I may have carried her out of that fire, but the truth was, Bree saved me.
From The Embers, an all-new not-to-be-missed, standalone catastrophic romance from USA Today bestselling author Aly Martinez is available now!
In the aftermath of tragedy, it’s strange the things you remember.
The deafening boom as the house exploded.
The paralyzing fear as I searched for my wife.
The blinding smoke burning my eyes as I carried her out.
But carved into my soul for the rest of my days would be the earth-shattering realization that the woman in my arms wasn’t my wife.
Bree and I were the only survivors—not that either of us were truly living after that night. As a single dad with nowhere else to go, I moved into her guest house. And somehow, through the guilt and grief, we forged an unlikely team.
It took years, but I watched the gradual return of her smile—slow and life-altering.
The two of us could sit outside for hours, talking about nothing, and it filled the massive hole in my chest with new life.
I may have carried her out of that fire, but the truth was, Bree saved me.
As we healed, the secrets and lies of the past smoldered in the ashes, threatening to ignite again.
Our love was born from the embers, and together we would go up in flames.
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Using my arm to block my face, I carried her lifeless body to the door. The knob seared my palm as I yanked it open, but the pain didn’t even register through the adrenaline. The sound of my feet pounding down the driveway echoed in my ears as the fire crackled behind me. Our closest neighbor was over half a mile away, but there was no way they hadn’t heard the explosion. The fire department would be there soon.
Once I got Jessica safe, I’d go back for Bree. They’d find Rob. Everyone would be okay.
“Eason,” she croaked in my arms.
My feet were still moving as I sprinted away, but time stopped as her voice permeated my senses.
It wasn’t possible.
She was covered in soot, and my eyes were caked with ash and what I would later learn to be blood, but I could still make out the large flowers on her yellow—
“Uh, no. It’s my dress that your wife borrowed and I had to do an entire Tom Cruise Mission Impossible thing to get it back last week.”
I kept running until the wind changed direction, clearing the smoke. With my heart in my throat, I prayed that my still ringing ears had deceived me. I set her down and used the inside of my shirt to clear my face.
“Eason,” she croaked.
But once again, she wasn’t my wife.
“Oh, God,” I breathed, watching as she rose on unsteady legs. Tears carved twin riverbeds through the ash on her cheeks.
“What happened?” Bree asked, her green eyes focused on the blazing inferno behind me.
Acrid guilt devoured me. “I…”
I saved the wrong woman.
I left the mother of my child in a burning building.
My final broken promise to the woman I’d vowed forever to was, “I’ll be right back.”
Bile crawled up my throat. “I don’t know.”
I glanced back at the house, the heat of the roaring fire scorching me even from yards away. Overwhelming grief hit me as I realized there was no way I could get back through those flames.
Oh, God. Jessica.
In the middle of tragedy, it’s strange the things that become engrained into your memories. Years later, I wouldn’t be able to tell you how long it took the firetrucks to get there. I couldn’t tell you what time it was or what I had been wearing. But I would never be able to forget the absolute devastation on Bree’s face when she realized we were the only two standing outside the burning house.
“Where’s Rob?” she rasped, her voice sounding like it had traveled over a mile of gravel before exiting her throat. “And Jessica. Where are they?” She took an urgent stride toward me.
“I tried…” I doubled over into a fit of coughing. It was probably for the best. There was no way I could have finished that thought.
*****5 UNFORGETTABLE STARS*****
From the Embers is Aly Martinez at her best.
Exceptional, out of this world writing. All-consuming and deeply emotional storytelling. Dynamic and beautifully complicated characters that will own you and your heart fiercely. All of the glorious emotional murder with simultaneous twists and turns that define an Aly Martinez book.
This book is EVERYTHING. It is everything and then some.
If I could scream that at you right now, I would. But I will not do that. Too much.
This book is hands down one of my favorites by this author and one of my top reads of the year.
It is also one of the most emotionally gripping books I have read in quite some time.
This book broke me. It killed me and all of my feels and emotions at times. It murdered and tore at my heart. It physically and emotionally hurt me more times than you can shake a stick at. There were moments within this book that simultaneously shattered me, took my breath away, and had my eyes tearing up again and again. At one point when reading From the Embers, I stopped reading, took a breath, and made myself an alcoholic drink because I was so consumed in the feels with Eason and Bree.
That is how much I felt every morsel of this book. That is how much I lived the events and unforgettable moments of this book. That is how much I breathed every second of this story.
And you know what?! I effing loved every second of it.
You see I am an emotional masochist. I love it when a book makes me feel everything. I love it when characters allow me to peel back their layers, look at their flaws, understand their personalities and dynamics and complications, all while letting me feel everything with them along the way. I love it when a book hurts my heart. I love it when characters make me cry. I love it when the events of a story hurt my heart and envelope me within their feels in the deepest and realest of ways.
It is what I live for as a reader. It is what I LOVE. It is what I honestly treasure.
Aly Martinez is my dealer of choice when it comes to romance novels that make you feel everything, and From the Embers was no different. In fact, it was more. So much glorious more.
This book explores what happens when the unimaginable occurs. It follows the all-consuming and deeply emotional love story of Bree and Eason. These are two people who are friends, but not really friends. They’re kind of at odds with one another, but a life-changing and eviscerating event changes everything for them. A house fire kills their spouses, and in the moment when Eason thought he was saving his own wife, he realized he was saving Bree. Now the two of them have to pick up the pieces. They have to put themselves back together again after heartbreak, after devastation, after the death of their people.
