Review Post: Last Slice of Pie by Kathryn Andrews

Title: Last Slice of Pie
Series: Starving for Summer #2
Author: Kathryn Andrews
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Sports Romance/Southern Fiction
Release Date: August 21, 2019
Cover Design: Julianne Burke from Heart to Cover, LLC

Last Slice of Pie is a novel every bit as delicious as its title suggests. From the first page to the last, you’ll be hungry for more of this gorgeous romance.” Author Elle Brooks

Last Slice of Pie is a delicious, sweet southern treat of a second chance sports romance, and I can’t wait to get more of this world that Andrews baked up.” Author Karla Sorensen, USA Today Bestselling Author

Lexi Jarvie
Pie isn’t just a dessert, it’s a way of life. 
Pies, fillings, jams, jellies, honey, they’re all a part of my award-winning business, Firefly Kitchen. After being left behind, by everyone, I was determined to make it all on my own, and I have. I love what I do, I love what I’ve created, and I love who I’ve become. Yes, it’s small, but it’s mine, and nothing or no one can stop me now. Not even Bryan Brennen. He may have returned, but it won’t be long before he leaves. And regardless of which way you slice it, some things can’t be forgotten, no matter how sweet the taste.
Bryan Brennen
Football isn’t just a sport, it’s a way of life.
 
I’ve spent more years than I can remember chasing my dream. When you come from nothing, it’s even more important to become something. The unstoppable drive and incomparable determination that is ingrained in me has gotten me to where I am now; twenty-eight years old and undoubtedly the best professional quarterback in the league. To be happy is to be perfect. Plans, plays, passes, I’ve mastered them all, but it was never just for me, it was for her, too. Only she doesn’t know it, and now, ten years later, I’m ready to tell her.
She’s a small town girl. He’s a household name. 
Off the field and out of the kitchen, will they break and crumble, or finally get their second chance at the biggest game of them all . . . love.

*****5 Unforgettably Amazing Stars*****

Kathryn Andrews continues to be one of the most talented authors I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Her writing is so beautiful, so consuming, and has given me some of my all-time favorite stories. When I sit down to read a book by her I know without a doubt that I am about to go on one helluva journey that will be vivid, that will be memorable, and that will sure as hell take my breath away. 

Last Slice of Pie delivered all of that and more. 

This story was a sweeping and utterly enthralling story of second chances, football and pie, and what happens when the one person you’d already given up on comes blazing back into your life in a way you didn’t think was possible.

I loved every single incredible, emotional, and unforgettable word of this book. I loved getting to fall so hopelessly in love with Bryan and Lexi as their story unfolded. I loved getting to be right in the thick of it as those two put their hearts on the line and saw what could be. I loved getting to feel and live and breathe every single second of this story as Bryan and Lexi explored their second chance together. I loved getting to unfold their pasts, experience their presents and hoping with all that I had for their future together. I loved it all. 

I loved how this book swept me up whole heartedly into one of the most emotionally beautiful love stories I have ever had the privilege of reading. 

I loved how from the moment I started this book and started living this story, I knew it was one I would never forget.

I loved every thoughtful nuance, every big moment, every little one, every swoon worthy moment in between, and every single moment I got with Bryan and Lexi as they fought for what they always wanted.

Kathryn Andrews outdid herself with Last Slice of Pie, and I truly cannot say enough good things about this book, this story, and the characters within it. This book is a phenomenal addition to her Starving for Southern Series, and it just showed me again and again why I LOVE her writing and her books so much. 

This story was phenomenal from start to finish. It was exceptionally crafted, and the way that this story thoughtfully unfolded was practically magical. Getting to experience this story heart first, getting to fall in love with these characters, and getting to understand them on the deepest and truest of levels is just part of what made this book so magnificent. Kathryn Andrews allows you to peel back the layers of her dynamic characters, to understand what drives them, what binds them, and what will ultimately set them free. The way she so thoughtfully does this will sear you to her characters, and will have you rooting for them, their love, and what could be with all that you have! 

Last Slice a Pie is a story about many things. 

It’s a story of unrequited love and second chances. It’s a story of football, pie, and more southern charm than you can shake a stick at. It’s a story of heart and determination and the fire that defines these two characters in the best way. It’s a story of what happens when the past and present finally collide to make for one consuming and unforgettable future. It’s a story about what happens when two characters with the strongest connection finally decide to take that leap of faith. 

It’s a story of oak trees and fireflies, touchdowns and the biggest plays, pie crust and sass, and the beauty and magic of long lost love. 

From the very first word of this book until long after you read the very last you will be completely swept up into the sweetness, the unadulterated emotion, and heart of this story with Bryan and Lexi. You will be there through their darkest moments, you will see what made them them and what defines their electric connection that spans decades, and you will be there as they fight to be who they’ve always wanted to prove they could be. 

The way that Kathryn Andrews so incredibly delivers their story is practically magical. She has such a beauty to her words that creates the most vivid of moments that you will never want to have end. The way she lets it all unfold before your eyes will put you right in the thick of it with Lexi and Bryan, and will have you basking in the moments you get with those two. They will own you, break you, and put you through the wringer a bit, but you will absolutely love them and what they give you. 

You will love the emotion, you will love the heartache, you will love the build up and the palpable fire between those two, and in the end you will love getting a front row seat to their second chance love story. 

This book follows Lexi and Bryan as their paths cross once again and when a second chance at it all brings them to their knees. He was the one who left her behind in an effort to make himself worthy of what could be. She was the one who found herself picking up the pieces and letting the fire within her drive her to places beyond what she imagined. They’ve known each other for years, their hearts and their pasts are intertwined at the most basic level, and they have a lot of complicated feelings for one another. 

Last Slice of Pie is their second chance at it all. It’s their do over. It’s their hail mary. It’s their last little bite at something more. 

This book takes you along with them as they give into their feelings, as they fight to be who they were always destined to become, and as they see if their pasts truly do define them…or if they can make their own happily ever after together. 

