20 August 2014

Among the Echoes by Aly Martinez

 *Among The Echoes is a stand alone novel which contains material that may be offensive to some readers. Including sexual abuse, graphic language, and adult situations. Intended for readers 18+.*

My name was Dr. Erica Hill. I was a victim, then a witness, and then I ceased to exist altogether.

I may still be breathing, but stripped of my identity, I have long since stopped living. I am invisible, and my life depends on my ability to stay in the shadows.

But he sees me.

Slate Andrews is the embodiment of everything I have been taught to avoid. He’s rich and famous, and one image of him with a woman would earn millions for any paparazzi lucky enough to snap it. He has vowed to protect me with his life, yet he exposes me with his every breath. I should be stronger and walk away. I should disappear. But I’m terrified he would come after me.

I’m on the run, determined not to take him down with me but absolutely unable to let him go.

My name is Riley Peterson…at least for today.

I have decided that Aly Martinez has become one of those authors who, no matter what she writes, I will buy and read it now questions asked.  I don’t even need to read the description; it’s a one-click.  She could write a book entitled “Secrets of Underwater Fire Starting” and I’d scoop that sucker up and devour it in a night, as I’d be sure that there would be a very tortured and hot hero attempting to start that fire.  There might even be a mermaid involved…but I digress.  My point is, every single one of her books is better than the one before it, and this book was absolutely one of the best I’ve read this year.
I will say that this book has a really, REALLY rough beginning.  It could trigger certain readers, so please be aware there is delicate subject matter involved. Erica Hill is a doctor, and one house call changes her life forever.  Now she’s on the run, in witness protection, from some very bad men.  With her protector and confidant Leo in tow, they’ve been on the run.  They have had to assume new identities move periodically.  A new neighbor changes the whole game for them, however.  Slate Andrews is the heavyweight MMA champion, and after winning his most recent title he goes to the apartment complex that he grew up in, which he now owns, to get away from all the attention.  He meets Erica and there is something about her that calls to him.  She doesn’t know who he is; he thinks something is definitely up with her.  What starts out as Slate just wanting to help a woman he senses is in danger soon blossoms into stronger feelings for them both.  The question is, when all the secrets come out will they be able – or even want – to make it work?  Can Erica move on from such devastating trauma and ever reclaim her life? 
The absolute best thing about this this book for me was the plot.  I had some idea where it was going, but I certainly was wrong with the details when it finally all came out.  I was WAY off, which was totally awesome.  I mean, I read a lot, so I feel like it’s pretty difficult to pull one over on me.  Aly pulled one over on me. And I loved every minute of it.  I thought the plot was well constructed and thought out, and the way all the details came together at the end made a lot of sense to me.  It’s a book that I think will definitely surprise a lot of readers.
The characters in this book were really great as well.  I think that Erica was a character that could totally lose herself to her grief and trauma.  I think in some ways she does, but she never quite loses herself and I think when she meets Slate he begins to put her pieces back together again and make her the whole woman she once was.  I really liked Erica and Slate together.  Slate was a great alpha character.  I think some fighters in these books seem to be a bit over the top, but Slate was just enough.   Total goldilocks zone alpha male here, people.  He’s protective, but not a douche; sexy but not pushy; fierce but loveable.  I think, however, the only character is this book that left me scratching my head a bit was Leo.  I now know that the next book will be about him, so I understand why we weren’t let into his complete story and privy to his demons.  All I can say is, I can’t freakin’ wait for the next book!!!  I need it in my hands now!!! 
Overall, this is a great book.  The plot was surprising and gripping.  The characters were realistic and interesting.  The sexy time was…sexy.  I loved it. 5 stars.


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