Title: Charcoal Tears (Book One of the Seraph Black Series)
Authors: Jane Washington
Retailers: Amazon; Author Website
Date of Publication: September 14, 2015
Length: 338 pages
Genre: Reverse Harem, Fantasy Romance
Collective Favorite Quote: “You’re going to kill me,” Noah groaned quietly. “Don’t think like that about yourself, Seph. Even if you hadn’t been one of us, we still would have stalked you to the grave.”
Sensitivities: Mild Violence, Mild Adult Situations
Other Books in the Series: Watercolor Smile (Book Two of the Seraph Black Series), Lead Heart (Book Three of the Seraph Black Series), and A Portrait of Pain (Book Four of the Seraph Black Series)
Disclaimer: There may be some spoilers in our detailed banter below:
Today we will be reviewing Charcoal Tears (Book One of the Seraph Black Series) by author Jane Washington.
Please see above for more details on the book.
This story is about a girl who lives a troubled life, she thought she knew how to survive in this crappy world. She wasn’t prepared for Cabe and Noah to turn everything upside down. As they grow closer things start to spiral once more when Miro and Silas join Seraph. Someone wants Seraph to stay away from the four, but she can’t deny the bond they share.
From escaping the abuse of her deadbeat dad, to protecting her younger brother, and even secretly working at a bar each night, Seraph has A LOT going on in her life. What was your initial impression of the protagonist?
Bridgette – My first impression of protagonist Seraph was a feeling of sympathy for her situation. Life can be difficult and the difficulty each of us faces in our lives is unique. I could tell from the start she would be a character I could support through the difficult times and not end up finding annoying by the end of it all. I think she is an inspiration to readers in various situations facing turmoil. Needless to say, I was glad to not find her to be an annoying protagonist at the beginning of the book.
Amy – I felt really bad for Seraph. She was really stepping up to provide and protect her brother and I know how hard it is to try to be an adult when you still need to be a teenager. She seemed very strong to me!
Claire – There was more than a lot going on in Seraph’s life. This girl has been through some stuff. My initial impression was to choke her dad out, adopt her brother, and give her a million dollars but then I remembered this is fiction and I don’t have a million dollars. Anyway, I thought this set up for the main character made the reader feel empathetic and more connected to her situation.
How did the single perspective affect the plot? Did you enjoy this point of view?
Bridgette – I do tend to enjoy the multiple perspective books which allow me insight into more than one characters thoughts. However, I believe this book would have been much too confusing to try to get all of those perspectives across to readers. I am thankful this is a single perspective book. If it had been multiple I think that would have ruined the plot for me, as a reader.
Amy – I always enjoy single perspectives which allow me to not get lost. I will say I would enjoy hearing what the boys thoughts were throughout the book or even our creepy stalker guy, which maybe you do. 😜
Claire – I appreciate dual perspectives and their ability to capture all sides of the story but it is nice to focus on a singular point of view and watch how this affects the plot. Plus, there were too many perspectives in this story to keep up with so I was happy for the singular lens. Although, it was annoying that Seraph was always depicted as such a doormat, and for no legitimate reason. The story is told in her point of view but it was as if she was taking no active steps in escaping the misery around her. Most of these elements seemed to detract from more important plot devices as they were used for shock value but I don’t think multiple perspectives would have aided this predicament either.
What do you think of the relationships between all the characters?
Bridgette- This book requires focus and the ability to keep complex plots straight. This is not straight forward and truly required me to pay close attention to the progression of various character relationships. This is the second reverse harem I have read and felt that Jane Washington did a great job of easing readers into this genre. The plot felt like it progressed naturally between the characters and it was interesting to see the struggle through all of the changes for each of them.
Amy- When you first hear it’s a reverse harem it is scary! I mean maybe some people want that life, but not me! Jane does a wonderful job of easing into all the relationships between the main five characters. It just flowed nicely for me.
Claire- I’m going to be upfront with this answer; I was lost for a good portion of the book. I suppose I was slightly disillusioned with the idea that this was a “reverse harem” because, psychologically speaking, women love the idea of multiple men competing for their attention so I can understand the appeal by women to want to read these books. However, it threw me for a loop and I was suddenly a kindergartener trying to learn to tie a shoe. Okay, not the most effective analogy but I liked the characters and the flow but some elements of the plot were different.
The four potential love interests are so different; which did you want to know more about while reading?
Bridgette- I enjoyed the mystery of Silas. I would love to know more about him and his background. I think the way the two became acquainted with one another was a fun twist for readers. The mystery that surrounds this man has me wondering so much more about his skills, thoughts, and actions throughout the book.
Amy- Such a hard choice! I am going to go with Miro because he seems to almost be extra scared of what is going on with the bond with Seraph. He is someone she has trusted and I think that makes the relationship work, but also adds extra stress to maintain what they already have between them.
Claire- I didn’t care for the brothers, primarily because Cabe is a weird name (I truly thought it was a typo for “Gabe” at first) but I digress. I thought Silas was a particularly interesting character. Noah’s suggestion that “he was allergic to human sentiment” is something I really resonated with but his overall image and brooding nature made me very curious about his role in the plot.
Things certainly aren’t wrapped up for Seraph and the guys at the end of the book. What do you think is in store for the main characters in future books?
Bridgette – I don’t want to give away too much with this question, but I can’t wait to find out. I will be finishing this series soon and I can’t wait to see it all come together at the end.
Amy – More craziness for sure! Book two here I come!!
Claire – Things surely aren’t going to be slowing down for poor Seraph as I suspect this is just the beginning. I enjoyed this story, the drama, the confusion, and even Cabe and his weird name (I mean honestly it’s like Cade was too edgy but Caleb was too soft), so I’m sure future books will have even more to offer!
Overall, did you find this book to be your cup of tea? Do you think you will pick up the rest of the series? Do you suggest our followers grab this one?
Bridgette- This is certainly not the type of book I normally pick up and perhaps I would not have at all without Amy’s push. However, I think the way Jane Washington was able to write this book with such grace and intrigue accompanied by a slow progression helped me to fall in love with the characters and plot. As I stated in a previous answeI certainly suggest this book for our mature followers.
Amy- Anyone who knows me knows this book was perfect for me! It had drama, lots going on, and also the suspense was a huge plus. This book held my attention the whole time! If you’re looking for a book to ease you into that reverse harem thing this is the one to grab!!
Claire- Even if I drank tea, I wouldn’t go as far to say this one was brewed for me as a reader. As mentioned, I’m not totally into all this reverse harem stuff but I thought the author did an effective job of making the events flow and the characters present and resolve conflict accordingly. I wouldn’t be against trying the rest of the series and I would suggest our followers give this a shot but to be prepared for a book of this nature.
Thanks for reading. Comment below if you have read Charcoal Tears (Book One of the Seraph Black Series) by author Jane Washington or if you are going to put it on your TBR!
Disclosure: We are in no way affiliated with the author and are not being compensated for this review.
Amy & Bridgette & Claire
Amy’s Rating: 5
Bridgette’s Rating: 4
Claire’s Rating: 4