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Blog Tour: Fighting Solitude: Aly Martinez

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Fighting Solitude (On the Ropes #3)
Aly Martinez
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Expected February 2, 2016

I was born a fighter. Abandoned by my parents, I spent my life forging my own path—one guided by my fists and paved with pain.

Untouchable in the ring, I destroyed everyone who faced me, but that’s where my victories ended. Outside the ropes, I repeatedly failed the few people who loved me. Including my best friend, Liv James—the one person I’d die to protect.

Even though I didn’t deserve her, Liv never stopped believing in me. Never gave up. Never let go. After all, she understood what I’d lost, because she’d lost it too.

Liv was everything to me, but she was never truly mine.

That was going to change.

I lost my first love, but I refused to lose my soulmate.

Now, I’m on the ropes during the toughest battles of my life.

Fighting to be the man she deserves.

Fighting the solitude of our pasts.

Fighting for her.


Quarry Page and Liv James were childhood/early teen best friends. He did not hide that he was full of attitude and exuded trouble, but did not let everyone see his good heart. She was sweet and innocent on the outside, but had an inner feistiness and a penchant for mischief. They got into all kinds of trouble and adventures. He protected her, covered for her, and they were there for each other until Quarry managed to push her away and ruined their friendship.

A few years later Liv has learned to be more social, but is afraid to trust and be hurt again. But when Quarry's world takes a change for the worse, she knows she needs to be there for him and they reconnect. But during their time apart, he also met his girlfriend, Mia. Eventually all three of them become the best of friends and extremely close. But once again, their worlds are rocked with change and heartbreak. They are left trying to come to terms with a terrible situation.

But they have no choice but to survive and learn to fight together, find their new normal, and move on. I loved how we saw Quarry and Liv's growth over the years. As young adults they are finding success and working closely together. Liv is everything to Quarry: his room mate, chef, assistant, confidante, and best friend...but she is not fully his. She is the only person who can manage him and give him pockets of peace to avoid his self destruction. He has everything he should want in his career and family, but still has trouble seeing what the big picture of his life should be and feels a void. Quarry has to deal with so much. He shows amazing strength and ambition despite some personal setbacks. He is protective, loyal, funny, kind, but also can be volatile, emotional, and hard to control.  Deep down he feels like he has too often failed the women in his life and has feelings of unworthiness. 

And Liv's life is deeply intertwined in his. But she had put her feelings on the back burner for him a long time ago. She is sassy, sweet, smart, protective, and caring. She is his balance and she keeps him sane. She challenges him, she accepts him, and she understands him. But her past left her with some issues and he had once reinforced them. She has serious trust issues and insecurities as a result.

But simmering under the surface is an attraction and deep connection that only they share. But there is also guilt, fear, trust issues, and insecurities involved. Their biggest fear is losing one another. He's afraid of failing her and she's afraid to trust him. And they are both afraid to really admit their feelings. It makes them struggle, causes worry, pain, and stress in their usual easy going relationship. But I loved them together.  I wanted to shake sense into them at times, but really was rooting for them. But they both have to decide if taking it to another level is worth the risk of losing the other and it will be a fight to overcome their issues to have a chance of making it work. This might be the biggest fight of Quarry's life.

I have loved this entire series. Each book has so much depth and is completely engrossing. The characters are so well developed and so perfectly flawed that they come alive and you cannot help but root for them. I loved getting both points of view and then even some extra ones. I enjoyed spending more time with characters I have fallen for: Till and Eliza, Flint and Ash, and Leo and Sarah, Slate and Erica. The plot was intriguing, interesting, and full of twists. The story brought out so many emotions--I smiled, laughed, got frustrated, mad, swooned, and even cried. It was intense, romantic, funny, heartfelt and completely captivating. My heart hurt for Quarry often as it did for his brothers Till and Flint.   They all had so many challenges to face. But all of their success stories are a testament to the power of hard work, hope, and the fighting spirit, and how anything is possible when you have friends, family and love on your side. This was an amazing heartfelt story of second chances and soul mates. I am not sure I am ready to see this series go...they all have kids...maybe a future series?

ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review. 
It’s finally Quarry’s turn! Granted, as the youngest (by far) of the Page brothers, some time needed to pass for his story to happen, I couldn’t be more pleased at the direction and journey this story went.

Quarry has always had a short fuse. When things don’t go his way, as they often don’t, he reacts fast and reacts violently. Focusing his energy has always been a challenge for his older brothers as they tried to steer him away from trouble.

The one person who has always been able to calm him is his best friend, Liv. Liv was a firecracker as a child. While Quarry got in trouble a lot for their antics, it was usually Liv’s idea to do whatever prank they were pulling. As she grew up, her relationship changed to step aside for Quarry’s girlfriend, who quickly became Liv’s best friend as well. But when they lose Mia, Quarry and Liv each must go through their own healing process, and even though it looks like the past is behind them, when push comes to shove there is still plenty to deal with.

Quarry had always boxed, it was a way of life for the Page boys, but he also knew he would be losing his hearing and was able to prepare in ways his oldest brother was never able to do. As a result, his hearing loss didn’t hit him with the same devastation as it did for Till. But I loved Liv’s reaction to both the news of his impending loss, and the courage she found when she learned he had finally lost his hearing completely.

