Review: When Ash Remains by Dena Garson

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He strongly suspected that touching her would be like reaching for lightning.
Even if he didn’t burn up, he would never be the same.

When Ash Remains is a beautiful, sweeping story that takes readers on a journey–one which asks about destiny. If it’s fulfilled and if it’s fulfilled to one’s satisfaction.

34237379Tribal Warrior Kajika is on a mission to find a murderer. One who had slain an entire family in his tribe. He’s on the murderer’s trail when Kajika meets his one and only suspect, Ahyoka. But Ahyoka is no ordinary woman. She can speak with nature and animals. To a logical Warrior like Kajika, he’s skeptical of her spiritual talent. Until he can be sure of her, Kajika takes Ahyoka to his chief only to find out that she may be the only one who can solve the mystery.

Ahyoka is used to being outcasted for her gifts. If she’s not looked upon with suspicion, it’s revulsion. She doesn’t expect Kajika with his quiet, calm confidence who has the heart of a warrior but the kindness of a man she could love. As they discover the culprit behind the killings, their passion ignites, leaving them wondering if perhaps their meeting is more than coincidence–it’s destiny.

What an engrossing novel! From the first page, I was drawn into this world. Ahyoka is a force to be reckoned with. When she first meets Kajika, she’s very calm and surefooted about it all. She sees Kajika before he’s even upon her, the spirits of nature always alerting her to danger. I loved this aspect. It was so well done, and Ahyoka is a true heroine to admire throughout the book.

The spiritual, paranormal element is also how Kajika really develops in his character. Initially, he doesn’t believe in Ahyoka’s ability. Slowly but surely, he’s opened to another world–the one Ahyoka sees–and it brings them together so beautifully. Even without that element, though, Kajika is such a compassionate, patient person. He never rides Ahyoka off, even when everyone in Ahyoka’s tribe does. The slow burn ramps up, and with his acceptance of her, he unlocks the true beauty between them. And the steam 😉

Ms. Garson is a true master storyteller, weaving paranormal and romance and taking the reader on an intimate and personal journey. The gentle way the spiritual world is interjected, the images evoked, make this a novel that shines.

*This was reviewed by Michaelene for the Alpha Book Club. The cross post can be found here.*

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