Review Post: Reclaim by Aly Martinez

Reclaim, an all-new intense and heart-wrenching romance from USA Today bestselling author Aly Martinez is available now!

Choices. Everyone makes them. From mundane to unimaginable, one choice can change the trajectory of your entire life.

My mother’s choice was to abandon us with our abusive father.
My brother’s choice was to go to prison for killing the boy who assaulted his soulmate.
Camden Cole’s choice was to fall in love with a shattered girl who had absolutely nothing to offer him but heartbreak.

It was one summer beneath the trees, but with Camden, I had a place where I belonged.
A friend who was always waiting for me.
A boy who I caught staring at me more often than not.

He was mine, but when the world closed in and secrets exploded all around us, it was my choice to let him go.

Choices. Everyone makes them.
But mine would ruin us all.

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*****5 Completely All-Feeling Stars*****

Have you ever seen that music video for Before He Cheats by Carrie Underwood? 

You know the one. 

It’s the one where she’s walking around with the baseball bat ready to beat the crap out of her boyfriend’s truck, and by the end of the video that truck is in pieces with quite a few new dings on it. It’s the one that shows the true power and strength of a woman, a baseball bat, and the consequences that can come from the choices we make. Or the choices that are made for us. 

Well, let me paint a picture for you. 

In this situation, Aly Martinez is the one with the baseball bat, you and your heart are the truck, and every swing, every hit, and every impact is every breathtaking and all feeling word of Reclaim. 

Now I want to note, there is no cheating in Reclaim, so do not worry your little heart about that. 

But you know what there is in Reclaim? 

There are emotions. ALL of the emotions. There are feels. SO many glorious feels. There are two characters who go through everything on their journey to try to be together. There is a story that will take hold of your heart, a story that will try to break you and its characters, a story that will hurt you…but you know what? It will hurt you so good. And in the thick of that hurt it will show you the true strength and grit and heart of these characters. 

Reclaim will hurt your heart. It will flood you with the feels and emotions and struggles of its characters, but I promise you, in the same breath it will give you it all. 

It will show you the true power and impact of choices and consequences. It will show you that even in the darkest of moments, and even in those moments when you don’t think you can go any further, you can do just that and find the light to pull you through. It will show you the true depth of what these characters feel for each other, and it will have you knowing in the depths of your heart and soul that no two characters were meant to be more than Nora and Camden. 

Let me tell you about Nora Stewart and Freaking Camden Cole. 

Those two, they’re the best. The actual best. 

Reclaim follows them through many years of their life. From the first moments they meet as young children, through the many years and events that come after, and eventually to them as adults trying to find their way, Aly Martinez gives you it all with them. She allows you to experience and live every moment with those two. She lets you be there. She lets you get them. She lets you see their friendship grow, she lets you be there in those moments when everything changes and when everything changes again. She lets you be with them as things fall apart, and as things eventually begin to fall back together again. 

And just like any Aly Martinez book, she lets you feel it all, and I do mean everything. 

She lets you feel their struggles and heartbreak and pain. She lets you feel and live those moments of triumph and hope that pull you, and the characters, through even the darkest of moments. She lets you feel every breath of those moments that are so full of fire and connection that grow in intensity with every breath these characters take. She allows you to feel and experience the build up of what her characters share, and she puts you in the thick of that incredible dynamic that you will never get enough of. 

She lets you live every unforgettable moment with Camden and Nora, and more than that, she lets you understand so much of why things go the way that they do for those two. 

I will warn you now, this book and its events are not easy for them. Especially for Nora. This book is heavy. What Nora goes through is heartbreaking and completely eviscerating at times. (If you’ve read her brother Ramsey’s story Release, then you already have an idea of that.) What Camden goes through along with her and on his own journey isn’t all sunshine and roses either. This book will take you and your heart through the ringer. It will knock the wind out of you and it will hurt you again and again, but let me tell you, there is no better author to give that to you than Aly Martinez. 

Aly Martinez does Nora and Camden and their story the justice they so deserve. She tackles very hard topics with the perfect balance of everything. She makes things wholly authentic and real, she allows you to understand so much of what these characters feel and experience, and she always does it in a way that is just enough. She never takes away or belittles these characters’ struggles, but she also doesn’t lament on it in a way that has you feeling like all is lost. 

Aly Martinez once again find the most exceptional balance of allowing you to understand and feel and live the heartbreaks, struggles, and anguish of her characters due to their story and the events they live through, while also having you know with every part of your being that not all is lost. That hope, like the most fragile of threads, is interwoven in the most incredible way through every moment with Nora and Camden. Whether it’s something tangible like a 10 dollar bill, or something more transparent, it’s there. 

No matter what comes their way, that hope is always there. And I promise you, that hope will see you, and Nora and Camden, through everything that comes their way. 

It’s always there, pulling them through the devastation that threatens them at every turn. It’s always there to show them that no matter what, their strength and fire can see them through. It’s always there to remind them why they’re on the hook in the first place. It’s always there to show them that some things are truly meant to be. 

The fact that you feel that and know that and live that with them throughout the events of Reclaim will have you LOVING every bit of what you’re reading. You will be a part of this story, a part of Camden and Nora themselves and their emotionally breathtaking journey. And in the end, you will love every second of heartbreak and healing and fight and devastation that comes their way because it will exemplify their tenacity, their connection, their fire, and most of all, their heart. 