And Liv has her own challenges to deal with. Her childhood was not an easy one, and the scars she carries are on the inside. Before her mother died and she went to live with her father, silence was a terrifying condition in her house. Her adult self has learned to cope by not allowing silence to reign in her life, filling it with music and television background noise, but those moments the silence creeps up on her still terrify her.

The story is told in a way that the past is revisited through Quarry and Liv’s eyes without feeling like a repeat of the other stories. Truly, there is very little overlap and what overlap there is often takes the form of a setting or situation from either Fighting Silence or Fighting Shadows, but the story deviates from what readers saw in either of those two books.

I loved watching Quarry and Liv grow and develop from young teens into adulthood, and the ways in which they were always there to support each other. The revelations that come as Q and Liv struggle to evolve their relationship both gutted me and made me fall harder in love with them.
This was a fantastic finale to the Page brothers’ stories. As each has grown, so has their family. From Till struggling to keep his brothers together to the present, their tiny family has ballooned to include wives and children and a life so rich those poor boys could have never imagined they would make it that far. I am so in love with this series and the depth of characters throughout.

ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review.
Prologue

“Mia!” I shouted.

It was worthless. She’d been deaf since the day I met her.

She’d never once heard my voice.

She’d never heard the deep rumble of my laugh when she was excited, signing so fast I could barely keep up.

She’d never heard my content sigh when she barged into the locker room after a fight—just her presence soothed the lingering madness brewing within me.

She’d never heard me whispering my deepest fears into her ear as she fell asleep on top of me.

She’d never heard the reverence in which I cried her name each and every time I took her body.

And she’d never once heard the ease in which the words I love you tumbled from my lips as I stared into her deep, jade green eyes.

But as I screamed her name while watching her petite body seizing in the passenger seat beside me, I’d never needed her to hear me more.

“Mia. Oh God. I’ve got you, baby.”

She was still thrashing violently as I made my way around to her door, yanking it open while pleading with whatever god was willing to help.

When she stilled, a whole new level of silence filled the air around us. It wasn’t the absence of sound.

It was the absence of life.

“Mia, breathe!” I roared as her chest remained agonizingly still. “Help me!” I screamed at the closed emergency room doors, but no medical savior rushed out with the miracle I so desperately needed.

My hands shook wildly as I released her lifeless body from the seatbelt.

“I’ve got you, just hang on. Please just hang on, Mia,” I whispered lifting her into my arms and sprinting through the sliding doors. “I need a doctor! She’s not breathing!”

Nurses rushed towards me in slow motion as the seconds without air in her lungs passed at a terrifying speed.

Breathe.

A doctor appeared with a gurney and quickly took her from my arms.

The immediate loss was staggering.

Hope became my only solace.

She needed help that I wasn’t capable of giving her, but that didn’t stop me from following close behind as they rolled her away. I was on the verge of self-destructing; letting her out of my sight wasn’t an option.

I stood motionless in the doorway while doctors and nurses swarmed around her. Their mouths moved frantically, but without my hearing aids I was worthless to make out the words their faint voices carried.

I never wore my hearing aids when I was with Mia. There was no point. She rarely spoke with her voice.

We’d spent four years building a relationship with our hands.

Those hands had told me animated stories that made me laugh until my face hurt from smiling.

They’d fought with me relentlessly, but always ended the night raking down my back in silent ecstasy.

Her fingers had fluidly signed I love you more times than I could ever count—or forget.

But as I felt the nurse attempting to physically remove me from the room, my eyes became fixated on her limp hand dangling off the side of the bed. It was the only sight more frightening than watching her flail mid-seizure.

It ripped the heart straight from my chest.

That hand was supposed to be full of life.

It was the very essence of Mia.

Pale.

White.

Still.

Oh God.

Sucking in a deep breath, I held it until the room began to spin.

It provided me no relief even as it forced me to my knees.

There would be no distraction from this.

I was going to lose her.

Yet another woman I couldn’t save.
Fighting Silence (On the Ropes #1)
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Sound is an abstract concept for most people. We spend our lives blocking out the static in order to focus on what we believe is important. But what if, when the clarity fades into silence, it's the obscure background noise that you would give anything to hold on to?

I've always been a fighter. With parents who barely managed to stay out of jail and two little brothers who narrowly avoided foster care, I became skilled at dodging the punches life threw at me. Growing up, I didn’t have anything I could call my own, but from the moment I met Eliza Reynolds, she was always mine. I became utterly addicted to her and the escape from reality we provided each other. Throughout the years, she had boyfriends and I had girlfriends, but there wasn't a single night that I didn’t hear her voice.

You see, meeting the love of my life at age thirteen was never part of my plan. However, neither was gradually going deaf at the age of twenty-one.

They both happened anyway.

Now, I'm on the ropes during the toughest battles of my life.
Fighting for my career.
Fighting the impending silence.
Fighting for her.

Every night, just before falling asleep, she sighs as a final conscious breath leaves her.

I think that's the sound I'll miss the most.

fighting shadows cover.pngFighting Shadows (On the Ropes #2)
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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.


Wrecked and Ruined Series

The On the Ropes series is a spin off from the Wrecked and Ruined Series. Although this series can easily be read as a stand alones, the characters of Slate, Erica, Leo, and Sarah were featured in Among the Echoes and Broken Course so reading them will provide more back ground info on the side characters in Fighting Silence.


Aly Martinez
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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 South Carolina, 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. Five books later, she shows no signs of slowing. 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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