Monday, April 22, 2013

Taking Chances (3.25 stars) & From Ashes (3.75 stars) by Molly McAdams

About Taking Chances 

• Paperback: 464 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (April 16, 2013)

Her first year away is turning out to be nearly perfect, but one weekend of giving in to heated passion will change everything

Eighteen-year-old Harper has grown up under the thumb of her career marine father. Ready to live life her own way and to experience things she’s only ever heard of from the jarheads in her father’s unit, she’s on her way to college at San Diego State University.

Thanks to her new roommate, Harper is introduced to a world of parties, gorgeous guys, family, and emotions. She finds herself being torn in two as she quickly falls in love with both her new boyfriend, Brandon, and her roommate’s brother, Chase. Despite their dangerous looks and histories, both men adore Harper and would do anything for her, including taking a step back if it would mean she’d be happy.

About From Ashes 

From Ashes• Paperback: 416 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (April 16, 2013)

Aside from her dad, who passed away when she was six, Cassidy Jameson has only ever trusted one man: her best friend, Tyler. So of course she follows him to Texas when he leaves for college. She just didn’t expect to be so drawn to their new roommate, Gage, a gorgeous guy with a husky Southern drawl. The only problem? He’s Tyler’s cousin.

Gage Carson was excited to share an apartment off campus with his cousin. He didn’t mind that Tyler was bringing the mysterious friend he’d heard about since they were kids . . . until the most beautiful girl he’s ever seen jumps out of his cousin’s Jeep. There’s something about Cassi that makes Gage want to give her everything. Too bad Tyler has warned him that she’s strictly off-limits.

Despite everything keeping them apart, Cassi and Gage dance dangerously close to the touch they’ve both been craving. But when disaster sends her running into Tyler’s arms, Cassi will have to decide whether to face the demons of her past . . . or to burn her chance at a future with Gage.


From the covers and descriptions above, it's clear... these two books have very similar themes. Both feature a girl finally leaving behind a less than stellar home life to find herself torn between two loves.

In Taking Chances, Harper never knew her mother and grew up with a distant father. She can't wait to head to college and get as far away from her old life as possible. Excited for a new start, she doesn't expect to fall for two boys within days of arriving at school. Brandon and Chase both have unpredictable sides, but they adore Harper. Choosing between them becomes one of the hardest things she's ever had to do. Someone's heart is going to get broken.

When the unexpected happens, her choice becomes clearer. Then fate plays another hand and everything comes crashing down. Will Harper end up with neither of them in the end? Will she be able to handle the ramifications of her decisions?

In From Ashes, Cassidy lost her father on her sixth birthday and her grief-stricken mother was never the same. Her best friend, Tyler, was all she had left. When he leaves for college, she decides to go with him. They move in with Tyler's cousin, Gage.

While Cassidy is fighting her feelings for Gage, Tyler is fighting to get Cassidy to see they have always been meant for each other. Misunderstandings ensue. In the meantime, Cassidy is torn between two men she cares about and a past that haunts her. Will she be able to resolve trust issues? Will she lose one or more people she cares about?

While I hate to be vague, both Harper and Cassidy have tumultuous journeys. I wouldn't want to include any spoilers here, because so much of the emotional attachment I had with this characters was based on the curves life kept throwing at them. In Taking Chances, the loss of one character broke my heart and was completely unexpected.

For me, the best romances take time. Unfortunately, in both books everyone seemed to fall in insta-love. That's a harder sell for me. I found it more believable in From Ashes, because the story is told both from Cassidy's point of view and Gage's. Also, in Taking Chances, I wanted her to make a choice instead of life making that choice for her. 

However, I must admit I cared about all these characters. I was passionately mad at them one minute and broken-hearted the next. As with all memorable characters, I cared what happened--even when I got aggravated with their choices. 

For readers who enjoy an intriguing story, hot romance, and likeable characters, please consider both of these reads. 

Taking Chances -- Rating: 3.25 stars

From Ashes -- Rating: 3.75 stars

About Molly McAdams 
Molly McAdams
Molly McAdams grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband and furry, four-legged daughter. When she’s not diving into the world of her characters, she can be found hiding out in her bedroom—surrounded by her laptop, cell phone, and Kindle—and fighting over the TV remote. She loves curling up in a fluffy comforter during a thunderstorm … or under one in a bathtub if there are tornadoes. That way she can pretend they aren’t really happening.

Visit Molly at her website, read her blog, connect with her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

Thanks to TLC for my review copy.

Note: I received a complimentary copy for review purposes. A positive review was not requested or guaranteed; the opinions expressed are my own.

Please visit other stops on the Taking Chances/ From Ashes blog tour page.


Anonymous said...

It sounds like these are characters that will stick with you for a very long time. I love when that happens. :)

Thanks for being a part of the tour.

Tia Bach said...

I still think about these characters. Thanks for including me on the tour.