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Monday, October 1, 2018

Fragments of Ash (A Modern Fairytale #7) by Katy Regnery

A Review by Wendy
5 No Need for a Glass Slipper Stars
* * * * * 
Spoiler Free
If you are hoping for a cutesy version of Cinderella with a contemporary twist, this is is not that story. There is no big ball or glass slipper to try on...Instead we are given a story with a level of depth which will grab you from the very first page and not let go till the last. This story takes all of the elements of the traditional fairytale and flips it, twists it and creates something dark, horrific yet shining in goodness, strength, and love.

Think how devastating it would be at 15, pregnant and from a very conservative family. Your parents turn their backs and you have to figure out to handle it all. Instead of taking ownership of the baby, it is decided this baby will be presented to the world as your sister. Yet, the parents are no real support and hold the sins of the mother against the innocent child.

The mother was discovered for the distinct beauty she was...blazing blue eyes, natural platinum blond hair, porcelain skin, and an amazing long legged body. She was a human wonder... a woman-child who the camera loved and she loved it back. It was a time of supermodels and major indulgence. The phrase sex, drugs, and rock n roll had nothing on the fashion industry at the height of her reign.

Tig was this woman who never had the unconditional love they are supposed to have from their parents. This absence and then the turning their back on her, caused her to have moments of resentment of her daughter and gravitate to those who acted as if they cared. Little did she realize it was all part of the fashion game...and then when she had been sucked into the fast life of coke, booze, and nameless sex ... she was in too deep.

Tig did have one person who tried to steer her right, Gus, her make-up/hair person. He was there to pick up the pieces and did over and over again. Tig trusted him so much, she named him Ashley's Godfather and when things became so out of hand and a trip to rehab was necessary, Gus was the one to look after Ashley.

Ashley was this mini-me of Tig in looks. Her face was unforgettable and sweet. She was like a young colt growing up with long legs, arms, hair, and big blue eyes. She was a child of the sun, loving swimming, nature and everything around her. She had an old soul, though. Living with a mother in chaos, a role deemed as Sister instead of Daughter would do that to a young girl. Ashley saw much too much of how her mother would lose herself in men and drugs. She learned at a very young age to adapt...how to become invisible and not get in the way. How to take care of a hungover mother.

When Tig finds herself out of money, out of answers and no idea of how to make do, she receives an offer too good to be true. A man is interested in her, a very wealthy older man wants to marry her and seal the deal with a signing bonus and a new fancy life. Tig saw it as a way to take care of the ugly reality of where she and her thirteen-year-old daughter were...So Done Deal.

This done deal turned out to be something very different then what Tig thought she and her daughter were promised. The sweet respectful older man who promised the world delivered hell on earth. Tig had a rude awakening of the level of terror she was now experiencing and was thankful when this monster decided to send Ashley to a formal, conservative Catholic boarding school.

This school became the home and normalcy Ashley craved. For five years she was sheltered from much of the worldly things most take for granted. No cell phones, no unlimited internet use, no television watching and limited visits home. Sex education was only to explain everything was sinful unless it was within marriage. Ashley loved learning and felt at home there.

Ashley did see her mother on visits. She was uncomfortable around her stepfather and his twin sons. The only thing that was good during her last trip was that her mother was still religiously clean and sober. Then she is notified her mother is dead from a drug overdose. Nothing makes sense. She is now in the clutches of this evil stepfather and she needs to figure out a way to get away.


Julian is a man who has run from everything he knows. He had pain early when his mother left his father, sister and him. His father was an amazing artisan whose glassblowing was renowned all over the world. The father would take time to show Julian how to work with the glass and these times together meant the world to him. Julian was close to his sister and when the father died, Julian stepped up, put his own plans aside and provided her with the security she needed. Once the sister was off to college, Julian pursued his career dream; to be a Secret Service Agent. He went through all of the training, was on the fast track to make his mark, and then a woman caused it all to disappear. Hence his hiding out in Vermont in Gus' wooded country home.

Ashley and Julian end up under the same roof when Gus is able to hide Ashley away from the heinous stepfather. This was not what Julian had planned or wanted. One look at eighteen-year-old Ashley with all her goodness, innocence, and raw unassuming beauty hits Julian hard. He has learned to trust no woman except his sister. Why is this person here...His life is about to become mental chaos.

This story had all the pacing to have you on the edge of your seat. You anticipate the fear... you anticipate the developing relationship between Ashley and Julian. You find yourself learning bit by bit about how all of this came to be and having retching feelings for the mother's mistakes.

And then we have Julian and Ashley together. He is her protector and finds his truth through her. She grows, stands strong and becomes who she needs to be. We also are given excellent secondary characters, fully formed and full of life.

I started this as soon as I was lucky enough to receive it and didn't stop reading until I was done. It Was That Good.


A gifted copy was provided by author/publisher for an honest review.




About Katy Regnery
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.

Now exclusively self-published, Katy claims authorship of the multi-titled Blueberry Lane Series, which follows the English, Winslow, Rousseau, Story, and Ambler families of Philadelphia; the six-book, bestselling ~a modern fairytale~ series; the Enchanted Places Series; and a stand-alone novella, Frosted.

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 Today bestseller list in 2015, and her Christmas story, Marrying Mr. English, appeared on the list a week later. In May 2016, Katy’s boxed set, The Winslow Brothers Boxed Set, Books #1-4, became a New York Times bestseller.

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.


 

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