“I love you… I never stopped, and I never will.”
Note: I’ve included reviews for both books in the duet here. Spoiler free. Everything below is my review for the first book. The second book’s review will be after the page break.
WOW. WOW. WOW!! This book was absolutely incredible!! A passionate, achingly heart-wrenching, and yet beautifully romantic story that kept my heart racing non-stop. It was ADDICTIVE, EMOTIONAL, INTENSE. It was hot, sexy, suspenseful. The story took my completely by surprise and was utterly UNIQUE! I gasped when I realized what was really going on in this story — and I swear I COULD. NOT. PUT. THIS. BOOK. DOWN!!! Aly Martinez has been one of my favorite authors for quite a while — I love her writing, love her books, and always look forward to her new releases — but I can confidently say that this is her best book yet! It is certainly one of my favorite reads of the year and I highly recommend it to any reader looking for a story that will take your breath away. 5 STARS!!
One story. Two couples.
I proposed on our first date.
She laughed and told me I was insane. Less than a day later, she said yes.
It was a whirlwind, but we were happy…
Until we got greedy and wanted a family.
It was a life I couldn’t give her, not for lack of trying. Fertility just wasn’t on our side. We sought out doctors and treatments. Spent money we didn’t have. Lied to our families. Smiled for our friends. Put on a brave face for a world that didn’t understand.
Finally, we were successful…
Until we were forced to bury our son.
We were left broken, battered, and destroyed.
They say love is in the details, but it was the details that ruined us.
This is the story of how I took back what had always been mine.
The retrieval of my wife and our family.
Holy hell!!!! So, THIS SITUATION. When you first start reading, you kind of think that this is mainly just an emotional story of man who is trying to win back the love of his beloved ex-wife (which admittedly is a gripping type of story even on its own) but THEN. OH. MY GOSH… when the moment came where I realized what the ACTUAL plot-line was — which was SO MUCH BIGGER than I ever anticipated — I just literally gasped out loud and from that moment on, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. It was RIVETING!!!! EMOTIONAL!!!! FULL OF FEEELS!!!
My past, present, and future were walking out of my life, and I stood immobile as every fiber in my being screamed for me to drop to my knees and beg her to stay.
To take her in my arms and tell her that we’d figure it out.
To reclaim my life once and for all.
Elizabeth and Roman’s story is told from both their perspectives, mainly in the present day but with flashbacks that piece their past together for the reader. The flow between these elements was easy to follow and every flashback always complimented their current situation in a way that really just rounded the story out even further.
I’d lived twenty-six years of life before that night. But suddenly, I was alive for the very first time. I knew absolutely nothing about that man.
But I knew he was mine.
And I was meant to be his.
If there’s any one thing I love to read about most in romance, it’s about a couple who loves each other so much that literally nothing can permanently keep them apart and this book delivered such an achingly painful and yet beautiful scenario with exactly that kind of love ensuring I was in absolute reader heaven! Despite the pain of their miscarriages, fertility nightmares, and the devastating loss of their son, that ultimately lead to their unfortunate separation and divorce, the one thing that neither of them could let go of was their all-consuming love for each other. And especially once their respective sides of the story were explained, you really got to understand what each of them was going through and why their marriage had fallen apart. But Roman loved her more than life itself and when he saw even the tiniest chance to fix thing, he grabbed a hold with both hands and didn’t let go.
He gathered me in his arms, tucked my face back into his neck, and brushed the hair off my neck.
We sat in silence for somewhere between a second and a century, his fingers lazily drawing patterns on my shoulder, before I finally found the courage to confess, “I miss you.”
He sighed. “You have no idea.”
So I want to be as vague as possible about the storyline but basically, there is another couple in this story as well. Or, during this book, it’s mainly just Clare who is a young mother to a little daughter named Tessa, and is trapped in a physically abusive marriage to essentially a mob-boss with the power to control her life and get away with horrible acts. Her only reprieve is her time at the gym with her trainer — Luke — who sees what is happening but can only go so far in his attempts to help her before crossing lines that she begs him to stay away from — in fear for his life.
