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From Ashes

Heathens Ink, Book 3
Narrated by: Kenneth Obi
Series: Heathens Ink, Book 3
Length: 6 hrs and 7 mins
Categories: Fiction, Gay & Lesbian
5 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"When the broken man with scarred skin walked into Heathens, asked for a job, and showed me a sketch of a phoenix, it felt like fate." - Adam

It started with an anonymous post by someone who didn't want to live anymore. I read it over and over again, unable to get it out of my mind. What if my brother Johnny had posted something like this before he'd taken his own life? Would someone have been able to save him?

I've been living a lie for 16 long years, and I'm not sure how much longer I'll be able to keep it up. And when a beautiful, broken man walks into my tattoo shop asking for a second chance at life, I know I'll never be able to turn him away.

"When I was so far down I couldn't even see the light, a stranger reached in to save me." - Nox

I didn't have anything to live for, until a kind stranger pulled me back from the brink. With physical and emotional scars, I have nowhere to turn now but to that same stranger who saved my life without realizing it. But as my feelings for Adam grow, will I ever be anything other than a surrogate for the brother he couldn't save? Am I even worthy of his love?

From Ashes is the third book in the Heathens Ink series; each book in the series can be enjoyed as a standalone.

Caution: This audiobook contains graphic descriptions of domestic violence and drug use that may be disturbing to some listeners.

©2017 Kyleen Neuhold (P)2018 Kyleen Neuhold

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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing

Nox and Adam were meant to be. The struggle that brought Nox to Adam I would not wish on anyone, but he copes and becomes a stronger person. Beautifully written and wonderful narration.

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  • armywifewith2
  • 06-04-2018

Sooooo good!

I love everything about this book and I absolutely can appreciate the way Mr.Obi narrated it. I really enjoyed it!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Starla
  • 01-03-2018

Superb Read!!

I absolutely love the guys of Heathens Ink, and Adam and Knox are one of my favorite couples. I like that even though it seems like Adam is the one that heals Nox, and he does, Nox also helps heal Adam. This is a story about two amazing guys who appear a bit broken on their own, are complete together. I think the narrator done a wonderful job of bringing this book and characters to life.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Karentwilson
  • 17-02-2018

A Wonderful Series Continues

So, this is another great book in this great series. Adam and Nox are one of my favorite romance couples. Their attraction and their fates were intertwined before they ever met face to face. So many similar interests, experiences and heartbreaks seem to lure them to each other. Adam wants to save every stray that he can find to ease his guilt and heal the loss of his brother, Johnny who drifts through this series as a benevolent ghost shaping and changing lives. Nox is as broken as a stray can be having made it through a horrible past but not really living. They spark each other in a new and special way each saving the other. This is another book where K. M. Neuhold deals with difficult issues such as domestic abuse, suicide and drug addiction and the social and political climate that fosters them in America today. The kind of introspection it takes to change your life in a major way is never easy. When you finally find it in your life it opens you up to every possibility waiting for you. That and some great sex... I would be lying if I let you think I read m/m romance for it’s sociological importance. I don’t, it’s the love, the sex and the ever after I am looking for. In this series I get them all. Each story intertwines the characters and relationships and builds on them, they are stepping stones and each gets better. We get to see how our “families of choice” rather than our families of birth move into the forefront in our adult lives. I rejoice in the role my family of choice has played throughout my life and it is celebrated throughout the Hunter’s Ink series. I had not listened to this voice actor, Kenneth Obi, and was sad at first the Cooper North did not finish the series. Cooper North would be a hard act for anyone to follow, but Kenneth Obi did and he did it well. I am planning to listen to as much of his work as I can find.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • TINA~BOOKALICIOUSBABES
  • 08-02-2018

Absolutely phenomenal

This book absolutely 100% stole my heart. I was instantly in love with Knox and Adam. They both have the sweetest, kindest hearts and souls. This was also my first book by this author. I will tell you that after listening to this audio book, I will either be reading or listening to every book K. M. Neuhold writes! She is now on my must read list.

We meet Knox in the most unimaginable state. He has withstood so many hardships at such a young age that noone should have to go through. He is so vulnerable but meeting Adam on an app gives him hope. He just has to go through hell to get to him.

