Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Fighting Shadows (On the Ropes #2) by Aly Martinez: Book Tour Review, Excerpt & Giveaway


I come from a family of fighters. I always thought I’d follow in their shadows, becoming unstoppable in the ring. That changed the day I saved the life of a woman I loved, but could never have.

My brother hailed me as a hero, and my reward was a wheelchair.

Paralyzed, my life became an inescapable nightmare.

Until I met her.

Ash Mabie had a heart-stopping smile and a laugh that numbed the rage and resentment brewing inside of me. She showed me that even the darkest night still had stars, and it didn’t matter one bit that you had to lie in the weeds to see them.

I was a jaded asshole who fell for a girl with a knack for running away. I couldn’t even walk but I would have spent a lifetime chasing her.

Now, I’m on the ropes during the toughest battles of my life.

Fighting the shadows of our past.

Fighting to reclaim my future.

Fighting for her.

Click to Buy the On the Ropes Series on Amazon:


Review by Michelle:

I have been a huge fan of Aly Martinez since the first few words of her debut novel, Changing Course. This is an author that I will drop everything when a new book of hers releases and each and every time I do I think to myself, ok this is it, it just doesn't get better than this. Remarkably each and every time I am delighted to find out I was wrong. Fighting Silence touched me like no other. One month into 2015 and I had already declared it as one of my favorites of the year and I just knew, this was the one, one of my all-time favorites, and my very favorite Aly Martinez book. I, of course, was elated to hear that Till's brother, Flint, would be sharing his story in Fighting Shadows. While I had a feeling it would be one emotional ride, I never expected to be anywhere near as affected as I had been by the previous book. Once again I was so very wrong. Fighting Shadows is both the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, it is light and dark, heartbreaking and hilarious all at once, and everything in between.

I thought I was itching to read this book before I got my hands on it, but then I had it, I cracked it open, and I read that prologue. As always I was sucked in and from that shocking moment forward I could not get enough. Not surprisingly it just got better and better from there.

I instantly fell in love with Till's brothers when we met them in the first book. Flint was always so mature, so responsible, so giving, and selfless. No matter what his motivations or how he looks back on his actions at the end of that book, he is truly heroic. So the change that takes place early on in this story is truly heartbreaking. To see a man so strong, brave, and full of life become miserable, bitter, and resentful of the one that has given him so much, while easy to understand, is even more difficult to accept. Then along comes a firecracker from the most unlikely of places and again the metamorphosis is staggering.

This firecracker is the incomparable Ash Mabie, one of my favorite female characters to date. This girl is so lively and fun, witty and smart, sarcastic, and magnificently quirky. There is never a dull moment when Ash is around. She is one of those characters that you wish you knew in real life, that you would love to be friends with or even just be around. Ash is sweet and caring, thoughtful and compassionate and she is laugh out loud, hilariously funny.

Between Ash and Quarry and their constant antics, I had a permanent smile on my face for the majority of the book. While Till's story was by far the most emotional of Aly Martinez's works, Flint's stirring story was definitely the most fun. Inevitably the story of Flint having to deal with and come to terms with his paralysis, the end of his fighting career, and a love that will never be reciprocated is emotional, it is poignant, and it is moving, but it is so much more light and fun than I expected, and I absolutely loved it.

Fighting Shadows made me depressed one minute and giddy the next. It makes me want to shout my love for this book, this series, and this author from the rooftops and encourage everyone I meet to read it and enjoy it for themselves. A moving story with sizzling romance and tons of hilarity, Fighting Shadows is thoroughly entertaining, hard to put down, and not to be missed.

Rating: 5 Stars

About the Author:

Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, Aly Martinez is a stay-at-home mom to four crazy kids under the age of five, including a set of twins. Currently living in Chicago, she passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a glass of wine at her side.

After some encouragement from her friends, Aly decided to add “Author” to her ever-growing list of job titles. So grab a glass of Chardonnay, or a bottle if you’re hanging out with Aly, and join her aboard the crazy train she calls life.

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I dropped to my hands and knees, following the noise. “Got it!” I shouted, stretching my arm under the bed and barely catching the alarm clock with the tips of my fingers.

I quickly turned it off, and he had apparently found the second alarm, because the room fell blessedly silent. Well, that was until I heard Flint breathe, “Fuck,” from behind me.

It was then that I remembered I was naked and kneeling with my chest to the carpeted floor and my ass sticking straight up in the air. I glanced over my shoulder to find him standing, staring down at me, his already large cock thickening between his legs—a sight that had me returning his curse.

“Don’t move,” he commanded when I started to sit up.

As Flint’s heated eyes leveled me, there was a part of me that felt as though I should have covered up. But I didn’t feel insecure at all. Under his gaze, I felt more secure and wanted than I had in my entire life, and for that alone, I pressed my ass even higher into the air.

“I lied. Get on the bed, but right back in that position.”

First, I had other plans. I sat up but didn’t push to my feet. Instead, I spun on my knees and slowly crawled over to him.

“Don’t do that,” he warned, but his eyes said otherwise.

“I have a few apologies to make.” I licked my lips.

“On the bed, Ash.”

“No,” I responded.

He arched an admonishing eyebrow, which I ignored.

“You did a lot of things to me last night—things I loved. But there was something I wanted to do.” I wrapped my hand around his hard-on, steadily gliding to the tip and back again. “I’m going to suggest you sit down.”

And for once, Flint didn’t have a retort. He backed up to the edge of the bed and dropped his crutches to the floor. I smiled in victory as I followed him forward, running my hands up his thighs until I reached the base of his cock. Then I lowered my head to kiss the tip.

“Wait,” he urged.

But I was done taking his orders. I slid his length as deep as possible into my mouth. “Fuck,” he hissed.

“Wait,” he repeated as I glided back up his shaft. He pulled me upright before bending forward to kiss my shoulder. Using my chin to tip my head, he forced my eyes to his. “I said wait.” He chastely kissed my mouth and teased his hands down my sides to rest on my hips.

Then the ground below my knees disappeared and the entire world turned upside down.


A loud laugh escaped my throat as Flint flipped me onto the bed to join him. He juggled me like a rag doll until he until he found a position that suited him—kneeling over his face.

I stopped laughing immediately when his mouth sealed over my clit.

Then I cried out as his long finger found my opening. His other hand darted between us and lifted his cock toward my mouth.

With a swirl of his tongue, he dropped his head to the bed long enough to say, “Now, apologize all you like while I have breakfast.”

I gasped as his fingers began a rhythm inside me that left me unable to focus on anything else.

“Are you sore?”

“A little.” I managed to pull myself together long enough to find his cock again. But I instantly regretted my answer when he removed his finger.

“Then you come on my mouth, but you better get busy.” He swatted my ass deliciously hard before using each cheek to pull me down to hover only a centimeter from his mouth. “Because I’m coming in yours too.” He pulled me down until I completely covered his face, licking and sucking in a deep and greedy way I should have been embarrassed by.

But embarrassment would have required thoughts, and right then, every single brain cell I possessed had abandoned me in the hunt for climax.

I came on his mouth, all right. Then, when I finally got my act together, he came in mine as well. And Flint being Flint, well, he was such an overachiever that he insisted on showing me exactly how much he accepted my sexual apologies. So, before I fell asleep on his chest, I came one last time with his hand between my legs.I decided I could live with two alarm clocks if that was the wake-up call they provided.

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