Friday, July 19, 2013

Ashes, Ashes by Julie Coulter Bellon

Are you ever really innocent until proven guilty?

Sophia Naziri is wanted for questioning in the murder of a U.S. senator. She’s worried the police will show up on her doorstep any moment, but when Detective Colby Black appears, it’s to help her put 
out a kitchen fire, not take her in. Yet. His easy smile and persistence in getting to know her pushes 
all her troubles to the back of her mind, until a hit man tracks her down. Getting arrested becomes the least of her worries and the handsome detective could be her only way out---if she tells him the truth.

Colby Black’s sniper skills have been a blessing and a curse to him. As a member of a Hostage Negotiation Team, he can use them to save people, but sometimes he can’t protect the innocent despite his best efforts. When a hostage situation goes bad, he tries to put it behind him by helping out his mysterious next-door neighbor, Sophia Naziri. But she pulls Colby into a web of lies and conspiracy that will force him to use every skill he has in order to survive. Faced with the moment of truth, can he trust anyone around him---including the woman at the center of it all?

Jewelz Review:
This is the first book I have read by Julie Coulter Bellon and I must say I will be checking out her other books soon. Her writing has a way of engaging you right from the beginning and never letting
up until the very end.

"Ashes, Ashes" is the second book in the Hostage Negotiation Team series, but it reads as a stand-alone (in my opinion). Colby Black is a retired marine currently working as a detective in Hartford, CT as part of their Hostage Negotiation Team. His new neighbor, Sophia Naziri, is a bit of a conundrum to Colby. The two meet when he rescues her from a kitchen fire in her house. She sends him mixed signals, letting him in and then pushing him back, and something definitely feels a little "off. But he certainly didn't expect to be told she was wanted for questioning in the investigation of the murder of a US senator!

Ms Bellon has crafted a suspenseful and intriguing story in "Ashes, Ashes". Colby is a hero that the reader can easily fall in love with. He's a tough marine, who's easy on the eyes, but he has some fun quirks that make him more "human" and even more likeable. I love that he can bake and I can totally relate to his habit of cleaning to help relieve stress. When we meet Sophia she is a bit of a "damsel in distress", but she has spirit and, like Colby, the reader doesn't know all of her secrets. As the reader gets to know her, you can't help but have great admiration for her strong character. Even though
Sophia has to rely on Colby, she is not passive nor does she expect him to come rescue her at first
sign of difficulty. It's very refreshing to read a book with a strong female paired with a strong male. Neither are perfect, but they are both independent and strong-willed, making for a nicely balanced relationship. 

If you enjoy a good dose of suspense with your romance, I highly recommend "Ashes, Ashes" by Julie Coulter Bellon!

CJz Review:
Ashes, Ashes is a great suspense/action novel with a little bit of romance too! I was intrigued from the beginning of the book when you meet Colby, who is a sniper on a hostage negotiations team. He loves to bake and clean?!? What??? How could I not fall in love with his character? Colby can come over to my house any time he feels stressed :) I really enjoyed the suspense and mystery of the novel. It wasn't one of those where you know what is going to happen and who did what. I was on the edge of my proverbial chair throughout the book until the end. If you are a fan of suspense novels then I highly recommend Ashes Ashes by Julie Coulter Bellon! Five stars!

FYI: contains some violence and sexual intimations. 

FYI: We received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for our honest review

Julie Coulter Bellon loves to write international romantic suspense novels because she gets to travel to distant lands to research and add an authentic feel to all of her books. Her favorite cities so far are Athens, Paris, Ottawa, and London. She taught journalism at BYU for fourteen years and that kept her on the cutting edge of current events and world news¾which is where she gets her story ideas.
Julie offers writing and publishing tips, as well as her take on life on her blog You can also find out about all her upcoming projects at her website or you can follow her on Twitter @juliebellon 

Follow me on Twitter @juliebellon