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On the Ropes #0.5

Among the Echoes

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*Among The Echoes is a stand alone novel which contains material that may be offensive to some readers. Including sexual abuse, graphic language, and adult situations. Intended for readers 18+.*

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.

231 pages, Kindle Edition

First published July 29, 2014

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About the author

Aly Martinez

62 books7,586 followers
Originally from Savannah, Georgia, USA Today bestselling author Aly Martinez now lives in South Carolina with her four young children.

Never one to take herself too seriously, she enjoys cheap wine, charcuterie boards, and her mildly neurotic golden retriever. It should be known, however, that she hates pizza and ice cream, almost as much as writing her bio in the third person.

She passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a super-sized tumbler of wine by her side.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 487 reviews
Profile Image for Val ⚓️ Shameless Handmaiden ⚓️.
1,862 reviews30.1k followers
October 12, 2016
4 Stars

I really liked this.

I picked this up after meeting Erica and Slate in Fighting Silence because I wanted to know more.

What Erica went through here was seriously the stuff nightmares are made of...literally.


But I adored how much Leo and Slate wanted to protect her.


I know a lot of women readers be like:


But me?


Bring on the heroes and some bitches that need saving, people.






Fictional feminism be DAMNED, homies.


Yes, yes, I know, how horrible of me.

[Insert meaningful supportive feminism rhetoric, blah, blah, blah]

Right Katy?



Cause nothing says "I am a strong independent" woman like fake eyelashes, ginormous tits, and a latex bodysuit, amiright?


Moving on.

Like I said, I will always love a Damsel in Distress.


And this book had TWO hot heroic dudes protecting this damsel.


In fact, I thought it was pretty cool how Martinez was able to make Leo and Erica's connection so strong without it taking away from her relationship with Slate.

Straight crazy right there.

Now the only thing about loving Leo that sucks?

Now I want to read his story.

But it looks like it's tied into the The Wrecked and Ruined Series Box Set, which I was purposefully avoiding because it looks like an angst-fest on steroids.

But I might just have to bite the bullet and check it out.

But, fear not, I come prepared.

Profile Image for Lady Vigilante (Feifei).
632 reviews2,701 followers
August 18, 2014
DNF at 52%


This book had my complete attention in the beginning but by the time I got to the halfway mark, the story was going nowhere and the characters became annoying I just didn’t have enough motivation to want to finish. My biggest problem with the book is that the story lacks depth and everything is very on-the-surface. Perhaps if the book were longer the author would have more room to expand on certain plot events. I had some questions while reading and though I do want answers, if almost none of my questions are answered by the 50% mark, it hints at one of the two:

A). Probably might not get answers at all
B). Will get vague answers that are all crammed into the second half with little to no development

-Erica is a victim and witness, but witness to what exactly? Why was she ‘chosen’? What did she see?
-What’s Leo’s background? Who does he work for? Why was he even present when Erica was captured? And

I am assuming those questions are answered in the second half of the book…if not, I’m glad I stopped reading since it would’ve been a waste of my time.

As for the romance aspect, I had zero interest in Slate or Erica. I think when the author introduced Leo (the guy who saves Erica) and temporarily portrayed him as the hero, my mind latched onto him as the guy who knows the real Erica and since Thus, I never warmed up to Slate: he was bossy and judgmental. While I sympathize for Erica, her hot-and-cold behavior was ridiculous and out of character for someone who went through a traumatic event that forced her to be on the run for years. And the fact that they’re instantly smitten with each other (in one week) made me


All in all, this book had a very interesting premise but fell flat because the story lacked depth. If the book got better later on, my loss. I would never discourage anyone to read this book; there are many positive reviews. This book just wasn’t for me.
Profile Image for Jennifer Kyle.
2,413 reviews4,661 followers
January 3, 2015
*4.25 Stars*

“I will find the real you among the echoes – and I will make her mine.”

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I was a bit hesitant jumping into this book 2.5 because it stars new characters then the previous two books. My fears were immediately put to rest after that intense prologue! I was on the run with Riley/Erica and David/Leo and felt their pain and fear from that horrific night that has them both in the witness protection program. When the hot and quiet prize fighter Slate returns to his apartment and runs into Riley their attraction is strong while their secrets were many.

”Fuck your fairytale. I just want you. I’ll make my own God damn happily ever after. But you’re the one who is mistaken. You’ll be at the end of that story, beautiful. You either come willingly or you force me into the dark after you.”

This story was well done, well paced and I enjoyed the heart pounding danger element along with the friendship between Leo and Erica. I truly loved how Slate gives Erica back her confidence and these two reveal all of their scars from the past.

”This is…”My life,” I finish for him. “It sucks, but there is no escaping it. I live every day looking over my shoulder, waiting for them to find us again. But in the process of running, I found you.”

