Review Post: When the Walls Come Down by M. Mabie & Aly Martinez

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“Exactly what I needed to relax, laugh, and swoon after a hard day. I cannot wait to see what M. Mabie and Aly Martinez come up with next.”
–Carrie Ann Ryan, New York Times Bestselling Author

When the Walls Come Down, an all-new, steamy, swoony, highly entertaining office romance from USA Today bestselling author Aly Martinez and M. Mabie is available now!

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Did you ever hear the joke about the guy whose wife cheated on him with his best friend? So he quit his job, moved into his parents’ basement, and gained fifty pounds?

No? Because that wasn’t a joke. It was my life.

Four years later, I’m back with a dream job, a killer apartment, and a set of abs that are better than ever.

So, when Maggie Light, a stunning, snarky blonde moves in next door, and we spend the hottest weekend of our lives together, I think this could be the greatest comeback story ever.

That is until I realize Maggie has moved to town to do one thing—steal my job.

Maybe this isn’t a comeback story after all. Maybe this is war—one I intend to win.

What I never anticipated was that maybe I’d rather win her.

Perhaps, if I’m lucky, the universe has finally run out of jokes and I can somehow win both.


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Oh, for fuck’s sake. Am I a man or not?

Here goes fucking nothing.

Take a risk, my ass. I’d fucking show Casey and Blake a damn risk.

I marched down to where she was sitting. “Hi, I’m Shane.”

She looked shocked, maybe a little startled by my approach—and rightly so. I’d stalked over like the fucking Terminator, all amped up from my private pep talk.

“The bartender, Chris, said you’re new in town, and it’s your first time here.”

Her sparkling blue eyes stood out against her makeup, and now—standing close to her—I could smell her perfume. A subtle and warm scent that made me want to lean in.

What the fuck had I been thinking?

To put it mildly, she was out of my league, but hey… Risks, right?

“If you’re dining alone, would you mind if I offer a suggestion from the menu?”

“I was only looking it over out of curiosity. I really just came in for a drink or two.” She folded it and placed it on the wooden top in front of her.

Goddamn, that cleavage.

“Oh. Yeah. Okay. Well, then…uh…let me get one for you.” I might have strutted over like the Terminator, but I was fumbling over my words like Barney Fife and beginning to sweat like a Crossfitter.

Her brows bunched. “Um, you really don’t have to do that.”

“Please. After the day I’ve had, I’ll actually have one with you.” I swiped at the back of my neck. “The drinks are good here. Very cold. Wet.” Jesus fucking Christ, Shane. Wet!? “Um. Alcoholic, if that’s what you’re into.” I waved Chris—and his bigger-than-life shit-eating grin—down to us.

“Find something you’d like?” he asked her.

“I’ll just have a Titos and cranberry,” she answered. “I hear they’re very cold and wet here.”

Chris looked at me disappointedly, probably guessing at how badly I’d botched this introduction. He wasn’t wrong, but she hadn’t told me to fuck off yet.


“And I’ll take a Honeybee Brown,” I added.

He spun on his heel, shocked. “Really?”

I shrugged and shot daggers at him. “Really. A pint, please.”

“A cold, wet one too, eh? Okay, man. Coming right up.” He made our drinks and then about a dozen more for the servers who were keeping him busy.

“Thanks for the drink,” she said, clinking our glasses together, her eyes never quite meeting mine.

“Yeah. Sure. No problem.” I followed her lead and took a sip.

“So, do you come here a lot, Shane?”

My name on her lips had me clearing my throat.

“Yes,” replied our asshole bartender before I could answer.

“I live close,” I explained, and she nodded in understanding. “So, where did you come to the Bay from?” I took another sip, realizing that counting the beer I’d had with Casey earlier and this one, I was nearing my only-a-few-drinks daily limit. So I’d be savoring the pint as long as she didn’t seem too put off by my dusty-ass small talk. Otherwise, I could chug it down and then be on my merry way, leaving her to enjoy her night without a divorced, practically fired dude bugging her.

“Atlanta,” she replied and swirled a piece of ice with the drink stirrer in her glass. Still no eye contact.

Small talk. I fumbled for more small talk.

“You have family here?”

“No, I’ve always wanted to get out of Georgia. So, when I landed a job out here, it seemed like a sign.”

Finally, her blue eyes met mine and… Fuck, if I could have just remembered to blink, I’d have been doing well. I feared if I broke the gaze for just a second, I’d never see that color again, because surely it was a mirage of some sort. Like a crystal-blue pool in a desert. The kind of trick eyes could only play on a man who hadn’t been laid in nearly half a decade.

She finished with, “I start on Monday. I guess fate is as good a time as any to take a risk.”

*****5 Completely Unforgettable Stars*****

M. Mabie and Aly Martinez are two of my favorite authors and people ever. They are two of the first indie authors I read when I started blogging 6 years ago, and I have been a fan of theirs since the very start of their writing careers. They have emotionally murdered me in more books that I can count on all of my fingers and I effing love it. Those two have crafted some of the most unforgettable and exceptional stories that I have ever had the pleasure of reading.

