Blog Tour: Fighting Shadows (On The Ropes #2) by Aly Martinez - Bianca and Derna's Reviews, Excerpt, and Giveaway
Title: Fighting Shadows (On The Ropes #2)
Author: Aly Martinez
Release Date: July 7, 2015
I come from a family of fighters. I always thought I’d follow in their shadows, becoming unstoppable in the ring. That changed the day I saved the life of a woman I loved, but could never have.
My brother hailed me as a hero, and my reward was a wheelchair.
Paralyzed, my life became an inescapable nightmare.
Until I met her.
Ash Mabie had a heart-stopping smile and a laugh that numbed the rage and resentment brewing inside of me. She showed me that even the darkest night still had stars, and it didn’t matter one bit that you had to lie in the weeds to see them.
I was a jaded asshole who fell for a girl with a knack for running away. I couldn’t even walk but I would have spent a lifetime chasing her.
Now, I’m on the ropes during the toughest battles of my life.
Fighting the shadows of our past.
Fighting to reclaim my future.
Fighting for her.
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1UHiVvH
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1faAHHy
**Each book in the series can be read as a standalone**
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
As the synopsis indicates, Flint Page was born into a family of fighters. Life has never been easy for the Page boys. And for Flint it’s no different. He fights his way through life and everything thrown at him. Little did he know he was in for the fight of his life the moment he met Ash Mabie.
" I fell in love with a girl who changed my life by showing me that even the darkest nights still had stars and it didn't matter one bit that you had to lie in the weeds to see them."
Due to the events of the first book (you find this out, just didn't want to spoil), Flint is left broken, physically and emotionally. He wants nothing more than to be alone. He pushes away his family needing time to get over everything that happened. When Ash Mabie comes crashing into his life, she embodies everything he shouldn’t like. But he does. He tries to fight the attraction to her, but the walls around his heart begin to crumble as they are no match to her charm.
While Flint struggles with his disability, Ash is there to remind him that losing the ability to walk doesn’t define him. To never get lost in the darkness and his own shadow. But Ash struggles with her own issues. As her and Flint get closer, Ash never feels worthy of love. But her heart wants nothing more. When a truth is exposed it shatters everything Flint and Ash have. But even years later you still recognize the one who makes your heart beat.
Flint and Ash are unlike any other couple I’ve ever read. The author truly breathes life into her characters as her beautiful words brings them to life. Flint is broody. He is resentful. But deep down he has the most beautiful heart I’ve ever read about. He doesn’t see it, but the author allows you to see his heart. Oh Ash Mabie. She is fun, quirky, and everything Flint should’ve never fallen for. But he does. Effortlessly. Before he even knows it.
Fighting Shadows truly attests to the author’s talent of storytelling. She doesn’t just write. Her words have a tendency to leave an imprint on your heart. Her characters stay with you. Her stories? They consume you. And this one was no different.
*** I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ***
Fighting Shadows By Aly Martinez is the second book in her new series On The Ropes and is Flint Page’s story. I was eager to read Flint story after finishing Fighting Silence the first book in the series. I have a thing for all Aly’s previous boys, and Flint Page has just been added to the list.
Flint Page is struggling, he has given up, he feels his life is a nightmare and one that he can’t wake up from. Until he meets Ash Mabie the bright light, who could be the one to end his nightmare the one who could put a smile on his face again. But like Flint, Ash is also fighting her own shadows.
“No one had ever loved me. I didn’t need it. I just needed him.”
I loved Flint, well maybe not so much at the start as he was so bitter, angry asshole, especially to those who wanted to help him. However the more time he spent with Ash, the more you get to see a different side of him, one that is caring, passionate, and funny. Ash, I just loved from the start she was sassy, quirky and I loved her sense of humor but also her vulnerability. Ash sees the real Flint and calls him out on his shit!!
“If he'd just smiled a little more he could have been attractive. Maybe. But what really boggled my mind was the fact that it seemed like he truly wanted to be a miserable asshole. And let me just tell you, he excelled at it. Luckily, my father was a dick. I knew exactly how to handle it.”
Without giving away spoilers its safe to say Flint and Ash relationship is not smooth sailing. It’s emotional, humorous, passionate, intense, honest and painful at times. I loved watching it and the way it develop. I loved Flint and Ash connection, banter they shared and seeing the changes they go through together and individually.
“Because when I was nineteen years old I fell in love with a girl who changed my life by showing me that even the darkest nights still had stars and it didn’t matter one bit that you had to lie in the weeds to see them.”
Aly has yet again written a beautiful, heartwarming and heartbreaking story that pulls you in from the very first page. It’s about love, loss, pain, trust, family, friendships, second chances and hope, but most of all not given up and fighting for what you want.
“In my dreams you were walking” I whispered
“In mine you stayed.” He replied.
Love the way previous characters are woven into the story. I’m so looking forward to Fighting Solitude as we are left with no doubt at the end of this one that Quarry’s story the youngest of the Page brothers is going to be emotional too.
I recommend that you 1-click this one today.
“Hey, Flint? What time is it?” Quarry asked.
Ash’s smile actually slipped completely. For the briefest of seconds, she appeared almost ashamed.
