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Falling Embers (Tattered & Torn #2) by Catherine Cowles

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I’ve loved Calder Cruz from the moment he taught me how to fly. Racing down a mountain and giving me the release I so desperately needed. My understanding. My safe space.

Hadley has fought for a life of her own ever since her sister’s kidnapping. When she was drowning in expectations and family pressures, Calder was always the one who understood her. Until one night changed it all. From best friends to strangers in a single breath.

She’s like a fire that lives inside me. Even when I thought it was all burned out, there were still embers that lived in my bones.

Calder knows what it’s like to almost lose the people he loves most. He’ll never make that kind of mistake again. Working at the fire station and taking care of his daughters are the only things he needs. All it takes is a single moment to make him realize how wrong he is. A split second of coming close to losing the woman he has always loved.

But as long-buried embers light anew, there are those who lurk in the shadows. And they’ll do whatever it takes to extinguish that flame for good…

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Catherine Cowles is a favorite author who pens beautiful and moving romantic suspense. Falling Embers is no exception. I fell in love with Tattered Stars and didn’t hesitate to pick up book 2 of the series.

She’d been playing with fire hiding her private life from her family; now all hell’s going to break loose.

This book is Hadley and Calder’s story. They have loved each other forever, but circumstances veered their path and broke them apart. It’s one terrifying moment, one life-changing instant when Calder realizes he cannot live without the only person who balances him and gives him peace. It’s just that now he has to convince her to trust him again.

Hadley is an EMT and an adrenaline junky who loves the feel of freedom. Freedom to be herself. She learned to be alone from a family who didn’t get her, and the man who walked away from her without a second glance. All Hadley wants is to live her life without feeling like she’s doing anything wrong. She hides the reckless part of herself to stay sane from her family’s disapproval and fear. Calder is a firefighter and he is such a great single dad. After a terrifying incident, he finally realizes that he pushed the only woman he loved away when she needed him most. Calder’s work is cut out for him because Hadley doesn’t want a broken heart again. But with the help of Calder’s adorable twin girls, Sage and Birdie, and the support of Hadley’s brother and friends, hope is on his side. Unfortunately, someone has it in for Hadley and is threatening her life. I had my guesses about who the culprit was but there are some surprising twists and turns that keep the story interesting.

Again, Hadley’s family is a vital addition to this series. Hayes’s protective instinct as the sheriff of Wolf Gap and Hadley’s brother is crucial to helping Hadley. Haye’s fiancee Everly’s calm demeanor and kindness keep peace among the chaos. And Hadley’s mother is so unlikeable when she demeans and crushes Hadley’s feelings from the fear of her past. That relationship will need some work over time.

As in most Catherine Cowles stories, there is a deluge of emotions including laughter, angst, heartbreak, and suspense. If you love alluring characters, beautiful scenery, and a captivating plot, give this book a try.

Thank you to Ms. Cowles for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.


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Heat flared to life in Hadley’s eyes, a mix of anger and frustration. She whipped her shirt over her head, leaving her in nothing but a pale pink lacy bra. I wasn’t blind. I knew that Hadley had curves, that she was beautiful, but the sight in front of me had my mouth going dry. I fought the urge to lean in closer.

“Cat got your tongue?”

I scowled at Hadley through the mirror. “Took me by surprise is all.”


I returned my focus to her back, cleaning each scrape meticulously. “Hold your shirt to your chest?”

“Too much boobage on display for you?”

I chuckled, the sound a little rougher than normal. “I need to unhook your bra. That might be too much boobage for you.”

Hadley rolled her eyes but held her t-shirt to her chest, keeping her bra in place. I unhooked the little tines, letting it fall open. I cleaned the rest of the gashes and moved for the antibiotic ointment. As gently as possible I spread it over the worst of her scrapes.

“Did that hurt?”

“No, I’m fine.”

But her breathing was more shallow than usual. Her gaze focused on the counter in front of her. Apparently I wasn’t the only one affected.


Catherine CowlesWriter of words. Drinker of Diet Cokes. Lover of all things cute and furry, especially her dog. Catherine has had her nose in a book since the time she could read and finally decided to write down some of her own stories. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring her home state of Oregon, listening to true crime podcasts, or searching for her next book boyfriend. Stay up to date with Catherine by joining her mailing list.

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