Let’s just say I love their words and what they create with them. Like a lot. Like a lot a lot.

So when I found out two of my all time favorite authors and people were cowriting a book together, I might have actually shrieked so loudly that it alarmed members of my family. To say I was excited for this book and story to be in my life is the understatement of the century, and to say that I LOVED this book is putting it too mildly. This book was everything I didn’t even know I needed in my life.

M. Mabie and Aly Martinez wrote one hell of a book with When the Walls Come Down. They killed it…and shockingly they didn’t kill or emotionally maim any of their characters off in this book. (Which if you’ve read their books before you know that must not have been an easy feat!) They infused their distinctive voices into writing a book that made me laugh, made me swoon and melt, and that even brought some tears to my eyes.

It was perfection.

Simply put, this book is one of the best books that I have ever had the chance to read.

When the Walls Come Down is a story of endings and beginnings. A story of kismet and serendipity. A story of two people who meet each other at the exact right and wrong time. It is a story of two people who are beyond right for one another, who have the most incredible pull to one another, yet soon find that there is more trying to pull them apart too. This story is about the walls we put up. The physical, emotional, and mental walls that can cage us in if we let them. This book is a story about hard choices, real truths, and all of the feelings and swoon and fire that comes in between.

This book is all about Shane and Maggie, their tangible spark and connection, their utterly incredible journey together, and what happens when those walls that were so thoughtfully crafted start to crack and crumble and come down to reveal what truly could be.

This story is all about Shane and Maggie. Their distinctive voices are infused through every breath of this book and it just gives it such a life, such a personality and vivid feel to it that shines through every word. this book follows Shane and Maggie as they’re both at a crossroads in their lives. It’s the endings and beginnings coming together in so many ways, with their literal spark and connection pulling them closer and closer to one another. From the moment those two meet, they can’t stop seeing one another, they can’t stop wanting to be together, and they can’t stop thinking about what could be. This story allows you to be with them as they take that chance, as they experience that pull, and as they come face to face with the walls that just might be trying to keep them apart.

This book is sweet and funny and light. It is bursting with tangible spark and life with Shane and Maggie. It is a book that will have you swooning and melting and falling more and more for those two with every word you read.

And that is just scratching the surface of what makes this such a special and fantastic story.

What I loved about this book was that it had it all. It had the humor and the banter that was so glorious and that made my cheeks literally hurt because I was laughing and smiling so much with these two as I read their story. I loved that there was such a heat with these characters. Their connection was on fire and was practically palpable through every part of this story. These authors completely brought that to life and that set this book on fire. I loved that even though their story was light and fun and easy in some ways, it also made me and these characters work for it. It had that emotion, it had that heart, it had that perfect amount of struggle that fit this story and these characters and what they were sharing. It was just enough and it was everything to read.

What Aly Martinez and M. Mabie created in this book for Shane and Maggie was spectacular. There’s no way around it. They wrote one hell of a book. They wrote a story that I loved from the very first word. They created characters that I rooted for from those very first pages. They brought me back to a world that I didn’t even realized I missed so much until I was right back in the thick of it. They wrote a love story that stole every part of my heart and that had these characters taking up every emotion and feel I had along the way.

When the Walls Come Down lets these authors’ writing shine. The cohesiveness of their writing, of what they create with Shane and Maggie, and what they allow you to experience with their characters on this serendipitous adventure is nothing short of magical. You can tell through every word of this book that these authors’ truly loved what they were writing, that they loved these characters and they loved what they were creating in this book. That love is so infused into every word. That love and life creates the most effervescent spark through every moment of this book. That love that embodies the writing of this book and the characters it allows you to fall in love with is truly what sets this book apart.

I love that this book not only gave me another opportunity to read words by these authors, but it brought me back to some of their characters that have owned my heart for years. (Let’s just say there was a lot more squealing when those characters I LOVED came back into play with Shane and Maggie!) Getting to be back in these worlds as they collided, getting to be there with Shane and Maggie as they fought for and against what they were feeling, as they felt that glorious push and pull grow and grow, and getting to be there through everything that came their way was nothing short of wonderful.

I just loved Shane and Maggie.

I loved how right they felt together. I loved the spark and fire and chemistry that was there right from the start. I love that everything felt so serendipitous, even in those moments when I wondered how they were going to make it through. I love that I believed in them, that I rooted for them, that my whole heart was in it with them through every turn of that page. I loved that these authors really allowed me to understand and get their characters on the deepest of levels. They let me get why every single thing happened to the way that it did in this story, and they let me be there in those moments as it all changed and as Shane and Maggie took their chance at it all.

I loved that through every word of this book I was with the two of them, taking cracks at those walls, living in the humor and glorious banter filled connection they shared, while fighting and hoping with my whole heart that those two would find a way to figure it all out.

