Review Post: Across the Horizon by Aly Martinez

“Sometimes love happens when you least expect it.” That was what my husband’s mistress told me the day I found out about their affair.

I didn’t believe it until five minutes later when mouth-watering celebrity chef Tanner Reese walked up, tossed his arm around my shoulders, and told my cheating husband to take a hike.

Tanner and I couldn’t have been more different. He spent his weekends at clubs, rubbing elbows with fellow A-listers. I spent mine in yoga pants with cheese boards and a glass of wine—or six.

Our relationship shouldn’t have worked, but it did. That is until Tanner proved to me that even though love happens when you least expect it…

So does heartbreak.

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*****5 COMPLETELY AMAZING STARS*****

To say that I was ready for this book is the understatement of the century. From the moment I entered this world and met Tanner Reese in The Darkest Sunrise, I NEEDED his story. I needed him. I needed into his head and his heart and I needed all the minutes and hours and days with that man.

And let me tell you, getting into his head and getting his story did not disappoint. Not one little bit.

How do I even begin to explain my love of Tanner Reese?

First, he is the best. Like the absolute best. He is hysterical. He is swoony. He knows how to hold hands like a boss. He is hot AF. He is endearing in a way that is completely irresistible. He is real and so much more than the persona he puts out to the world.

He is Tanner Reese. He’s just him.

And when you read this book, and get to know him, you will realize that that is the best way to describe him. Tanner is Tanner, and nobody could be him, except for him. That is how distinctive his character is.

Across the Horizon is a story of what happens when love and connection and fire comes at the exact wrong time. It is a story that will have you laughing hysterically at the banter of these characters. It is a story that will take ahold of your heart with everything it gives you. It is a story that will make you smile and swoon through every single word. It is a story that will give you it all.

This book is a story of what happens when two people who have no business being together, can’t seem to stay apart, no matter how hard they might try to fight it.

This story follows Tanner Reese and Rita Hartley, two characters who live in very different worlds, yet share more with one another than they ever thought possible. Rita has just broken up with her philandering husband and Tanner has his own relationship mess to handle, but when these two are thrust together in one of the most memorable moments ever, they start to realize that there might just be something so real and so right building between them. Across the Horizon is there story of finding that one person who might just change everything at the exact wrong time.

It is a story filled to the brim with banter, one helluva connection, and a spark that just won’t quit for nothing between its two main characters. And that is just part of what makes it one of my top reads of the year.

What I loved about this story was Tanner and Rita. I mean they made this book. They made it beyond enjoyable. They made it so a page didn’t go by where I wasn’t laughing hysterically at their banter, humor, and personalities. They pulled my heart in with all that they had with how real they were, how honest they were, and how heartfelt they were with where they were at and how they were doing. Not to mention, they had a spark that created a tangible level of build and intensity that was practically palpable on every page of this book.

Rita and Tanner were just phenomenal. They were them from start to finish. Flaws and craziness and all. They were so authentic, so easy to love and relate to, and so easy to root for. From the very start of this story I loved them both, felt completely consumed by them both and what was building between them, and I just could not get enough of them.

I couldn’t get enough of the connection they shared. I could not get enough of how real they could be with one another, and how they had such an exceptional way of knowing and seeing each other. They just immediately understood each other. They immediately saw the truth in each other. They immediately felt a pull that was so intense and so right, even if the timing was so wrong. I just could not get enough of everything that Aly Martinez so phenomenally brought to life with them.

Aly Martinez created a completely unforgettable, vibrant, and wholly enjoyable story in Across the Horizon.

She brought us back to a world, to a group of characters, and to a story that will always hold a piece of my heart. The way that she exceptionally brought Tanner and Rita’s story to life was everything. It really was. The way that she brought me back to a story and a world that I LOVE was everything. The way she wove in Tanner and Rita’s story, without spoiling anything from The Darkest Sunrise and The Brightest Sunrise, while also giving me a new perspective on moments from those stories and that world was EVERYTHING. (It also highlights the shear talent this woman has as a writer that she was able to give me more, without spoiling or giving away too much of the other story that this one connects into. Allllll the snaps for Aly Martinez on that one!)

The way that she put me right in the thick of it with Tanner and Rita as they opened their hearts to one another, as they cut through all the layers, and as they really saw and started to feel for one another was everything.

It was everything and then some.

I really can’t say that enough.

Across the Horizon was the exact book I needed. It was funny, it was light, it was refreshing and full of a life and vibrancy that I could not get enough of. What I loved about this book was that it was on the lighter side for an Aly Martinez book, yet it still had her distinctive writing, and it still had a level of emotion and feels to it that brought tears to my eyes a few times. I loved that as much as she made me laugh while reading this book, she gave me the feels too. She gave me the heart of this story and these characters in a way that seared me to them as everything with them unfolded. She invested me so deeply in them and their journeys as characters, while also keeping me on my toes and reminding me how precariously close those two were to the edge of a cliff.

Trust me when I say that Aly Martinez delivers it all in this book. And while you might think Across the Horizon won’t shock you or emotionally murder you just a bit because of its humor and fun…don’t give up hope quite yet, because Aly Martinez always has a trick or an emotional murder weapon up her sleeve.