From the Embers Is their story of how they go from being at odds, to being some version of friends with one another, to being so much more. Along the way is a deeply gripping and emotionally breathtaking story that will own you from start to finish. And just like any Aly Martinez novel, there are plenty of twists and turns through every page that will have you wondering what the hell that next moment will bring them.
I loved Bree and Eason. So damn much.
Even when those two broke my heart. Even when their struggles threatened to consume me right along with them. Even when I didn’t know which way was up or through with them, I loved them.
I loved their tenacity. I loved that this book was not only about them sharing and building what they were, but it was also about them discovering who they were. This book allowed them both to peel back the layers and the fronts and the sheilds, and to just become who they really were. It allowed them to embrace themselves, own themselves, fight for themselves. And along the way it also allowed them to realize that the one person who they never thought would mean anything, just might mean everything.
This book allows you to journey with them after the devastation of losing their spouses, as they try to heal, but as they soon realize that they are feeling a hell of a lot more for one another and they ever thought they could. Both newly single parents, they are just trying to pick up the pieces. They are struggling to wade through that ocean of grief that is starting to consume them. They are honestly just struggling to put one foot in front of the other, but they soon find that the one person who gets it is the other. That strength and that bond and that friendship that grows soon sparks a flame that cannot be doused. What ensues in this book between them is something very real, very deep, and fiercely emotional.
Bree and Eason thought the hardest part of it all would be picking themselves up after losing everything. But what they soon learn is that their new path is riddled with truths, and secrets, and lies….and that path ain’t easy. But what they also know and learn is that that path, while not easy in the slightest, might just be the path they were always meant to be on…together.
What I loved about this book, and what I’ve loved about every book by Aly Martinez, is that she always perfectly balances that emotion, that banter, that spark and connection and romance, with a story that just can’t be beat. She literally has everything in her books. She has characters with so much personality. She has moments that will make you laugh your ass off. She has other moments that will make you feel like you are dying and might actually drown in your tears. She has moments of pure swoon and heart.
She has everything within her books, and the way that she so fantastically crafts and creates that through her words truly sets her books apart. The moment you read one of her books, you know that and feel that with everything within you. I know I have. A million times over, and it is the actual best.
From the Embers Is truly one of the best books I have ever had the pleasure of reading. It had everything. It had this enemies to friends to lovers feel to it. It had a single parent romance going on, while it also had so much more. It had twists and turns and secrets and lies and truth to be revealed. It kept me on my toes. It broke my heart to smithereens, but it also put it back together again in the most beautiful breathtaking way. It had amazing complicated and dynamic characters that I loved with everything that I had. It had that buildup of intensity and that glorious level of angst to that topping point that I lived for.
It just had a feel to it that I will never forget, a story that is still with me, and characters that I will love for the rest of time.
Bree and Eason are truly some of the best characters that I have ever read. I loved their banter and dynamic. I loved that this book and its events forced them to not only look at their own lives, but to look at what they were sharing together. I loved that this story and its event made them re-evaluate everything they thought was important and who they were and who they wanted to be. I loved that they made each other want more. I loved that even though they had a very uneasy start, that this book allows them to see that there is so much more to the both of them.
I loved that they also completely got each other. I loved that they weren’t afraid to push for more when it really mattered. I loved that they had this he’s and this rightness that shined on every page of this book. I loved that that spark and connection between them grew and intensified through every moment of this book in a way that felt beyond right and meant to be. I loved that with each other they could just be themselves. I loved that they could create a friendship and a family that was built out of the deepest love. I loved that they got to feel it all with each other, and more than that they truly understood it and embraced it.
I am telling you now, there is no resisting the two of them. And more than that, you will not want to resist them. You will love them, you will root for them, you will feel every lick of it with them, and it will give you everything.
Simply put, this book had it all.
Aly Martinez once again delivers an absolutely phenomenal book from start to finish. Like I said at the start of this review, this book is her at her best. The storytelling and writing ability that she has is truly exceptional, and it shines on every page of this book.
This book will own you. It will consume you. It will take over every single part of your heart and mind and soul and feelings and just everything in between. And you will effing love it. You will love what these characters give you. You will love how it keeps you and your heart and all of your feelings on their toes. You will love that you don’t know what that next page will bring you. You will love everything between Bree and Eason.
You will just love everything this book delivers to you.
From the Embers Is one of the best books I’ve ever read. It is definitely a favorite of mine by this author, and it is a book that you need in your life this very second. Do not wait to embrace and live and feel this story. Do not wait on Bree and Eason and what they give you. Do not wait one more second to experience this unforgettable and all-consuming book.
It will break your heart, it will make you work for it, it will steal your breath at times, but you will love it. You will love what it so authentically and deeply gives you. You will love the spark of it all. You will love how it turns your world and your heart upside down right along with these characters. You will love that it isn’t easy, but through every word of it you know that it’s worth it.
You will love it all, and in the end, I promise that you’ll be damn glad you read this book.
So buckle up, grab some tissues and a drink, and get ready for one hell of a story that you will never forget. By the end of chapter 1 you’ll be simultaneously hooked, mentally cursing at Aly Martinez for what she’s already doing to your feels and emotions, and loving every second of what you’re getting with these characters. And really, it doesn’t get better than that.
About Aly Martinez
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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