Sunday, August 24, 2014

Review: Among the Echoes by Aly Martinez

Among the Echoes by Aly Martinez
Excerpt

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.

Genre

Contemporary

Review 

Among the Echoes is no fluff. It was raw, gritty and realistic. It depicted a story of a damaged woman who was living in fear and a man who was so protective and understanding that he will do anything to keep her safe.

Riley who used to be Erica Hill had endured a life changing tragedy that resulting in her living in paranoia for years. During this time, she only had one friend, Leo James. He saved her on that awful day and now the only one who vowed to keep her safe. But Riley is not living, she is invisible and hiding behind shadows.

Slate Andrews is a seasoned celebrity boxer who hates being in the limelight. He flew back to his old apartment after every fight to lay low for a month. But this time, he came across his new neighbor, the skittish and fearful Riley. One look at her, he knew she had been abused. Due to his own past, Slate had a sudden protective instinct to know Riley and over-concern about her well-being. 

The prologue of the story intrigued me and leaving behind a hint of mystery. We knew what happened to Riley exactly, but never learn why. Three years later, when Slate came into the picture and disrupted Riley and Leo's carefully crafted life, she totally freaked out and having a hard time to deter him away. Slate was so persistent and adamant that something is wrong with this two so-called 'cousins' who are living together.

The only part that felt unnatural to me is how fast Riley started to trust Slate, but the romance part was progress much slower and more believable pace. Is funny that Leo was acting like a total Slate advocate and encouraging Riley to live for once.

Talking about Leo, initially, when Leo acting like a dark hero saving her and subsequently living with her, I thought he was the hero of the story. But nonetheless, this guy is amazing and I definitely looking forward to read his story. 

"You know... girl talk. I read an entire Cosmo in preparation for this moment. My manhood is in serious jeopardy right now. I think I can pull off the BFF role if you hurry up and start talking before I remember I have a dick" ~ Leo 

As time pass, even though Slate and Riley got closer, he knew she is hiding her past and who she truly are. It frustrated him, but he was patience in giving her time to open up. However, when Riley and Leo's past finally catch up with them, she might just need to make the decision to forgo what her heart desire.

"Fuck your fairy tale. I just want you. I'll make my own God damn happily ever after. You'll be at the end of that story, beautiful. You either come willingly or you force me into the dark after you. It doesn't matter to me, because either way, I'll find you." ~ Slate

Slate might seems like a cookie cutter hero, who is honorable, protective and understanding, but he do had his own past that make him the man he is today. He seems so nice most of the time, but when Riley starts feeding him bullshit about leaving and etc, he will make his own stand. When he starts to open up and told Riley his past, that was a very touching moment.

"My mom sat me down and told me that I wasn't an accident, but that I was a gift sent to protect her." ~ Slate 

Towards the end Riley and Leo had to deal with what happened three years ago and they are adamant to put a stop to it once and for all. The suspense is picking up and Slate was in it together with them. He wants to get rid of whatever is it so that he can have a future with Riley. There are some heart pounding moment and wondering how the trio gonna pull this off. 

In regards to the cameo of a certain character from Changing Course series, it was really small and only towards the epilogue. It didn't make any significant impact on this story. This one definitely works as a standalone, with you longing to read Leo's story next. The HEA in the end was a beautiful one and truly deserving. Highly recommended if you enjoy a more raw and gritty romance without the fluff and isn't too dark.

"The echoes are gone, beautiful. And the woman left behind is even more incredible than the one I fell in love with." ~ Slate

Rating 5/5

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