Tanner and Rita were also just the best. And in case you’re wondering, Rita Hartley is the perfect match for that man. Tanner Reese is his own force to be reckoned with, and that man needed someone that would keep him on his toes. Rita Hartley is that woman. She is a force to be reckoned with herself. She is fire, she is strength, and she completely understands the appeal of Robb Stark so clearly she is amazing in so many ways. But more than that, she is the perfect woman for Tanner Reese. She gets to him. She makes him want to be the best he can be, and she makes him nervous. She is no wilting flower that girl, and even though I love Tanner with my entire heart and want to keep him to myself forever, if I had to share him with someone, it would be Rita.

Those two share something that is so real and that will touch every part of your heart. It might be the wrong time for them, they might have a world of hurdles in front of them, and it might be crazy, but it’s them. And it works. You will absolutely love getting to be with Tanner and Rita as they feel what they do, and as they try to figure it all out. Their story will give you many memorable moments that will have you laughing your butt off, that will have you feeling all the feels, and that will have you believing with every ounce of your being that these two people belong together.

I truly can’t say enough how much I loved this book and how much I NEEDED this story in my life.

Across the Horizon was everything I needed and more.

It was a story that I have been wanting and needing ever since first meeting both Tanner and Rita. It is a story that gave me life, gave me the feels, and gave me two dynamic characters with a banter and a connection that just wouldn’t quit. This book was exceptionally written and crafted. It was a light and funny read that still packed an emotional punch that will steal your breath away. This story is one that I will never forget, and as I sit here writing this review all I can think about is how much I already miss Tanner and Rita.

I miss their craziness. I miss their banter. I miss their lovable selves that just owned their craziness and everything that they were doing and feeling. I miss their honesty. I miss their palpable connection.

I miss them. So much.

What Aly Martinez created in Across the Horizon with them was phenomenal in every way. She created a story that was worthy of them and that exemplified who they truly are. She made this book that I never wanted to leave, and she made them two characters that I loved and felt for with all that I had. She gave me everything with those two, and she made them both so distinctive and memorable in a way that only she could with her writing.

She gave me it all.

She gave me Tanner. She gave me Rita. She gave me a ninja warrior course, a new love and appreciation of Game of Thrones, the breathtaking meaning of hand holding, and most of all, she gave me a love story that was vibrant, perfectly authentic and heartfelt, and so very fun and so very real.

And honestly, I will forever love what I got with Tanner and Rita in this book because it was everything.

Everything I needed, everything I wanted, everything that was deserving of Tanner and Rita, and everything that I have come to love about a book by Aly Martinez.

I shifted the phone to my other ear and asked her, “Did you just get in bed?”

“If, by bed, you mean carrying a glass of wine out back to swing in the hammock, maybe.”

I bit my bottom lip, my head falling back against the headrest. For most men, this would have been an innocuous statement. But for a hammock connoisseur like myself, this was the normal guy equivalent of her saying that she liked to give blowjobs during halftime.

“You have a hammock out back?”

There was a delay in her response, which was followed by a subtle kiss of her lips on what I assumed was a wine glass. “Don’t knock it until you try it. It’s one of the most underrated luxuries in outdoor furniture.”

“Oh, I’m not knocking anything. Rope or quilted?”

“Mayan, actually.”

“Oh, sweet heavenly baby Jesus, she’s beautiful and knows her hammocks. I’ve never been so turned on in my life.”

She giggled, pausing for another sip. “You know, if you leaked this hammock fetish to the press, you could probably increase demand by five million percent and singlehandedly lower the country’s unemployment rate.”

Okay, so at some point during the day, she’d figured out who I was.

But! Even with this knowledge, she was trying to avoid a date with me and was not elbow-deep in planning our televised wedding. This was a definite plus in my book.

“Yeah, but then, when I talked to beautiful women like yourself, I’d have no idea if the hammock was your idea or a ploy to impress me.”

“Jeez, that’s sad, Tanner,” she said, her sweet Southern accent like a wave rolling over my name.

I’d meant it as a joke, but it was the absolute truth when it came to dating. Early on in my career, I’d done a rapid-fire interview about my personal life. One of the questions had been: What would your ideal woman order on the first date? Truth be told, the only thing I hoped my ideal woman would order was something she wanted. I didn’t factor into that. But I’d been on my last question in my last interview of the last day of a month-long press tour. My face had hurt from fake smiling, I’d been in desperate need of a shower, a smoke, and sleep, and my mind had been mush, so I’d prattled off the first thing that had come to mind: shrimp and grits.

That one little answer somehow made it onto my Wiki page, and after that, every woman I’d taken out ordered shrimp and grits. One of them even had a shellfish allergy and nearly ended up in the hospital. And this insanity was not limited to women outside of the spotlight.

I’d once gone on a date with America’s princess of pop, Levee Williams. We’d hit it off at a charity event. For one of the most famous women in the world, she was a surprisingly nice girl, gorgeous, and funny as all get out. But the first time I took her out? One guess what she ordered.

I was at the end of my rope with dating and lost my freaking mind before storming out like an asshole. That night, as I was reporting shrimp and fucking grits as an error to Wiki, I noticed that her page listed it as her favorite food. I’d never had the balls to contact her again, and I once hid behind a palm tree on Rodeo Drive when I heard the clamoring of paparazzi calling her name. But that’s neither here nor there.

In short, while finding a woman was all too easy, dating was hard.

But that wasn’t about to stop me from trying with Rita.

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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