Overall this is a really good read and addition to the series. The ending has me eager to finally get to Sara’s story!

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

Profile Image for Aestas Book Blog.
1,059 reviews74.9k followers
August 11, 2014

This was a sexy and suspenseful romance about a woman in witness protection who fell in love with a celebrity boxer!! If you like protective, Alpha heroes, you'll love Slate Andrews!!

The story is about two people from opposite worlds brought together by chance and kept together by love. Slate Andrews was at a professional boxer at the top of his game but he didn't like the celebrity life so after all of his games, he'd retreat to the apartment that he grew up in in a small town where nobody knew him.

Erica Hill had spent the last three years in witness protection, changing her name, appearance, and location, to hide from a brutal man who'd once dragged her into his world and was doing his best to hunt her down again (I don't want to give details but this is all explained very clearly in the book). And, her newest location happened to be the apartment down the hall from Slate's and that was how their paths crossed.

When they first met, Slate could see that she was terrified and wanted to help protect her in some way... but things were complicated, and she wasn't supposed to set up connections.... even if her heart was drawn to the giant hot guy who lived next door and was dead set on finding a way to help protect her.

I don't want to give away too much more but that's the basic story set up. Things of course got much more complicated but I loved the way it all came together and have to say that the plot was very well thought out.

I loved seeing Erica come out of her shell as she began to trust Slate. The safer she felt around him, the more her real personality began to shine through... some of their banter was just too funny!

"I can't remember the last time I had food that good."

"You didn't even taste the gnocchi either. It's unbelievable."

"Well, I was going to taste the gnocchi, but by the time I unfolded my napkin, you were already licking the bowl."

Slate was out-of-this-world amazing!!! He was this millionaire celebrity, but also a bit of a recluse who just was an all-round good guy. He was a natural-born, intensely protective fighter and also a true hero in every sense of the word. He was hot and sexy, but also deeply caring and passionate. He melted my heart!!

"I never knew you before you had these scars, but that doesn't mean I won't spend my entire life trying to erase them from the inside out."

Everything that happened in this book made sense. The plot was well structured and I loved that even though there was a lot going on, Slate and Erica's romance was the major focus of the book. It was essentially a romance set in a suspenseful setting. The ending did get considerable more action-packed as everything began to come together but it was never over done (which I really appreciated).

I also loved the "we can do this together" attitude that Slate always had. Once he was able to gain her trust and prove that he was on her side no matter what, there really was a strong sense of being in this as a team and that's something very important for me in stories. The thing I want to see most is couples getting through hardships together and that was what this book was about.

Oh, one thing though -- you should know that there are two important guys featured in this book who are important parts of Erica's life but this is not a triangle. The only love interest is Slate. The other guy is more of a protective, brother-type figure (never a romantic interest) who loved her like he would a sister and was in witness protection with her. His name is Leo and he's absolutely amazing!!!

Just a quick warning, the opening scene is pretty brutal. You see the event in her past that landed her in witness protection... but just know that it's the only scene like that in the book. It's necessary to see what she went through to understand what shaped her character in the present day. The rest of the book though is mainly a lot of swoon and hotness, mixed in with some suspenseful action too. It's a really great read!!

Also, just to clarify something in case you see these names mentioned elsewhere. There are a lot of double names used throughout the book because of trying to hide identities (for various reasons). So, Erica + Riley are the same woman, Slate + Adam are the same guy, and Leo + Dave are the same too.

This is the third book by Aly Martinez that I’ve loved. Her characters are absolutely wonderful and I love how unique each of her books are while still always delivering really touching love stories. They each have a great balance between all the things I love to read about: heart-racing angst (without any stupid drama), sexy romance (written in a way that always compliments the plot), gorgeous male leads that’ll melt your heart with how protective they are, and wonderful relationships that you can help but root for.

"I'm not some damsel in distress you can just swoop off her feet and save, Prince Charming."

"Fuck your fairytale. I just want you. I'll make my own God damn happily ever after."

While this book can be read as a complete standalone novel, it does have a surprise twist at the end that connects it in with this author's first 2 books (Changing Course & Stolen Course). That twist made my heart race!!!!!! I was freaking out in the best way and totally LOVED it!!!! So, in an ideal world, my personal recommendation would be to read all three of them in order but you can also easily just start with this one, then read those after, or even just read this on it's own. It's up to you.

CHANGING COURSE ➜ http://bit.ly/1mgFtAy
STOLEN COURSE ➜ http://bit.ly/1oaAdn8

Bottom line: If you want a book with a sexy, heart warming romance and a great blend of steam, suspense, and action, try this out!! I loved it and can't wait for this author's next book! :)

Rating: 4.5 stars.


For more of my reviews, book news and updates:
Main blog: Aestas Book Blog
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Profile Image for *J* Too Many Books Too Little Time.
1,921 reviews3,457 followers
August 1, 2014
4--I'll Keep You Safe--Stars!!

