My name is Ashley Ellis…
I was thirteen years old when my mother – retired supermodel, Tig – married Mosier Răumann, who was twice her age and the head of the Răumann crime family.
When I turned eighteen, my mother mysteriously died. Only then did I discover the dark plans my stepfather had in store for me all along; the debauched “work” he expected me to do.
With the help of my godfather, Gus, I have escaped from Mosier’s clutches, but his twin sons and henchmen have been tasked with hunting me down. And they will stop at nothing to return my virgin body to their father
…dead or alive.
This “Cinderella”-inspired contemporary romance finds young beauty, Ashley Ellis, on the run from her evil stepfather when she meets ex-Secret Service agent, Julian Ducharmes.
FRAGMENTS OF ASH is part of the ~a modern fairytale~ collection by New York Times bestselling author, Katy Regnery.
First person, alternating.
(Ashley & Julian)
A little but it's very much in the backseat of this story, not the focus.
Everyone knows that fairy tales are a mix of sweet underscored by a core of ugly.
Fragments of Ash is the perfect modern fairy tale in that it blends the light and the dark to make an unputdownable read but it was not an easy one.
Not in the beginning.
In the beginning, the book made my skin crawl to a level that I wasn’t actually sure I wanted to keep reading such was the utter wrongness of the situation Ashley finds herself in.
Seriously the first few chapters... *Shivers.*
However, I've been a Katy Regnery reader for quite a few years now.
I know that she writes beautiful romances and I know there is always a happy ever after, so I pushed through the creepiness and went on a journey with Ashley as she runs towards her god-father (a fabulously camp character called Gus) and his partner who rally to protect Ashley against her step-father's evil plans.
Through her fairy godfather(s) she meets Julian who, while initially a little bit beastly, quickly becomes a perfect prince charming and who I fell a little bit in love with alongside Ashley.
The book isn't a story of unexpected twists and turns and crazy action. It's a calm and steady story of a lonely girl, growing up in a messed up world, finding love where it wasn't expected: In more ways than one.
It was beautifully written.
In fact, it's an absolute credit to Katy's writing that she is able to so perfectly conjure feelings with her words... I could feel the innocence and kindness of Ashley, the wounded wariness of Julian, the fatherly love and affection of Gus. I felt dirtied by the twisted wrongness of the step-father and heart-broken by the contents of her mother's journal.
Cinderella will never be my favourite fairy tale but this re-telling is most definitely one of my favourite re-tellings.
So, why not the full five stars?
Well, Ashley's age made me tweaky considering the step-father's intentions towards her. It was just gross. I get that that was the point but it turned down my enjoyment a notch.
I also had issues with the strict Catholic school Ashley went to and the threading of the strong religious belief throughout the story. Once again, I get why Ashley was sent to the strict all-girl Catholic school and I understand that - along with her early upbringing and experiences with her mother - that the school would shape who she was as a person but overt religiosity gets to me even when it's portrayed tastefully and without judgment the way it is here.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to those who love a good fairy tale.
Sweet and fairytale-like. Perfect fit for a Cinderella retelling!
It doesn't capture the dark and gritty undertones of this book but it perfectly captures the giddy romance and innocence of Ashley.
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.
Thirty-five books later, Katy claims authorship of the multititled New York Times and USA Today bestselling Blueberry Lane Series, which follows the English, Winslow, Rousseau, Story, and Ambler families of Philadelphia; the six-book, bestselling ~a modern fairytale~ series; and several other stand-alone novels and novellas, including the critically-acclaimed, USA Today bestselling contemporary romance, Unloved, a love story.
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 Blueberry Lane collection, The Winslow Brothers Boxed Set, Books #1–4, became a New York Times e-book bestseller.
Katy’s books are available in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Turkish.
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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