Friday, February 9, 2018

Audio Tour: From Ashes by K.M. Neuhold (Review + Giveaway)

From Ashes Audio BannerFROM ASHES
From Ashes Cover
NARRATOR: Kenneth Obi

“When the broken man with scarred skin walked into Heathens, asked for a job, and showed me a sketch of a phoenix, it felt like fate.”~ Adam 

It started with an anonymous post by someone who didn't want to live anymore. I read it over and over again, unable to get it out of my mind. What if my brother Johnny had posted something like this before he'd taken his own life? Would someone have been able to save him? 

I've been living a lie for 16 long years and I'm not sure how much longer I'll be able to keep it up. And when a beautiful, broken man walks into my tattoo shop asking for a second chance at life, I know I'll never be able to turn him away. 

“When I was so far down I couldn’t even see the light, a stranger reached in to save me”~ Nox

I didn't have anything to live for, until a kind stranger pulled me back from the brink. With physical and emotional scars I have nowhere to turn now but to that same stranger who saved my life without realizing it. But as my feelings for Adam grow, will I ever be anything other than a surrogate for the brother he couldn’t save? Am I even worthy of his love? 

**From Ashes is the third book in the Heathens Ink series, each book in the series CAN be read as a standalone. CAUTION: this book contains graphic descriptions of domestic violence and drug use that may be disturbing to some readers.

From Ashes Teaser 1
From Ashes Teaser 2


The afternoon flies by as quickly as the morning had with a combination of appointments and walk-ins filling up my schedule all the way until closing time.        

While Nox and I clean up my workspace Gage pops his head in.

“Hey, I’m going to be heading over to Rainbow House tonight, won’t be home ‘til late.”

“Okay, tell everyone I say hi and that I’ll do my best to stop by soon.”

“Is Rainbow House a bar or something?” Nox asks once Gage is gone.

“No, it’s a halfway house for LGBTQ teens who don’t have anywhere to go.”

Nox’s lips part on a quiet gasp and his eyes glaze over slightly.

“That’s so amazing. You volunteer to help homeless LGBTQ teens?”

“It’s no big deal,” I shrug off the awe in his voice. I love working with the kids down at R.H., but it’s not enough. Nothing will ever be enough.

“It is a big deal. You are like a real-life superhero,” Nox insists.

I feel myself blush and wave off his praise.

“I’m no superhero,” I argue. “I’m just doing what I can so no one has to feel as helpless and alone as Johnny did.”

“I’m going to have to think of a superhero name for you,” Nox carries on as though he didn’t hear my protest. “Hmm, let’s see...what about lumberjack man?”

“What? That’s terrible, what would my superpower even be?”

“The ability to chop wood super-fast.”

“I feel like there’s a sexual innuendo in there somewhere.”

Nox barks out a laugh.

“I’d love to go help out at Rainbow House sometime,”Nox says casually, but his expression is anything but. I can tell it would mean a lot to him to help some kids who are in a position he’s familiar with.

“Do you mind my asking how you ended up on the streets? Were your parent’s dicks about the gay thing or what?”

“It’s kind of embarrassing.”

“You don’t have to tell me if you’re uncomfortable. I was being nosey, forget I even asked,” I backpedal, realizing what a dick question that was.

From Ashes is Book 3 in K.M. Neuhold’s Heathens Ink series. This is the first audio of the series that I’ve listened to, but I’ve read the entire series. The narrator of this book is Kenneth Obi, and it’s my understanding that the first two books are narrated by someone different. I think reading this series in the appropriate order will give the most enjoyment to the characters and world created by the author. There are some storylines from previous books, and there are characters and couples continuing.

In Book 3, Adam, the owner of Heathens Ink, is on a quest of trying to save others to make up for the loss of his brother. He makes friends with a stranger in a chat app and can’t resist the offer of help when the other person is struggling. He develops a friendship with Phoenix and when Phoenix disappears from the app, Adam thinks the worst. Phoenix, for his part, is struggling. He has a drug addiction, is working as a prostitute to support his habit and lives with an abusive boyfriend. He sees the hope in what Adam’s offering but he won’t take charity. Then, everything comes to a head and Phoenix has to survive the hardest thing he’s ever experienced. From the ashes, Phoenix (Nox) emerges and begins his new life near Heathens Ink. The attraction between Nox and Adam is felt and seen by everyone around them.

I love this series and this book, so I was excited to listen to the audio. Unfortunately, I really struggled with listening to the narrator. The narrator was unable to give individual voices to characters, and the voices used were not consistent throughout the narration for the characters. You really need to focus on who is speaking based on the dialogue to keep up with the story, which is difficult to do in audiobooks. And the narration of the texts/chats between the two characters were really difficult to “get” in this audio. I knew from my reading that it was texts, but with the audio it just seemed misplaced.

I highly recommend you read this series as it’s terrific. I think the characters and the world the author creates is one I’d love to hang out in. Though there are difficult, sad, real-life difficulties the characters are overcoming, I don’t feel that the story weighs on you. The author does a great job of keeping it from being too overwhelming.

Overall: 4 stars
Performance: 3 stars
Story: 5 stars

KM Neuhold Graphic
I'm an author of m/m and new adult romance. I have a strong passion for writing characters with a lot of heart and soul, and a bit of humor as well.

1 comment:

  1. I've listened to a lot of great narrators, but I think Joel Leslie is my favorite. Thanks for the post!