Overall Grade: 5+ ⭐️
Aly Martinez’s From The Embers is an emotionally wrought journey of two people finding love in the “embers” of loss. The story follows Bree and Eason, spouses of their best friends, who have survived a traumatic experience only to find more trauma in their future. Working to cobble their lives back together, Bree and Eason rely on each other to do so, only to find a deep abiding soulful love in the end. The pages of Martinez’s From The Embers draw you forward, dragging you into Bree and Eason’s story, holding you captive to their pain, and delivering you into their joy. If you are looking for a heady, emotional story about resilience, then you will absolutely want to read this book. From the moment I picked up this story, it was painful to put it down because Martinez’s capacity at writing angsty romance is top-level. In fact, for me, From The Embers is one of my top 5 reads for 2021.
There is this machination to Martinez’s storytelling. One of the reasons I read her stories is her ability to draw angsty romance. I’m not afraid of angsty romance because I find there is a greater pay-off to these types of stories. You have to crawl through the difficult moments to be met with a deeper joy in the fulfillment of a happy ending. While some people shy away from those types of romances, they honestly make for better reading if written well. And Aly Martinez does that beautifully in From The Embers. See, Martinez understands that readers need moments of levity to ameliorate the angst. If not, then the pain of the story overwhelms the reader. In moments of hilarity, oftentimes invoked by her hero, Eason, along with moments of kindness and compassion, you can survive the difficult moments of From The Embers. And there are difficult moments in Martinez’s book. Yet, in moving through the pain of her story, when you get to her light moments, you’re rewarded with the beauty of Bree and Eason’s developing romance. In fact, Martinez doesn’t make you work to accept them; it’s natural in this story. All of these elements conspire to create a romance that fulfills your need for entertainment and happy endings. There are more twists and turns in this book than you can imagine, and by the time you reach her epilogue, it will make you laugh and cry in equal measure because Eason and Bree’s journey is a special one.
This book has secrets, ones that I won’t divulge in this review. One aspect of the story that isn’t readily known is that Eason and Bree are opposites who attract. The gift of this book is how Eason and Bree evolve from the first chapter to the last because their love for each other allows them to be the best versions of themselves, and that evolution pulls at your emotions. I loved how Eason humanized Bree and allowed her to be more carefree while Bree helped Eason “fly” into his dreams.
Look, I could go on and on about Aly Martinez’s From The Embers, and you’d still not fully realize the beauty of this book. Everything I’ve said in this review pales in comparison to the gravity and depth of her story. Don’t be scared off by the angst of her book; instead, fall into its message about overcoming pain to find a bigger love than you could ever imagine. You are missing out if you don’t read this book.
In love and romance,