Review: Out of the Ashes by RC Boldt (Out of #2)

Note: This ARC was provided by the author via Give Me Books Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Maybe he'll realize--he'll understand how I feel. 
Maybe then he'll realize--regardless of the scars upon his flesh--that he's so much more. 
Maybe then, he'll realize he's worth loving.

I know this book is a standalone, but I'm counting it as the second one after Out of Love, and in doing so, that makes it two out of two in terms of absolutely mesmerizing storytelling that tugs on your heartstrings while giving you that good balance of heart and heat when it comes to the romance. Out of the Ashes is the story of former SEAL and rescued POW Cristiano Hendrixson, known as Hendy by almost everyone, and chiropractor and naturopath Presley Cole. The world believed he was dead but when news broke that Hendy was a prisoner of war, by the time he had been rescued, he bore the physical and mental scars brought upon him by his tormentors. He had been tortured during his time in captivity and now, people can't seem to bear to look at him without cringing or wanting to scurry away. So, why he should expect anything more from the new doctor recommended by his friends? But Presley is different from any other woman he's met. She looks at him with full acceptance of his scars but is also able to see beyond that, at the man he was before and after...but can Hendy say the same for himself?

Gah! I loved this story and both Hendy and Presley were such a fantastic couple who had my heart squeezing for them, hoping that the stars would align and that everything would work out in their favor. Hendy is a former POW who was relentlessly tortured and while he may have been a man who could have had any woman of his choosing prior to what happened to him, he doesn't see himself as having the same happily-ever-afters many of his other friends have, not with the way he looks now. It would be so easy to tell someone in Hendy's position that he simply needs to move on and be thankful that he's still alive, but with survivor's guilt, PTSD, and a range of other issues, that's all easier said than done, so my heart went out to him time and again, even when he was being stubborn. I liked that he had a great support system, even when he struggled to ask for help or even recognize what his issues were, choosing instead to believe that no one would want to hang out with someone who looked like him. Presley had no problem letting Hendy feel she loved him, but it was a matter of Hendy believing he was worth of her love.

I really liked Presley. She wasn't a one-dimensional heroine. As the story progressed, she developed as a character, growing from the intelligent but timid and unsatisfied woman that she was to a far more confident and self-aware one by the end. The love and acceptance she and Hendy gave one another was what may have helped them become more open and resilient, but I loved that the author made sure that they also grew on their own, and learned not to lean too much on each other and instead simply bask in the knowledge that the other is there no matter what. Foster Kavanaugh and Noelle Davis, from Out of Love, were also in the story, as were familiar side characters from the first book, characters that I'm guessing will have their own stories told as the series (yeah, I'm thinking of it as a series of standalones in my head) moves on. While this didn't have the suspense book one had, there is a bit of a mystery here, one that sheds some light on Hendy's past. I know I said this before, but RC Boldt has truly grown as an author and I can't wait to see what she has for us next. Five-plus stars go to Out of the Ashes. ♥


Read my reviews for the Out of series:

Out of Love (book one) - five-plus stars - My Review

Out of the Ashes (book two) - five-plus stars - My Review (posted above)


Release Date: 09 May 2017

Date Read: 09 May 2017

Learn more about RC Boldt.

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