Monday, October 1, 2018

Dark Cinders Fall in this latest Fairytale: Fragments of Ash by Katy Regnery

Title: Fragments of Ash
(Inspired by "Cinderella")
Collection: A Modern Fairytale
Author: Katy Regnery
Genre: Standalone Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 1, 2018


From New York Times bestselling author Katy Regnery comes a dark and twisted retelling of the beloved fairytale, Cinderella!

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.

** Contemporary Romance. Due to profanity and very strong sexual content, this book is not intended for readers under the age of 18.**

Fragments of Ash is part of the ~a modern fairytale~ collection: contemporary, standalone romances inspired by beloved fairy tales.

The Vixen and the Vet (Beauty & the Beast) - available now
Never Let You Go (Hansel & Gretel) - available now
Ginger's Heart (Little Red Riding Hood) - available now
Dark Sexy Knight (Camelot) - available now
Don't Speak (The Little Mermaid) - available now
Sheer Heaven (Rapunzel) - available now
Fragments of Ash (Cinderella) - available now
Swan Song (The Ugly Duckling) – coming soon

Purchase Links


My Review

This is not the Cinderella of your childhood. As with every Katy Regnery fairytale, she develops the story to make it her own. Never a retelling but an adult ode to the intent of the story. I have fallen with Ms. Regnery's storytelling and especially this series. Each one has shown a bit of the darker side of adult life and the impact. She doesn't fail with Fragments of Ash in her continued mastery of a new adult tale.

This review falls in an interesting spot. These last three books in my read pile have all featured heroines that I would consider new-adult (18-25). All three could not be so different in their outlook on life, life experiences and maturity. Ashley is the youngest of the characters - and most definitely the most mature. Like the fairytale of our youth, this 'Cinder' has been blessed with spots of happiness in a very tragic life. These moments  - both light and dark - form our heroine's outlook and desires. Her stepfather is evil, truly evil with his intent on wanting the perfect and pious wife. Ashley is wary from the start of this man. Although purposefully locked away in a private Catholic school, Ashley is not unaware or naive in this man's purpose in her family's life. But his truest of evil intent is revealed. It's not what she expected but again there is subtle feeling not a true surprise. It does make her question those around her and their part in the plot. It is her strength of character that leads her to make the harder decisions to save herself.  She has gained this strength through the young life experiences she has lived and came out better, kinder and more ready to find a real life. 

Probably my favorite part of this story was the unfolding of Ashley and Tig's story. The parallels are subtle as Ashley goes through the same emotions from the situations in her life as she makes her way through the diary left behind by her mother.  They both have anger at those who they feel should have shown kindness and love. They have hope in those that they think will save them. They find true love in the unexpected place. 

Next is the Prince of the story. He is imperfectly perfect. Another review I read painted him as a jerk. You know, he is. He wants to stay in this house in the woods, lick his wounds and only be surrounded by the fragility of the glass creations his hands inspire. The parallel drawn between this untrusting man and glass - trust is a fragile thing. Once he gives himself over to the possibility, it's beautiful. 

Lastly, in my review, I want to address the 'elephant in the room'. I normally don't get preachy or stand on my soapbox. Each reader is entitled to their opinion and should read what they enjoy. Although I am a self proclaimed 'fangirl', this isn't her speaking to the story. The reason I love these fairytales is because as I stated in the start - these are an ode to the whimsical but really given a lift with adult spin on the journey. With an adult view, there will always be that appearance of evil in something that can be distasteful to some. However, Katy Regnery gives the reader these moments that never seem over-the-top or unnecessary. 

This Cinderella doesn't get to dress up in a fancy ballgown, paraded around a dream party and fall deeply in love with the Prince with one look. Ashley and Julian both have flaws and know the fragility of life when taking the wrong turn can take. With a heat and pressure, the life you have may be in splinters but will form into a strong and beautiful bond.

5 Fairytale Stars

PS: Dear Ms. Regnery, yes you said this would be dark. You are right, it has moments in ugly human condition. But this humble opinion, Never Let You Go is still in top spot for dark. ;)


All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Instead of going inside, I walk around the house, to the backyard, to see if I can help bring in any dirty dishes, but the picnic table is empty. All traces of our dinner party have already been cleaned up by the Ducharmes siblings.

I look up at the midnight sky, at the dozens and dozens of stars, and I wonder if Gus is right. What he says feels right, but I feel very young and very small as I stare up at the universe. It’s not wrong to give yourself over to loving if the chance arises.

“We get amazing night skies up here.”

I look over my shoulder and find Julian, tall, barefoot, and beautiful, walking toward me.

“Yes, you do,” I answer, giving him a shy and tentative smile before I turn my attention back upward.

My skin prickles with awareness. My lips tingle, remembering the insistent pressure of his. And elsewhere in my body, I clench hard, willing those deep-set tremors not to start up again right now. I want to believe what Gus has told me—that liking and wanting a man isn’t wrong—but it’s new to me, and I need a little time to reconcile my desire and conscience together.

“When I lived in DC, it was what I missed the most, besides Noelle. More than the cheese. More than the beer. More than the skiing.” He stops, standing beside me, staring up at the firmament. “I missed Vermont’s night skies. And the millions of stars.”

“I can see why,” I say. “When I lived in LA, I never saw stars.” I giggle. “I mean, I saw the people kind, but not the sky kind.”

“Who’s the most famous person you ever met?”

“Hmm. Maybe . . . Gigi Hadid . . . or Bella? Hmm . . . Or Cara Delevingne? Kate Moss mentored my m—Tig for a while, um, and she knew Gisele, of course. Also—”

“Wait a second! Gisele? Did you ever meet Tom Brady?” he asks, his voice eager.

“Let me guess.” I glance at his face. “Patriots fan?”

“The biggest.”

“Tig went to their wedding, but I never met him. Sorry,” I say, giggling as he lays a hand over his heart and pretends to cry. “Speaking of the rich and famous, Noelle tells me you met the vice president while you worked in Washington.”

“She did?” His teasing expression disappears quickly as he straightens, dropping his hand. “Uh, yeah. Long time ago.”

“Not so long,” I say. 

“Yeah, well . . . I guess it just feels like a while ago.” I wait for him to say more, hoping to learn why he left Washington so abruptly, but he stretches his arms over his head and yawns. “I’m tired. You must be exhausted.”

“At school I was on the dining hall rotation, which meant cooking for one hundred souls regularly. Tonight was a breeze.”

“Your soup was amazing.”
“Thank you.”
“The steak too.”
“Thank you again.”
“And the tart.”
“That was your sister. Let her know you thought so.”
“And the kiss.”

“Thank—” I’m grinning at him, but my eyes widen at his unexpected compliment, and I immediately look back up at the sky. It’s dark out so he can’t see my blush.

His chuckle is soft and low beside me, and maybe I’m wicked for not feeling more guilty, but I feel my smile grow as I trace Orion’s belt. I don’t dare look at him, but I feel him step closer to me, the warmth of his chest radiating against my back. If I moved slightly, one step even, his body would be flush against mine, and the shiver down my arms has nothing to do with the night chill. I want him to touch me, but I know he won’t.

As though he can read my mind, he whispers, close to my ear, “Not unless you ask.”

I close my eyes and say a prayer for strength and virtue, which, sadly, works, because the next thing I hear is his footsteps receding.

“Good night, sweet Ashley,” he says to my back, his voice a low rumble.

My eyes open slowly to the glittering heavens.

“Good night, sweet prince,” I whisper to Julian’s stars.

Also Available


Author Bio

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.

Forty 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, 2018 RITA© nominated, 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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