Rating: 4.75 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novel


Built from Ashes is the third book in Fox Beckham’s Trust Trilogy and the story builds across the series. This review will have spoilers from events in prior books.

After a whirlwind affair with a chronomage that started off as the best worst idea and ended with his heart and life in complete shambles, Ravi is determined to get over his first love. Thankfully, things have been quiet on the monster-hunting front, giving Ravi and the battle angel, Val, time to train Harry how to be the Chosen One. What time Ravi isn’t dedicating to Harry’s training, he spends trying to exhaust himself to keep unwelcome memories at bay. Nothing seems to work until, one day, fellow monster-hunter Nate steps up to be a friend. Unlike the past several months where Ravi has been in a maelstrom of high emotions, spending time with Nate is incredibly easy. The more time Ravi and Nate spend together, the more Ravi comes to understand just how wrong Cayenne was for him. This new perspective can’t change how Ravi felt or acted in the past, but it helps him understand what he needs to move forward.

All Nate wants is to be there for Ravi. Ever since he first laid eyes on Ravi months ago, Nate knew the stoic fighter was someone special. However, having a front seat to the self-proclaimed monsoon that is Cayenne, Nate is content with simply being the best friend Ravi could hope for. As Nate and Ravi get closer, Nate is thrilled with the prospect of deepening their relationship, but he is more determined to take things at Ravi’s pace. That includes Nate taking pains to explain just how unhealthy Ravi’s relationship with Cayenne was and how Nate would and has been different. But neither Ravi, nor Nate, nor anyone else on their team truly understands just how far Cayenne is willing to go for the man they say they love.

Built from Ashes takes place shortly after the events of book two, Shards of Trust, with Ravi and Cayenne’s relationship irrevocably broken, Ravi running himself ragged to forget, and the team trying to help Harry get trained up to assume her role as the Chosen One who fights evil and ends apocalypses. The story is almost exclusively told from Ravi’s POV, but in third-person perspective. This briefly switches to a different character at the end for capita-R Reasons, which I won’t go into to avoid spoilers. Like the title suggests, this whole story is about building something from ashes…and that is absolutely what you get, albeit shifted in a way that, frankly, took me a disappointingly long time to accept. NOTE: If you don’t want the question of what happens between Ravi and Cayenne to be spoiled, please stop reading here.

First, the structure of the book and the events that unfold had me expecting that this story would resolve into one of two things: a redemption arc or a the-devil-made-me-do-it arc where Cayenne is concerned. At the same time, Harry, Nate, and the rest of the monster-hunting team do everything in their power, through words and actions, to dispel the notion that Cayenne is anything but an obsessive, abusive person. Holding those two ideas in my head was a lot for me. There are two whole books that revolve around Ravi and Cayenne as lovers, beating the odds, et cetera and so on. Book three goes above and beyond to show Ravi (and the reader) just how different love and relationships can be if they’re done “right.” I’m not even mad since I love the concept of “MC turns out to be trash and always was,” but let me tell you, I think this is the first time I’ve experienced such a grand scale of that vision.

My impression of the paranormal events in this book, that is the monster-hunting and Trust-related things, are interconnected. That said, these events lack the “going on a journey to kick so-and-so’s ass” energy. I felt like this lessens the focus on what’s happening with Harry and the team, allowing more focus to fall onto the budding relationship between Ravi and Nate. To a T, everything Nate is, does, and represents is swoonworthy. Ravi literally could not have had a better person at his side to cope with all the trauma he’d been going through, romantically with Cayenne and professionally with being passed over as the Chosen One. It’s visceral how much Nate helps Ravi overcome his insecurities and this dreamboat gives Ravi the kind of love and support that makes them both glow with stars in their eyes. Of course, this blooms into an incredibly steamy romance, and it ends up being every bit as shojo fantasy, sweep-you-off-your-feet, saccharine sweet, music-plays-when-he-enters-the-room romance you could ever hope to have. (Full disclosure, I personally was a staunch Cayenne stan, so I was holding my nose as this McDreamy swoops in and gives Ravi All The Everything He Ever Needed.)

Overall, I thought this was a bold direction for the series to go in and Beckman does a great job leading both the characters through this massive transition and getting readers (or me, anyway) to appreciate the change. This is a delightful, if a little bittersweet, end to the trilogy. If you have been enjoying the series so far, buckle up, because Ravi and the team get a huge shake up that promises to leave everyone better off.