What I loved about this book is that it combined the best of everything. It is as much of a love story as it is a story about self-discovery and the fight it takes to truly find who you want to be. It is a story about finding oneself and owning the path you want and need to take. It is a story of emotion and heart, and it is filled to the brim with moments that will tug at your heart, bring tears to your eyes, and that will literally take your breath away. It is a story of two characters doing their damndest to make it in a world that wants to tell them who they should be. 

And at its core, Last Slice of Pie is a love story. 

A beautiful, all-feeling, love story. 

It is a love story that will own your heart from start to finish, and will show you what it truly means to have a second chance at it all. What you get with Bryan and Lexi as they journey through their second chance will take ahold of every part of your heart, and will have you knowing with every fiber of your being that these two belong together. Those two might put you and their hearts through some serious challenges, but through it all you will love them, believe in them, and root for them with all that you have. 

Kathryn Andrews invests you so wholly in every single slice of them and their love story, and you will love getting to go along for the ride as those two try to figure it all out and see where their second chance takes them.

Lexi and Bryan will give you it all. And then some.

The feels, the laughs, the history and past, the heartache and struggle, the fight and fire, and every bit of connection and pull those have towards one another. Their story is emotional, raw, consuming to say the least, and in the end it will leave you knowing and feeling with all that you have that there is something truly special and remarkable about what they share. 

Last Slice of Pie is their story, and it is one that I will truly never forget. 

Kathryn Andrews blends the perfect amount of sweetness, heart, emotion, and fire into this story. She created a hero and heroine who I will love forever, and who both personify what it means to put your heart on the line and fight with all that you have. What you get and feel with them along the way in this book will have you celebrating every triumph with them, feeling every low and fall, and will have you pushing right along with them as they face the hurdles that come their way. 

Their story is one that I have wanted ever since I met them years ago in The Sweetness of Life. From the first moment I met them, I knew I wanted more, and the more I got with them in this book was truly exceptional and more than I could have asked for. This book gave me it all with them, and showed me again and again what sets this world, this series, and this author’s writing apart from all the rest. 

If you are looking for a second chance love story that will deliver it all in the most all-feeling, beautiful, and consuming package, then run yourself to this story faster than Bryan can throw his next touchdown pass. 

Last Slice of Pie is hands down one of the best books I have read this year, and I seriously cannot wait to be back in this world to get more of these characters. Kathryn Andrews has once again outdown herself with this book, and I cannot sing her writing praises enough. What she so unforgettably creates in this book will have you in awe of everything you are reading and experiencing. 

And in the end, it’s that last slice of pie that will you do you in in the best way with these characters. 

So what are you waiting for? 

Take that leap. Make the pass. Run that play. Eat the pie. 

And enjoy every single word, moment, and second of this amazing book.

It would be wrong not too. And you’d surely be missing out one hell of a book. 

Bryan
“How long has it been?” Jack asks as he walks up into our conversation. There’s a fork sticking out of his mouth, and I can’t help but roll my eyes. You would think after how much pie he shoved down his throat yesterday he’d be in sugar shock, but nope, he’s back at it again today. 
Catching my expression, he grins. “What? I can’t help that it’s all so good.” His eyes widen as he spots the two new boxes, and he tips his head. “What kind are those?”
I pick up the boxes and hand them to him. One says grasshopper pie, and the other says cherry.
“Yes! Can I take these home?” he asks, his voice so hopeful.
“Sure, and it’s been a while since I’ve been back—years, in fact,” I answer as I look at Jack. I’m certain my frown relays that it’s been more than just a few years, but only I know that the true answer is never. I’ve never gone back home.
He tucks the boxes under his arm, the sleeve of his clean shirt bunching up. He’s already showered and ready to go.
“I understand.” He nods and then breaks eye contact. “I don’t really have any one place I call home, so I haven’t been anywhere in years either. We moved around a lot with my father’s career, and now they’re retired in Scottsdale. I love the water way too much to think about staying there long-term.”
I agree. I love the water, too, which is why many people were surprised when I bought my house on the river instead of downtown or on the island with my other teammates. The minute I walked out the back door, which faces northwest, I knew it was the one for me. Yes, the river cuts through the city, but the view across from me is undeveloped, wooded, and it makes me feel like I’m not in the city. It’s perfect. 
“What time is the ceremony? Want me to go with you?” Reid asks. I should have known he would offer. He’s loyal and a true friend like that. Not many would give up their day off to drive two hours in the car, stand in the heat, and then drive two hours back.
“It’s at ten, and thanks, but no thanks. I might make a few stops while I’m there.” 
Not a few stops, just one, maybe, but I don’t tell them that. 
Tossing my cleats and helmet into my locker and my dirty clothes into my bag, I grab a towel, wrap it around my waist, and turn to find both Reid and Jack staring at me. It’s like they know tomorrow is more of a big deal than I’m letting on, so I slip into my role as a leader and try to assuage their concerns.
“Don’t worry, boys.” I smile real big and see both of them shift away from the uncertain tension that had set in between them. I throw out my arms and begin walking backward toward the showers. “I’ll be back and on the plane for our game this weekend first thing the following morning.”
If only it were that simple.
Kathryn Andrews loves stories that end with a happily ever after. She started writing at age seven and never stopped. Kathryn is an Amazon Bestseller for her much loved Hale Brothers Series and is a chi-lit, contemporary romance, and new adult writer. 
Kathryn graduated from the University of South Florida with degrees in Biology and Chemistry, and currently lives in Tampa, Florida. She spends her days as a sales director for a medical device company and her nights lost in her love of fictional characters.
When Kathryn is not crafting beautiful worlds that incorporate some of her most favorite real life places, she can be found hanging out with her husband and two young sons, while drinking iced coffee and enjoying the sun. To find out more about Kathryn and her novels, visit: www.kandrewsauthor.com
HOSTED BY:

Review Post: Smoke and Mirrors (City Limits #3) by M. Mabie

Facebook Cover Photo Smoke and Mirrors

Smoke and Mirrors is LIVE, and FREE in KindleUnlimited!

http://amzn.to/2EaM5Rs

Contemporary Romance| Second Chance Romance

Smoke and Mirrors is the third standalone in the City Limits series. It features a new couple navigating their second-chance romance. Enjoy this love story between a fireman who has returned home from the military and the single mom he left down the street. Welcome to Wynne.

