Review: Falling Embers by Catherine Cowles

by Catherine Cowles
Series: Tattered & Torn #2
Publication date: April 12, 2022
Format: Kindle
Source: Purchased
4.25 Stars

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.

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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There was a time when Calder Cruz was always there for Hadley Easton. When the pressure at home became too much, Calder was there to help her escape and find freedom, if only temporarily. They shared a close bond and it seemed like there was the possibility for more. But life took a turn, and after Calder experienced tragedy, his need to protect those around him became suffocating for Hadley. The one she had always turned to for danger, excitement, and freedom suddenly wanted to clip her wings. The close bond they’d shared frayed and stretched thin until they barely spoke. But when Hadley was threatened, Calder realized just how lost he would be without her in his life.


I’d been half in love with Calder Cruz from the moment he’d taught me to chase the stars. - Hadley

 

My heart hurt for Hadley. Her sister’s kidnapping years ago had left the family fractured. Her mother, in particular, allowed her fear to rule her life and she became overprotective to the extreme, especially with Hadley. Hadley felt suffocated and chafed against those confines and there was constant conflict between her and her mother. She found freedom where she could, living for the adventure and adrenaline of extreme sports. It was painful to see how she felt that disconnect from her own family and from Calder, who she had been so close to. Even so, she maintained a close relationship with his two young daughters (who were such a highlight for me). When it became apparent that someone was out to get her, Calder was by her side to support (and try to protect) but it was difficult to safeguard from an unseen enemy.


If something happened to Hadley, I’d never be the same. And I would’ve wasted precious time pushing her away. - Calder

 

It was easy to fall for Calder, the firefighting single dad whose life was devoted to his daughters. Since Birdie and Sage had been involved in an accident with their mother, Calder has become all too aware of how fragile life was and was determined to keep those around him safe. In doing so, he managed to push Hadley away, even though the attraction and tension between them was obvious. The background that they had gave them such a strong foundation for a relationship and I loved every step they took toward making that happen.


Part of me knew that I’d loved Hadley all her life. That love had shifted and changed over the years. From protective big-brother figure to friend and then to something more. But in this moment, seeing her pour that kind of truth into my daughter’s heart, every doubt was swept away. I loved this woman with everything I had, and I was never letting go. - Calder

 

Falling Embers is the second entry in the Tattered & Torn series and Catherine Cowles did not disappoint. She is such a gifted storyteller and her blend of small-town romance with a dash of suspense is exactly what I love. As soon as I finished this one, I was ready to dive into the next book. I’m already so attached to the Easton family. They are far from perfect, and have a lot of healing to do, but there’s no lack of love, and when the chips are down, they are always there to support one another. I imagine it’s obvious at this point, but I highly recommend Falling Embers. ⭐⭐⭐⭐.25



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20 comments

  1. Calder and Hadley both sound like such well-developed characters!

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  2. I really want to try this author but have been avoiding because of how emotional the books sound. I should just give her a try because of how much you love her and how good this book sounds.

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    1. Deanna - Her books are emotional (at least the three I've read so far) but definitely not overly so. Nothing that I would feel the need to warn anyone about. :)

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  3. I just finished the 3rd book in this series and enjoyed it a lot. There was a lot of tension because Addie was in danger for most of the book! I would like to go back and read the previous couple's stories too now. Glad to hear you enjoyed them!

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    1. Rachel - I think I loved Addie and Beckett's story even more! My review doesn't post until next week or so, but I was all-in on their story. The stuff with Addie's father was just... wow. Broke my heart and enraged me.

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  4. This is another one of those series that I'm really looking forward to. I've heard so many good things about Tattered Stars. Glad you enjoyed this one!

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    1. Alison: I'd been meaning to try Cowles for ages - so glad I finally did!

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  5. Fabulous review! I love that the hero is a firefighter.

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    1. Wendy: Thanks! The hero was a firefighter and the heroine an EMT. I loved that! :)

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  6. Sounds like a wonderful, emotional romance.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

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  7. I love the sound of this one. :)

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  8. Extreme sports isn't the worst way to find that "high". I am intrigued by this pairing and want to know more.

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    1. Sam: Three books in and I don't want the series to end. Each couple is so special to me.

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  9. I could easily see myself becoming invested in Hadley and Calder. This sounds like such a wonderful and emotional read.

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    1. Suzanne: They were such great characters. I love the characters from all three books so far. :)

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