Burn It Down by K. Aten is a heart-tugging, opposites attract romance that clearly portrays the healing power of pure and unconditional love. It is also a story about overcoming childhood trauma so that those issues don’t interfere with your future happiness.
Ash Hayes has been ignored and failed by everyone in her life and she even fell through the cracks of the social services system. At the age of sixteen, she became hooked on anything that could be burned because her addiction was the closest thing to peace that she had ever known. An unforeseen and tragic event destroyed any chance of future happiness for Ash and it altered her world forever. Ash wanted to make amends for the mistakes that she made as a child. She decided to save as many lives as possible so she trained as a paramedic and a few years later, she became a firefighter along with her best friend, Derek. He was so much more than Ash’s childhood friend, Derek was her safe harbor and he helped her to weather the numerous storms in her turbulent life.
Once again, disaster strikes when a fatal accident occurs on the job and Ash is injured in the process and she is forced to go on sick leave until she is emotionally and physically healed. She hits rock bottom when she loses her two closest friends and she is swamped with endless guilt and debilitating depression.
When Mia Thomas becomes Ash’s new neighbor, she had no idea that she would find a new friend and such a beguiling butch woman to have one of the biggest crushes on. Mia senses that Ash has been walking around with a broken heart for a long time and she will do everything in her power to ease Ash’s pain. Even though Ash knows that the truth will set her free, she is reluctant to reveal her long held secret and move on with her life until she is able to come to terms with her past.
Will Ash be able to face the demons of her past so that she could release the heavy burden of guilt and shame she has carried for more than a decade? Would she finally be able to embrace the love, the sense of freedom and happiness she has always craved?
Ashley “Ash” Hayes is a firefighter with the Detroit fire department. There are very few things in life that have made Ash truly happy, however, she has had the good fortune to find love and acceptance from her close friends, work mates and her beloved landlady. I’ve got tremendous respect for Ash because she is dedicated to saving lives at the expense of her own safety because let’s face it—a woman’s gotta have a lot of ovaries in order for her to run into a burning, crumbling building to save people and their pets. I’m not ashamed to admit that I wished Ash was a real woman because I would have been first in line to ask her out and I would have picked her up in the biggest U-Haul ever!
Mia Thomas is a Clinical Nurse Leader at the Detroit Medical Center. She is a healer in every sense of the word because she doesn’t just want to help Ash heal physically but Mia also wants her to become mentally and emotionally strong. I have a special place in my heart for phenomenal women like Mia because she showers her family, friends and anyone else who is lucky enough to have her in their life with so much unconditional love and unwavering support. If I wasn’t having a huge, fictional love affair with Ash, I would have turned up by Mia’s newly refurbished house with the shiny U-Haul instead!
The Writing Style
K. Aten definitely knows how to snag my attention from the first page and her superb writing keeps me enthralled until the last word. I couldn’t get enough of the dry sarcasm, the numerous wisecracks and the soul-deep conversations that Ash, Mia and Mary had together. This author did a fabulous job of not only bringing the characters to life for me, but she also gave me a frank and unapologetic portrayal of the ways childhood trauma can affect every area of a person’s life until they deal with their past.
Well, well, what do we have here? There’s a firefighter in this story! I’m pretty sure that my loud, high-pitched, girly cheers of joy could be heard throughout the Caribbean because I’ve got a whole lot of love for gorgeous butch women in uniform. I’ve never been close to a burning building but I had the pleasure of tagging along with Ash as she worked tirelessly to put out fires all over her beloved city (Hehehe! I’m only four feet tall so I don’t mind being an armchair firefighter because that’s enough action for me!) By the way, how cool is this cover though? I love everything about it (Wicked wink!)
My book dragon and I have nothing to complain about!
This author has a knack for writing captivating stories that have pierced my heart and left me craving more of her heartfelt writing. This story did not disappoint because it took me on an emotional rollercoaster ride with Ash as she worked through the painful issues that dominated the majority of her life while she struggled to find peace within herself and she also had to deal with the loss of her best friend. If you enjoy stories with flawed, realistic and unforgettable characters coupled with a few nosy firefighters and a burning building or two, then this is certainly the story for you!
Excerpt from Burn It Down by K. Aten
She cocked her head and I refused to be drawn to the cuteness of the gesture. “Do you always sit in your driveway at…” She glanced at the smart watch on her slim wrist. Homeowner, nice clothes, and an expensive watch screamed money. “Three forty-five in the afternoon?”
I still felt raw after the session with Sarah and my new neighbor’s questions seemed a little abrasive to my abused psyche. She wasn’t getting any more from me than anyone else. “No. Is there something you needed?”
A tendril of guilt crept in when the look on her face fell at my abrupt response. She sighed and held up the letter. “I was just wondering when the mail came around each day. I need to know if I could leave this in the box now, or if I should drop it at the post office so it will go out first thing in the morning.” She hesitated a few seconds then spoke again. “I’m sorry to have disturbed you.”
I ran a hand through my hair and turned away to walk around and grab my groceries out of the back. “It’s fine. I’m sorry for being such a dick. The mail lady comes by around five, so you still have time.” With all the grocery bags loaded on my one good arm, I hip checked the back door shut and turned toward her again. I pulled up short at the look on her face, surprised despite all that had happened. She had been checking me out. Stranger yet, the look on her face clearly said that she liked what she saw. That was curious, and more than a little distracting. Unlike some of my acquaintances of the past, I had no will or energy to be messing with a girl from the other side of the tracks. Stuff like that burned hot at first but it never lasted. Nothing ever lasted. I’d do better to find someone worse… or no one at all.
She smiled that smile again but nothing was going to penetrate the pain with Derek gone. “Thank you for the information. I just moved in next door.” She held out her hand. “I’m Mia Thomas.” I looked down at her hand, then back at my own. One in a cast and the other loaded with Kroger bags. I couldn’t see the blush with her skin tone but assumed it was there. “Oh, sorry. I’m such an idiot! Bad Mia, no biscuit!”
I don’t know what it was about Mia Thomas but in that very moment I forgot all about my pain, about my guilt, and about my broken arm. The laugh that tumbled from my lips was the first to pass since before Derek died. I said the first inane thing that came to mind. “You should never keep yourself from biscuits, especially if they’re homemade buttermilk ones.”
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781619294196
- Publisher: Regal Crest Enterprises
- K. Aten Online
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