Monday, October 26, 2015

Blog Tour: The Fall Up by Aly Martinez

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Maybe there’s only one direction to go when two people fall
in love at rock bottom—up.

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I wanted to jump.
He made me fall.

As a celebrity, I lived in the public eye, but somewhere along the way, I’d lost myself in the spotlight. 

Until he found me.

Sam Rivers was a gorgeous, tattooed stranger who saved my life with nothing more than a simple conversation.

But we were both standing on that bridge for a reason the night we met. The secrets of our pasts brought us together—and then tore us apart.

Could we find a reason to hold on as life constantly pulled us down?

Or maybe there’s only one direction to go when two people fall in love at rock bottom—up.

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3.75 Stars by Jennifer Hagen

Levee is a singer/performer who has the world at her fingertips but yet she feels a huge void that she tries to fill by constantly visiting sick children that leaves her mentally and physically exhausted.  Levee has a huge heart and by doing all these things for others is putting her own health in jeopardy.    No matter what she does to try to empty it, she continues to be filled with despair and grief. 

Sam is an upcycler of furniture.  He is creative and a good man.  But he, too, is filled with despair and grief.  Levee and Sam meet on a bridge where they both try to find an answer to end their sadness.

I hated every single minute of fine.  There had to be more out there.  There had to be a great lurking in the shadows.  ~ Sam

Sam has first-hand experience in knowing when somebody is lying by saying “fine.”  Levee can’t evade him by saying she is fine when he knows the underlying reason she was up on that bridge. 

“Don’t say fine.  Whatever word you’re planning to finish with, don’t let it be fine. “

Sam and Levee build up a quiet friendship that is built around anonymity.  Their nightly visits on the bridge ground both of them simultaneously filling their voids with hope.  He has no idea that he is speaking with the queen of pop.   Sam is a nurturer by nature but over time he has been brought down by always being the caregiver.  For once he needs to think of himself and realize that Levee comes with a lot of baggage, the least of it being her superstar status.   Does he want to get involved with somebody that is going to require a lot of his support and to always be alert and attentive towards her thoughts and reactions because of fear for what she may end up doing?  That’s a lot for Sam to take on.

“I think you want to take your life back.  I really f*cking do.  But I’ll be honest here:  I’m not equipped for this.  I thought I could do it, but I was wrong.”

Levee is a mess and falling in love didn’t help matters any.  It’s a complication that she really shouldn’t focus on.  She needs to focus on herself and this is where my attention started to dwindle.   There was too much happening in her life and I think both she and I were starting to lose focus on where her story was going.  Their fall into love happened too quickly for me. 

I enjoyed the banter between Levee and Sam.  When their tension-filled conversations became too much they would always redirect themselves to their comfort level by inserting humor.  These are the moments that I really liked the book.  I had a difficult time connecting with either character and sadly I did not enjoy the storyline.  It’s rare for me not to enjoy an Aly Martinez novel as all her predecessors have been huge hits with me.  I need angst…the angst that eats you up inside because you get so mad and at the same time brings you to your knees with emotional punches.  On the other spectrum,  I am not a fan of instalove.  If I had to point my finger at the culprit of what stole the limelight from this story, I would blame instalove.  I needed more tension-filled moments between Levee and Sam.  I can’t always do sweet love and Sam is sweet love…not that there’s anything wrong with that, just that it isn’t my kind of story.

Excerpt One
“Thank fuck!” Sam said, swinging the door open before Devon even had the car in park.
“Oh, this isn’t my place. We’re just dropping Devon off. I’m about twenty minutes across town?”  I tossed him a sugary smile then boldly shifted my hand into his lap, purposely brushing the bulge under his denim.
Grabbing my wrist, he narrowed his eyes and called out, “Devon, I’m gonna need to borrow a bedroom.”
I burst out laughing as Devon cursed loudly.
“Fine. This is my place. No smoking inside though,” I snipped as I climbed from the SUV.
“You better have some seriously exciting extracurricular activities to keep me distracted, then.”
“I have Ping-Pong!”
“Not exactly what I was thinking.” He mischievously cocked his head. “But I guess paddles and balls are as good a start as any.” Dipping down, he hoisted me over his shoulder. “Point me to the Ping-Pong table, my lady.”
I didn’t. I laughed hysterically as he carried me inside. Then I directed him to my bedroom instead.
I heard Devon locking up the house as Sam deposited me on the bed.
“Jesus. This view.”  He pushed the curtains back. “Why the hell would you ever go up to the bridge when you have this here?”
“I don’t know,” I answered, pulling my earrings off and placing them on my nightstand.
Oh, but I knew. It might not have been what had originally sent me up that bridge, but it was why my feet carried me back every night. And that very reason was currently standing in front of me with entirely too much clothing on.
“You want a beer?” I asked, sliding my shoes off.
“Nah, I’m good.” He faced me, and I could tell something was off with his demeanor. He didn’t inch any closer. Instead, his lips were tight and his eyes uncomfortably flashed around the room.
It suddenly didn’t feel like Sam standing in front of me at all.
He felt like a stranger who had just come face-to-face with Levee Williams.
Damn it.
“Why are you looking at me like that? Are you about to freak out?” I whispered, nervously moistening my lips.
He shoved his hands into his pockets. “I’m not really sure yet. But I’m gonna need you to stop licking your lips long enough for me to figure it out.” His mouth cracked into a wide grin, and my shoulders relaxed.
Now that was a flash of my Sam.
“Want to tell me what’s going on?” I asked.
“It’s just… I think this is the first time I’ve realized that you’re some big-time celebrity. I might be in over my head here, Designer Shoes.”
“I just make music, Sam.” I returned his smile and very slowly prowled in his direction. “Imagine how I feel though. You’re Samuel Nathan Rivers. A tough, tattooed furniture designer who makes six figures a year but is too afraid to tell his mommy he votes democratic.” I giggled as he frowned humorously. Stopping in front of him, I dragged a fingernail down his chest then teased the waistband of his jeans. “Have you considered that maybe I’m the one who’s in over her head here?” I leaned forward to nip at his lips, but he spun us around.
“Excellent point. I’m going to need you to try really hard to keep it together, Levee. You haven’t even seen my six-pack and huge cock, yet.” He smirked and attempted to return my nip, but I stepped out of his reach.
“You brought beer and chicken?” I feigned excitement.
That one corny joke was all it took to bring my Sam back completely.
With a sexy smile and a coy shrug, he seductively backed me toward the bed. “What can I say? I like to be prepared.”
“Clearly,” I breathed.
He moved in close so his lips were only a centimeter away, but for as much as I wanted him, it was agonizing. “Clearly,” he repeated, his smoky yet sweet breath breezing across my mouth.
His strong arm looped around my waist, tugging me against his chest, while I stared into his hooded eyes, eagerly waiting for him to make a move.
Any move.
Every move.
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About the Author:
Aly Martinez
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Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, Aly Martinez is a stay-at-home mom to four crazy kids under the age of five, including a set of twins. Currently living in South Carolina, she passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a glass of wine at her side.
After some encouragement from her friends, Aly decided to add “Author” to her ever-growing list of job titles. Five books later, she shows no signs of slowing. So grab a glass of Chardonnay, or a bottle if you’re hanging out with Aly, and join her aboard the crazy train she calls life.

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