Friday, February 12, 2016

Blog Tour ~ Fighting Solitude (On the Ropes #3) by Aly Martinez @AlyMartinezAuth

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Fighting Solitude is Book Three in the On The Ropes Series by Aly Martinez and is Quarry’s highly anticipated story.

Now Available!
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**Each book in the series can be read as a standalone**

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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.

Fighting Solitude
“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.
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.
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.  

4.5 Stars
After reading the synopsis, I could not wait to get my hands on Quarry’s romance and seriously kicking myself for not reading the first two installments - something I plan on rectifying real soon, because I simply fell in love with all the Page Brothers, as well as the emotional way Martinez pens her tales. Regardless, the story told in Fighting Solitude flowed effortlessly, as I was fully absorbed into the lives of two extremely damaged children, their life long friendship, and the true love that blossomed. This read was heart warming, tearfully heart wrenching, filled with nail biting angst and loads of drama as Quarry fought to claim the heart of his true soul mate, while Liv struggled to move beyond her hang-ups and believed unrequited love.
Liv and Quarry have a special bond. I adored seeing their interactions, the funny banter, their innocence, and the way each calmed the storms that raged within. As children, they were both plagued with demons – Quarry battled rejection from his parents’ abandonment, while Liv’s life was riddled with fears. Trust was the foundation of their relationship, as Quarry sensed Liv’s need for protection against her vulnerabilities while Liv was the force that fed him strength and comfort. Best friends until Quarry was shaken by a family trauma that left him defeated. I felt all his anguish as he foolishly decided to push Liv out of his life in a way that left her devastated. Their connection was severed for years until Liv made the effort to reunite, when discovering Quarry was losing his hearing. But things changed while they were apart. Quarry was bigger, stronger, a powerhouse of a boxer who has matured beautifully…and unfortunately in love with a girl named Mia March. Poor Liv, even during the separation, she could not deny that Quarry (aka Q) was her one true love. My heart ached seeing Liv bury her amorous feelings. He was always at arms length, but never more than a friend, even years after Mia’s death. 

Reading second chance romances can be very tricky.  The author is faced with the responsibility of convincing me that both the hero and heroine share a genuine love. I had some mixed feelings for a great portion of this read mainly due to Mia’s character. The prologue introduced her death and Q’s despair.  The aftermath left both Q and Liv shattered from her loss and me wondering… would this couple find their way to true love? It was a great hurdle for me to overcome. However, this author created such a beautiful image of Q, I had no choice but to believe his sincerity. He was the quintessential flawed hero that was patient, determined, loving and most importantly sexy.  Liv was eternally imprinted within his heart, but it took years after Mia’s death to realize her true place in his life. He may have loved Mia, but Liv was his soul mate and his future. I swooned when seeing the great lengths he traveled to regain Liv’s trust and finally claim what was his all along.  I adored the sweet little boy who shouldered the responsibility to guard Liv, and the sensual man who proved his undying love.
Liv was a witty, spirited sweet girl who was a great friend and beyond loyal…in fact too loyal at times.  She had my sympathies during the aftermath of Q’s reckless actions, and all the years spent masking her feelings. Yet, she frustrated me with the constant guilt over loving ‘Mia’s man’ and the endless inability to move beyond the past. It was maddening. Q has proven his remorse, love and trustworthiness repeatedly. She was just too stubborn to let it go and it worked on my last nerve at times.  But once Q tore down her defenses, tenderly showering her with affection, Liv’s character came to life and I grew to like the woman she became.
Although this romance is by no means a love triangle, Mia played a major part of this story, as her presence and memory overshadowed this couples’ relationship in every way. Honestly, I did not like her at all and found her to be cunning and manipulative. Sure, I felt bad when she died, but resented how she controlled their lives. As bitter and cold as it sounds, I was happy when Mia was finally out of the picture, so I could feel the love that Q and Liv shared without any obstruction.  It was exhausting seeing her memory dragged throughout the story and yet another struggle for them to overcome.

Phew…glad to get my Mia vexation off my chest…
In the end, I loved this story and cherished all of their sorrows and joys. From early beginnings, to their undeniable love, this couple had a tight hold on my affections. Quarry was ridiculously hot, and his sexiness made this read even more pleasurable. Aly Martinez scripted a memorable tale with just the right amount of chemistry, sexual tension and passion. I always savor a read layered with plot twists that have me on edge, and there was certainly no shortage of drama. Fighting Solitude was a well written, emotionally driven friends turned lovers romance that is a must read.   

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Fighting Silence (Book One) On the Ropes
ONLY $0.99

Fighting Shadows (Book Two) On The Ropes
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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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