From New York Times bestselling author Katy Regnery comes a dark and twisted retelling of the beloved fairytale, Cinderella!
My name is Ashley Ellis…
I was thirteen years old when my mother – retired supermodel, Tig – married Mosier Răumann, who was twice her age and the head of the Răumann crime family.
When I turned eighteen, my mother mysteriously died. Only then did I discover the dark plans my stepfather had in store for me all along; the debauched “work” he expected me to do.
With the help of my godfather, Gus, I have escaped from Mosier’s clutches, but his twin sons and henchmen have been tasked with hunting me down. And they will stop at nothing to return my virgin body to their father
…dead or alive.
** Contemporary Romance. Due to profanity and very strong sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.**
Visit the Fragments of Ash Website
FRAGMENTS OF ASH IS LIVE!
REVIEWED BY EMMA-LOUISE ON BEHALF OF KFF
This release has been hyped and I was extremely stoked-up to get a copy. I kept everything crossed that this wasn’t another of those cases of overhyped-super-let-down. Thankfully this book lived up to the buzz and so much more. The telling of a modern-day fairytale has been tried and done by several authors. This author is I have to say, the best of them. Chock-full of romance, suspense and a tinge of mystery.
Ashley’s mother is found dead a month after Ashley’s eighteenth birthday. Tragedy rarely hits singularly. Shortly after her mother’s funeral, Ashley is dropped on her head with a revelation from her dear old stepfather Mosier Răumann (pronounced Rowman). With the help of her fairy godfather and a well-meaning man, she gets out of dodge. Enter one of the most abstinent men I have had the pleasure of loving in quite a while.
Julian Ducharme is angry and spiteful to begin with, and at times I almost couldn’t handle how he treated Ashley. There was one pitiful scene about forty percent in that almost broke me. How something as simple as an offering for friendship could lead to one of the most tragic scenes I have ever read. I ended up, and I kid you not with a red face from ugly crying so much, I do not often have to put a book down and walk away because of how it makes me feel. I mentioned that scene to a family member and just talking about it had me in tears again. What has this author done to me?
Quickly I became invested in Ashley and her story. We’ve all experienced a moment or time in our lives where we feel truly alone. Ashley’s character was as fragile as she was strong, weak and yet unbreakable, naïve and yet older than her years. Fragments of Ash is an expedition for both Julian and Ashley. They both have baggage, so much so they are ladened down, exhausted and numb. Julian is almost like the tin man out of the Wizard of Oz; his heart is there if only he could feel it beating in his chest.
“But that doesn’t make him your boyfriend,” I snap. My lips turn down, and I look so sad that I add in a whisper. “Not yet anyway.”
The backstory of both characters creates a slow burn adventure. Adventure is the right word for one of them. It takes re-education and trusting oneself to forget what had been sewn in there over years of operant conditioning. Reading their first kiss was like experiencing my first kiss all over again. Shame mine wasn’t as good as theirs clearly was!
‘My body is his playground, and he is doing things to it that I never imagined. Even more, my body is responding like it’s been waiting for him to touch me like this. Like maybe it’s been waiting forever. I know what it wants, and as my hips start to thrust softly against his hand.’
Ms. Regnery is a true artist of words. I cannot express how immensely overwhelming I felt at times. I craved this book, just one more page, just one more chapter. Working between sessions was a real pain for me. Sadly workie equals no books for Emma. *sighs*
I’m a fickle reader, I know this well enough. When I read Unloved last year I said THAT was this author’s best book. Now I’m stating: that as of this moment, Fragments of Ash is her best. High five woman, and a standing ovation. Bloomin’ brilliant.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © Katy Regnery and used with permission
Instead of going inside, I walk around the house, to the backyard, to see if I can help bring in any dirty dishes, but the picnic table is empty. All traces of our dinner party have already been cleaned up by the Ducharmes siblings.
I look up at the midnight sky, at the dozens and dozens of stars, and I wonder if Gus is right. What he says feels right, but I feel very young and very small as I stare up at the universe. It’s not wrong to give yourself over to loving if the chance arises.
“We get amazing night skies up here.”
I look over my shoulder and find Julian, tall, barefoot, and beautiful, walking toward me.
“Yes, you do,” I answer, giving him a shy and tentative smile before I turn my attention back upward.
My skin prickles with awareness. My lips tingle, remembering the insistent pressure of his. And elsewhere in my body, I clench hard, willing those deep-set tremors not to start up again right now. I want to believe what Gus has told me—that liking and wanting a man isn’t wrong—but it’s new to me, and I need a little time to reconcile my desire and conscience together.