Adam lost his younger brother to a drug overdose, and now feels such guilt over the secret he's been hiding his whole life, being bisexual! He feels that maybe if he had told him that he wouldn't have felt so alone. This leaves him feeling the need to help anyone that reminds him of his brother. When he meets Knox online, he immediately is drawn to him, but when Knox suddenly disappears he feels hopeless and like he let someone else down. He believes Knox is dead.

When Knox shows up at Heathens Ink, Adam has no idea who he is but will not turn away a soul in need. He soon finds out that this is his Knox and the rest is history. This book is so good that you can't get enough. The past never goes away though and it may just bring everything they have crashing down on them.

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  • Cranky Reader
  • 03-07-2019

Alright but oddly judgy

I’ve read the previous books in the series and liked them but this one started out by putting me off. It’s one thing being negative about feeling like one has no choice but sex work, but sex work is just that. Work. This book spends too much energy on the “oh honey, you’re not really a whore” notion. But Knox was a sex worker. For years. He was working without protection and got taken advantage of and started way too young, and those are all problems, but they are problems of prohibition, and problems of a failure of society to care for LGBTQ teens, not problems of work. Yet the characters still use “whore” as a negative despite the main character having been a sex worker. Since Knox was troubled by his past, I can understand thinking of it with negativity and needing to overcome it - he personally did not like doing sex work, so it was bad for him. But then Adam also judged his ex-fuck-buddy for being adventurous in bed & up for any act he suggested and mentally called her a whore. She was a terrible person, but her eagerness to please in the boudoir was not why. Her nastiness & fickleness had nothing to do with her adventurousness - something Adam wanted in Knox - and his judging her for being DTF rather than for being mean to all his friends then lying to him almost made me stop reading.

Then there was Adam’s residual guilt over his brother’s (off page, prior to story) suicide. I was rather annoyed at how his feelings really centered himself in that tragedy, rather than focusing on his brother or “best friend”. I’m firmly in the camp of “no one owes it to someone else to come out before they are ready, keeping personal things private is not lying”, so while it’s sketchy that Adam would not mention being bi to his gay bff, it’s not disqualifying. However, I would have thought Adam would have *way* more sympathy for, or even thoughts about, Gage wrt the suicide, but even in this, Adam is focussed on how he, himself looks to Gage, not about how he can help or could have helped Gage. Which makes him a terrible best friend. They had several topics they just never talked about, barely hung out outside of work despite living together (especially compared to the previous 2 books of guys hanging out on the regular) so was he even his friend, let alone his bestie? I didn’t see it.

(While I’m complaining, does it bother anyone else that Rainbow House, the LGBTQ charity that is a series regular setting, allows volunteers to just walk in with no sensitivity training? People grow up in a sea of judgement and most need to be shown how to not pass that judgement on. Just being bi does not mean someone won’t say casually hurtful things to a trans teen, for instance. They don’t (yet) on these pages, but it kind of freaks me out how much access untrained randos are getting to vulnerable teens without vetting or training. A sentence or two to explain to readers how they keep the teens safe would go a long way.)

There is some good stuff. Knox & Adam enjoy each other’s company online then in person. Knox is an actual artist with a niche (mythical beings) which will eventually make him successful at tattooing. Knox made changes before meeting Adam, so Adam is not his only means to hang on to sobriety. They’re compatible in bed. (Still not quite sure how they kept their sleeping habits from Gage for months, but that’s low on the list.)

If you’re a series fan, you may like it, but it is oddly judgy. If you are not a fan of the series or author already, I suggest starting with book one or two. Honestly, I feel like skipping this book will not take that much away from the series.

Heat: 2/5. There is on page m/m sex but for all Adam’s bluster about getting kinky with Kira and Knox being an abused sex worker, the sex here was pretty tame.

Audio: new narrator for series. I didn’t get as confused by who was talking as I did in the previous books but it wasn’t because the narrator used distinct voices (or if he did, it was subtle). Could be that the author did better at giving Adam & Knox more distinction. The quality/consistency seemed good.

