BOOK REVIEW: The Darkest Sunrise by Aly Martinez

The Darkest Sunrise Duet Book One

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♦BLURB♦

Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.
Whoever coined that phrase is a bald-faced liar. Words are often the sharpest weapon of all, triggering some of the most powerful emotions a human can experience.
“You’re pregnant.”
“It’s a boy.”
“Your son needs a heart transplant.”
Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.
Lies.
Syllables and letters may not be tangible, but they can still destroy your entire life faster than a bullet from a gun.
Two words—that was all it took to extinguish the sun from my sky.
“He’s gone.”
For ten years, the darkness consumed me.
In the end, it was four deep, gravelly words that gave me hope of another sunrise.
“Hi. I’m Porter Reese.”

♦5-STAR REVIEW♦

The Darkest Sunrise beautifully captured a tale of hope and loss, and how easily both emotions can wrap around each other and reach out to drown you if given the chance to do so. While heartbreaking, there wasn’t a moment where it was too overwhelming or painful, and instead it was crafted to perfectly skirt the edges of both hope and loss to effectively bring the story to a personal level; to be felt and experienced as if this story were your own.

In a story of twists and turns and sadness, there was a truly captivating romance that swirled among it. Having two characters on the other side of such traumatic events, Martinez skillfully portrayed their emotions, inner demons, and the effects of how such events could wear on a person with ease. Their subtle connection to one another shone through instantly and created a bright, heartwarming love story, one where two people so blind to light could perfectly see one another. Their collective spiral into separate forms of grief became a bit less dark when in the presence of the other, and it was palpably felt; as if an audible sigh were heard.

Emotionally gripping and incredibly sexy, The Darkest Sunrise captivated and charmed. Martinez’s writing brought two characters to life and insisted we take this journey with them. Perfectly paced, the pages turned themselves and it was easy to lose myself in their past and present. This story completely thrilled in every direction it took, leaving me absolutely desperate for the final part of their story.

♦SERIES♦

The Darkest Sunrise Duet Book Two

Release Date: July 27, 2017

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♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

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.

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BOOK REVIEW w/ EXCERPT: Trust by Kylie Scott

Mature YA Romance

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♦BLURB♦

Being young is all about the experiences: the first time you skip school, the first time you fall in love…the first time someone holds a gun to your head.

After being held hostage during a robbery at the local convenience store, seventeen year old Edie finds her attitude about life shattered. Unwilling to put up with the snobbery and bullying at her private school, she enrolls at the local public high school, crossing paths with John. The boy who risked his life to save hers.

While Edie’s beginning to run wild, however, John’s just starting to settle down. After years of partying and dealing drugs with his older brother, he’s going straight—getting to class on time, and thinking about the future.

An unlikely bond grows between the two as John keeps Edie out of trouble and helps her broaden her horizons. But when he helps her out with another first—losing her virginity—their friendship gets complicated.

Meanwhile, Edie and John are pulled back into the dangerous world they narrowly escaped. They were lucky to survive the first time, but this time they have more to lose—each other.

 

♦4.5-STAR REVIEW♦

Sweetly romantic and poignantly captivating, Trust was a timely portrayal of the external and internal struggles for a young woman in modern society. With a tough-as-nails heroine who easily captured inner-strength with a side of vulnerability, Scott penned a beautiful story of growth, love, and self acceptance.

Body issues and the viewpoint of the public aside, what was most enjoyable was that these labels didn’t define the story or the heroine, but were mere stepping stones to cross over in order to meet the next hurdle. Edie became like any other main character, regardless of her struggles, in that she was real and suffered normal setbacks with the uncertainty most would have. Scott beautifully portrayed the effects of the traumatic event Edie suffered, allowing her to find her own way in the aftermath, showing us the deep repercussions of how the mind fights back. Most inspiring of all, though, was the kind of beauty that can come from a horrible situation as she and John suffered.

Sexier than expected, classifying this one as more upper YA/lower NA, the love story in this novel was perfect in every aspect. John and Edie’s connection grew organically with the speed of travelling ivy, allowing the most natural, feral attraction to form. Friendship and comfort and trust fell into so much more.

Learning how to trust one’s own self, those around them, the sense of safety, the fragility of the mind, and the love of another became the powerful messages to take home once the book ended. Scott did an amazing job tackling so many issues without one overpowering the other or feeling as if Edie was lost inside of it. Trust packed an emotional punch that continued to weigh on me long after the last page was turned, and I applaud the unabashed way in which Scott told this story. Don’t let the YA genre of the story fool you; it still had everything this author’s known for plus so much more that I hope to continue to see this author use in her future works.

 

♦EXCERPT♦

“You were going to give it up to Duncan Dickerson?” he sneered. “Are you serious?”

I halted, staring at him. This was not good. “How do you know about that?”

“Anders overheard you and Hang talking.”

“Bastard.”

“Well?” he demanded, acting all authoritarian. Idiot.

“To be fair, I didn’t know his last name was Dickerson,” I said. “That’s unfortunate. Though, I wasn’t actually planning on marrying him, so . . .”

“Not funny.”

I shrugged.

“You barely know the guy.”

“Um, yeah. None of your concern. We’re not talking about this.” How mortifying! My face burned bright. People should just gather around and cook s’mores. “I appreciate that we’re friends. You mean a lot to me. But this is going to have to fall under definitely none of your damn business, so go away please.”

“We’re talking about it.” He advanced a step.

“No we are not.” And I retreated.

“You were going to let a complete stranger touch you.” Advance.

Retreat. “People do it all the time. You do it all the time.”

“But you don’t,” he said, taking the final step, backing me up against the side of his car and getting all in my face. “Edie, this is your first time we’re talking about. Isn’t it?”

“Yes, and it’s going to be messy and painful and probably horribly embarrassing and I just want it over and done with.” I tried to meet his eyes but failed, settling for a spot on his right shoulder. “You’re not a girl; you wouldn’t understand. Also, last time I checked, you’re not the gatekeeper of my hymen, John Cole. So back the fuck off.”

He said nothing.

Deep, calming breaths. “Look, someday I’ll meet someone I really like and we’ll have a deep and meaningful relationship and go at it like bunnies. But I don’t want to be the dumb virgin in that scenario.”

He slowly shook his head.

“Also, I do not want to die a virgin.”

“What? What the hell are you talking about?”

“Hey, you and I both know death can occur at any time.”

“This is crazy.”

“I’m seeing a therapist!” I told his shoulder. “I don’t know if you noticed, but I’m a little bit messed up these days. It’s hard for me to trust people. That’s not going to change anytime soon.”

He screwed up his face at me. “Wha—”

“I’m just trying to be practical.”

“Well, you’re being ridiculous. None of this makes sense.”

“It does to me.”

Again, he said nothing.

In fact, he said nothing for so long that I finally looked him in the eye. The anger had left him, replaced by an emotion I didn’t recognize. Worst of all, he still smelled like summer. A little sweat and the open night air, everything I loved. Liked. I meant liked.

“What?” I said, finally.

He let loose a breath. “I’ll do it.”

 

♦TRAILER♦

 

TRUST by Kylie Scott (Official Book Trailer) from FILM 14 on Vimeo.

 

♦ABOUT THE AUTHOR♦

kylie scott

Kylie is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author. She was voted Australian Romance Writer of the year, 2013 & 2014, by the Australian Romance Writer’s Association and her books have been translated into eleven different languages. She is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.

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