As promised, here’s my review of Ashes.
Journalist Ambrosia Pellerin accepts an assignment involving the legendary phoenix, expecting, if nothing else, a little entertainment. Instead, she winds up pregnant—by a surprisingly human-looking firebird, Reece Bennu.
As the Phoenix prince, Reece is next in line to the throne and expected to marry a purebred royal. A common human such as Ambrosia is not in the cards. He swears, though, he’ll never be an absentee father.
As Ambrosia’s due date grows closer, so do the soon-to-be parents. But will their tentative love survive the prejudice of Reece’s grandmother, who will stop at nothing to tear the two apart?
I really enjoyed getting to know Reece and the world that he inhabits, plus meeting Ambrosia and following along as she gets to know his world too. Gilman does a great job of giving her readers something that will appeal to a large audience – you’ve got an accidental pregnancy between strangers, a rich and powerful family that doesn’t approve of their relationship, and then the supernatural world of phoenixes. It’s one that you need to be ok with the paranormal part to be able to truly enjoy it but the nice thing is that at its heart there is a more basic story too. It’s not all about the woo-woo world they live in, it also about two people falling in love and facing a choice of whether what they could have is worth fighting for.
Lovers of paranormal romances will find this a definitely treat. Phoenixes, people … that’s a new one for me, but I’m digging it. We’ve seen a lot of vampires and shape shifters but it is also fun to have something different and creatures that live among us undetected, who are hard to kill and have long lives but with definite weaknesses … the possibilities for stories are endless and there are some open ended threads in this one that hint at more (not gaping holes, but there are possibilities for on-going story lines). I’m excited to see what else Gilman comes up with.