Release Blitz (Book Review, Excerpt & Giveaway): Talon by Carian Cole

Title: Talon (Ashes & Embers #4)
 Author: Carian Cole @CarianCole
 Reviewer: Ivy @PoisonIvy70
Genre: Contemporary Romance
  Release Date: November 24, 2015
 Rating: 3 stars

DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL PARTNER: Caring. Hard-working. A devoted family man, loves kids.Clean cut, funny, smart, quiet, but a good communicator.

~ Asia Jenson



Independent. Tall, blonde, sexy. Outgoing. Intelligent,

neat. Unslutty. Confident. Loves to travel. Committed.

~ Talon Valentine



The concept was scary but exciting…

Marry a total stranger.

Live together for six months.

Journal everything. (Feelings. Fights. All of it.)

After six months, we each get $50K in trade for our journals, whether we stay married or not. But the goal is to commit to the experience and see if the relationship experts could put together the perfect matches.

I have never been lucky in love. This was my chance to find my soulmate.

I couldn’t wait to meet the man the experts felt was perfect for me.

My hopes were immediately dashed when I saw him at the altar.

Shit. I married my worst nightmare.



The premise: Can you let someone else pick your HEA and marry them, sight unseen? Arranged marriages are not that common and they are certainly not your usual fare in a rocker romance, so I dove into this one with both feet, much like Talon and Asia did.

Talon, the guitarist for Ashes & Embers, is known as the partying, not-so-small member (yes, in more ways than one) of the band. He’s living the rock & roll lifestyle to the hilt. He’s just not that happy about it. When his mother suggests he participate in this experiment where he goes into an arranged marriage (never even sees the bride until the day of the wedding), as wild an idea as it is, Talon wants love. He just has no idea how to go about it.

He tells the folks running the experiment what his ideal woman is – long legged, big boobed, flaky blonde that wants to party as much as he does. Instead, he gets…Asia. She’s a petite, dark haired, small boobed, bohemian kind of chick who’s led a lonely, tragic life. Abused by her father, betrayed by her brother and ditched by her mother, Asia’s just getting by supporting herself with her homemade products and handsewn clothes. Above all, she’s looking for stability and love, and for goodness’ sake, someone who won’t abandon her at the first sign of trouble. She wants a clean-cut, non-tattooed, slim, professional type who’ll want to lead that quiet life with her. She gets…Talon, big, bad, tattooed long hair rocker boy. Yeah, it’s not smooth sailing.

Sweet love: Talon and Asia’s love story is a very sweet tale at its heart, and you get to see them work their way towards falling in love.  At the beginning though? Much like Talon and Asia, I had to adjust to these two and their tentativeness with each other. They want alot and can’t seem to look beyond their own preconceived notions of what they want to appreciate what they got.

There’s no instant spark, more like WTF did I just get into? kinds of reactions from them. They both freak out when they realize how polar opposite they are from their usual, and if they’d been left to their own devices, I doubt it would have worked out.

It’s a rocky road, but I appreciated that Ms. Cole gives us the story in alternating first person perspective, so you really get to understand Talon and Asia’s reservations and feelings, even when they don’t communicate that well with each other.

Good (sexy) times: Their chemistry builds just as their relationship does and when they consummate their relationship, it’s definitely enjoyable and fun to read.

The angst: Miscommunication is a tricky thing to use as a plot device, and these two have their fair share of issues with it. Neither are very well versed in discussing their feelings with each other, and most times it seemed that they needed that push from outside influences. I would have loved to have seen them find their way to each other a little more often without the aid of someone else. Perhaps have a bit more faith in the other.

I will say that there’s unexpected turns to the story and when it happens, I enjoyed seeing the way they both stepped it up when it counted. Plus, it gave me a chance to see more of my boy Lukas, so I was thrilled. Asia’s very fragile emotionally and it takes alot for her to let go and give love a chance. Talon certainly doesn’t make it easy, so these two butt heads and can be frustrating. It’s completely understandable why, but it does require patience to see these two find their way to their HEA.

The postscript: Take a moment and enjoy the story of the real life Talon and Asia. It really is the most adorable bittersweet little tale.


Lukas may still be favorite Ashes & Embers member ever, but I did enjoy my time with Talon and Asia. I would recommend the entire series for those who like rocker romances.

– Ivy

*An ARC was received for an honest review.

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At first she doesn’t even know I’m there, and I have the pleasure of seeing her lying back, her eyes closed, one leg bent up and peeking out from the bubbles. And damn those fucking bubbles, they’re covering everything else.The universe is doing everything it can to prevent me from seeing my wife naked. I would laugh at that fact if it didn’t bug me so damn much. I’m pretty sure karma is slapping me in the face for insulting her so many times, and karma is a bitch who has no fucks to give about my blue balls.

