Theresa Reviews LIKE ASHES WE SCATTER by Brandon Nave

Title: Like Ashes We Scatter
Author: Bradon Nave
Genre: NA Romance Standalone
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Bishop Holloway is woken by an unsettling telephone call. Minutes later, tragedy strikes.
​Across town, Alex Ayers is watching a loved one succumb to a horrible illness, helpless to stop it.
​But out of scattered ashes, hope can bloom, and sometimes tragedy can beget a miracle.
​Alex can't bear to tell Bishop about the fateful connection that binds them. She fears his love for her isn't strong enough to survive if he knew. But no secret stays hidden forever, and now Alex might lose the man she loves, and the family she's fought so hard to save.

23yo Alex and her dying 17yo brother, Tyson at the baseball field. 
There was no field, only a blanket of snow and a thousand memories dancing in her brother’s eyes. His smile—classically beautiful—was perfection. Absent their mother and sitting in the warmed car nestled to the chain-link fence, Alex and Tyson silently watched the numerous snowflakes falling fat from the sky to cover their world. There was no wind—no biting, bitter agony about the atmosphere. There was only a calming peace that nearly resembled acceptance.
Taking her brother’s hand, she squeezed it lightly. “Tyson Kade Ayers…you have no idea how proud I am to be your sister. You’re my everything.”
“You know…” His words all but trailed. “That statement might get us arrested. Incest…is…frowned upon.”
Chuckling, she kissed his cheek as his eyes remained fixed on the mound. “You were amazing out there, Ty.”
“Were? Let go of my hand, woman. I can go nine innings right now.” His sarcastic, raspy comments—soft and slow—had her teetering—her eyelids nearly spilling her emotions onto the somber scene. Completely aware that this very conversation would be ever etched on her memory all her days, she carefully contemplated her next words…before they left her mouth, a phone was vibrating.
Looking toward the gearshift, a 0000 flashed on the smartphone screen. “That’s my boss with my new schedule—”
“Alex…that’s my phone. That could be Dr. Jones.”
Reaching for the phone in frantic fashion, Alex pressed the green accept button. “Hello.”
“Dr. Jones?”
“Is Tyson with you?”
“Yes, we’re at the baseball—”
“You’re in town, correct?”
“I need you to come to the hospital, now…nine one, one. It’s happening.”
The female physician’s words seemed more a cruel joke than a potential pardon.
“You’re…you’re serious?”
“Alexandra! Tyson, to the hospital, now!” 
“Holy shit! We’re on our way!”
Hanging up the phone, she looked to her brother, his skin was a ghostly, pale white—illuminated by the blinding snow behind his beautiful face.
“Alex…” His lip quivered—a sliver of hope cracked through his eyes.
Grabbing either side of his face, she pressed her grinning lips to his forehead. “We’ve got to go now, Baby-Ty.”
“Is this really happening, Alex? Is this…oh my God. Is this really happening?”
His smile—the smile one gives upon learning returning a death sentence might be an option, was beautifully crafted on him. 
“Let’s go, Ty.” 
“Wait! Alex…just…just wait.”
“Ty, we can’t.”
“What if it doesn’t work? What if…what if I don’t wake up?”
The fear in his eyes was acute—something dreadful only now realized. 
“I’ve…I accepted it, Alex. I accepted I’m gonna die. But not today. I need my month…I need my weeks. They can’t…they can’t wave this in my face now…why now?”
“Tyson…I need you to look at me. I know you’re heart’s racing and you’ve got a million worries running through your beautiful head. This could be it, Baby-Ty. This could be your ticket to thirty. You’re talking about months and weeks when—”
“I don’t wanna die today, Alex.” His soft pitched proclamation coupled with the welling tears in his buzzing eyes sent Alex reaching for him. “I don’t wanna die…I don’t…I don’t wanna die.”
Hugging him, she eyed the oxygen tank in the floor board. She instantly replaced the idea of his wake with his return to the pitcher’s mound. “You have been so brave for so long…if you can just be brave today…and if you can’t it’s okay because I’m not going anywhere. No matter what happens I’m not going anywhere, Tyson.
“I’m so scared, Alex.” His fear shook through in their embrace—it seemed every ounce of her brother was saturated in an awful horror. “I can’t be brave, I can’t be strong anymore…” His words left him in a soft, nearly breathless cry.
“I can, Ty.” Pulling away slightly, she kissed his wet cheek. “We have to go.”
Alex and Bishop.
They now stood surrounded by grand, dark-wood shelving and books from the marble flooring to the ceiling. Bishop watched Alex trace the hardbacks with her fingers, reading some of the titles aloud.
“They’re not all medical…I’m impressed, Bishop.”
“My parents love fiction.”
“Who doesn’t?”
Bishop walked behind her, purposefully breathing hot breath on her neck. “I do.”
“What’s your favorite genre, Mr. Holloway?” She slowly turned to him.
“I’m not particularly picky as long as there’s a happy ending.”
“That sounds dirty, Bishop.”
“It can be…depending on the genre.” He moved closer, smiling.
“I’m scared Bishop.”
“Happily never after.”
“What are you talking about? We’re a match, Alex. I literally love every second I’m with you. It’s like fate.”
As he took her hand, her gaze shied from his.
“What if I rushed fate, Bishop? What if…what if everything was going to work out as it should have but I rushed it?”
“That doesn’t make sense to me, Alex.”
Softly, his thumb and index finger raised her chin so her eyes were level with his.
“Yeah…I know, Bishop.”
Sensing her despair, he pulled her to him, looking down into her eyes. “What do you feel like reading tonight?” His question was asked in a goofy whisper, but had her blushing just the same.
As she worked her hands into his front pockets she kissed his cheek. “Something hot.”
Like Ashes We Scatter by Brandon Nave is a story that tackles some serious issues that aren't always easy to discuss but are important just the same; suicide and organ donation.  This story while difficult to read at times due to the subject matter breaking my heart, was one that will stay with me for a long.  

Bishop faces the impossible, what most people wouldn't wish to have happen in their life.  His younger brother, his best friend, calls him on the phone to essentially say goodbye before he commits suicide.  Bishop does not understand how he missed the signs or how his brother who always seemed happy, was so sad that his only option was to end his life.  Bishop struggles with his grief through most of the story which breaks the readers heart.

Tyson and Alex are closer than any other brother/sister due to their childhood.  Tyson was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis and he had finally come to terms with the end of his life.  Alex did everything in her power to make sure that Tyson was happy and not in pain.  When Tyson gets the call that was never expected, a match for his lungs, Alex couldn't be happier.

Following the transplant is where this story really begins, as Alex is curious about the donor while Tyson needs time before he requests to meet them.  Alex is worried about Bishop, the donors brother and she seeks him out to make sure he is okay, and ends up meeting him and they begin a relationship, a relationship built on lies.  

What follows for this unlikely group is something amazing and inspiring that will bring tears to your eyes and a smile to your face.

3.5 stars

Award winning author, Bradon Nave was born and raised in Oklahoma. He attended a small school during junior high and high school, and graduated with only three people in his class. After graduate school, he decided to devote his spare time to his passion of writing. Bradon currently lives in Piedmont, Oklahoma, with his wife and two young children. He loves running, being with friends, and writing.

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