Updated: May 1
From Blood and Ash
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Blood and Ash #1
Genre: Romance, NA, fantasy
Publisher: Blue Box Press
A Maiden... Chosen from birth to usher in a new era, Poppy’s life has never been her own. The life of the Maiden is solitary. Never to be touched. Never to be looked upon. Never to be spoken to. Never to experience pleasure. Waiting for the day of her Ascension, she would rather be with the guards, fighting back the evil that took her family, than preparing to be found worthy by the gods. But the choice has never been hers. A Duty… The entire kingdom’s future rests on Poppy’s shoulders, something she’s not even quite sure she wants for herself. Because a Maiden has a heart. And a soul. And longing. And when Hawke, a golden-eyed guard honor bound to ensure her Ascension, enters her life, destiny and duty become tangled with desire and need. He incites her anger, makes her question everything she believes in, and tempts her with the forbidden. A Kingdom… Forsaken by the gods and feared by mortals, a fallen kingdom is rising once more, determined to take back what they believe is theirs through violence and vengeance. And as the shadow of those cursed draws closer, the line between what is forbidden and what is right becomes blurred. Poppy is not only on the verge of losing her heart and being found unworthy by the gods, but also her life when every blood-soaked thread that holds her world together begins to unravel.
Normally I would just include spoilers in this book (since it's been released for a while now), but for specific reasons (I will elaborate below) I am making this review spoiler-free so you dear reader who hasn't read it can go read it.
Why am I making the effort to do this?
Well here's the things. I actually dropped it myself around almost halfway to this book. It was just...I don't know, it was a bit confusing? It didn't capture my attention as well as I hoped in the beginning. Poppy's first...interactions with Hawke also caused me to mistakenly think of this book as instant love for a while, until I decided to give this book a second chance (and I'm kind of glad I did). Because I ended up enjoying the book quite a lot and binged the rest of it a single sitting.
This is why I'm making this review spoiler-free. JLA did not fail. This book is pretty good. I know that when you first read it you may feel inclined to drop it like I did (if you didn't already do so). But just trust the process. Finish the entire book. If you still don't like it? Then it's probably not for you. But if you gave up halfway you may be missing out on something here. Don't do that to yourself.
If you like initial attraction to belligerent sexual tension to betrayal then to hate-love? Then I think you would enjoy this book. Obviously, if you ended up not liking this book it's perfectly understandable because this book didn't really follow the typical enemies to lover blueprint in my opinon. They had a lot of attraction in the beginning and Hawke never tried to hide his attraction for her either. But there is a pretty pleasant twist at the end and I just really had fun reading this book.
So give it a chance. If you don't like it, that's perfectly fine. I ended up enjoying it (very much to my own surprise), that's why I'm recommending it to you.
Hope you enjoy it!
# 1 New York Times and # 1 International Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Charles Town, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki. In early 2015, Jennifer was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a group of rare genetic disorders that involve a breakdown and death of cells in the retina, eventually resulting in loss of vision, among other complications. Due to this diagnosis, educating people on the varying degrees of blindness has become of passion of hers, right alongside writing, which she plans to do as long as she can.