“When I lived in DC, it was what I missed the most, besides Noelle. More than the cheese. More than the beer. More than the skiing.” He stops, standing beside me, staring up at the firmament. “I missed Vermont’s night skies. And the millions of stars.”
“I can see why,” I say. “When I lived in LA, I never saw stars.” I giggle. “I mean, I saw the people kind, but not the sky kind.”
“Who’s the most famous person you ever met?”
“Hmm. Maybe . . . Gigi Hadid . . . or Bella? Hmm . . . Or Cara Delevingne? Kate Moss mentored my m—Tig for a while, um, and she knew Gisele, of course. Also—”
“Wait a second! Gisele? Did you ever meet Tom Brady?” he asks, his voice eager.
“Let me guess.” I glance at his face. “Patriots fan?”
“Tig went to their wedding, but I never met him. Sorry,” I say, giggling as he lays a hand over his heart and pretends to cry. “Speaking of the rich and famous, Noelle tells me you met the vice president while you worked in Washington.”
“She did?” His teasing expression disappears quickly as he straightens, dropping his hand. “Uh, yeah. Long time ago.”
“Not so long,” I say.
“Yeah, well . . . I guess it just feels like a while ago.” I wait for him to say more, hoping to learn why he left Washington so abruptly, but he stretches his arms over his head and yawns. “I’m tired. You must be exhausted.”
“At school I was on the dining hall rotation, which meant cooking for one hundred souls regularly. Tonight was a breeze.”
“Your soup was amazing.”
“The steak too.”
“Thank you again.”
“And the tart.”
“That was your sister. Let her know you thought so.”
“And the kiss.”
“Thank—” I’m grinning at him, but my eyes widen at his unexpected compliment, and I immediately look back up at the sky. It’s dark out so he can’t see my blush.
His chuckle is soft and low beside me, and maybe I’m wicked for not feeling more guilty, but I feel my smile grow as I trace Orion’s belt. I don’t dare look at him, but I feel him step closer to me, the warmth of his chest radiating against my back. If I moved slightly, one step even, his body would be flush against mine, and the shiver down my arms has nothing to do with the night chill. I want him to touch me, but I know he won’t.
As though he can read my mind, he whispers, close to my ear, “Not unless you ask.”
I close my eyes and say a prayer for strength and virtue, which, sadly, works, because the next thing I hear is his footsteps receding.
“Good night, sweet Ashley,” he says to my back, his voice a low rumble.
My eyes open slowly to the glittering heavens.
“Good night, sweet prince,” I whisper to Julian’s stars.
Fragments of Ash is part of the ~a modern fairytale~ collection: contemporary, standalone romances inspired by beloved fairy tales.
The Vixen and the Vet (Beauty & the Beast) – available now
Never Let You Go (Hansel & Gretel) – available now
Ginger’s Heart (Little Red Riding Hood) – available now
Dark Sexy Knight (Camelot) – available now
Don’t Speak (The Little Mermaid) – available now
Sheer Heaven (Rapunzel) – available now
Fragments of Ash (Cinderella) – coming October 1, 2018
Swan Song (The Ugly Duckling) – coming soon
Buy links for the modern fairytale collection
Amazon: U.S | U.K | CANADA | AUSTRALIA
iBooks | Nook | Kobo
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katy Regnery started her writing career by enrolling in a short story class in January 2012. One year later, she signed her first contract, and Katy’s first novel was published in September 2013.
Forty books later, Katy claims authorship of the multititled New York Times and USA Today bestselling Blueberry Lane Series, which follows the English, Winslow, Rousseau, Story, and Ambler families of Philadelphia; the six-book, bestselling ~a modern fairytale~ series; and several other stand-alone novels and novellas, including the critically-acclaimed, 2018 RITA© nominated, USA Today bestselling contemporary romance, Unloved, a love story.
Katy’s first modern fairytale romance, The Vixen and the Vet, was nominated for a RITA® in 2015 and won the 2015 Kindle Book Award for romance. Katy’s boxed set, The English Brothers Boxed Set, Books #1–4, hit the USA Todaybestseller list in 2015, and her Christmas story, Marrying Mr. English, appeared on the list a week later. In May 2016, Katy’s Blueberry Lane collection, The Winslow Brothers Boxed Set, Books #1–4, became a New York Times e-book bestseller.
Katy’s books are available in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Turkish.
Katy lives in the relative wilds of northern Fairfield County, Connecticut, where her writing room looks out at the woods, and her husband, two young children, two dogs, and one Blue Tonkinese kitten create just enough cheerful chaos to remind her that the very best love stories begin at home.
Keep in touch with Katy. She’d love to hear from you!