Review: From the Ashes

Reviewed by Jen

I’ve read so many of Daisy Harris’s Holsum College books, it felt a little strange to leave the school behind for this one. But fans of that series probably won’t feel like this one is too much of a departure.  Harris sticks with her NA m/m niche, only with a new city and a firefighter hook.  It’s still about her characters’ journey of self-discovery, falling in love for the first time, and figuring out what life as gay man means to each of them.

Jesse is 21 years-old and trying to make it on his own after his dad tossed him out for being gay.  He was getting by, taking a few college classes and working at a coffee shop, when his apartment caught fire, destroying everything he had.  Tomas was one of the firefighters who responded to the blaze.  Something about Jesse struck a chord with him –and he invited him back to his home once he realized he had nowhere else to go.

Tomas doesn’t really consider himself gay, though he does hook up with guys at the clubs from time to time.  He has a bit of a complex about what it means to be gay and doesn’t think too highly of the guys who have serviced him.  But Jesse is different.  It’s not really a GFY (gay for you) story, but it is a “I finally accept that I am gay because of you” story.

That’s not say it’s all smooth sailing. Jesse has a lot of issues because of his family. And though Tomas fights his anti-gay conditioning, it is a struggle.  As with the Holsum books, it’s a sweet romance and the sex is hot.  I liked the sexy firefighter angle and the incorporation of Tomas and Jesse’s families into the story.  We don’t just hear about the people who have shaped their lives, we meet them and see how they interact with our heroes.

My only small complaint is that it felt a bit easy.  I know Tomas had issues, but really, these two were living together and getting each other off from day one and in love inside of three weeks.  Their conflicts all resolved quickly, and I never really felt any genuine concern that we wouldn’t get to the expected ending.  Still, it was an enjoyable read. If you like the Holsum College books, you’ll like this one too.

Rating: B-

*ARC provided by author for review

Click to purchase: Amazon

From the Ashes
by Daisy Harris
Release Date: August 13, 2013
Publisher: Samhain

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