Blurb

My best laid plans had backfired. I’d thought by putting miles between myself and my first love that she’d be free to live whatever life she’d wanted, but when I came back from serving my country and Faith was raising her little girl alone, it was time to make new plans.

In eight years, not a single day had passed when she wasn’t on my mind, and not a night went by when I didn’t miss her. She was fierce and stunning and didn’t need a man in her life, but when the time came—and she wanted one—the line would start behind me.

Like smoke, I’d let her slip through my fingers once, but I’d never forgive the man in the mirror if I let it happen again. She was the fire inside me that would never burn out.

ADD TO GOORDREADS → bit.ly/MabieCL3Goodreads

Smoke and Mirrors TEASER SQ

*****5 Amazing Second Chance Stars*****

Going back to Wynne is something I absolutely treasure. Getting more of M. Mabie’s exceptional words is something I look forward to with all that I have. Being with her wonderful and distinctive characters is something that just gives me life and everything that I need.

Reading her books always feels good. Damn good. I never want them to end. Ever. I’m never ready to say goodbye to her characters and the feels that they give me. I’m never ready for the story to end, I’m never ready for it to stop consuming me like all of her stories do. I’m never ready to sever the vibrant and all-feeling connection I feel to her words and what she so memorably creates with them.

The inviting and memorable world and characters and moments she creates within the pages of her books’ take me in in the most authentic and heartfelt way. They take me in, they own me while I am in their dynamic grasp, and by the end of it all, I never want them to let me go because that’s how good and right and enjoyable they are.

I can’t get enough of M. Mabie’s words. Or her books. Or her characters. Or what she gives me with them along the way. I can never get enough of it all.

And that is just a fraction of what makes her books so incredible, so enrapturing, and so moving.

Smoke and Mirrors was another exceptional example of M. Mabie’s writing talent and thoughtful storytelling. Every word of this book stole my heart and soul, while simultaneously letting me feel like I was coming home to the best group of characters a girl could ask for. The way she brought it all to life through her words, through the memorable and all-feeling moments she so fantastically created, and the way she let me live it and breathe it and just experience it all was everything to me.

Everything.

This book was equal parts sweet, meaningful, and heartfelt. It perfectly balanced every amazing aspect of its second chance nature, while giving me a love story that touched every facet of my heart. This story was one built on emotion, feels, heart, second chances, and a helluva lot of hope and strength and fight.

I honestly can’t tell you enough how amazing it was to read and experience. This book just felt good to read. Every word, every sentence, every page and moment felt good and right and needed. It felt like the perfect summer day. It was fulfilling, satisfying, and it flooded me with the most beautiful feeling of contented pleasure. All of M. Mabie’s City Limits books have felt that way, and this book just showed me even more why I love this series, why I love the wonderful and distinctive and honest characters it gives me, and why I can’t get enough of a little town named Wynne.

The events of this story follows two characters, as they get a second chance to fix what could’ve been. Years ago Aaron and Faith had a connection that was full of fire and longing and young love, but there were obstacles that held them back and stood in their way. Now years have passed, yet their connection and feelings and longing for one another have only strengthened. He’s left and come back, she’s now a single mom to an amazing little girl, and they both seemed to be plagued with thoughts of “what would’ve happened it we…” It is those thoughts that take up more of their minds and hearts than they are willing to really admit, and that is what eventually gives them both that little nudge to see what could be.

Smoke and Mirrors follows what happens when Aaron and Faith decide to take that leap of faith, to meet that push that urges them to think of what they could share and have together, and to try to see what might happen if they gave it all a real shot.

This story follows them and their honest and so easy to love hearts as they take that second chance, as they feel it all, and as they try to figure out what the future might hold for them both. They share an intertwined past that seeps into their present in more ways than one. They also share a strong as all get out connection that has them both knowing that they need to do something. It is that connection and pull that will have you in every word of this book, experiencing it all with them as they take that second chance, as their fight and determination and tenacity shines through, and as they soon start to realize that falling for one another is oh so easy when you already fell so long ago.

There were so many aspects that I absolutely loved about this book. I loved that it gave me a front row seat to a second chance romance. Second chance love stories are my jam, and Aaron and Faith highlighted that for me again and again while I experienced their second chance at it all. They showed what second chances are all about. They showed the vulnerabilities and worries and fears that come with them. They showed what happened when you put all of that aside and took that leap of faith to see what could be. They showed every part of their hearts and pasts, they showed how it was all affecting them in the present, and along the way they showed their hopes and dreams and their longing.

Getting all of that was nothing short of spectacular.

What I loved about this book was that it gave me a story about what happens when two people fight for what they want and need and for what they believe in, all while showing their realistic, sweet, and heart melting journey together as they gave it all another chance.

This book lets their story unfold in the most magical and fitting way that will have you swooning something fierce, while simultaneously wishing you were them getting to feel every ounce of what they share.

Suffice to say, those two completely stole my heart. Every page solidified my love for them and my adamant belief in what they shared. That combined with the wonderful characters of Wynne made this story incredible on every level.

Aaron was a man that I loved from the start. I loved how good of a guy he was. I loved that he was a hard worker, both at his job and his life and with everything he wanted to share with Faith. I loved that he was a man who would not give up, and who would not apologize for doing what he knew was right. Aaron was a character who was true to his word, who was so honest and real, and he was someone who was doing all that he could to right the wrong choice he made all those years ago. I loved him so fiercely. I loved his heart, his determination, and how he was there for Faith and her little girl. I swooned for that man, I rooted him on and believed in him, and I just loved him with all that I had.