All in all, I liked Knox and Adam together but Adam was a jerk to his ex (who deserved it) and to his bff (who did not) and I felt uncomfortable with all the judgement directed in non-helpful directions.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • <Stacy> @SoCalBookReviews
  • 22-02-2018

From Ashes

I Love this series and I love the narrations.. However....
Narration - The first two books were narrated by Cooper North which I loved.. I thought he did a really great job with the m/m & then m/m/m narrations and keeping all of the men's voices noticeably different. This book has a new Narrator Kenneth Obi. Now... Let me just say I have listened to a few other books narrated by Kenneth and I Absolutely Positively LOVED them.. But in those books the characters had a softer type feel to them which worked out perfect for them. I think with Nox's voice in this book he did a great job.. My one and only small complaint is I would have liked a little bit of a gruffer voice for Adam since that's how I see him in my head and how he is written in the book. And it has me a little nervous for book 4.. But well wait and see how that one goes. lol. I will still read and listen to every book in this series either way since it has come to be one of my All Time Favorites.
Book - This book Starts with Adam, the owner of Heathens Ink, he's keeping secrets of being closeted (Bi) from his closest friends just because he cant seem to find the words to tell them. He starts talking to Nox "phoenix" through a chat app when he feels phoenix is trying to reach out to someone, anyone for help. Adam offers help, no strings attached. Nox has a lot to deal with, but eventually he makes his way to Adam and they cant fight the attraction to each other. Add in a few Crazy Ex's with some drama, and some good friends who are more like family, and you end up with a great storyline.
I Love these book, so much!! I literally cannot pick my favorite in this series..

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  • HZ
  • 23-01-2018

Agggh! NOOooo...

I've REALLY been enjoying KM Neuhold's Heathens Ink series!

Both the stories and Cooper North's narration happily kept my attention - no easy feat after 1000's of books & about 30 audiobooks a month. This wasn't too surprising after previous insatiable press experiences (heidi cullinan / iggy toma anyone?).

So while re listening to the first two books, I was delighted to discover a third had been released! And then yelled out loud in disappointment when I heard the new narration. While Cooper North's narration isn't perfect its really good. The voices are enjoyable, distinct, fit the characters and are consistent through the first two books. To be fair to Kenneth Obi his character voices aren't necessarily bad. In another context I would give them a 3 or possibly 4. However, with the possible exception of Nox, the voices just don't fit. I will assume he didn't check out either the written or audio versions of the previous books before starting out to see who the characters were before taking over.

My biggest problem w/ his narration here is that the voices aren't consistent. During the course of any given conversation his accents etc slip so that it can be very confusing who is talking, which just isn't ok. It also gives you room to notice plot tropes, devices & holes. I support the author's right to choose the best publishing option for their purposes and am really disappointed that in this case we loose out on Cooper North's narration & insatiable's production.

The series is good enough that I want to find out what happens to the rest of the character's and hope future narration improves!

Series 5
Narration 2.5
Story 3/5: 4

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • wagner82
  • 25-09-2019

love it!

this is my favorite book of this series and the audio made it even better! if that's possible! great book! great narration.

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  • Claudia CG Lezar
  • 20-06-2019

as good as the ebook

The story is always full stars, because if I wouldn't like the story as ebook, I wouldn't listen to the audiobook.

The performance from the narrator is also very important for me. I can't listen to a lot, because my English as a non-native-speaker isn't so perfect to follow a whole story over hours, when the narrator speaks too fast or too sloppy. Normally I have to SEE the person, who is talking to me in English. Kenneth Obi is one of the 2 narrators (so far), I can listen without break and have no problems to follow.

PLEASE READ MY RATING SYSTEM!!!

To my ratings:


5* - very very good
it's like an A+

4* - very good and will be often re-listening
it's like an A

3* - it's more then a one-time-listening, but not more then twice a year.
it's like a B

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  • Kathryn M
  • 13-05-2019

fantastic,!

Fantastic characters that pull at your emotions. Amazing storyline that mixes humor, drama, romance, steam and all the emotions into a book that sticks with you and makes you want all the characters' stories. A perfect addition to rest of series.

Narrator does a fantastic job. The characters and story shine.

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  • Millsy Loves Books
  • 02-02-2018

A story of triumph

Adam lost his younger brother in a very sad and tragic way. He runs a very successful tattoo shop but since the loss of his brother. He has done all he can to help and support people who are going through the same problems.

Nox grew up with a drug-addicted mother and was on the streets at a young age. He did what he needed to do to survive, but it's got to the point where he really doesn’t feel like surviving any longer. He has nothing to live for, until one day on a social media site. He engages in a conversation with "Inked". He show him a glimpse of a possibility of a better life.

There is so much more to this story but to give more away would spoil the angst and build up of friendship and love.

Adam and Nox are perfect for each other and their journey is a beautiful story of triumph over fears and addictions.

Warning! The book depicts substance abuse and domestic abuse.