The Beautiful Ashes – Jeaniene Frost [Review]

The Beautiful Ashes is the first book in the Broken Destiny series by Jeaniene Frost.

I bought The Beautiful Ashes in both paperback and ebook formats. I’ve had it for a while, but hadn’t gotten around to reading it.

Recently, I was supposed to do a review of the next book in the series, The Sweetest Burn. A couple of months ago, I started reading this one to prepare for the tour review. With everything that has happened lately, I just now finished this. I’m going to start reading the next one tomorrow.


The Beautiful Ashes cover


Sometimes, falling in love really is the end of the world…

Ivy has always seen things that she cannot explain. Strange things. Otherworldly things. But when her sister goes missing, Ivy discovers the truth is far worse—her hallucinations are real, and her sister is imprisoned in a realm beyond Ivy’s reach. The one person who can help her is the dangerously attractive rebel who’s bound by an ancient legacy to betray her.

The fate Adrian has fought to escape is here – but he never expected the burning need he feels for Ivy. With destiny on one side and desire on the other, Adrian must help Ivy search for the powerful relic that can save her sister. Yet he knows what Ivy doesn’t: the truth about her own destiny, and a war that could destroy the world. Sooner or later, it will be Ivy on one side, Adrian on the other, and nothing but ashes in between…


The Beautiful Ashes book details

  • Publication Date: September 29, 2015
  • Publisher: HQN Books
  • Pages: 368
  • Genre: Paranormal Romance
  • Amazon
  • Goodreads


Before I started reading this book, I was concerned it might be too immature for me because it was listed on some websites as new adult. While that is technically correct–the main character, Ivy, is in her early twenties–the book can be read by any adult. The characters understood the seriousness of their situation and acted accordingly. Yes, Ivy is overwhelmed by her attraction to Adrian, but it doesn’t consume the plot to the point of making her forget that her sister is being held captive by demons.

I felt that Frost did a great job of keeping the story on track. She also did a great job of balancing action with romance. Some parts of the story read like an urban fantasy novel, which was fine with me. The danger and adventure kept me glued to the pages.

The Romance

I also really enjoyed the tension between Adrian and Ivy. Although they had a strong physical attraction and were drawn to one another, they definitely had issues they needed to overcome (both personal and between them) before they could be together.

So many books have destiny putting characters together, often forcefully against their will. This book went the other direction: destiny will keep them apart. I absolutely loved that idea. The author put many obstacles in their path, which made for a much more interesting read.

A Jeaniene Frost book with no sex surprised me, in a good way. If the characters had fallen into bed together, I wouldn’t have had the fun of watching them try to get to that point.

When Ivy and Adrian have intimate moments, the sexual tension and excitement comes alive. Hot, hot, hot! For me, anticipating something happening can be better than reading a play-by-play of it happening. In other words, the build-up can be more interesting than the actual act.

The Worldbuilding

Although I haven’t read many books about angels and demons and lack a base of comparison, I thought Jeaniene Frost created an interesting world. However, I got the impression that she was being intentionally vague about certain details, particularly about God. He isn’t portrayed in a positive light in this story, and more details about Him would have potentially offended readers. So I think things were left vague to avoid that problem.

Do I Recommend?

Based on reviews on Goodreads, people had mixed feelings about The Beautiful Ashes. Some people thought it felt too much like a teen book. I don’t agree. Other people thought the characters were too cliche. I don’t agree with that either. So, I think readers need to give The Beautiful Ashes a chance, and they shouldn’t go into reading it expecting something like the Cat and Bones books, which are so different from this story.

Personally, I loved The Beautiful Ashes. I’m looking forward to reading The Sweetest Burn, in part because the ending set things up for the next book. Ivy’s journey is only beginning. She has a lot more world-saving to do. And I can’t wait to see what happens between her and Adrian.

If you haven’t read this book, I suggest giving it a try if you like books where the main character has to deal with people not giving her all the information she needs to succeed. It’s also a good read for people who like books with characters who are thrown into situations over their heads and have to either sink or swim. Ivy, in my opinion, adapted well to her new role, despite occasional and understandable freak-outs.

The only criticism about The Beautiful Ashes I have is that the solution to one of Ivy’s problems didn’t entirely make sense. It seemed contrived, and I didn’t fully understand what the author was trying to say. I had to go back and re-read, and that didn’t even help me.

But, overall, I loved the book. I give it five out of five stars.


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About Jen Schaper

In addition to being a book blogger, I am a mother of three children, a retail backroom coordinator, and a wannabe writer (when I make time to do it).
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