Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Blog Tour and Review: Changing Course, by Aly Martinez

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Changing Course Cover

Title: Changing Course (Wrecked and Ruined #1)
Author: Aly Martinez
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 29, 2014
I met Sarah Kate Erickson when I was 21 years old. I was lucky enough to keep her for seven years before a tragic accident stole her from me. She didn’t die, but sometimes I think it would have been easier if she had.
I lived in a haze for those four years after the accident. Catering to her every need, even though she hated the very sight of my face. I tried to hold on to her and the future that we were supposed to build together. But you can’t hold on to someone that doesn’t exist anymore.
It wasn’t until I met Jesse Addison, a barista at the local coffee shop, that I realized I didn’t just lose Sarah that tragic night, I lost myself as well. Jesse taught me how to let go of the past and learn to love again. But what happens when your past haunts your present and the woman you used to love refuses to accept the woman you can’t live without?
"Shall we make a little bet?" I ask, twirling my thumbs like an evil madman. "Aren't you sick of losing yet?" She laughs so hard at her own joke, she almost rolls out of the chair. Her reaction alone is enough to make me laugh right along with her. This girl is drunk...and beautiful. And drunk. And sexy as hell. And drunk. And so very fuckable. Did I mention drunk? She isn't in the danger zone, where she is going to be hating her very existence tomorrow. She's in that loose-lipped-say-things-that-will-make-you-cringe-the-next-day stage. I would be lying if I said I wasn't enjoying the hell out of seeing her in this state. Jesse always seems to have a filter when she talks to me. It's as if, she analyzes every word in her mind twelve times before actually spitting out a sentence. Since she started drinking, she hasn't stopped talking. She has officially made the leap from best friend’s little sister, to woman I want to fuck. Jesus, what the hell am I saying? Am I drunk too? "So, is that a yes or no to the bet?" I smile, glancing down and catch a glimpse of her peaked chilled nipples. "You cold, Jess?" I ask, nodding down at her nipples noticeably showing thorough her skimpy excuse for a dress. I watch her eyes travel down her own body and her cheeks immediately redden. Oh shit! I really am drunk! Why the fuck would I say that to her? Better yet, when the hell did I lose my filter tonight? Oh God, what else have I said to her without thinking? I frantically try to think of a way to moonwalk out of this conversation. She's uncomfortable, and I'm mortified. We both know it too. It's written all over our faces, but in our drunken states, neither one of us can think of anything to say.  

4.25 out of 5 stars

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I knew from the synopsis alone this was going to be a good book, the kind I just couldn't wait to get my hands on and I'm happy to say I wasn't wrong.  Powerfully written, this book will bring up emotions and force you to consider scenarios in a way you've never imagined.  It's an intense, powerful story, about destiny, fate and how easily in the blink of an eye life changes course.

As the story begins you meet Brett and Sarah, two young individuals who after meeting at the bar one night hit things off and begin this whirlwind, quirky, sexy relationship.  Soon after they are married and living happily ever after, making plans for their future including naming unborn children and enjoying the beauty of life and the happiness from being head over heels in love.  One night, one tragic car accident completely changes the course of their lives.  Brett is left mourning the loss of his wife as he tried to provide and love the woman who walked away from the accident and who wants him out of her life completely.

So how does one move forward in the wake of tragedy?  Living each day in a fog, hoping one day to wake up and things will be back to the way they were is how Brett's been coping for the past 4 years.  It isn't until his friendship with Jesse, a waitress from the diner he frequents daily for breakfast, turns romantic.  Her presence in his life is like a breath of fresh air and slowly he learns what it's like to be happy, to look forward to getting up in the morning, to actually live.  He's finally ready to move on with his life but making it happen doesn't come easily especially since when the woman he's legally married to and who has wanted him out of her life for years suddenly won't let go.

Aly Martinez has done a wonderful job telling the stories of not only Brett and Sarah but also Jesse and Caleb.  So much so that I felt emotionally connected to each one of them and I was easily able to understand the emotions behind their actions, even the crazy ones!  

Brett is this really hot incredibly decent man who will do and has done everything possible to uphold his marriage vows.  He's faced struggle after struggle but keeps on loving Sarah even if she's no longer the woman he married.  I completely respected him.  I also really loved the way his character was written, being able to see the emotional turmoil run its course as he struggles with letting go of Sarah and falling in love with Jesse.  He's so scared to move forward, to love someone so completely again, to take the risk of loosing them and himself all over.  I really felt this compassion towards him.

I have to admit in the beginning I wasn't sure how I felt about Jesse.  She came across so naive, innocent and definitely like she was trying to hard.  But, being around Brett she starts letting her guard down and then I was blown away with how mature and strong of a character she really was.  She was gentle and compassionate towards the difficult situation, yet she refuses to be a doormat and will not settle for any less.  So of course I came to respect her and they way she is able to not only help Brett heal but also Caleb.

Caleb, you cannot talk about characters and not mention him.  He's this tough guy who even though his life is on a different course still cares about his best friend, still cares about the woman he blames, is still madly in love with his fiancĂ© and becomes this big brother figure for Jesse.  I love how he could put Brett in his place and I couldn't help but appreciate his methods for helping Brett and Jesse see the "bigger picture."

If there is one thing I'm sure of it's that Aly Martinez can tell a story.  She will suck you in and before you know it you've read the whole book.  While I was able to see a few things before they unfolded she really surprised be with the last 10%.  So, take it from me you need to one-click this debut novel, snuggle into the couch and take a ride on this book journey!

About the Author
I’m a 32 year old wife and stay at home mom to four kids under the age of five, including a set of twins. My life is crazy, which is probably why I drink entirely too much wine. Oh who am I kidding, I had a love affair with wine long before the kids came along. I was born and raised in Savannah Georgia, but we recently moved to Chicago. Let me tell you, this southern girl was not ready for the cold weather up here! I’m an avid reader, but I haven’t always been that way. A few years ago my sister loaned me her Nook Color, and it changed my life forever. In the span of about two years, I read over 500 books. My newfound love of reading led me to start a book blog with two of my best friends. (Insert shameless plug here: Through WZ Bookends, I've had the opportunity to meet some of the most amazing authors, bloggers, and readers out there. Now that I have taken the leap into writing my own book, they’ve all shown me endless amounts of encouragement and support. While driving home from Walmart one day in late October, a story embedded itself in my head and would not let go. It spiraled out of control until I finally opened my laptop and started writing. This journey has been a wild ride filled with tears, hand cramps, and tons of laughs. I love company, so follow me at one of the social links below and join me aboard this crazy train!  
Connect with Aly

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Email / Goodreads

GRAND PRIZE: Kindle Fire (7" HD Display, Wi-Fi, 8GB)
(2) Signed Paperback of Changing Course (US Only)
(1) Signed Paperback of Until November by Aurora Rose Reynolds (US Only)
(1) eBook copy of the Hart Family Box Set by Ella Fox
(1) eBook copy of Ignite and eARC of Incinerate by Tessa Teevan
(1) eBook copy of Save Me From Myself by Stacey Mosteller
(1) eBook copy of Push the Envelope by Rochelle Paige
(1) eBook copy of The Infamous Ellen James by NA Alcorn
(1) eBook copy of Goodbye Caution by Jacquelyn Ayres
(1) eBook copy of Tempo by Kelly Collins
(1) eBook copy of At Death It Begins by Elle Jefferson
(1) eBook copy of Broken by K Webster

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