Release Day Launch and Reviews: The Darkest Sunrise: Aly Martinez

The Darkest Sunrise
Aly Martinez
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Release date July 13, 2017

Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.  

Whoever coined that phrase is a bald-faced liar. Words are often the sharpest weapon of all, triggering some of the most powerful emotions a human can experience. 

“You’re pregnant.”  

“It’s a boy.”  

“Your son needs a heart transplant.”  

Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.  


Syllables and letters may not be tangible, but they can still destroy your entire life faster than a bullet from a gun.  

Two words—that was all it took to extinguish the sun from my sky. 

“He’s gone.”  

For ten years, the darkness consumed me.  

In the end, it was four deep, gravelly words that gave me hope of another sunrise.  

“Hi. I’m Porter Reese.”
Spoiler free review

I am sitting here forcing myself to take some deep breaths and compose myself as I write this review...I cannot say that much specifically about about the plot of this book because it is one that you just need to dive in and experience. I devoured this first part of the duet and now I am completely jonesing for the second part to see how it all plays out.

This is the story of two broken people. Charlotte Mills is a work-a-holic Doctor that has not been living life for the past ten years. She is destroyed, guilt-ridden, grief stricken, and lost in darkness.

Porter Reese has his own demons and pain. He is a single father and busy business owner. But his past has marked him and he is plagued by anger, guilt, and regret. His life is challenging and he does the best he can to take care of those he cares about, but it never seems to be enough.

These two meet and somehow can see through their masks to their damaged cores. They can sense the fact they are both survivors, just going through the motions, and barely getting by. Porter pushes her to allow him to accompany her in the darkness with no questions, no judgment, faking, or apologies.

Hope sparks only to be put out intermittently. Together they can be real, breathe, laugh, and even begin to share. But their lives and issues provide natural barriers. It is hard to hold on and to let go of their pasts. It is hard to hold onto each other and fight their demons. Porter especially is torn between his chaotic world and Charlotte's needs.

But I adored Porter. He was trying so hard to be what everyone needed him to be and he was already only half functioning before. He was understanding, patient, kind, and had a good sense of humor And Charlotte was trying even though she was clearly struggling.  Porter could bring her back to life in increments. But it was still hard to hold onto the thought of truly emerging from the darkness to live in the light again.

There are no easy answers or cures for healing. And sometimes even when it seems things cannot get any worse, fate has some more surprises to toss into the equation.

This book is beautifully written and intricately layered in multiple points of view.  It is a truly unique story that is tragic, heartbreaking, passionate, and has glimmers of hope and humor. It sucked me in, held me captive, ripped me to shreds, and would start to sew me back together before tearing me up again. And then it just left me needing the next part so that I can breathe again. I am completely and utterly invested in these characters and this story.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 
Wow! This book was so much more than I imagined, and without giving anything away I will just say it is an emotional rollercoaster -- by turns gut wrenching and hopeful, grief filled and funny, heavy and light. This review will be fairly short, as so much of what I wish I could talk about is too much of a spoiler. It is best to go into this book with as little information about the plot and characters as possible.

Porter and Charlotte both hold a darkness inside them born of past pain. Together they find some solace, but the even though Porter helps Charlotte’s pain, only she can heal it. But letting people in isn’t easy for either one. Charlotte is a work-aholic who has given herself almost no free time in the past 10 years, while Porter is a single father working to open yet another restaurant.

This story had me tearing up almost from the beginning, and though I tried to read in public a couple times because of necessity, I found I couldn’t keep it up for very long due to the stinging in eyes and warning signs of more tears. I picked this book up as often as I could and raced to the finish, wiping my eyes the whole way.

But for all the heavy emotions, there is plenty of light as well. I loved watching Porter and Charlotte get to know each other through text messages. Porter’s awkward sense of humor was the perfect touch for several of the heaviest moments.

But as this is the first of a duet, it ends on an absolute bomb of a cliff. Both points of view narrating the story mean readers know what both characters are thinking and feeling, but by the end I feel like there are still so many questions and mysteries! I cannot wait to get my hands on The Brightest Sunset in order to find out what happens next in this world.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
You won't want to miss this amazing series! Click here to get the pre-order links as soon as they're live, and to hear about giveaways and events for this duet.

The Brightest Sunset
 (The Darkest Sunrise #2)

Coming July 27th

Pre-order Amazon

Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.  


Words destroyed me.  

“I’m sorry. She didn’t make it.”  

“Daddy, he can’t breathe!”  

“There’s nothing more we can do for your son.”  

Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.  


Those syllables and letters became my executioner. I told myself that, if I didn’t acknowledge the pain and the fear, they would have no power over me. But, as the years passed, the hate and the anger left behind began to control me.  

Two words—that was all it took to plunge my life into darkness.  

“He’s gone.”  

In the end, it was four soft, silky words that gave me hope of another sunrise. 

“Hi. I’m Charlotte Mills.”

Originally from Savannah, Georgia, USA Today bestselling author Aly Martinez now lives in South Carolina with her four young children. 

Never one to take herself too seriously, she enjoys cheap wine, mystery leggings, and baked feta. It should be known, however, that she hates pizza and ice cream, almost as much as writing her bio in the third person.  

She passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a super-sized tumbler of wine by her side.    
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