There really is no way you can’t love Nora Stewart and Camden Cole. 

Those two will definitely make you work for it. They will make you go the long haul and they will not make it easy, but that is what makes them them. That is what makes their story so special and unforgettable. That is what sets them apart. 

Now don’t you worry your little head and think that this entire story will just be one emotionally murdering party with the emotionally murdering baseball bat Aly Martinez so incredibly wields. (Though it will be that to a certain extent and you will LOVE it.) While this book does have a world of hurt and emotion and feels running rampant through it, it also has one hell of a romance story. It has so many moments that will melt your heart and have you swooning before you can even mutter the words “Freaking Camden Cole”. It will also have so many moments where you just laugh your ass off with these characters and their banter. 

Aly Martinez truly finds the best balance of everything to create one of the most magnificent stories I have ever had the pleasure of reading. 

She makes you cry, she makes you want to throw that emotionally murdering baseball bat right back at her (in a totally loving way), she makes you laugh and melt and just swoon with these two, and really, she just makes you fall wholeheartedly in love with these two. 

And you know what? You will just love everything this book so authentically gives you because it will give you it all. And then some. 

Reclaim is hands down one of the best books I have ever read. With its emotion, its twists and turns, its authentic and dynamic characters, and its story and feels that never quit, this book had it all. I was consumed within every breath of this book from start to finish. Aly Martinez’s talent as a writer is truly on another level, and she shows that again and again in Reclaim. 

I guarantee you haven’t read a book quite like this one or a book with this level of emotion and feels, so do yourself the best favor of the year and read this book. Read it, take it in, live its moments, and see how Nora and Camden fight to make it through it all. Like I said, their story isn’t easy and those two definitely put you through that ringer, but they make it oh so worth it with what they’re sharing and trying to build together. 

And if you make the choice to read this book, to go into it with your heart open ready to feel it all, then I promise you you will love it. You will love it. You will feel it. You will be in awe of everything you get with these two along the way. You will be beyond invested in them and what they’re sharing, and by the time you turn that last page, you will know with everything you have that what Camden and Nora share is on a whole different level. 

Those two are on the hook, and even when that baseball bat comes swinging and all of the emotional murder tries to throw them off, they’re there. On that hook, holding on with all that they have for the chance at a love that truly means everything, for a love that could truly save them. 

And getting to experience a story like that? Getting to fall in love with two characters who feel and share that much? Getting to see first hand what it means to choose, to live, to feel and fight with all you have?

Well it doesn’t get better than that. Not one little bit. 


He wedged his large body beside me in the bed. On his side, he draped one arm across my middle, curling his other under his head. 

I watched him out of the corner of my eye, completely unsure if I was supposed to cuddle into him or what the hell we were doing. 

“This okay?” he asked. “You comfortable?” 

I was a lot of things. Confused. Lost. Overwhelmed by guilt.  

But because it was Camden, comfortable was one of those things too.  

As an answer, I rolled toward him and buried my face in his broad chest.  

His whole body sagged as he began stroking the back of my hair. “Nora. Nora. Nora.”  

In a way, Camden and I were strangers, but as his heart played in my ear, I felt two puzzle pieces clicking into place. A calm washed over me. The dark cloud of my betrayals still existed outside of Camden’s embrace; it just didn’t seem so ominous anymore. He knew all the dirty and broken parts of me and still came back, holding me as though he could keep me together.  

Sliding an arm around his back, I curled in close, shifting to tangle my legs with his. “I’m tired, Cam.”  

“I know,” he whispered, hugging me tight.  

“No, you don’t. Nobody understands. I’m a disease who infects everyone who gets close to me.” My breathing shuddered. “It hurts. Everything hurts.” 

“Do you remember our first summer together when a grasshopper got into the container where we held the extra worms? You screamed so loud when you opened that thing and it came flying out like a bat out of hell. It got on your shirt and then hung on for dear life. With all the racket you were making, the damn thing had to have been terrified, but he never jumped off. I had to peel it off your shirt, one leg at a time.”  

I gagged at the memory. “Thanks for reminding me of that. Awesome timing.”  

He chuckled and pressed his lips to the top of my head. “I’m the grasshopper clinging to your shirt, Nora.”  

Now, if that wasn’t some good old classic Camden Cole rambling, I had no idea what was. 

I tilted my head back, resting my chin on his pec, and peered up at him. “You do realize I have no idea what you’re talking about, right?” 

My cold, hollow chest filled with a warmth I hadn’t felt in years when he grinned down at me.  

“I genuinely thought you’d find your way back to me. A phone call. A visit. Anything. But as time passed and I got older, I realized I fell in love with a girl who had no idea how to be loved.” 

My stomach wrenched, and emotion made my vision swim. “Camden, I—”  

“No, just let me talk. Hear me out.” He tucked a stray hair behind my ear and let his thumb linger at my cheek, sweeping back and forth. “I know you love me, Nora. It’s flashed in your eyes every time you’ve seen me since we were kids. It’s like every light in the house suddenly comes on, but it terrifies you, so you spend the whole time we’re together running around, turning them all off, convincing yourself that you don’t deserve for people to love you back. But we still do it. Joe loves you. Thea loves you. Ramsey loves you. I’ll always love you.”

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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