Plus who can resist a firefighter with a heart of gold?! (The answer to that question is no one, in case you were wondering.)

Faith was a woman who I connected to immediately. I found her so real, so genuine, and she was such a good person and mother doing the best she could for her little girl and herself. That girl has more strength and tenacity than you can shake a stick at, and seeing all that she did to get by and to give her daughter the life she deserved was amazing. It seared my heart to that woman, and the sheer strength she had and how hard she worked and fought for it all was the absolute best. I also loved how real of a character she was. She was smart, she had hesitancies like any person in her shoes would have, and she wasn’t afraid to be honest with what worried her. She was real and complicated in such an endearing way, and that was just one of many things that had me loving her to pieces. She was also just a damn good person and mother and friend, and every interaction with her made me smile or laugh of feel such a strong connection to her.

She was her through and through, and I loved every relatable and sweet bit of her that I got to know and understand in this book.

Everything those two shared together pulled at my heart. It made me believe in everything they were trying to build with their second chance. It had me feeling it all right along with them through M. Mabie’s enrapturing and authentic writing. It had me basking in the memorable moments they shared, the fire that sparked between them, and the feelings that had them falling hard for one another. Every word of this book had me rooting for them and that was just another thing pulling me into this incredible book.

No to be outdone, the rest of the characters that make the world of Wynne what it is are back in this book and will have you loving every moment you get with them. You will love Delaney, Faith’s daughter, with all that you have. The spunk and sass of that girl is all kinds of amazing, and you will love getting her interactions with Faith, with the other people of Wynne, and especially with Aaron. *cue all the swooning* All your favorites are back. Rhett, Sunny, Darrel, Hannah, Vaughn, and so many others that will have you loving what you’re reading and feeling like you just want to pull up a chair and sit down for a beer with them all.

All of these wonderfully distinctive characters make this world and series what it is, and they all add another fantastic layer to this love story that will just have you chomping at the bit for the next time you get more of them all.

Smoke and Mirrors is a story that I loved every word of. I loved how it allowed me to feel good and how it encapsulated me within a story that was magical and real and so honestly heartfelt. I loved how it stole my heart, how it made me hope and wonder and wish, how it let me get the vulnerabilities and the honest selves of these characters, and how it just gave me a second chance romance that gave me everything. This book was another incredible addition to this series, and it told a story that was sweet, real, and one that everyone should have the pleasure of reading.

This book is all about what you do with the second chance you’re given. Do you wait? Do you leap? Do you dance around your feelings, or do you let them take charge? Do you hold back because of what could happen, or do you give it one last push because something could happen? Do you love? Do you fall? Do you put your heart on your sleeve for the chance at something more?

Smoke and Mirrors gave me the answers to all of those questions and more. It gave me a love story that was so memorable and enjoyable and real, it gave me two characters whose hearts shined through every moment, and in the end it let me get a front row seat to a second chance love story that was outstanding in every way possible.

This book made me smile, it made me laugh, and it made me feel good. It gave me every part of these characters and their journey together, and it showed me just how right they were for one another.

M. Mabie excels at real life romance, and Smoke and Mirrors delivers a spectacular real life romance that will have you swooning, have you feeling it all, and that will have you believing in the meaningful power of a good second chance.

If you haven’t yet started the City Limits series of Standalone, you can find them on KU.

Roots and Wings(City Limits, #1 – Standalone) bit.ly/CityLimits1

Sunshine and Rain (City Limits, #2 – Standalone) bit.ly/2CityLimits

City Lmits Facebook Cover Photo

Roots and Wings FB AD SIZE teaser

M. Mabie is writer who made thousands of readers hate to love (and love to hate) the angst-filled contemporary romance, Bait.

She lives in Illinois with her husband. She writes unconventional love stories and 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. M. Mabie usually doesn’t speak in third-person. She promises.

http://www.MMabie.com

Newsletter: mmabie.com/subscribe

Bookbub: bookbub.com/authors/m-mabie

Facebook: Facebook.com/AuthorMMabie

Take the Bait Reader’s Group: facebook.com/groups/takethebait

Instagram: @m_mabie

Twitter: @AuthorMMabie

Amazon: amazon.com/author/mmabie

Releasing Now: Smoke and Mirrors (City Limits #3) by M. Mabie

Facebook Cover Photo Smoke and Mirrors

Smoke and Mirrors is LIVE, 99¢, and FREE in KindleUnlimited!

http://amzn.to/2EaM5Rs

Contemporary Romance| Second Chance Romance

Smoke and Mirrors is the third standalone in the City Limits series. It features a new couple navigating their second-chance romance. Enjoy this love story between a fireman who has returned home from the military and the single mom he left down the street. Welcome to Wynne.

Blurb

My best laid plans had backfired. I’d thought by putting miles between myself and my first love that she’d be free to live whatever life she’d wanted, but when I came back from serving my country and Faith was raising her little girl alone, it was time to make new plans.

In eight years, not a single day had passed when she wasn’t on my mind, and not a night went by when I didn’t miss her. She was fierce and stunning and didn’t need a man in her life, but when the time came—and she wanted one—the line would start behind me.

Like smoke, I’d let her slip through my fingers once, but I’d never forgive the man in the mirror if I let it happen again. She was the fire inside me that would never burn out.

ADD TO GOORDREADS → bit.ly/MabieCL3Goodreads

Smoke and Mirrors TEASER SQ

If you haven’t yet started the City Limits series of Standalone, you can find them on KU.

Roots and Wings(City Limits, #1 – Standalone) bit.ly/CityLimits1

Sunshine and Rain (City Limits, #2 – Standalone) bit.ly/2CityLimits

City Lmits Facebook Cover Photo

Roots and Wings FB AD SIZE teaser

M. Mabie is writer who made thousands of readers hate to love (and love to hate) the angst-filled contemporary romance, Bait.

