Thursday, February 8, 2024

Ashes of You by: Catherine Cowles

Ashes of You (Lost & Found #5)
Catherine Cowles
Published: February 2024
Publisher: Catherine Cowles
Format: ARC E-Book
Pages: 401
Rating: 5/5
Five years ago, I nearly lost everything. But there was a glimmer of hope on that darkest night. There was him—a stranger I could never forget.

Now, I’m finally getting the fresh start I’ve longed for. But when I show up to interview for a nanny position in the small mountain town, the single dad has startlingly familiar blue eyes.

Eyes that have haunted my dreams for the past five years.

Lawson Hartley is everything I know I can’t have. Older, handsome, and my boss. Not to mention the shadows in his eyes that tell me he has demons, too.

Still, he seems to understand me better than anyone I’ve ever met. So gentle and careful of my scars, yet somehow making me believe I’m stronger than I ever thought possible.

And when his lips touch mine, I’m lost.

We find what we've been missing in each other. But the terrors of my past aren’t done with me yet, and this time, Lawson might not be able to save me...

First, I'd like to thank Catherine Cowles for sending me an ARC to review! This is the final book in the Lost and Found series, and although you don't need to read it in order, I highly recommend it! I've missed a few books in between, so you bet I'll be going back and doing a full read through!

I feel like I'm still at a loss for words, but I'll try my best because this was absolutely amazing! It was an emotional roller coaster ride, keeping me on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next. Lawson and Hallie have me in a chokehold with the way they came together in a super raw and emotional read. The way that Catherine wrote Hallie's character had me connecting so hard, but also the way that Lawson just took care of her was top tier!

I need to take a second though to talk about Lawson's boys. Because while you can see there's some instant fun for the younger ones, Luke was the one hesitant and filled with such pain and Hallie was able to see through it. Slowly but surely their relationship changes, and I think that was one major aspect that I loved. The way she sees how he is, and shows him love but keeps her distance for him to decide. Whether you're a nanny or you're a step-parent, that's a HUGE turning moment and I truly feel like it was written so well for me to connect with. And the way he starts to change and act around her as another protector? *Chefs kiss*

Now we know it's not a Catherine Cowles book without some suspense added in to throw you for a loop wondering who TF is the culprit. I'll say I had my suspicions, but she sure had be second guessing myself almost every chapter! I personally love stories like this because apart from the romance and HEA, this suspense layer just adds to the story and character growth... and I'm here for it!

While there's not a lot of steam that happens, honestly I'm not sad about it! I think there's always a bigger story with Catherine's books that pulls at the heartstrings more than steam factors. And one thing that got me EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.... When she calls him Blue. Gahh! I swear I've never swooned or fallen hard for fictional characters until now. The connection between Lawson and Hallie was so strong, but also the tenderness he has towards her I loved it all!

Overall, this was a phenomenal read. A page turner that had me glued to my seat DEVOURING this story. It was raw, emotional, heavy but also beautiful and powerful. I laughed, I teared up, my heart swelled and stomach dropped, all of these emotions from beginning to end. These characters will definitely be sticking in my head and heart for a while!

That's all for my review, I hope you enjoyed it. If you haven't already, be sure to get your copy of Ashes of You and fall in love like I did!

So until the next time, keep reading!
Your Graduated Bookworm! :)

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