Thursday, 5 March 2015

Review ~ Fighting Silence (On the Ropes #1) by Aly Martinez

Reviewed by Donna ~ 4.5 Stars

“I had already been drowning in the ocean of life. Every gasp of air was a struggle. Just as I would breach the surface, filling my lungs with hope and determination to make it through another day, I was forced back under – harder every time.”

I have to admit this is my first read by Aly Martinez but I can easily say it will not be my last. I am a sucker for friends to lover’s stories and this book was no different. From the time that we were introduced to these two you could tell that they had a unique bond, a bond that was the forever kind, no words were necessary, actions always spoke loudest.

This book was real, life is a real battle sometimes and this shone through Aly’s words, the fight to stay together, the fight to remain together as a family and the fight in the ring are one of the same. The fight to be “normal,” the fight to be accepted, the fight to live and the fight to love and be loved, everything is a battle but battles are meant to be won and by the time I had finished this book, my heart felt it had survived a huge one.

This was such a beautiful story that will have you empathising, sympathising and most importantly swooning. Neither character was perfect, neither came from a good background but the common denominator with these two was that they did not let it define them, they found their outlets, their safe places and for these two it always boiled down to the same thing, each other.

Eliza used to escape her home life, she found a dilapidated house that was marked for demolition, but she used it as her escape, her fortress, a place that she could be alone and do what she wanted. Her parents never noticed her missing, nor seemingly cared which for a thirteen year old was hard to stomach. But she loved her haven and spent as much time as she could there. One night Till climbed through one of her windows and from that day on a friendship was born. At first words were not spoken, both were content with the companionable silence, but slowly but surely, they communicated, they trusted each other and both look forward to and cherished each other’s company.

“No more windows. No more pretending.”

Till was struggling, his father was off the scene and his mother was a feeble excuse for a parent, so it was left to him to bring up his brothers and for a thirteen year old, that was no easy task. Some days he just needed to get away and he found solace in Eliza, these two needed each other.

As they get older life changes and as Eliza goes off to college Till panics about being left behind. He is scared of losing his soul mate, the one person he could always rely on, the only person that was there for him when he needed, one night before Eliza departs they finally cross that line and give themselves to each other completely, but for Till it was bitter sweet…it meant the end.

“…because one thrust later – without the use of hands – I claimed Eliza Reynolds final first. And every. Single. One. Of her lasts.”

With any friendship that was born from a solid foundation such as theirs you know that these two were destined to be. Their lives may have taken different paths but sometimes life has a way of making those paths cross once again, maybe being older and wiser is what these two needed, but when their paths finally intersect once again, you could tell that the spark was still there and I for one was begging them to give in and see where this relationship took them. Olive branches had to be delivered, forgiveness had to happen but once these two get back on the right track, love took over and that is what I loved about this book and this is where the story really begins.

“I fell in love with a man whose fantasy is crawling through my window to escape reality. All the while, my fantasy is walking out that door to navigate reality by his side.”

Till and Eliza were such strong characters in their own right, both could be stubborn at times but they bought out the best in each other. They were each other’s foundations and their anchor. Till was trying to do everything himself, he wanted to prove that he could be that person for his brothers, but money and work were necessary problems that needed to be overcome and it took a lot for him to finally accept Eliza’s help. The relationship that Eliza had with the brothers was fantastic, I could picture this family unit in my head, they were loyal to each other and looked out for each other, every one of them had their part to play which only lead to a happy, cohesive family unit.

“You’re not hungry for more in life. You’re fucking starving.”

I cannot express how much I loved this book, the writing style and the plot lines had me hooked from start to finish and I just didn’t want it to end. The character connection was perfect, the emotion was there in spades, and it was powerful and raw. This book took over my life for those few hours and those boys have wormed their way into my heart and my head. I cannot wait for Flint’s story and I just know that it is going to be even more emotional that this one. I don’t know if my heart could take it. I loved this dude, so I will be eagerly anticipating the next instalment.

“And I am unquestionably serious about spending the rest of my life with you.”

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