Her eyes suddenly snap open and she jumps when she sees me, water splashing around her.

“Tally, you scared the shit out of me. Why are you creeping around?” She crosses her arms over her chest and a few bubbles float up in the air. I love that my childhood nickname just slipped out of her mouth without her even realizing it. It sounded so intimate on her lips that I want to hear her say it again and again.

“I wasn’t creeping; I just walked in. Should I wear a bell around my neck like the Princess?” I lean against the doorframe and gaze at her in the candlelight, her skin dewy from the moist heat, and I can’t understand why she doesn’t want me in that tub with her.

“What are you doing in here?”

I cross the room and kneel down next to the tub, taking in the way her eyes shift to my naked chest.

“I wanted to see your bath bomb in action.” My eyes travel languidly down the length of her in the tub and catch glimpses of pink water under the bubbles.

“This one is actually a bubble bomb. See the bubbles?” She lifts her hand and blows the bubbles up over my head.

I grab her hand and bring it to my lips. “I see that. Pink water, too. Very pretty.” I close my eyes as I kiss her hand, tasting the sweet water on her. “What flavor are you tonight? It’s yummy.”

She swallows and I can feel her hand trembling ever so slightly in mine. “It’s cotton candy.”

I nod my approval. “I like it. A lot.”

She shifts in the water, lowering the leg that was up and raising the other, giving me a quick glimpse of her thigh as she does so.

“Do you think about me when you’re in here?” I ask her, releasing her hand so I can dip my fingers into the warm water.

“I think about you all the time.”

My heart does a funny lurch I’m pretty sure it ain’t never done before. “Well, that’s just about the best thing I’ve ever heard.”

I let my hand slide farther into the water until it’s gliding over her outer thigh under the bubbles. “The water feels slippery,” I comment. “So does your skin.”

“It’s from the oils.”

Stretching my other arm out along the edge of the tub, I lean toward her face. “I like how it feels. I should be in there with you, all slippery and wet.”

“You’re too big,” she murmurs, locking her eyes on to mine.

Laughing, I kiss her vanilla flavored lips. “I’m gonna ignore that big comment, baby.”

She smiles against my mouth. “You’re so bad.”

“I know… So, I’m going to have to do this the hard way, then. Since I can’t get in there.” I slide my hand farther down her leg, over her knee to her calf, squeezing gently.

“Do what?”

“Give you your first orgasm.”

A small gasp of surprise comes out of her, and a seductive little grin graces her lips. “Sorry to disappoint you, but I’ve had orgasms before.”

“Not from me.” I rub my nose along hers, feeling her breath against my face. “And that’s gonna change right now, Mrs. Valentine.”

I cup the back of her head with one hand and press my mouth to hers, licking her lips while slowly dragging my other hand up the inside of her leg beneath the water to finally brush my fingers gently across her lower lips. I silently curse the water for not letting me feel her wetness.

Her mouth opens to mine and I delve my tongue inside, tasting the heat of her breath and catching the sweet moan she lets out when I push my finger into her warmth. Her thighs part and her hand comes up out of the water to caress my cheek as I let my hand own her, my thumb rubbing her pulsing clit while I slip my fingers in and out of her. My cock throbs like mad in my shorts, begging to get into her. Holy fuck, is she tight. Three years of no sex is very, very good.

Her thighs squeeze my hand and she grasps the side of my neck, her breath panting against my mouth, and I know she’s there already. I really want to drag this out, tease her and make her crazy, but that seems cruel right now when she’s writhing her hot little core all over my hand and devouring my lips. I like little horny Asia. A lot.

I want to pull her out of the tub and take her right here on the floor and put an end to this madness, but I’m hell-bent on sticking to my promise to her, even if my dick hates me.

Her walls clench and drench around my swirling fingers up inside her, while the rest of her body arches up, pressing against me, her muscles tightening and quivering. I kiss her softly as she recovers from the first of many sexual escapades I have planned for her now that the doors have been opened, so to speak.

“Who’s my girl?” I whisper against her ear, moving my hand up to caress her stomach.

“Me,” she answers breathlessly

“That’s right.”

My girl. The last thing I thought I would ever want, and now, all I could ever want.
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Author Bio

I have a passion for the bad boys, those covered in tattoos, sexy smirks, ripped jeans, fast cars, motorcycles and of course, the sweet girls that try to tame them and win their hearts. My debut series, Ashes & Embers, follows the lives of rock band members as they find, and sometimes lose, the loves of their lives.

Born and raised a Jersey girl, I now reside in beautiful New Hampshire with my husband and our multitude of furry pets and spend most of my time writing, reading, and vacuuming.

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