November 17, 2014

REVIEW: When Ash Falls (London Fairy Tales #4) By, Rachel Van Dyken

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#1 New York Times Bestselling Author Rachel Van Dyken returns to regency romance with the last and final installment in The London Fairy Tales series...A regency retelling of Snow White and The Seven Dwarves.

Ashton Wolfsbane, Earl of Gyles, has taken a vow of celibacy after blaming himself for his sister in laws death. After a failed suicide attempt, he's dedicated his life to bring justice to the weak making it his personal vendetta to be the death dealer to the wicked, also known as The Grimm Reaper. He denies himself lusts of the flesh and is known throughout London because of his ability to kill
effortlessly and without emotion, that is until he meets Princess Sofia, a woman hell bent on making him forget all his reasons for denying himself the one thing he's always craved---love.

After rescuing the fair damsel, he thinks his job finished, that is until he discovers he's to be the Princess's escort throughout London until she's safely married. It wouldn't
be such a hardship, except the Princess has made him an offer he can't refuse. Show her passion, real passion.

Four weeks of giving into the desire he's suppressed for so long--four weeks of bliss and then they'll go their separate ways. But things aren't always what they seem, and when rescuing a damsel, or making a deal with her, one must always be prepared for the consequences.

Seven Royal Guard, a Beast, a kingdom in chaos, and a girl as pure as the driven snow...Will they find their Happily Ever After?

When I saw the opportunity to read the new Rachel Van Dyken book I jumped at the opportunity. As far as I am concerned Rachel is a genius. I am a huge fan of the Eagle Elite series as well as the Bet Series. For some reason I had no idea she wrote regency novels but I quickly found out that she wrote them and they are amazing. Regency and Fairy tale retellings are some of my favorite types of reads so when I read the synopsis I just knew this was going to be a must read.

“I find myself realizing more and more that the cruel joke of living is not in the accomplishments or success; it is in the devastating reality that you have no control over anything, especially you heart.”

Ash fell in love with the wrong woman. He fell in love with his sister in law and one night caused him to give everything up. Ash even tried to give up his life. When his sister in law is hit by a carriage trying to get to him he blames himself and when the suicide attempt fails he leaves everything behind and runs. He becomes one of the most skilled assassins out there. Taking the evil out of the world. He also became celibate never wanting what he took from his brother. When Ash is task to bring the Russian princess safely to London he realizes that the princess could become everything if he let her. When he gives her the four weeks she asks he doesn’t know how he is going to let her go.  He just knows he has to. There is a way out but he knows he can’t take it when he is dying anyway.

“I see every piece of the puzzle, every side, every possible outcome, and in every single ending it’s her- but I am not by her side, I cannot fathom how my life will continue to have meaning when its very purpose has started and ended with her. How the devil did that happen?”

After reading Ash’s story I think he become one of my ultimate book boyfriends. Ash is dark and tortured. This is all because he can’t forgive himself for what happen many years ago. He was content to keep going to way he was until the bullet slowly but surely finds its way to his heart. Until he meets Sofia. Reading his chapters I had no choice but to fall in love. He was hard, broken, and at times he could be the softest man with Sofia. He lost his way in the beginning and watching him find it was beautiful. Ash struggles through every part of this book. He struggles with his past, his emotions, and his heart.

“Loving her was akin to loving the stars; one simply didn’t confess then demand they fall to the ground and shatter into a million pieces.”

Sofia is the princess of Russia. She has escaped the palace and her step-mother. Now she is waiting for the person her cousin has sent to escort her to London so that she can marry a titled English man to help her take her country back. She is travelling with her seven loyal guards when Ash shows up to travel with her. When they finally get to London she can’t seem to stay away from the infuriating Ash. After they share their first kiss she asks him to share four weeks of passion before she enters her loveless marriage. When Sofia finds her fathers will she is given the opportunity to love Ash but she has to give everything up back home. Now she just has to make the choice. Will four weeks be enough, or will she stay with Ash forever.

“The thing about falling for someone is you can’t plan it, and the minute you realize what has taken place it’s impossible to stop the destruction and pain that lay in its wake, when you do the one unforgivable thing-like walk away.”

Sofia was a great person to read about. She was na├»ve about London and completely innocent but she has been through a lot. Her step mother was cruel and evil but Sofia managed to live through it and not be bitter or whiny. Sofia was sassy and not afraid to tell Ash how it was going to be. She was not afraid to hit people either. She was strong-willed and had a huge heart. Sofia wasn’t afraid to ask Ash for what she wanted even is he did reject her. She was willing to at least try so that she didn’t have any regrets. Sofia was also strong enough to fight for the love she found no matter what she came across.

“He loved her. Ash loved Sofia. Perhaps more than he’s ever cared to admit to another soul-even his own.”

Rachel created an amazing world filled with very lovable character. She brought the seven dwarves into the story, keep their loyal nature and characteristics from the original story but changed them so they fit into the world. They were definitely a comedic outlet while reading this book. If one of them were in a scene you should expect to laugh. We also got a glimpse at the other couples from the previous book as well.

“This would be enough... if it was just us, standing like this, for the rest of our lives. It would be enough.”

When Ash Falls is a romantic, original and elegant retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves that will keep you captivated until the last page. Rachel Van Dyken creates a story that gives you characters that wrap themselves around your heart and leave you with the magical romantic feelings only great fairy tales leave you with. I would recommend this book to those people who love unique retellings, regency novels, or even just romance fanatics. I am definitely going to be going back and reading the other books in this series!

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