She lives in Illinois with her husband. She writes unconventional love stories and 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. M. Mabie usually doesn’t speak in third-person. She promises.

http://www.MMabie.com

Newsletter: mmabie.com/subscribe

Bookbub: bookbub.com/authors/m-mabie

Facebook: Facebook.com/AuthorMMabie

Take the Bait Reader’s Group: facebook.com/groups/takethebait

Instagram: @m_mabie

Twitter: @AuthorMMabie

Amazon: amazon.com/author/mmabie

Review Post: Thrive (Guardian Protection #2) by Aly Martinez

Today we are celebrating the release of THRIVE by Aly Martinez. Thrive is the second book in the Guardian Protection series and it can be read as a complete standalone.

You can grab the ebook or paperback on Amazon.

Download the audiobook at Audible or iTunes.

Thrive by Aly Martinez (Guardian Protection, #2)

 Purchase the ebook on Amazon (Kindle Unlimited)

Purchase the Audiobook | Purchase the PaperbackSynopsis:

When I was nineteen years old, I was faced with a choice that changed my life.
Keep the safety of what I already knew or risk losing everything with the young, hotheaded soldier who stole my heart.

I chose the wrong man, and for seventeen years, I paid in tears, blood, and shattered dreams for that decision.

Now, there’s a man in my house, holding a gun to my head on the order of my ex-husband—given from his prison cell.

That hotheaded soldier I was too afraid to choose? He’s now a six-foot-three wall of muscle who works at the country’s most premier bodyguard agency. I’ve always wanted him, but now, I’ve never needed him more.

It’s the call I’m terrified to make.
I’m sure he still hates me… Even though I’ve never stopped loving him.

Add Thrive to Goodreads

Sign up for Aly’s Newsletter to receive exclusive details!

*****5 Unforgettably Amazing Stars*****

So let’s talk about how absolutely incredible this book is.

Are you ready? Pull up a chair and take a seat because do I have some things to tell you about this amazing, breathtaking, and utterly consuming book. This book was the epitome of a perfect second chance romance. It was emotional, gripping, and breathtaking with the moments it gave me with its characters. It was so exceptionally crafted, with so much feeling, so much intensity and angst and heart and heartbreak behind each word, and the way that Aly Martinez brought it all to life was everything. EVERYTHING.

She made this book thrilling. She made it breathtakingly emotional. She made it all consuming in the most unforgettable way. She made it all so real. The love, the heartbreak, the anguish, the highs and lows and everything these characters experienced. It was so real, so authentic as if I was living it right along with them, and that seared me to them in every single way possible.

It pulled me into every single part of this book. It pulled me to the minds and hearts and souls of these characters. It pulled me into every single emotionally charged moment they shared. It pulled me into their sensual and heart rendering passion. It pulled me into it all.

Every word that Aly Martinez so thoughtfully created, every dynamic layer she added to this story, and every emotion and feeling she infused and wove together so breathtakingly in this book made it one of the best books I have ever read.

Thrive is a second chance romance that follows two characters who have experienced their own world of heartbreak. Years ago they had a connection they couldn’t get enough of, and a fire that burned them from the inside out. They couldn’t get enough of each other, but when faced with a choice, one of them chooses wrong leading to heartbreak, pain, and more anguish than you can shake a stick at. That one choice changes everything for the both of them in ways that neither of them were prepared for. They go their separate ways, but another string of events brings them back together again years later.

The events of this book follow what happens when Mira and Lark come face to face after the mountain of hurt and pain that has separated them for many years. This book is filled to the brim with twists and turns, adrenaline pumping moments, and a second chance love story that will pummel your heart in the most amazing and all-feeling way with what these characters give you. Years have passed, choices have been made, but when these two come face to face again there is nothing that can stop the fire and heat and emotion that bursts out of them for one another…no matter how hard they might try to hide it and fight it.

These two have a past, they have the most interesting and captivating and emotional present together, and this story explores what happens when they must face the past and embrace and live the present, all to see what the future could bring them.

Let me just tell you this now, if I could give this book all the stars in the world, I would. It was that good. It was that captivating. It was that exceptionally emotional. It was that phenomenally written. This book had it all. It had the fire and connection and passion that Aly Martinez brings to life in the most alluring and encapsulating way. It had the story that kept me on my toes through every single page dying to see what would happen next. It had the emotion and feels that owned me through every lick of what I was experiencing with these characters.

It had the characters, the story, the heart, the heat, and everything I needed and more. Simply put, Thrive had it all. It had everything I have come to love and expect from a book by Aly Martinez. It was beautifully written, with a layer of suspense, passion, and emotion that truly delivered it all. That along with her incredible and wonderfully distinctive characters gave me a story that I know I will never forget.

What I loved about Thrive was that it was all about choice and consequences and the high stakes emotions that go along with that. It was about what happens when you make a mistake, when you make a choice, when you make one decision that changes everything. It allowed me to understand these characters, to understand their motives and fear and worries. It let me get them in the past and in the present, and it let me put it all together in a way that pulled me into every moment they shared.

This book explored what can happen when you get a second chance at it all. It shows you the hope that can bring, the emotional turmoil that can come with it, and it takes you along the bumpy, twisty, and all-feeling road that exists on the way to putting yourself back together again.

Every chapter, every moment, and everything these characters shared was brought to life through Aly Martinez’s exceptional writing. She let you live their pain, their past, and the emotion that went along with their heartbreak. She put you there with them as they were reunited, as you caught up with them, and as you learned what the past years had brought to their lives. She kept you with them as they felt that soul touching fire that seared them to one another in ways they didn’t even realize. She let you breathe their pain, their hope, their fire and their hearts and everything that exploded between them as she reached out for help and as he did all that he could to keep her from falling.

This book touched every part of my heart with what I got with Mira and Lark. When I read Thrive, there were so many moments that literally took my breath away and hurt my heart. Sometimes that was because of the shear pain and hurt these characters experienced and were going through. Other times it was because of what happened when they were together, whether it was their banter or their attempts at healing or the connection that exploded from them in such a way that made all of that emotion and hurt worth it. Sometimes I was just in awe of those two and what they shared, what they felt, and what was happening between them as they faced a second chance at what could be.

