“I love you — scars and all.”
What an awesome read!! This was a sexy and suspenseful romance about a woman in witness protection who fell in love with a celebrity boxer!! If you like protective, Alpha heroes, you’ll love Slate Andrews!!
The story is about two people from opposite worlds brought together by chance and kept together by love. Slate Andrews was at a professional boxer at the top of his game but he didn’t like the celebrity life so after all of his games, he’d retreat to the apartment that he grew up in in a small town where nobody knew him.
Erica Hill had spent the last three years in witness protection, changing her name, appearance, and location, to hide from a brutal man who’d once dragged her into his world and was doing his best to hunt her down again (I don’t want to give details but this is all explained very clearly in the book). And, her newest location happened to be the apartment down the hall from Slate’s and that was how they met.
At first, Slate could see that she was terrified and wanted to help protect her in some way… but things were complicated, and she wasn’t supposed to set up connections…. even if her heart was drawn to the giant hot guy who lived next door and was dead set on finding a way to help protect her.
I don’t want to give away too much more but that’s the basic story set up. Things of course got much more complicated but I loved the way it all came together and have to say that the plot was very well thought out.
I loved seeing Erica come out of her shell as she began to trust Slate. The safer she felt around him, the more her real personality began to shine through… some of their banter was just too funny!
“I can’t remember the last time I had food that good.”
“You didn’t even taste the gnocchi either. It’s unbelievable.”
“Well, I was going to taste the gnocchi, but by the time I unfolded my napkin, you were already licking the bowl.”
Slate was out-of-this-world amazing!!! He was this millionaire celebrity, but also a bit of a recluse who just was an all-round good guy. He was a natural-born, intensely protective fighter and also a true hero in every sense of the word. He was hot and sexy, but also deeply caring and passionate. He melted my heart!!
“I never knew you before you had these scars, but that doesn’t mean I won’t spend my entire life trying to erase them from the inside out.”
Everything that happened in this book made sense. The plot was well structured and I loved that even though there was a lot going on, Slate and Erica’s romance was the major focus of the book. It was essentially a romance set in a suspenseful setting. The ending did get more action-packed as everything began to come together but it was never over done (which I really appreciated).
I also loved the “we can do this together” attitude that Slate always had. Once he was able to gain her trust and prove that he was on her side no matter what, there really was a strong sense of being in this as a team and that’s something very important for me in stories. The thing I want to see most is couples getting through hardships together and that was what this book was about.
Oh, one thing though — you should know that there are two important guys featured in this book who are important parts of Erica’s life but this is not a triangle. The only love interest is Slate. The other guy, Leo, is more of a protective, brother-type figure (never a romantic interest) who loved her like he would a family member and who was in witness protection with her. I loved them both!
Just a quick warning, the opening scene is pretty brutal. You see the event in her past that landed her in witness protection… but just know that it’s the only scene like that in the book. It’s necessary to see what she went through to understand what shaped her character in the present day. The rest of the book though is mainly a lot of swoon and hotness, mixed in with some suspenseful action too. It’s a really great read!!
Also, just to clarify something in case you see these names mentioned elsewhere. There are a lot of double names used throughout the book because of trying to hide identities (for various reasons). So, Erica + Riley are the same woman, Slate + Adam are the same guy, and Leo + Dave are the same too.
This is the third book by Aly Martinez that I’ve loved. Her characters are absolutely wonderful and I love how unique each of her books are while still always delivering really touching love stories. They each have a great balance between all the things I love to read about: heart-racing angst (without any stupid drama), sexy romance (written in a way that always compliments the plot), gorgeous male leads that’ll melt your heart with how protective they are, and wonderful relationships that you can help but root for.
“I’m not some damsel in distress you can just swoop off her feet and save, Prince Charming.”
“Fuck your fairytale. I just want you. I’ll make my own God damn happily ever after.”
While this book can be read as a complete standalone novel, it does have a surprise twist at the end that connects it in with this author’s first 2 books (Changing Course & Stolen Course). That twist made my heart race!!!!!! I was freaking out in the best way and totally LOVED it!!!! So, in an ideal world, my personal recommendation would be to read all three of them in order but you can also easily just start with this one, then read those after, or even just read this on it’s own. It’s up to you.
Bottom line: If you want a book with a sexy, heart warming romance and a great blend of steam, suspense, and action, try this out!! I loved it and I can’t wait for Aly Martinez’s next book! 🙂
Rating: 4.5 stars. Standalone romantic suspense.
*** RECOMMENDED READING ORDER ***
Interconnected standalones. Best to read in order.
Among The Echoes can be read completely alone though.