I dragged my eyes away from her in order to answer his question, but as I looked at my wrist, I had no answer at all.
“Here,” she said as she pulled my watch from her pocket.
What. The. Fuck?
Quarry howled with laughter, and Ash chewed on her bottom lip.
“Explain,” I demanded, wrapping my watch back around my wrist and shoving my wallet in the front pocket of my hoodie.
Quarry filled in the blank. “She’s a pickpocket, dude. You should have seen her when she fell on your lap. It was so fucking fast. She straight-up stole that shit from you, and you had no fucking clue.”
“I didn’t steal it! I was gonna give it back,” she amended uncomfortably. “It was just a joke.”
A. Fucking. Joke.
And just like that, I remembered why I didn’t laugh anymore.
“Was it funny? Stealing from the cripple? You get a good laugh out of that?” I snapped, spinning and rolling myself away. “You know, maybe my judgment of you wasn’t all that off to begin with. Like father, like daughter, I guess.” It was a low blow, but I felt completely betrayed by a woman I didn’t even know.
“Flint, wait. I wasn’t picking on the cripple!”
I fully realized that I had just used the term, but it enraged me that she’d had the audacity to repeat it back to me. Who the hell was this chick? I pushed a hand into my pocket, searching for my keys. Fuck the food. I’d leave her ass there. Hell, Quarry too if he didn’t get his ass to the car.
“Get in the car, Q!” I yelled, only to close my eyes and drop my chin to my chest when my hand never made contact on the keys. “Son of a bitch,” I said as I spun back around.
Quarry was laughing next to her, but Ash’s cheeks were bright red.
“Keys.” I snapped my fingers and opened my hand, palm up.
“Stop being a dick,” Quarry said, casually tossing an arm around Ash’s shoulders.
She didn’t budge as she held my glare.
“Keys,” I repeated, but she remained still.
“It was a joke.” Her chin began to quiver.
For fuck’s sake, I wasn’t in any kind of mood to deal with bullshit from some girl I didn’t even know and was quickly discovering I didn’t care to know, either.
Quarry’s eyes grew wide as she turned to him and buried her cries in his chest.
What the fuck, asshole! Q signed before rubbing his hands over her back.
Her shoulders shook as she let out a loud sob that shocked us both.
“Come on. Let’s sit down.” Q tried to guide her over to an empty table.
Ash refused to look up and tripped over one of the chairs.
“Shit,” Q said, catching her around the waist.
I was just about to roll my eyes when she glanced my way. He was still trying to get her back on her feet and over to a table when her tear-free, bright-blue eyes pointedly glanced in my direction. My head snapped back in surprise, but a smile grew on her face.
Ash was about to put on a show, and with that one look, she had invited me to have a front-row seat.
As she floundered all over Quarry, her hands slid between his pockets and her own. Every noise she made and each time she flailed covered up a jarring movement. She was keeping his mind too busy for it to process all the places she was touching him. Hell, I was only watching her and I could barely keep up.
There was no denying that it was entertaining, but I wasn’t willing to show her that. However, as she accidentally lifted her knee, catching Q in the balls, a laugh erupted from my throat. He cupped his crotch while she apologized profusely and pushed him toward the same chair he’d been dragging her to only seconds before. Just before he sat, Ash swung her arm out, unwinding Q’s belt from around his body before tossing it at me.
“Oh God. I’m so sorry!” she said as Quarry held a finger up to ask for a second to recover. She didn’t wait at all though. Instead, she walked over in my direction; her prideful smile grew with every step.
She pulled my keys out of her pocket and dropped them into my lap. They were quickly followed by Quarry’s phone, wallet, and house keys. Then she snagged his belt off the floor and tossed it over her shoulder.
“It had absolutely nothing to do with you being in a wheelchair. It was a joke and it wasn’t supposed to piss you off.”
“Hey!” Quarry yelled. “That was messed up. You did not have to knee me in the balls to prove a point to him.”
“Oh, that wasn’t to prove a point. That was for bullshitting me. You knew good and damn well that he wouldn’t find it funny,” she said without ever tearing her gaze from mine. “Look, I’m sorry. I don’t have a lot of friends. And I’ve mentally noted that pickpocketing might not be the best way to make new ones.” She shrugged. “Consider it a lesson learned.”
“Three burgers all the way, onion rings, and a shake?” the guy at the counter called out.
Ash arched an eyebrow. “You want it to go, or are we good?”
I didn’t have to drop my attitude. Sure, she’d apologized, but while I might have had a short fuse, I also had a hell of a long burn. However, as she stood in front of me with her arms crossed over her chest and her blue eyes pleading for forgiveness, it magically fell away.
I swallowed hard. “No. We’re good.”
“You sure?” She leaned in, eyeing me warily, but her smile began to grow.
I swear to God it pulled at my lips as well. I fought it. But the harder I tried to keep it restrained, the bigger Ash’s grew. She was stealing my smile. The chick was good! Finally, with an eye roll, I let out a quiet chuckle, which seemed to appease her.
“Good. Now, help your brother get redressed and I’ll make the fancy sauce.” She waggled her eyebrows.