Review: ★Liquid & Ash★ by E.M. Abel


Liquid & Ash
Author: E.M. Abel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 1, 2016add-to-goodreads-button-2

LA Ebook Cover

Love was my weakness.

In the light of the truth, no one can hide.

Derek had ignited a spark inside of my heart, a hope for a love I never expected to find. However, our connection lacked the substance it needed to burn. Weakened with resentment, our relationship crumbled under deception, slowly dissolving into ash.

I had sacrificed myself for him and paid the price.

By the time Brandon entered into my life, the longing in my heart had turned cold. But fate was not done with me. His crystal blue eyes and fluid touch revived a wish that had been frozen in time. He gave me hope once again.

Hope is a dangerous thing, especially when you dare to dream. 

**WARNING: This book contains adult content and drug use.

Buy LinksAMAZON US | AMAZON UKReview3 starsLiquid&Ash-DGR

A woman with a dream of being loved is a danger to herself because she will see it in places it doesn’t belong and doesn’t exist.

Have you ever read a book that’s supposed to be highly emotional and touching, yet you felt…nothing? Like you knew what you were supposed to feel but it was more mechanically going through the steps of those feelings more so than actually feeling them? No? Well that basically sums up how I felt about this book.

Now here’s the thing, I’m a big fan of this author. I really loved Saving Jay, and I adore her writing style that’s somehow raw and emotional while highly sensual at the same time. When I read the blurb to this book, I knew I had to read it. And while I enjoyed the premise of it, I just never fully connected with the story or the characters.

I’d been lost somewhere along the way, and I hated this new woman I’d become.

Penelope is a woman that always put her education and career first, until a man changed everything for her. She fell in love, and now ten years after the fact, she’s lost everything including herself. She’s lost in a haze of alcohol, xanax and weed. She’s a shell of the person she once was, so much so that she doesn’t even recognize herself.

I’d lost everything- my best friend, my lover, my husband…everything. I’d risked it all for him, for love, and now, I was paying the price.

Through her struggle of dealing with the inevitable demise of her marriage, she meets an gorgeous, tatted and enigmatic bartender that stirs something in her she hasn’t felt in a long while; pure unadulterated lust. Brandon is a successful model by day, bartender and weed dealer by night. He’s everything she shouldn’t want, and yet she’s inexplicably drawn to him.

The story is the journey of a broken woman that’s trying to find herself again. A woman dealing with the pain of a failing marriage and maybe the start of something new. It’s raw, emotional, and sensual. I also feel like most people will really love this story. Unfortunately there was a number of things working against it for me, and I’ll get to that now.

1. The flashbacks
They were all over the place and I didn’t find them to be well paced. It would suddenly flash to the past and then come back to the present. I feel the story would have been more gripping if perhaps the first third of the story was told from the past and the rest focused on the present. I didn’t feel that the flashbacks added to the story but more distracted me from it. Just as soon as I was feeling more connected to the characters, it would flash to the past and I’d lose my momentum.

2. The heroine
Although I know I was supposed to truly feel for her plight, I never did. I found her to be too…bland. Not because she was, but that’s the feeling she gave me. As a matter of fact, i just found the entire book to be…bland. It was good. It was ok. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either. There was nothing about it that grabbed me or made me feel. Maybe I’m just dead inside or my cold black heart was feeling even more jaded than usual? Whatever the case was, I just never fully connected to Penelope or her story.

3. The plot
Meh. You know those middle of the road books? This was simply the case for me. The entire story felt more clinical. Like I was going through the motions but I didn’t feel them. Penelope’s first “encounter” with Brandon didn’t grab me either. It was just…weird and uncomfortable to read.

4. Brandon
Meh. I think this is what ultimately sealed the deal for my rating. I just felt meh about him. I didn’t feel like I had enough of a connection to him as a character and not nearly enough development for me to truly connect to him or to his relationship with Penelope. There’s a part of the story where his POV appears for the length of a small chapter and the rest of the story is in Penelope’s POV. That just felt random to me. You either have his POV or don’t. But having it just be thrown in there for the sake of understanding his thought process at the time? Eh. Didn’t work for me.

5. The twist?
It was predictable and cliche in my opinion. I saw it coming a mile away and even remember thinking that with the way the story was going, I’m thinking there was a huge plot twist in store at 75%. I was wrong. It came before that. But it WAS there and I wasn’t a fan, sadly.

I also found the ending to be rushed and not as developed as I would have hoped.

Having said all that, I still think that E.M. Abel is an amazing author and I sincerely look forward to whatever she has planned next. I typically really enjoy her books, so I’m writing this off as a fluke of perhaps just not quite being in the right mood for a book like this. You can’t love them all, and this book just fell somewhere in the middle for me.

I do believe that most readers will truly enjoy it. It’s emotionally charged and beautifully written. Just because it didn’t work for me, doesn’t mean it won’t work for you.

I wanted us to stay in that moment, suspended in time. Just me and Brandon and our liquid love.

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