Luke had been my personal trainer for three months, and in that time, he’d learned the gig. I could tell it killed him each time I came into the gym with fresh injuries or tear-stained cheeks. But he kept his opinions to himself and read between the lines, never pressuring me to spill my guts but asking just enough questions to remind me that decent people existed…
“Let me help you,” he whispered, but we both knew he wasn’t talking about stretches.
I kept trying to figure this thing out… Two couples. One story. What was the connection??! Then that MOMENT came where it just clicked and it was like a lightbulb turned on. I just literally sat up and went OHHHHHMIGOSH.
This unexpected, heart-stopping, life-changing development brought them together in a way I’d never anticipated.
Trust me, the book is great even until this point but once you reach this moment, you won’t be able to put the book down. Just cancel your plans for the rest of the day because you’ll be glued to the page!
Oh and Roman. Seriously. ROMAN!!! That man is guaranteed to melt your heart. I loved the way he fought for them, for her, for their family, and for their future. His determination to win back her trust and love and to ensure that he never had to go another day without her in his life was pure swooooooon material!!
“Roman,” I pleaded.
“I can fix this,” he declared.
“I can fix us,” he swore.
“Hush.” I kissed his chest.
“I will fix us, Elisabeth,” he vowed. “Mark my words. I will not spend my life without you.”
A few important things: There is NO love triangle (none at all) and NO cheating (the couple aren’t even ever with anyone else during their separation). I know the blurb references “two couple, one story” but I promise you that the way they’re entwined is one that even the most heart-core romantics will love.
I battled the urge to kiss her.
To claim her.
To take back the woman who had always been mine.
With the way this book is structured, the primary focus is on Elisabeth and Roman as the main couple, with another couple (who I don’t want to say much about) as almost a secondary storyline that is connected in a very clever way. And in the second book, the main focus will switch to the other couple.
Aly Martinez is one of my favorite authors for two very important reasons. Firstly, because her stories are always unique. Every one of her books has this emotional twist to it that always grabs my heart and keeps me intrigued. And second because her books are perfectly balanced between romance, emotions, humor, suspense, intensity, and passion. The way she writes romance is literally my favorite way of all: her stories are HOT HOT HOT but the heat is always incorporated into the stories so seamlessly that the focus always remains on character development and storyline. So her books deliver that extra zing while still keeping a strong story at the heart that stays with you.
We’d fallen in love in less than a day.
Not even utter devastation and two years apart could erase that.
A love like ours wasn’t measured in years, distance, or time apart.
It was never-ending.
This book was everything I’d hoped for and more! I loved every single word. I felt every single word. The story consumed me and I was swept away in the the passion of their reunited love, the heart-break of their devastating loss, and the unexpected hope for their better future. I couldn’t put this book down even for a minute and I highly recommend this to every romance reader searching for a unique and truly amazing new book to fall in love with!!
Rating: 5 STARS! Adult contemporary romance. No cheating. No triangle.
Next is a mini-review for book #2…
Rising to my knees, with [my daughter] held to my chest, I hooked an arm around his neck and shoved my face against his throat. His arms instantly folded around us both as he squeezed me, [my daughter] tucked between us.
“I’m scared,” I whisper, not sure what else to say.
“I’ve got you.” He nuzzled his jaw against the side of my face. “I swear on my life I’ve got you.”
To be honest, there’s almost nothing I can tell you about the content this book that isn’t a spoiler. But I will say that I absolutely LOVED it!! Just like with the first book, this one was brimming with emotion, passion, and intensity. My heart-raced non-stop as I flew through the pages. In contrast to the first book, this book is focused on another couple, with Elizabeth and Roman now being the secondary couple, but this seamlessly completed both their stories. As their stories entwined, it was heart-warming and thrilling to watch these two gorgeously protective Alpha male heroes working side-by-side to protect their women and families. In every way, this was the perfect conclusion to this heart-pounding, addictive, and compelling story of love and family. I highly recommend it as a top favorite!
Book #2: Transfer
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