Through it all I lived it, I felt it, I breathed it and experienced every ounce of what was happening between them, and I loved it. I loved it all. Even when it hurt, even when it made me cry, even when it took my breath away because of how hard it was to read because of the depth and rawness of the emotion, I loved it. I loved it because it was them. It was their story, their hearts, and their second chance. And that was everything to get.

Now Aly Martinez has given me some of my all-time favorite characters, and Thrive just gave me two more to add to my list. Mira and Lark are probably two of the strongest characters I have ever read. They have both lost so much, been through so much, and have had to endure more than anyone should, yet they still fight. They still give it their all. Their tenacity and determination and fire is on a whole other level, and that is just part of what makes them so fantastic and distinctive.

What can I say? I loved those two with my entire heart. I loved how they pushed each other’s buttons like nobody’s business. I loved how they just got each other. I loved how those two slipped right back in to being them, yet in the same breath were older, wiser, and a more experienced version of themselves. I loved how every moment of this book let me understand them a little bit more. I loved how Aly Martinez made them so memorable. She made their humor and personalities and their fire so them, so distinctively Mira and Lark, and that brought every lively and vibrant part of them and their connection to life.

The way she so intricately creates them, their story, and everything they share together in Thrive creates a book and world that you’ll never want to leave. I spent this book LOVING every moment I got with them and the other amazing characters that make the Guardian Protection Series what it is. I love this world. I love how the members of Guardian are one crazy, unforgettable, and wonderfully ridiculous group of men who I just love with my whole damn heart. I love that every little taste of them all make me want more, and has me even more in need of the next time I get more with them.

What Aly Martinez so fantastically created in the first book in this series, continues outstandingly into Thrive. She once again allows this world to come alive in a way that is tangible, emotional, memorable, and so distinctively Guardian. It’s Leo and Johnson and Brayden and Jude. It’s Lark and Mira and Apollo. It’s everyone. It’s their personalities, it’s their sense of family and bond, it’s their friendships and connections that add another incredible layer to what you get, while just investing you more in everything you’re experiencing.

Reading this book was one of the most fulfilling reading experiences I have ever had. This book owned me. It owned my emotions, it owned my thoughts, it owned my heart and mind and my very soul, and in the end it owned every part of me as it delivered an emotionally breathtaking story of what happens when two soulmates get a second chance at love.

Thrive made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me smile at the antics and banter and back and forth with these characters, and through it all it gave me Mira and Lark and every lick of what they shared in a way that I will never forget.

Aly Martinez has done it again. She has once again crafted a book that delivers it all. She has once again created a story that will keep you and your heart on your toes, a story that will connect you so deeply to its character, and a story that will have you feeling every ounce of what it has to give you.

This book will show you what it means to get a second chance at the one choice that changed everything. It will show you what can happen when the other half of your heart comes barreling into your life. Literally. And it will show you what can happen if you put yourself out there, if you fight, and if you give it all up to what you feel and what could be in order to heal from the pains of the past.

Thrive is hands down one of my top reads for the year, and it was everything. And then some. And then some more. It is a story that I guarantee will touch your heart and own you in ways that you will love, and in the end you will be damn glad you jumped into the thick of that emotion and into that second chance with Mira and Lark because it will give you everything you need.

And then some.

—————————-

“This is yours?” I asked in awe, trailing my fingers over the shiny, black hood of a newer-model Ford pickup truck.

He’d lifted it and put huge tires on it, and while the top was spotless, there was a thin layer of mud covering the running boards, letting me know that it didn’t stay locked away in his garage waiting for a Chicago snow. It actually got used—and in places that weren’t covered in asphalt. My Southern heart, which had been relocated to the Midwest all those years ago, quaked in its stunning presence.

He stared at me, his arms crossed over his chest, the muscles of his neck straining beneath a gray henley, but not because he was stressed or upset, but rather because his muscles were so thick and defined that they were always straining.

He answered with a simple, “Babe.”

I swung my hand to the Escalade parked in the driveway. “What about the SUV?”

Twirling the keys on his finger, he walked over to me. “It’s not a crime for a man to own two vehicles.” Gripping my hip, he swayed me toward him. “If I have the kids, I drive the Caddy. If I’m by myself and the Caddy isn’t blocking the garage, I’ll take the truck.” He grinned, dipped low, brushed his lips to mine, and whispered, “If I’m with Mira, I take the truck even if the Caddy is blocking the garage and I have to move it so it’s not.”

My stomach performed gold-medal-worthy somersaults as I pushed up onto my toes and gave him far more than a lip brush.

His mouth opened, inviting me in. His warm tongue rolled with mine, acting as the welcoming committee. My head became light and I fisted my hands in the front of his shirt for balance. The moan that slipped from my throat made his tantalizing lips curve up in a smile before he pulled away.

Resting his forehead to mine, he rumbled, “Breakfast and condoms, baby. We can’t do anything without them.”

“Not completely true,” I murmured. “I saw a loaf of bread in your kitchen. Toast will serve as sustenance, and you can eat while I do other things with my mouth that don’t require condoms.”

His hand slipped down to my ass. “I’ve missed your mouth, Mira. But not a chance in hell you start things on your knees and I don’t end them inside you. And, for that, I’m gonna need more than toast. So it looks like we’re back to breakfast and condoms.” He gripped my ass, rocking me against him. “But we’re going to take the truck so you can slide in real close. And, on the off chance you feel like getting handsy while I drive, I won’t object.”

That had happened a lot when we were younger. The minute my ass had hit his seat, he’d lift his arm in invitation and I’d slid all the way over, as close as I could get without being in his lap. And then he’d drive. Windows down, the world passing us in a blur, him being the only thing in focus.

Inside that truck, I had been free to be Mira.

