Author: Aly Martinez
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 19, 2014
BlurbI fell in love with Manda Baker eight years ago, and I loved her to the core of her soul. We were supposed to have that elusive happily ever after and spend a lifetime together. But that was all before she was STOLEN from me. Her best friend, Sarah Erickson, killed her. It wasn’t intentional. It was far worse. Everyone claims it was just an accident, but I can see through the lies. Even if it’s with my dying breath, I will make her pay for what she did. Fate hates me. It robbed me of my first love and left me to navigate through this world emotionless and numb. Then, one day, spiteful fate gave me a woman to fill my shattered soul and make me feel again. It gave me Emma Jane Erickson. Now I spend my days searching for the answers that will ruin Sarah and my nights falling in love with her sister—the one person who is bound and determined to save her. But what happens when everything you know to be true explodes around you? Who will be left to pick up the pieces, and who will need to be saved from the wreckage?
**Each book in this series can be read as a stand alone.**
Stolen Course (Wrecked and Ruined #2)
“Do you always act like a kindergartener when you like a girl?” “Who said I like you?” I mock surprise. Yeah, I gave myself away. She knows that I think she’s hot, but wanting to have sex with someone is very different than actually liking them. At least it is in my world. I’ve had sex with numerous women since Manda. Never once have I even thought twice about them though. That is until Emma ran into my life. “You called back, didn’t you?” Damn it, busted again! She’s right. I like her even though I know absolutely nothing about her. I need to remedy this without acting like a broody, sullen teenager. Who knows. Maybe I will be able to shake her once I get to know her a little better. “What’s your favorite color, Emma Jane Erickson?” “What is this, the get-to-know-each-other portion of the night? I never thought you would be so cliché, Detective Jones.” She laughs for a second before answering, “Orange.” “Oh, come on. No one likes orange.” “I do.” “Why?” “Why not? It’s different and bold. It stands out amongst a blank world of black, white, and gray. Orange is the early morning sun stretching across the sky and the color of a burning ember standing tall in the middle of a beach bonfire. It’s leaves in the fall, carrots in Nana’s vegetable soup on a cold winter day, tulips in the spring, and the ladybugs in the middle of the grassy park on a hot summer afternoon. Orange is life. It’s unexpected but beautiful.” She stops talking, and her depth silences me too. I consider myself a very artistic person. I draw, paint, and build. Creation is my escape. And to listen to this woman wax poetic about a single simple color steals my breath. It embeds itself somewhere deep inside. A place where no woman, especially an Erickson, has any business being. “Oh, and it’s my favorite flavor of candy too.” And with those simple words, I know I’m in trouble. So fucking much trouble. I begin to laugh, and I mean really laugh. The kind that sticks with you even after the joke is long since forgotten, and I do it for the first time in almost five years. Fuck.
My Rating & Review
May 14. 2014
4 Bruised & Battered Stars
Copy Provided by Author for Honest Review
Copy Provided by Author for Honest Review
Originally the blurb drew me to this story. The excellent appraisal of pain and suffering this book will encapsulate was not far off. Soon after starting I knew this was a good choice. Early on it was clear how emotional this book would be. Not only are both main characters, Caleb and Emma, still mourning their own losses, both put themselves in a precarious position by getting together. The following tension is thick, emotions are all over the place and the storyline just enhances it all.
Caleb lost his longtime girlfriend to a car crash five years ago and is still heavily greieving. He’s lost his drive, his will and most importantly the love of his life. The only thing that gives him relief is his hatred. Hatred for the driver of the car that killed Manda. This same crash, is also what haunts Emma, only for totally different reasons. Sarah, Emma’s sister was the one driving the car, the one who’s agony gives Caleb a reason to breathe and wake up every morning. See how this could cause a boat load of problems….?
Emma and Caleb are immediately attracted to one another. But obviously nothing could come of them hooking up, right? Too much bad blood, anger, hatred and wishes for a gruesome death hang between them, moreso on Caleb’s part. Emma may not have been active in her sisters’ life until now, but she’s willing to relocate to give it a try. She’ll try next to anything to bring her sister back from the haze of a life she’s been living. Getting together with the man who hates your family couldn’t be worse than helping Sarah heal right?
Emma and Caleb have more bumps in the road than I’ve ever witnessed. Because of this tension being so high early on, the relationship between the two doesn’t just happen. Even with the attraction a brief getting to know you via text messages gives them both hope to try. I was glad Caleb and Emma were smart and hesitant. They didn’t jump into things or try to make a situation that was unworkable work. They recognize the huge boulder standing in their way leaving no margin for error, they just have to decide if they are each worth enough to the other to stick around and fight.
I know it seems like many details but most of the tension between the characters is laid out early on, however, thinking you know what to expect will get you nowhere with this book. At first the characters were a bit tricky to visually connect, mostly because of the drama attached. Had I read the first book in the series most of the information would have been given to me beforehand. Regardless of the fact, Aly Martinez did a wonderful job of giving this book enough life-force on its own to work completely fine as a stand-alone. Be warned the drama is all over the place, every time things are going good, someone says the wrong thing or awful things take place.
As far as the characters of Emma and Caleb, I enjoyed them both. Sure I wanted to smack them both occasionally but I had to take into account all that was happening. Caleb is so focused on his hate, it’s as if he really hasn’t been living the last five years. Emma, a photographer, somehow brings the proverbial light into his life and rather than force him to face his past, she helps him and guides him in the right direction. Even then the pain doesn’t stop, nor will you from reading this well into the night.
Overall this was a very well written and thought out novel. The storyline was completely different and caught me from the blurb alone. After finishing I was still shocked by all the crazy and impressed by the quality of the plot and finished product. If you’re looking for something different, something with a ‘WOW’ factor that will make you take a step back and breathe because the characters and drama are often off the wall frustrating but still surrounded by a interesting and powerful plot, than Stoeln Course is just what the Dr. ordered. I would recommend reading Book #1 beforehand for more information and glimpses of the characters. There is also a novella about friend of Emma’s who we meet briefly. This was a great read and I can’t wait to read more from this author.
Buy Links for Book 1
Changing Course (Wrecked and Ruined #1)