go off with a man you don’t even know the name of? Hop on his bike and let him take you somewhere. No clothes, a vehicle, or anything to live on. Being at his mercy just to feel again.

The secrets of who they are drawn on through the story. Each hurting and losing themselves in one another to ease the pain, to release the pressure. A lot happens in this story and I can say I hated Vandal. I loved Vandal. Vandal needed to forgive himself. I loved Tabi. I hated Tabi. I learned something about Tabi that ultimately moved me somewhere in between. Possibly closer to hate than love. You have to read it to know why I feel this way.

This isn’t an easy story. Truth comes out. Pain is dealt with in unconventional ways. Love ultimately has to be let to grow in truth or else it isn’t loved. The bandmembers are family, but sometimes the family has to fight to bring peace. Appreciating what you do have is a lesson to be learned. Time isn’t always an enemy. There is a lot of symbolism in this story that mold the characters to be what they are destined to become.

Challenges Met

Reading Challenge #171
Review Writing Challenge #63
Bad Boys of Romance #29

Series That Never Ends #2 – Ashes and Embers
Literary Pickers #55 – Enemies to Lovers
Books ‘N’ Tunes #31 – More Than Words by Extreme


About the book
Vandal by Carian ColeVandal BY CARIAN COLE

She takes my breath away.

She’s so beautifully damaged.
A mirror of my own tortured soul.

I was powerless to stay away from her.

I was responsible for all the pain and grief that brought her to her knees in front of me.

Broken. Hopeless. Reckless in her agony.

But what I took away I can give back…in ways she cannot even begin to imagine.
Ways that I can’t stop thinking about.

Together we spun a tangled web of lust and need. Power and submission. And dare I say… trust and love.

We’re everything right in all our wrongs.

We found redemption. We found happiness. A chance for a new beginning.

But… she has no idea I’m the one who destroyed her life.

** Vandal is a dark romance with light BDSM. This book deals with death, grief, deception, substance abuse, depression, and graphic sex. If this is not your thing, you can skip this book and move onto the next in the series and you will not be lost or miss anything in the series. Can be read stand-alone as well. **


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

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Sophia Rose
1 year ago

Good grief that is a twisted up story, but I can see why you couldn’t put it down, either.

1 year ago
Reply to  Sophia Rose

He is one messed up character. I can’t say he is totally healed in the end, but he is better. Then also there is something at the end that made me so mad at the heroine.

Carole Rae
1 year ago

This does sound like it would be kind of intense but worth it!

1 year ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

Very dark, intense and so sad at the same time.