I wanted to jump.
He made me fall.
As a celebrity, I lived in the public eye, but somewhere along the way, I’d lost myself in the spotlight.
Until he found me.
Sam Rivers was a gorgeous, tattooed stranger who saved my life with nothing more than a simple conversation.
But we were both standing on that bridge for a reason the night we met. The secrets of our pasts brought us together—and then tore us apart.
Could we find a reason to hold on as life constantly pulled us down?
Or maybe there’s only one direction to go when two people fall in love at rock bottom—up.
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
You ever start a book and immediately realize that THIS is why you read? From the very beginning The Fall Up spoke to my heart. And it’s been beating over this story ever since.
“It was raining. Isn’t that the way all great love stories start….and also usually end?”
Well this is a GREAT love story, but I can guarantee it is nothing like you’ve ever read. Levee Williams and Sam Rivers meet in the most unconventional of places. There is a spark between them the moment they open their mouths to speak. Over time, their meeting place becomes THEIRS. They recognize the sadness in each other as they live with a burden. Every day. They understand the darkness within their hearts because loving someone only brings pain. Something they both know too well.
“Don’t let go. No matter what, okay?”
I cannot discuss the plot. No. You must live this story. Just know that Sam and Levee’s story is inspirational and is one of the most beautiful love stories I have ever read. As I said before you have not read this story. There are some deep and raw emotions here. Sam and Levee are two broken people with heartbreaking pasts. But they find a light in each other. Together, it doesn’t hurt so much to breathe. Life and living is possible. And love? It’s inevitable. But there are some lighthearted moments. This isn’t a cry your eyes out story per se. I’d say its a heartfelt emotional story. It’s REAL. The author places you within the lives of Sam and Levee. You FEEL everything. Their joy, their pain, their laughs. And you WILL laugh. Their banter is something special.
“There isn’t a woman in the world who doesn’t have demons of some sort. No matter who I end up with, it’s always going to be a struggle…..Levee I’d like to struggle with you.”
Oh Sam Rivers. How I love you. Adore you. Let me count the ways. I don’t think I have ever met a man so self-less and loving. While consumed with his own pain, his love for Levee far exceeds any darkness. His heart desires Levee. His soul forever tethered to hers. And you feel the depths of his love just by the declaration in his words. He speaks with conviction. And Levee? Her love saves. All this time where she thinks Sam is saving her? It is she who is truly saving Sam.
"She wasn't the princess. And I wasn't the pauper. She was just a sad girl who liked to write songs. And I was nothing more than a simple guy who was lucky enough to have made her fall in love with him."
Their love consumes. Overwhelms. Their love is powerful. Magic. Their love will captivate you and question love and just how much it can take. But their love endures. It overcomes the darkness. It fights through the pain. Their past? It just makes their love stronger. It solidifies everything their love stands for. This isn't an easy love story, but it's theirs.
“From the moment I first met you, you made the world lighter."
The Fall Up truly demonstrates the versatility of this author’s writing. This is different than her other novels, but equally as brilliant, if not more so. It was such an honor to experience the heart stopping ,breathtaking love story of Sam and Levee. A love that faced it all. A love that didn’t see anywhere to go from being at the bottom..but up. This was easily one of my top reads of 2015.
*** I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ***
I knew from reading the synopsis that The Fall Up by Aly Martinez was going to be one of those books that hits you in the heart and makes you feel and it did.
Levee Williams and Sam Rivers's story was an emotional read at times. I loved Levee and Sam and my heart went out to them both as I discover the reasons why they are both standing on that bridge. Their relationship was never going to be easy, but they struggled and persevered when things got rough, and loved and laugh when things got better. Loved the chemistry that they shared and intense feeling they had for each other. I loved Sam what a guy! So wanting to do what’s best for Levee just perfect.
”There isn't a woman in the world who doesn't have demons of some sort. No matter who I end up with, it's always going to be a struggle. Levee, I'd like to struggle with you.”
With The Fall Up Aly in her unique and beautiful style has written a poignant heartfelt story about two people who are suffering in different ways. Their secrets and past haunt them, but it also connects them. They have found within each other the person to give them strength and courage to take the steps to fall up instead of down.
“She was standing right in front of me, and my body ached to hold her. To feel her. To help her. To allow her to heal….me”
“Sam, you have no idea what you’re getting into.”….“No one ever does. It’s the beauty of taking risks.”
One word did resonate with me in Levee and Sam’s story was fine, and therefore, I totally got the feelings that the word triggered as I read somewhere that FINE also stood for Feelings Inside Not Expressed and so when someone says that they are fine, I always wonder are they really just fine.
