Today we are part of a promo tour for The Darkest Sunrise by Aly Martinez. It is the first book in a contemporary romance duet, and is it available to read for FREE on KindleUnlimited or you can purchase it for 99 cents for a limited time.
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My rating: 6 heart-wrenching STARS!!!
“Just a little company in the darkness. No questions. No judgments. No faking it.”
Oh, hell no!!! I need the Brightest Sunset ASAP. OMG! Someone bring me alcohol quick. This story is absolutely amazing and not for the faint hearted by any means. I am reeling from the mind-blowing discovery at the end of book which was a cliff hanger. I am telling you right now this book is a must read and one of my favorite reads this year. Obviously, I don’t know the ending yet but book one is a definite 6 stars. You will need tissues and alcohol to calm your nerves.
“You have no idea what you’re talking about. We don’t share an inferno, Porter. You wouldn’t last a day in my flames.”
To be honest, I had no clue what I was in for after reading the blurb. I sensed that the story would be a bit emotional and intense but nothing prepared me for the heart wrenching feelings I had at the end. It was like my heart was breaking right alongside these two characters. There isn’t much I can say without spoiling the plot.
Here is the gist of the story … Charlotte is a renowned pulmonologist. Ten years ago, Charlotte’s son went missing while she helped another woman save her child. Charlotte was devastated but that did not deter her from becoming a doctor and continuing to help others. But Charlotte has not been living but rather hiding in the darkness filled with self-blame and guilt. She cannot let go. Porter is a single dad to two adorable children. One has a terrible lung disease which prevents him from having a normal childhood. What Porter needs is a great doctor who can possibly save his child. Porter has one important mission and that is to convince Charlotte to accept his baby as a patient … Unfortunately, the last thing Charlotte wants is coming into contact with children who remind her of what she had lost.
“I hope like hell you don’t ever come to me the way you did tonight. But, if you do, I’ll always be there. Door open. Light switch poised. Darkness waiting.”
The ending is a cliffhanger but I knew that going in. The book ended with a HUGE twist. God, I did not see it coming … I don’t know about everyone else but honest to God I NEVER CONNECTED THE DOTS. Actually, I am very frightened going into the second book – I know it is going to be an unbelievably difficult road ahead for all involved.
“I know the darkness, Charlotte. I don’t know why it lives inside you, but now, you know why it lives in me.”
As I said before this storyline is beyond intense but there are a lot of laughing out loud and light-hearted moments thanks to all the witty banters between Charlotte and her leading man Potter. But for the most part their story made me cry. I can feel deep in my heart the characters’ emotional anguish and the torment of the past they can’t escape. The characters are brilliant – Potter is a saint the way he looks after his children and at the same time supporting Charlotte. She is shattered beyond repair while he is breaking apart little by little inside. Charlotte is trying to be strong but everyone has their breaking point. They both deserve someone who can really see them. Aly Martinez has out done herself with this book – an extraordinary story of love, loss, grief, survival, and hope. As for forgiveness and finding the light beyond, I guess we will have to read The Brightest Sunset to find out.
I don’t know what else to tell you – this is MUST READ this year!
“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”
The Darkest Sunrise (The Darkest Sunrise Duet, #1)
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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.
“It’s a boy.”
“Your son needs a heart transplant.”
Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.
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.
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.”
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Porter: Did you make it home safely?
Me: I did. I just got into bed actually.
Porter: Funny you should mention that…how do you feel about tacos?
Me: In bed?
Porter: What? No! We’ve been on two dates. Do I look easy to you?
Me: You just said “Funny you should mention that…how do you feel about tacos?” After I said I just got into bed.
Porter: Ohhhh…see I thought you said, “I just got a burrito actually.”
Me: Uh…I typed it. I didn’t say it.
Porter: Fine! I didn’t have a good transition from bed to see if you wanted to go have tacos with me tomorrow.
I laughed and rolled to my side, kicking the covers off to combat the new warmth coursing through my veins.
Me: I don’t know. If you count the Spring Fling, that’s like four dates in two days.
Porter: I know. You can’t get enough of me. Don’t worry. I find it endearing.
Me: Well, that’s a relief.
Porter: Okay. Okay. You don’t need to beg. Yes, I’ll have tacos with you tomorrow at noon. I know a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy who can get us reservations at Taco Bell.
I smiled so wide I feared it would split my face.
Me: I knew dating a restaurateur would have its perks.
Porter: What can I say? I’m quite a catch. Now, say yes to lunch.
Me: Why are you always trying to force me into having meals with you?
Porter: Because if I left our dates up to you, we’d be eating tacos in bed. That’s at least a sixth-date kind of activity. Slow down there, Mills.
My laugh echoed off the bare walls of my bedroom. Closing my eyes, I sucked in a breath and sank deep into my bed.
Me: You’re right. My mind was clearly in the Mexican gutter. My deepest heartfelt apologies.
Porter: Forgiven. Listen, I just got a text from my guy who knows a guy who knows a guy and unfortunately Taco Bell is fully booked for tomorrow. However, he was able to get us a table for two at Antojitos.
Antojitos wasn’t your average restaurant—it was an experience. The whole place was decorated like a quaint road in Mexico, and waiters wandered around dressed as street vendors offering a plethora of authentic Mexican fare. Every day, the menu was different, but people raved about it. It was always delicious. They didn’t take reservations, so there was usually a line wrapped around the block.
