Blog Tour and Giveaway: Fighting Silence: Aly Martinez

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Fighting Silence (On the Ropes #1)
Aly Martinez
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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.

Each book in this series can be read as a standalone.

"That wasn't yours to take away," he exploded into the otherwise silent night. His words echoed off the surrounding buildings, each wave slicing me to the quick all over again. "That was our place. Not yours." His voice cracked right alongside my heart.

"Yeah, well, there was a lot of stuff that wasn't yours to take either." I held his gaze, desperately trying to be strong, but as his eyes grew wide, I whimpered.

His long legs strode forward, stopping only inches away from me. He was crowding me, but he still leaned in closer to my face. "There is nothing in this world that was ever more mine than you," he stated. Though it was the absolute truth, I wished with all my heart that it were a lie.

"Till," I cried, swiping the tears from my eyes.

"Why!" he shouted, causing his muscles to tense under the force. "Goddamn it! I needed that place."

Porch lights flashed on from the surrounding apartments, illuminating not only the dark but also my rage.

I shoved my hands into his chest. "What about what I needed? You left! I waited in that fucking apartment for weeks."

He didn't budge, but my bare feet slipped, sending me toward the ground. Impossibly fast, Till's hand snaked out and caught my arm. I didn't let his chivalrous gesture douse my fire. I had six months’ worth of words to say to the man I was irrevocably in love with.

"You took what you wanted. Then you left me."

"Doodle," he whispered.

I had been perilously close to the edge of insanity, and with one single word, he’d pushed me over.

I lost it completely.

Pounding my fists against his chest, I screamed at the top of my lungs, "It's Eliza! My name is fucking Eliza! Not Doodle!" I spun to march away, but Till's arms folded around me, lifting me off my feet to restrain me.

I was miniscule compared to him. There was no use in fighting, but I still kicked my legs, irrationally desperate to get away from him—but only because I knew I couldn't keep him for forever.
"Stop it!" he growled into my ear. "I know your Goddamn name—probably better than I know my own."

I'd never had anything I could call my own, but Eliza Reynolds would always be mine.

Two lonely thirteen year olds, Till Page and Eliza Reynolds, met and connected over a secret hiding place, similar backgrounds, and a sense of humor. Their private friendship blossomed for years, but was their secret. They lived typical teenage experiences by day, and bonded together in their place in by night.

But their lives had challenges and their futures were uncertain. And the only safety net they ever seemed to have was each other. They had a bond that continued to grow over the years. but so did their feelings and life complications. They seemed to move forward and then be forced to take a step back.

Till was the protector. He wanted to take care of her and his younger brothers Flint and Quarry. He always had grown up responsibilities and little hope. He liked to keep his little patch of fantasy to himself and not share with others. He also was dealing with a situation that would change his life in the future. Eliza was his lifeline, but he also had such fear and insecurities, and was so worried about losing her that he often got in the way of their progression. At times, I wanted to slap sense into the guy, but he was always trying to do the right thing for everyone else.

I can't handle  that she has to settle for a future filled with struggles just to be with me. I love her. I really f***ing do. But at what point do I let her go because I know she'd have a better life with someone else?

Eliza was so sweet, nurturing, but also had a tenacity and strength to her. She knew Till was the one person who could destroy her, but also realized she had to fight for him if she wanted him. She was the stabilizer most of the time and knew what she wanted her reality to be. But sometimes it seemed like there would always be a fight and sometimes it was hard to tell who would win. 

He wasn't alone in this. Because if he were, that would mean that I was alone too. I needed the Page boys far more than they needed me.

But I adored these two together and individually.  They had such fun rapport, deep connection, and a strong need to support each other. They were two lost, abandoned souls that really completed each other. And with his two younger brothers, they made their own family like they never had before. Their lives were never easy. Their was always something to challenge them and some things seemed insurmountable, but they had to find ways to navigate the difficult paths and keep moving forward. 

I loved everything about his book. Even though there were some heartbreaking subjects and issues, it was not a dark book. But I will admit that there were times I got frustrated or wanted to cry for what they were going through. But it was also humorous, sweet, romantic, and inspiring. I loved how these two fought for each other and for family. I was thrilled to see Slate and Erica Andrews (Among the Echoes) involvement with these kids and how they took them under their protective wing. And also enjoyed more with Leo, Sarah, and Liv from Broken Course too.

This is an epic, heartfelt story of true love, family, strength, perseverance, and hope. It spans over a decade and is told in both points of view with even a little insight into his brothers' heads. All of these characters showed such growth and went through so much. I fell hard for Till Page, have a girl crush on Eliza, and both Flint and Quarry burrowed themselves into my heart. Each of these young men also matured throughout the story and their personalities and strengths began to shine. But they also have issues that will affect them in the future.

There was pain, joy, drama, sadness, anger, suspense, and lots of love, It had twists and surprises, and so much depth of feeling. I felt everything they did...every time they were knocked down, dealt a bad hand, and in turn every little moment of joy and success. It was a great combination of a sweeping love story built over time layered with the raw edge of boxing and some dangerous and suspenseful elements thrown in. I was enthralled from the first page, completely engaged throughout, and was sad to see it end.  It was truly a heartfelt journey with these characters. I really want Flint and Quarry's stories now! She already gave us some hints of things they have in store for them.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Eliza and Till don’t have many comforts in their young lives. Neither have parents who care or even pay attention to them. Till struggles to keep his brothers out of trouble and together, while Eliza counts down the days until she can get away from the constant arguing of her parents. An abandoned apartment becomes a refuge for both a friendship develops between the girl who draws and the boy who climbs in her window every day.

Even when it looks like they might begin to make headway in a relationship outside their self-imposed bubble, that bubble bursts and in an effort to keep reality away for a little longer, they go their separate ways.

But these two have more tying them together than their teenage fantasy, and as their ties pull them back together again, Till begins to realize that Eliza isn’t running from his stresses and is willing to stand beside him to ease his burden.

There was nothing quick or easy about their story. Their lives are full of struggles, and even as they begin to put the past behind them, each lives with the memory of having nothing except the shelter of the fantasy they built together.

I loved the addition of Till’s brothers to the story. Both as individual characters and in the ways they move this particular story along, I loved the personalities, the shared pasts, and the bits of levity the brothers brought.

Fans of Aly’s Wrecked and Ruined series will appreciate the influence of Slate and Erica in various aspects of Till and his brothers’ lives.

The title? Perfect for this whole story. I had that moment while reading where the title just clicked, and I felt it -- Till’s emotions, his strength, his fear, and his will to fight something he couldn’t avoid but couldn’t control. Fighting Silence was such an emotional ride on so many levels.

I don’t even have words for the end of this book. I absolutely loved everything about Eliza and Till’s story, from start to finish. And with the way this book finished, I cannot wait to see what Aly has in store for the next book. Just. No words.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Wrecked and Ruined Series
The On the Ropes series is a new series that spins off from the Wrecked and Ruin Series. Although this series can easily be read as a stand alone, 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.

On The Ropes Series
These upcoming books will feature Till's brothers

Aly Martinez Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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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