Flint’s highly anticipated emotional story is FINALLY here!
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1HE3kt8
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1faAHHy
**Each book in the series can be read as a standalone**
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.
*****5 Utterly Fantastic Stars*****
Fighting Shadows Review
Every time I sit down to read a new book by Aly Martinez, I know that I am going to be reading a story that will give me everything. I know I’ll get extraordinary characters I’ll love fiercely, a story that gives and gives and then gives some more, and that I’m going to be feeling every ounce of that amazingly crafted book whole heartedly.
I got all of that and more while reading Fighting Shadows, the second book in her On The Ropes Series.
The instant I started it I knew I was going to love this story. After practically devouring Fighting Silence, I knew that this book would likely win me over in a nanosecond, and boy was I right on that one. Fighting Shadows was phenomenally intense, enrapturing as all get out, with so much outstanding emotion and feeling weaving its way breathtakingly throughout the pages of this book.
When I was reading Fighting Shadows, I wanted to fist pump in the air while simultaneously happy dancing because of what it allowed me to experience with its characters while I was reading. Even when it tried to rip my heart out because of what these characters were going through, I still wanted to happy dance and fist pump because I was so unbelievably connected to what they were going through. That was all possible because of how superbly Aly Martinez wrote and created this book, and Ash and Flint’s characters.
Fighting Shadows tells the story of Flint Page and Ash Mabie, two dynamic characters with some serious pasts and one serious connection, and it follows them both as they explore the ups and downs and turn arounds that their immense feelings bring. This book stole my heart the minute I began reading it. It had it all, and it was all nothing short of wonderful.
What was utterly fantastic about Fighting Shadows:
- Flint Page’s intensity. Flint Page is one intense man. And that is putting it mildly. You get to experience that intensity full force, and you get to see how that intensity just makes him who he is, and how it effects the choices he makes. That intensity is heated, powerful, and has a very strong stubborn streak, but that just made me love his character more because it just fit him, especially with all that he goes through. That intensity came from him in so many outstanding and remarkable ways, and it just allowed me to see so many different sides to his character. I got every bit of intense Flint Page, and I relished in all of that intensity while reading.
- Ash Mabie is a girl to remember. Ash Mabie is the best kind of quirky. She’s definitely different, is bursting with life and color and vibrancy, and will say just about the first thing that comes to her mind, even if it sounds completely ridiculous. I absolutely loved that girl to pieces. I loved her because she wasn’t afraid to just be her, and she completely owned who she was. I loved her because there was such an effervescent goodness beaming out of her, and I was in awe of the effect that goodness had on those around her. (Especially Flint!) I also just loved her because she was so unique and so fun, and I hearted that refreshing remarkability something fierce.
- Holy effing fiery connection. Flint and Ash share a connection that is intense and spark filled, and you will feel it the instant these two come around one another. Their chemistry is off the charts, and I thought the way that Aly Martinez showed that connection and how it developed over the course of the book was fantastic. I also could not get enough of what that passionate and fiery connection brought out in both of them, because that connection, that chemistry, and that heat made Ash and Flint realize a whole heck of a lot. And that was the best.
- The shadows of the past. One of the many things that made this book so fantastic was the shadows of the past that both of these characters had, especially Flint. The way that his past is explained, the way that that in turn affects his present in the story with himself and with Ash, and then how that past alters the course of this story was just phenomenal. Learning and getting to experience both Ash and Flint’s shadow laden pasts gave me such an extraordinary understanding of their characters. It also led to so many heart squeezing moments for them both where I wanted to jump into the book and give them both a big old hug.
- All the vulnerability they put out there. Both Ash and Flint’s characters have many incredible instances in Fighting Shadows where their vulnerability emanates from them. Those were the moments that just made this book for me, the moments that seared Ash and Flint and their story to my heart. Those moments when those walls came down, and they put themselves truly out there. It was in those moments that I realized so much about them both because of what they were experiencing and putting out there in those moments of true and utterly breathtaking vulnerability.
- The fight and determination that defines these characters. As you would probably expect, this book has all kinds of wonderful fight in it. Both of these characters are fighting their own personal shadows that’ll break your heart, their fighting with and for that all-consuming connection they’re sharing, and they’re fighting for themselves and one another. Even in those moments when it seems like what they’re going through is going to do them in, these two fight. They give it all they’ve got, and that is truly amazing to experience and feel. I guarantee you’re going to love all of that fight and what it brings out in both Ash and Flint.
- Heart bursting moments. There are many moments in Fighting Shadows that will simultaneously break, squeeze, and melt your heart because of what Ash and Flint are going through together and apart. Those moments highlight how fiercely connected you are to these characters and their story to because of what you’re feeling right along with them. Your heart will definitely be feeling every ounce of emotion and feeling thoughtfully crafted in this book. Your heart will be happy, it will hurt like hell at times, and it’ll go to these characters more times than you’ll be able to count, and you will relish in that heartfelt connection you feel.
- All the authentic charm and gut busting humor. There is humor and charm bursting out of this story. Those humorous moments were the best kind of breakup to all that phenomenal tension going on in this book. That humor and charm had me smiling like crazy and laughing my butt off more times than I could count. Much of that came from Ash, but a lot of it came from Flint, as well as the other wonderfully distinctive characters that make up the authentic world of this book.
- Page brothers for the win! So I am under the distinct impression that the Page brothers are officially some of the best brothers around. Till, Flint, and Quarry are just amazing. They’re each fantastically distinctive, and their interactions together warmed my heart because you know that these three are just there for each other through it all. Those brothers have such a shared connection through their pasts and what they go through, and it was just extraordinary to fully feel that brotherly love between them again. I can also not wait to get my hand on Quarry’s book after this one. I need his story in my life, like yesterday.
I will never forget reading Fighting Shadows, and what it was like to experience the pure literary magic that it created. I won’t ever forget Ash or Flint, or their fight to overcome the darkness, or their attempts at healing. I won’t forget how much I rooted for them, how much I loved them fiercely, and how much I wanted them to find that light they both so truly deserved. I won’t ever forget anything about this book because that’s how utterly extraordinary it is.
This is a book that stays with you in some way, shape, or form. It stays with you, it makes you feel every magnificently and thoughtfully crafted thing, and it gives you two characters who will permanently own a piece of your heart.
That piece is bursting with the perfect amount of humor, charm and ridiculousness, so much raw vulnerability and authenticity, and more glorious fight and stubbornness than you can shake a stick at. That piece is wholly unique, definitely different in the best kind of way, and vibrant as all get out because that’s what this book is. That’s what these characters are, and that’s what reading and experiencing Fighting Shadows is like.
Something also tells me that the piece of my heart that Flint Page and Ash Mabie now forever own is filled with stars and weeds and newsies and neon green converses. It’s a place where dreams go on for days, and where Eye of the Tiger plays on full blast all day long.
That is one distinctive and beautifully vibrant piece that I will always love fiercely. Once you read this unforgettable book, I think you’ll agree that that piece of your heart that these characters and their story now own is something you’ll always treasure, and will truly never want to let go of. Ever.
Flint and Ash Excerpt
“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.”
- 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.
Haven’t read this series yet? Meet Flint Quarry, Till & Eliza
in Fighting Silence
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1Lhhn62
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.