Me: That’s not fair. You can’t tease a girl with Taco Bell and then try to use Antojitos as a sad second choice.
Porter: I know. I know. And to make it up to you, I’d be willing to eat your tacos in bed on our FIFTH date.
Porter: Also…I JUST realized how filthy that sounded. I swear I didn’t mean it like that.
I barked a laugh and paused my fingers over my keyboard when I saw the text bubble pop up. He was typing again.
Porter: I mean…unless you did. In which case, we can do tacos in bed any time you’d like.
Porter: Unless you were talking about real tacos, in which case the crumbs sound like a nightmare.
Porter: Actually, can you do me a favor and delete the last four messages from me without reading them? M’kay thanks.
Tears—actual tears—were in my eyes. I was laughing that hard.
Porter: Christ. Why aren’t you responding now?
Me: Because it’s more fun to watch you sweat.
Porter: Are you laughing?
Porter: That makes it almost worth the embarrassment.
Yeah. Okay. We were talking about eating tacos in bed (which was only slightly less horrifying than sitting on the same side of the booth), but I’ll be damned if that warmth didn’t fill me again.
Me: Antojitos sounds amazing. I have to swing by my office in the morning, so I’ll meet you there at noon.
Porter: Sounds good. Sleep tight.
Me: You too.
I sighed all dreamy-like and started to put my phone down on the nightstand, but the text bubble showed up again. I waited. And waited some more. Boring holes into my phone for at least three minutes until finally his message appeared.
Porter: Confession: I wish I would have kissed you tonight.
My heart stopped and my stomach dipped as I read it three times before finding the courage to reply.
Me: You did.
Porter: No. Not like that. I’m talking about one where you’d spend the rest of your night touching your bruised lips, and I’d spend the rest of mine desperately trying to memorize the way you tasted.
My whole body came alive with a hum, from the tips of my fingers to my peaked nipples and everything in between. The sweet ache of arousal. I threw my head back against the pillow and stared up at the ceiling. I’d been with men over the years. After all, sex was just as much about biology as it was about emotion. But, when the orgasm faded, so did my interest in the other person. Looking back on those encounters, I remembered the release—the brief moments when I’d allowed myself to let go and actually feel something with another person. But not once in ten years had I remembered being kissed. I’m positive it had happened, but it hadn’t been enough to trigger a memory.
Yet there I was, staring at a text describing a kiss that hadn’t happened, but I knew without a shadow of a doubt I’d never forget it.
Me: Confession: I wish you would have done that too.
Porter: Tomorrow, Charlotte.
It was a promise.
One I had every intention of letting him keep.
“Love can grow in the darkness”
Holly hell! Aly Martinez is an absolute genius with duets. After reading Retrieval and Transfer. I loved it so much I thought, “whoa how is she going top that?” Guest what, she did it again – this duet is stunning guys. Highly emotional and heart pounding with anticipation, my stomach sinks every time the tide turns for the worse and my heart sings for moments of reprieve and happiness. My nerves are shot and I was literally exhausted when the last page was turned.
This book brings out all the feels – some funny parts make me smile, some panty dropping passionate scenes. Mostly though, this story is full of drama and angst — a roller coaster of life’s ups and downs and adversity. What happened here in the plot is not all that uncommon – a kid got caught in the middle of an adult’s immaturity and childish games. I don’t pretend to understand the pain of losing a child. Emotions run high for all parties involved: fear, grief, and guilt, but in the end the innocent child suffers.
Just like the first book – every single character is complicated. Charlotte is an amazing human and mother. She tried to make the best decisions but it’s difficult for her because she has been told she is a shitty parent for so long she believed it. Porter is the most sensible one. God, I love him. He always knows the right thing to say and he is the most mature and level headed out of the bunch. It wrecked me to see Porter hurt, broken-hearted and in pain. Even in the most difficult times he still thinks of Charlotte and is protective of her. He is my HERO. Brady is a total douche character. So many times, I want to punch him in the throat, that MF-er. He seems to be sweet to his wife but the way he treated Charlotte and Potter was just vile and unforgivable. I totally understand where he is coming from. He is angry and wants to blame someone but Christ, it wasn’t Charlotte’s fault. It was no one’s fault but the mental Catherine. Brady loves his son but he’s got a funny way of showing it. I can’t make any excuse for his behavior. Brady sort of redeemed himself at the end a little but in my opinion the damage was done.
This story is a must read. We can all learn a big lesson from this. Nowadays, there are so many broken families and nasty child custody battles – no one suffers more than the innocent children. What adults don’t get is that to the eyes of a child, their parent is always going to be their parent. They don’t divorce their mother or father. The parent is always important to them no matter what everyone else thinks. So, be a “Potter” – put your ugly feelings aside, come together, and do right by them.
“I’d like to spend a lifetime with you. In the darkness. In the light. And everywhere in between. Forever.”
Aly Martinez has out done herself with this book – an extraordinary story of love, loss, grief, survival, hope, forgiveness, and finding the light beyond. No doubt, this story is intense but it’s also a romance – an emotional, passionate one with a happily ever after. Nonetheless, it is a difficult process to get there. Trust me though, it is so worth it!!!! I can’t wait to see what Ms. Aly Martinez comes up with next – such an amazingly talented author – ALWAYS A MUST READ FOR ME!!!
The Brightest Sunset (The Darkest Sunrise Duet, #2)
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Don’t miss this amazing duet!
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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