Maggie Light is a girl ready to take on the world. She has dreams and goals, and much to her older brother’s chagrin, she is ready to take them all on with her new adventure that brings her to San Francisco. What she wasn’t expecting was one Shane Warren who makes her question everything she thought she knew and wanted. Maggie is fierce and fun and just real. She is easy to relate to, she is beyond easy to love, and her banter is on a whole different level. She is a girl searching for that new beginning that will bring her closer to the life she’s always wanted and dreamed of, and she isn’t afraid to put in the hard work that’s needed. She is a gem and you will love her right from the start.

Shane Warren is a man who’s been through a lot. After a not so swell time and a divorce that changed everything, he is back on his feet and loving his new life. That is until he’s forced, in a not so subtle way, to realize that he might have just become a little too complacent in that new life he fought so hard for. Enter in Maggie Light, a girl who truly changes it all for him and makes him realize even more the walls that have been caging him in. She keeps him on his toes, and she brings out the heart melting charm that Shane is ready to give. Shane is just the best. He is charming, kind, and real. He is a good guy who is trying to figure out a way to have it all, and you will love getting to be there with him as he makes his way through.

Maggie and Shane are beyond right, and you will love getting to be there with the two of them as they share what they do, as their connection builds to an unforgettable level, as the wrenches are thrown into their plans, and as they try to make their way through. Their story together is light and fun and feels like the best breath of air you’ll feel deep in your soul, yet it is very real, very honest and heartfelt, and it has a level of emotion to it that you won’t soon forget.

What M. Mabie and Aly Martinez created with the two of them will have you loving every word, believing in the two of them with your whole heart, and needing for everything to work out for Shane and Maggie because the rightness of them truly knows no bounds.

When the Walls Come Down is a story that I will never forget reading. This book, Shane and Maggie, and everything they shared made me so inherently happy. It made me believe in rightness of these two, it allowed me to feel every lick of their connection and what they shared, and it had me knowing through every word that I would always keep a part of that Shane and Maggie magic with me.

Aly Martinez and M. Mabie crafted a truly exceptional story in this book. They took two characters who would could not have been more right or more perfect for one another, and they created one hell of a story for them. The magic and literal goodness of them shines through every word of this book, and will have you believing in them with all that you have. Their words were everything. They gave me a story that made me so happy, that made me melt and swoon with the amazingness of Shane and Maggie, and that had me knowing I would never get enough of everything they were creating.

When the Walls Comes Down is a story of the walls we have around ourselves, our hearts, and that can fence us in if we let them. It is a story about what happens when you meet the one person who changes it all and starts taking pieces of those walls down in a way you didn’t even know was possible. It is a story of the literal magic and goodness that can come to your life when you start breaking those walls down (or climbing over them), when you take a leap of faith into the unknown that scares you shitless, and when you see what could be on the other side of that wall.

It is a story of orange TicTacs, magnificent banter, and allllll the murdering one needs (you’ll get that when you read the story!) It’s about late night Amazon shopping, Peach and the Old Man, and even more fantastic nicknames than you can count. It’s especially about the one person who truly makes all the difference and changes everything. It’s about all of that and so much more.

This book is hands down one of the best books I have read this year and ever, and I honestly just feel lucky that I had the chance to read it. M. Mabie and Aly Martinez gave me it all with Shane and Maggie, and I for one will treasure what I got with them. And honestly, I am just counting down the minutes until these authors write together again because I NEED more of their combined words and talents in my life. Stat.

If you are looking for a book that will make you laugh your ass off, that will have you swooning something fierce, that will give you one hell of a love story that will have you believing in everything these characters are sharing, and that will have you loving everything you get the chance to experience….RUN YOURSELF to this book and to Shane and Maggie. It would be wrong not to.

I am telling you, this is the exact book you need in your life this second. It will make you feel it all, it will be a breath of air you didn’t even know you needed, and it will give you one hell of a fireworks show that will have you completely mesmerized and taken from start to finish.

And honestly, that is just part of what makes this such an incredible and unforgettable book, so just do yourself a damn favor and read it. Read it. Love it. Live it all. Laugh it up and melt into the puddle with these two. Take it in and be prepared to never want to let that magic of them go. Enjoy it all because it is truly something you need in your life…and you will love it!

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About Aly

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

Never one to take herself too seriously, she enjoys cheap wine, mystery leggings, and olives. 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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About M. Mabie

Mabie lives in Illinois with her husband. She writes everything from steamy romantic comedies to angst-filled, pull your hair out drama. She enjoys it all. With her unconventional love stories, she tries to embody “real-life romance.”

She cares about politics, but will not discuss them in public. She uses the same fork at every meal, watches Wayne’s World while cleaning, and lets her dog sleep on her head. She has always been a writer. In fact, she was born with a pen in her hand, which almost never happens. Almost.

Mabie usually doesn’t speak in third-person. She promises.

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