Title: Stolen Course (Wrecked and Ruined #2)
Author: Aly Martinez
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 19, 2014
BlurbI fell in love with Manda Baker eight years ago, and I loved her to the core of her soul. We were supposed to have that elusive happily ever after and spend a lifetime together. But that was all before she was STOLEN from me. Her best friend, Sarah Erickson, killed her. It wasn’t intentional. It was far worse. Everyone claims it was just an accident, but I can see through the lies. Even if it’s with my dying breath, I will make her pay for what she did. Fate hates me. It robbed me of my first love and left me to navigate through this world emotionless and numb. Then, one day, spiteful fate gave me a woman to fill my shattered soul and make me feel again. It gave me Emma Jane Erickson. Now I spend my days searching for the answers that will ruin Sarah and my nights falling in love with her sister—the one person who is bound and determined to save her. But what happens when everything you know to be true explodes around you? Who will be left to pick up the pieces, and who will need to be saved from the wreckage?
**Each book in this series can be read as a stand alone.**
Stolen Course by Aly Martinez
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Caleb Jones lost his fiancé Manda in a car accident he blames on Sarah, the best friend of Manda, and the ex-wife of his best friend Brett. For the past five years, he has lived with a hatred of Sarah and has been hoping to find a way to make her pay for what she's done. For the first time in years he meets someone who makes him feel something and starts giving him hope for the future. The problem is that this person is the sister of the woman he hates and blames for stealing his future along with the love of his life. Emma Erickson has decided to move to Chicago and help support her sister. She feels guilt for not being around to help Sarah for the past years, and feels that it is time she stepped up and tried to help her only family heal. Emma is quickly attracted to Caleb, but knows that there is no way they could make a relationship work while he so clearly hates someone that she will always love. The more time they spend talking the more they realize they are going to have to give a relationship a chance since they both feel a strong connection to the other that won't be ignored.
Emma is a delightful character. She is confident and sexy and goes after what she wants. She isn't afraid to be completely honest and call things what they are. Even with her blunt communication style and witty sarcastic style, she is loving, kind, and looks out for those she loves. Caleb is a very complex character. He is quite sexy and it is clear that he fights for those he loves. It is tough to get past some of his asshole tendencies as he deals ineffectively, at times, with his own pain and grief. He makes bad choices on a regular basis, but it is tough to stay mad at him for long. Through it all, he feels like a character worth investing in. Emma and Caleb have some smoking hot chemistry and that is just one of the aspects of their relationship that cause us hope they will find a way through their impossible situation. There are a lot of emotional highs and lows throughout this story. I didn't put this book down once I started until it was finished. It was great to get to re-connect with characters from the first book in the series and spend more time with them. I will gladly read more by this author in the future.
This book can stand-alone, but I would highly recommend reading Changing Course first. Not only because it is a really good book, but also because it gives us a foundation and understanding that I think helps us connect more with this book.
*An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review
Buy the Books
Stolen Course (Wrecked and Ruined #2)
Excerpt“Do you always act like a kindergartener when you like a girl?” “Who said I like you?” I mock surprise. Yeah, I gave myself away. She knows that I think she’s hot, but wanting to have sex with someone is very different than actually liking them. At least it is in my world. I’ve had sex with numerous women since Manda. Never once have I even thought twice about them though. That is until Emma ran into my life. “You called back, didn’t you?” Damn it, busted again! She’s right. I like her even though I know absolutely nothing about her. I need to remedy this without acting like a broody, sullen teenager. Who knows. Maybe I will be able to shake her once I get to know her a little better. “What’s your favorite color, Emma Jane Erickson?” “What is this, the get-to-know-each-other portion of the night? I never thought you would be so cliché, Detective Jones.” She laughs for a second before answering, “Orange.” “Oh, come on. No one likes orange.” “I do.” “Why?” “Why not? It’s different and bold. It stands out amongst a blank world of black, white, and gray. Orange is the early morning sun stretching across the sky and the color of a burning ember standing tall in the middle of a beach bonfire. It’s leaves in the fall, carrots in Nana’s vegetable soup on a cold winter day, tulips in the spring, and the ladybugs in the middle of the grassy park on a hot summer afternoon. Orange is life. It’s unexpected but beautiful.” She stops talking, and her depth silences me too. I consider myself a very artistic person. I draw, paint, and build. Creation is my escape. And to listen to this woman wax poetic about a single simple color steals my breath. It embeds itself somewhere deep inside. A place where no woman, especially an Erickson, has any business being.“Oh, and it’s my favorite flavor of candy too.” And with those simple words, I know I’m in trouble. So fucking much trouble. I begin to laugh, and I mean really laugh. The kind that sticks with you even after the joke is long since forgotten, and I do it for the first time in almost five years. Fuck.
Changing Course (Wrecked and Ruined #1)
My Review:Changing Course by Aly Martinez
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Brett Sharp fell in love with Sarah when he was 21. They had seven happy years together as man and wife before a car accident changed their lives forever. Sarah's best friend was killed, and Sarah sustained a traumatic brain injury which, in combination with the many questions surrounding the accident, made moving forward with life the way it was impossible. For 4 years, Brett lived a life trying to take care of Sarah while she hated the sight of him and wouldn't let him anywhere near her. Brett meets Jessie who is a long-time college student working in the diner he frequents. Spending time with Jessie helps him realize that he changed after Sarah's accident as well, and that it might be time for him to find himself and find a way to move forward and be happy since he will never be able to live the life he originally planned.
This book had my emotions all over the place. The characters in this book were easy to connect to, and despite them being involved in complex situations and not always making choices that are healthy for themselves or others, I wanted them to be happy and find a way to move forward in their lives. Jessie is a smart, sweet, and funny girl who struggles with insecurity. I loved watching her overcome her own shyness to go after something that she really wanted. It was difficult to see Brett struggle with his own personal demons in a way that hurt Jessie at times, but it was rewarding to see Jessie getting some of the attention and affection she deserved and ultimately both of them finding happiness. While I felt some sympathy towards Sarah, she makes it hard to continue feeling sympathetic towards her while she destroys other people's lives (in addition to her own) in the wake of her grief. Caleb is a complex and interesting character, and I really look forward to getting to know him better in the next book in this series. I will definitely be continuing on to the next book right away.
*An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.
About AlyBorn 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 Chicago, 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. 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.