“Don’t tell me you’re fine”
Overall, I loved this book and I was captivated from the start, and with some great supporting character that added to the story Aly took me on that emotional roller coaster that love and expect from her.
The Fall Up is definitely a book that should be 1 click today.
“You’re overdoing it, Lev. I know this job isn’t exactly nine-to-five, but it’s not twenty-four-seven, either. You have to stop being Levee Williams all the time and just be you.”
“I know,” I responded.
I didn’t though. I felt like a robot parading around in a lost woman’s body.
Toss in the occasional song.
What little time I did manage to carve out for myself was spent at various children’s hospitals across the country.
Watch a child die.
With every day that passed, the smile became less and less genuine, the pose more and more forced, and the turn took me further and further away from who I really was.
My career was soaring while, personally, I was plummeting. Every single day felt like a terrifying free fall in no particular direction. I was stuck in the middle with no way up—or down.
“You remember that girl, right?” Henry asked, tucking a hair behind my ear.
I did remember her. She was fun and carefree. She loved going out and dancing at nightclubs until the very last song played. She slept until noon if she could. Then, fueled by coffee alone, she’d spend the day with a guitar strapped around her neck and a notepad at her side. She had a huge heart, but she knew her limitations.
Oh, I remembered that girl. I just couldn’t figure out how to get back to her.
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.
Blog Tour: Stolen Course (Wrecked and Ruined #2) by Aly Martinez~ Bianca and Derna's Reviews, Teasers, and Giveaway
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
This can be read as a standalone, however if you've read the first one you'll know about Caleb and his loss. Now that this is his story, I've realized that the first book only scratches the surface of his heartache and pain. Stolen Course goes beyond what I could have ever imagined. It goes into a man's soul that is deep, dark, grieving and somehow it allows that soul to fall for another.
“I don’t know the what, when, where, or why about my life, but… I suddenly know the who.”
The pain in Caleb's heart runs just as deep as the hate he has for Sarah Erickson. She is the reason his Manda is no longer alive breathing and loving him. He blames her for losing himself, for taking away his heart, and for the darkness he finds himself in. Manda was everything to Caleb and his story truly gives you insight into how much he continues to suffer even years after Manda's death. Little did he know that solace would come in Emma Erikson. Yes. Sarah's sister. Consumed with the circumstances around Manda's death, can Caleb truly learn to love Emma more than he hates her sister, Sarah?
“Hey, Caleb?… I’m serious about Manda. I don’t have an issue with you having a past. I’m not an insecure girl who is trying to compete with her memory.”
Stolen Course stole my heart from the very first page. I was immediately drawn in to the story and it's characters. Emma is everything Caleb never knew he needed. She is fun, feisty, and sexy. She calls Caleb on everything he does and never backs down. But her heart? Her heart is beautiful. And she wants nothing more than to love Caleb. While she loves her sister, Emma becomes completely consumed with Caleb. He is everything she wants. But everything she is not sure she can have.
"Love me more than you hate her."
While this story has many deep and gut wrenching moments, the author knows how to balance the moments where you want to cry with the sweet and sexy. You will feel everything. Every single character displays raw and deep emotion. Emma loves so hard. She loves Caleb through all his pain. She loves him enough to accept that he will always love Manda. But Caleb also has a place in his heart for Emma. A place so deep that Manda has never been. Emma loves Caleb enough to know this difference.
"I'm going to kiss you. Then I'm going to make love to you. And then we are going to make plans to spend the next one hundred years together."
Even with all the grief and pain in the story, there is so much love. The kind of love that consumes your every thought. Emma and Caleb exude electricity. In and out of the bedroom. Their connection is completely undeniable. While Caleb is protective, he also has the biggest heart. He loves with every fiber in his being. He loves with conviction and truth. I didn't think Caleb would find love again, but that is because his soul was waiting on Emma.
“No matter how dark you get, I will trudge through the quicksand of your guilt and drag you out- every single time”
There are twists and turns in this story. Do not go into Stolen Course thinking you know what's going to happen. Because you don't. Secrets, lies, and the past all come out and the author holds nothing back. Hearts are shattered, lives are changed. This is unlike any other story out there. You will become addicted to this series! It is original and one of my most favorite reads this year.
Stolen Course attests to the fact that there is always light in darkness. It made me FEEL so many emotions while on this journey of love and forgiveness in Caleb's story. It made me believe that everything happens for a reason. That love and fate? They are completely interconnected. That your soul will always crave and find the one you are to love, no matter the circumstances. The love in this story is overpowering and all consuming. This beautiful story captivated my heart and left me speechless.