And, the idea of having that now, after seventeen years of feeling like someone else, I became giddy with excitement.

“You have a bench seat?” I gasped, staring up at him with a megawatt smile.

Smirking, he released me and opened the passenger’s door. “When I lift the armrest, I do.”

I giggled. “Jesus, it’s like you knew I’d be coming back.”

His shoulders jerked, and his jaw turned to granite. And then Jeremy Lark slayed me, brought me back to life, and then ruined me once and for all. “No. Because if I’d thought there was any chance of you ever coming back, I’d probably still be sitting on the tailgate of that clunker in the woods, waiting.”

Purchase the previous book in the Guardian Protection Series

SINGE is the first book in the Guardian Protection Series and is FREE in KindleUnlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

———————

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

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.

AUTHOR LINKS:

Sign up for Aly’s Newsletter

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Amazon

InkSlinger-Blogger banner-New

Releasing Now: Thrive (Guardian Protection #2) by Aly Martinez

Today we are celebrating the release of THRIVE by Aly Martinez. Thrive is the second book in the Guardian Protection series and it can be read as a complete standalone.

You can grab the ebook or paperback on Amazon.

Download the audiobook at Audible or iTunes.

 

 

Thrive by Aly Martinez (Guardian Protection, #2)

Purchase the ebook on Amazon (Kindle Unlimited)

Purchase the Audiobook | Purchase the Paperback

Synopsis:

Technically, you aren’t supposed to fall in love with your best friend’s girl.

When I was nineteen years old, I was faced with a choice that changed my life.

Keep the safety of what I already knew or risk losing everything with the young, hotheaded soldier who stole my heart.

I chose the wrong man, and for seventeen years, I paid in tears, blood, and shattered dreams for that decision.

Now, there’s a man in my house, holding a gun to my head on the order of my ex-husband—given from his prison cell.

That hotheaded soldier I was too afraid to choose? He’s now a six-foot-three wall of muscle who works at the country’s most premier bodyguard agency. I’ve always wanted him, but now, I’ve never needed him more.

It’s the call I’m terrified to make.

I’m sure he still hates me… Even though I’ve never stopped loving him.

Add Thrive to Goodreads

Sign up for Aly’s Newsletter to receive exclusive details!

 

—————————-

 

Purchase the previous book in the Guardian Protection Series

SINGE is the first book in the Guardian Protection Series and is FREE in KindleUnlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

———————

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

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.

 

 

AUTHOR LINKS:

Sign up for Aly’s Newsletter

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Amazon

 

InkSlinger-Blogger banner-New

It’s a Cover Reveal: Thrive (Guardian Protection #2) by Aly Martinez

Today we are sharing the incredible cover for THRIVE by Aly Martinez. Thrive is the second book in the Guardian Protection series and it can be read as a complete standalone. It will be releasing on January 18! Be sure to sign up for the RELEASE ALERT to be notified when the book goes live!

Thrive by Aly Martinez (Guardian Protection, #2)

Coming January 18

The THRIVE paperback will go live EARLY on Jan 11.

Sign up for the RELEASE ALERT to be notified when the book goes live!

Synopsis:

Technically, you aren’t supposed to fall in love with your best friend’s girl.

But if we’re talking technicalities, he wasn’t supposed to be cheating on her every other weekend, either.

The day I met Mira York, I knew she was off-limits. But after months of stealing side-glances while he ruined the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen, I realized there wasn’t a rule in the world I wouldn’t break to make her mine.

She chose him anyway.

I wasn’t sure how I’d ever move on, but bitterness turned into fuel for my fire.

Without Mira, I thrived.

Until seventeen years later, when she showed back up, begging for protection from the very same man she’d left me for all those years earlier.

Now, it was my turn to choose.

And she wasn’t going to like my answer.

THRIVE takes place seventeen years AFTER a love triangle.

Add Thrive to Goodreads

Sign up for Aly’s Newsletter to receive exclusive details!

—————————-

Purchase the previous book in the Guardian Protection Series

SINGE is the first book in the Guardian Protection Series and is FREE in KindleUnlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

———————

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

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.

AUTHOR LINKS:

Sign up for Aly’s Newsletter

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Amazon

InkSlinger-Blogger banner-New

Man Of My Dreams by Faith Andrews

18747361

Man of my Dreams

By: Faith Andrews

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Synopsis2

Mia Murphy may be married to the man of her dreams. But the man in her dreams is the one that got away—her high school crush.

Mia’s stuck in a rut, just like every other stay-at-home mom, and the only thing saving her from her monotonous routine is her perfect husband, Declan. He’s gorgeous, he adores her, and the man stole her heart with his sexy singing voice. Mia feels like the luckiest girl in the world, until she discovers that Mr. Perfect is not Mr. Faithful. Mia is devastated. Everything she once believed about Declan and their marriage is now covered in a big cloud of doubt and regret. On impulse, she kicks the cheating bastard out, pushing them into a separation that could mean the end of the picture-perfect couple.

But when Mia receives an invitation to her high school reunion, she finds herself abandoning the present for the oh-so alluring pull of the past. Although her heart still belongs to her husband, inescapable thoughts of her crush, Noah, resurface. And ten years later, Noah isn’t afraid to make his move. When the build-up of fantasies and ‘what ifs’ comes to a head, sparks fly and it’s Mia’s turn to question if her marriage is everything she wants out of life. Searching for answers, Mia dives head first into dating Noah, falling further away from her husband and closer to her old flame.

But Declan’s not giving up so easily. Mia is his one and only and he’s not about to let another man win her heart.

My Review

 *****5 Fantastic Stars*****

We are all plagued by those “What if?” questions. What if what I chose was wrong? What if I had chosen differently? What if I made a mistake? What if?

Well Man of my Dreams explores that very question and so much more in such a phenomenal way that will literally take your breath away. This book explores what it means to think you’ve got it all planned out and together, and then to have that all thrown up in the air like a handful of anguish and emotion filled confetti with pieces and pieces falling away. All the while you’re rushing to grab those emotionally laced pieces, put it all back together again into something that makes sense and feels right, and figure out how the confetti even got thrown up in the air in the first place.

I cannot rave enough about how much I loved this book, and getting to spend some time with Mia, Declan, and Noah while reading their truly unforgettable story. This fantastic book is about a lot of things, but at the end of the day it really focuses in on what happens when the man of your dreams and the man in your dreams find themselves on a collision course to your heart.

What I simply adored about this book:

  • The combination of the past and the present. I loved how this book flashed back between past and present with Mia, Declan, and Noah. It explained so much about these 3 dynamic characters, and gave a glimpse into so many crucial moments. It illuminated the magic of the past, while also explaining a lot with what was going on in the present tense of the book. This combination made it very easy to understand what was happening, and why things went the way they did.
  • Lovely Mia. To say that I adored Mia is an understatement. She was a wonderful female MC to read, with her vast realness and authenticity that made everything she was feeling and experiencing so very real to me. I loved her character from the moment I stepped into her head, and it was a joy to get to know her. She was sassy, she was smart, she was determined, she had flaws, she had pain, and she was so real. She was just all around fabulous, and through the entire book I just wanted to know her more. I wanted to laugh with her, comfort her, and protect her because she was so real to me. The level of connection I had to her character was just magnificent.
  • The female friendship. I absolutely loved reading Grace and Mia’s friendship, and they just brought a big old smile to my face every time they were together. Their friendship was so easy to believe and feel because of how thoughtfully written and authentic it was. I especially loved what the friendship did for both the characters, but especially Mia. These two define what it is to have a best friend, and the way they push each other but are there for one another in every beat just made me love them so much.
  • The realness. This story and its characters are exceptionally real and the issues they face are so relatable. The story feels so real that I felt like I knew the characters personally, and that I was experiencing the events of the book with them. The questions, the doubts, the vulnerabilities, the emotions, the happiness, the joy, and everything else felt so real that it was exceptionally hard to leave the reality so thoughtfully crafted in this book.
  • Declan, Declan, Declan. Declan was someone I didn’t know if I would love because of the choices he made and the affects that had on Mia. I was in her corner, but about 35 seconds into meeting Declan Murphy, I loved him just as much. The man has flaws and he makes some pretty craptastic choices, but getting to know him over this book cemented him as one of my favorite male characters. He’s charming as all get out, and the fight he has it outstanding. And yes sometimes I literally wanted to slap him in the face for the many things he did and didn’t do, and the things he did and didn’t say, but through it all, I loved him to pieces.
  • The different kinds of love. This book captures many different kinds of love so fantastically. I couldn’t help but feel all of that love in my bones. It’s got the love between friends that just exemplifies what it is to have true friends, the love between family members that will warm your heart, and the love between partners that is truly magical in a way. All that love was bursting out of this book, and I highly enjoyed every second I got to experience all those kinds of love.
  • The depth of feelings. There are some pretty deep feelings roaming their way around this book from many of the characters that grace the page. Those feelings are felt wholly in the things said and the action of the characters, along with all that is left unsaid and the actions not taken by some of these characters. The feelings you will experience in this book from these characters are powerful as all get out, and will leave you feeling it all.
  • Can we get a little love for Noah? Noah is the man Mia always had a thing for, and she couldn’t get him out of her mind. I tend to agree with that sentiment because I can’t get him out of my mind either! He was just an all-around good guy and if there was anyone that Mia needed, it was Noah. I honestly don’t think I could love his character more if I wanted to because of what he brings to the story, and all that he does for Mia. He is just an amazingly sweet man that had me practically swooning. He’s also the big what if too, and exploring that side of him was outstanding.
  • The what if questions. This book is bursting with these kinds of questions, and you will find these questions thoughtfully weaved into the story in so many ways. Those questions added a magnificent layer to the story, and made it simply easy to understand the questions, doubts, and thoughts Mia, Declan, and Noah had. Everybody has those what if questions, and this book turned those questions into an unforgettable story.
  • Second Chances. I love me a second chance romance, and this book has that in more ways than one. You’ve got Declan vying for a second chance to make right his wrong, and then you’ve got Noah who’s fighting for a second chance at something he missed out on long ago. Those second chances are outstanding, and the way they incorporate into the story made me really question who’s second chance I wanted to work out more.

Man of my Dreams was just a truly unforgettable story that felt so utterly real to me with every word I read. Declan, Noah, and Mia glued themselves to my heart in such a wonderful way, and I heart those 3 to death. I cannot rave enough about them, and their story in this book. Their story is one full of realness and authenticity, emotion and vulnerability, and so much freaking love.

This book is what real love stories are made of, and I loved every second I spent within the world Faith Andrews created. Her writing is so thoughtfully crafted, and it brings these characters and their story to life in such a beautiful way that will blow you away.

This book poses the question “What if?” but do yourself a major favor and don’t find yourself asking “What if I had read Man of my Dreams?” because that is one what if you don’t want or even need to ask.

This book is yours for the taking, and I promise you will be oh so glad you did.

ps. Back to You is the follow up novella to Man of my Dreams, and it’ll blow you away just as much as Man of my Dreams will!! You can find my review of this so freaking wonderful novella HERE , but be warned that the events in this novella happen AFTER the events of this book, so if you read my review of Back to You before reading Man of my Dreams it’ll spoil some things for you. (And when I say some things, I mean a lot of things!) And as we know I try valiantly not to spoil anything on here, so that’s why you’ve got a little more leg work to find the review. Happy Reading!!

Buy The BookAmazon  B&N  KOBO 

author

Be sure to check out more on the fabulousness that is Faith Andrews at the following links!!

Facebook   Twitter   Goodreads    Website

Man of my dreams

 I seriously cannot recommend these books or any of Faith Andrews’ other books more to you! I guarantee you will love every word of them, and that they will just leave you with an exceptionally unforgettable reading experience you will just love.