I finished Stolen Course by Aly Martinez less than 24 hours ago, and its still playing on my mind This book was amazing. I have spent the day with a big grin on my face, and thinking about the very sexy tattooed Caleb Jones. The prologue took me by surprise, as I didn’t expect to be in tears so soon into the book, after that I was done for and I knew that Aly was again going to take me on that emotional rollercoaster which I love.
I was funny as just a few days before I had said that it had been awhile since I read a book that I didn’t want to put down, one that make me want to retreat to my book cave, and shut the world out. Well yes, you guess it Stolen Course did that for me.
Okay, so here is the thing I can’t say well actually more like I won’t tell you about the storyline, as I think you need to go into knowing only the synopsis as the emotions you are going to feel should be first hand, but trust me when I say that Aly has done it again delivered a book that has a bit of everything I love. Caleb Jones and Emma Erickson’s story is heartbreaking and heart-warming at the same time. It was funny, romantic, with betrayal, mystery, angst, twists I didn’t see coming (well played Ms, Martinez … well played) and, plenty of sexy smut OMG the sexy smut was so good, and FYI Aly! I don’t think I will look at a butternut squash in the same way, again and a few more vegetables for that matter.
Aly know how to write men who have a way with words. Just like Brett (more about him later) Caleb just says and does things that will make you go weak at the knees. So I knew I would love Caleb, so alpha, so protective this man may have been an broody ass at times, but he was a loveable sexy broody ass with a good heart so he could be forgiven. My heart when out to him so many times because of the pain, hate, grief, anger and sadness that was consuming him all just so raw.
Emma was smart, sassy, and confident I loved her, for what she was trying to do for her sister and what she ultimately does for Caleb. These two are so good together circumstances meant that their relationship was easy at times it rough and flawed, but I loved the playfulness, the banter, the flirting, the chemistry, the stubbornness, the passion and the sexiness they had it all, and even in their wildest moments Caleb and Emma were perfect together.
Overall I just love Stolen Course. Aly did a breathtaking job writing a book about love, second chances, forgiveness, letting go, healing, and moving forward. I love Aly’s writing style; her characters all of them the main and secondary were such that I became emotionally attached to them from the start. I was emotionally drawn in, and was left wanting more after each page.
I can’t recommend enough that you 1 click this book today. I can say without a doubt you will not be disappointed. Word of advice... I know it says it can be read as a standalone, and yes I can be. But I’m telling you NO! I’m pleading with you don’t do it. PLEASE PLEASE!! (Yes, I’m shouting) Don’t read this one until you have read Changing Course, not only to get to get the emotions, and foundation of the story, but to understand where it all started, but also you shouldn’t deny yourself the pleasure of meeting and getting to know the very sexy Detective Brett Sharp with the size 15 feet!!.... Yes, I kid you not size 15.
Aly thank you! For writing Caleb, Emma, Brett, Jess, Sarah and Manda’s story, but also for starting one of the funniest conversations I have had with the girl where I work about vegetables ;-) I’m so looking forward to reading your next book I can’t wait to see what you have next in store for us.
“My eyes locked with his and I sway back a step as the heat of a sexual fire emanates from his skin. Jesus, he’s hot”
“You’re sexy as fuck, and I can’t stop thinking about drilling into that smartass mouth of yours”.
“I just opened a door, and Emma all to willingly walked right through it. Let the shit show begin.”
“No matter how dark you get, I will trudge through the quicksand of your guilt and drag you out- every single time”
"Note to self; wear padded bras when hanging out with sex-personified Caleb Jones."
“Is she as attracted to me as I am to her? If she feels anywhere closes to what I feel, that could be seriously dangerous”
“No matter what I think my hearts tells me something different”
“What I do know is that I’m addicted. And she is the absolute best kind of addiction”
“I don’t know the what, when, where, or the why about my life, but as I stroke her hair on the way home, I suddenly know the who”
“Like rain from the sky, a million emotions randomly fall over me. I’m down, done for, lost and ensnared. There is no going back”
“Something is going on here, and I know you feel it too. I want this. I want to see where its goes and what we can be together”
I’m like an alcoholic when it comes to him. If I take even one taste, I’ll be a goner.
“She set me free. I never even realize I was trapped until she forces her way into my life”
“Sometimes you have to fight down the demons. Before you can help the angles”
Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, Aly Martinez is a stay-at-home mom to four crazy kids under the age of five, including a set of twins. Currently living in Chicago, she passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a glass of wine at her side.
After some encouragement from her friends, Aly decided to add “Author” to her ever-growing list of job titles. So grab a glass of Chardonnay, or a bottle if you’re hanging out with Aly, and join her aboard the crazy train she calls life.
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