One day she was Erica, the next she was Riley. Forced to hide. To pretend. Constantly afraid. Always wondering if she'll be found. Never opening herself up to anyone. Protecting herself and everyone else.

"I told you once that I never thought you would be okay again, but that doesn’t mean I’ve ever stopped hoping you would."

Next stop: Ohio

Riley meets Adam/Slate. Adam sees a girl who is scared. Who's hiding. He wants to protect her. He wants to help her. He's drawn to her.

Riley tries to keep Adam at a distance. Getting too close could be dangerous for him. Riley can never give him all of her. He can't know who she is and what happened to her.

"I want you. All of you. Not these little bits I hear echoing around the room. I just want you, Riley."

For the first time in the last three years, Riley is happy. She starts to live again, even if it is only a little bit. When Adams true identity is revealed, as Slate, it changes everything for Riley. The one thing that makes her feel the safest, could bring her the most danger.

Adam fights for Riley. He fights for her to trust him. To open up to him about her past. To reveal her secrets. To let go. To live. To let Slate love her.

"I can see you, but I can’t hear you. There are too many lies and secrets echoing around us, distorting the real woman. I don’t know who you truly are, Riley, but tiny flashes of that woman whisper around the room between us. I will find the real you among the echoes—and I will make her mine."

Not willing to let Slate go, Riley finally opens up about who she is and what happened to her. Slate vows to always protect her and keep her safe. Riley longs to one day not have to live in hiding. To be normal. To live a normal life. To not be afraid.

"One of these days, I’m going to make the inside of those walls better than the outside. We’ll have a home where the real life inside will be your sanctuary instead of your prison."

I really enjoyed this one. I can't say it was a completely original storyline. But I pretty much read it in one sitting. It was suspenseful, the MCs were both good. It had some steam and a few LOL moments. An overall solid read.
Profile Image for Lana ❇✾DG Romance❇✾.
2,056 reviews12.2k followers
August 7, 2014
4 Stars

Our relationship was established on secrets and lies, but in the end it flourished through truths. Slate told me years ago that we all have scars, and our relationship is no different. It could have easily been ruined from the start, but he fought for me- even when I couldn't fight for myself.

This was my first book by Aly Martines, and what gave me to push to read it? Would you look at me different if I told you it was the cover? What? You would? Well then it definitely wasn't that? But I exaggerate, it was the combination of the cover and the first few sentences of the blurb.
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.

Then I read the first couple of chapters and I. Was. Hooked. The story grips you by the throat with the very first line. Though the rest of the book is a bit more of a slow built. I was a little thrown off with the introduction of one of the characters when I realized he wasn't the hero, but by the second half of the book I understood why he couldn't have been.

Erica Hill is a survivor, but surviving that night came with a price; her identity. She's no longer the woman she used to be, that woman is hidden behind a fearful and demure shell.

Slate Andrews is a celebrity in his own right. The heavyweight champion of the world in boxing, he's looking to escape the flash and glamor of his daily life and just unwind as a nobody in a place where no one knows who he is...including his neighbor. She may come off as a little mouse, but behind her eyes he sees something more, and as he gets to know the woman more, he knows what he wants.

Erica is not typically a heroine that I enjoy reading about. Her experience has traumatized her, and understandably so after what she's been through. She's scared of her own shadow and even more scared of falling for the sinfully sexy and protective man next door. But every now and then there were bursts of her true personality and I'd find myself warming up to her more and more.

Slate was...well he was just everything. Aly Martinez has written a super protective hero without having him come across as an OTT caveman. She's also written a hero that is a perfect mix of sweet with a sinfully sexy side of dirty talker. And I couldn't help but love every single side of him.

The story is a slow build but a very engaging one. The author reveals the details to you bit by small bit throughout the story, and I personally really enjoyed that. While you may have plenty of questions in the beginning, I can tell you that every single one of them will be answered toward the end. I particularly liked the "twist" that was thrown in at the end there.

Aly Martinez definitely has a new fan in me after this book and I'm really looking forward to book next. He was such an amazing side character that I just can't wait to read about him more in his own book.

**ARC courtesy of author in exchange of an honest review**

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Profile Image for Vanessa Booked Up.
868 reviews386 followers
March 14, 2015
4 Fighting Stars!!

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I'm crushing hard on this author. Love her deep, emotional writing style and adore the characters that she brings to life. In my opinion, after two books that I have now read of hers, this is the true quality that you can expect from her writing; she brings ALL of her characters to life. There aren't any secondary guys hanging out in the background, who's names you won't be able to remember in a month...nope. She makes them all REAL. In Fighting Silence, I totally fell for Slate. Then I heard that he had his own book. Oh my Slate Andrews!!!!!! What a sexy devil! Rwwwwarrr! Talk about a hero who lives up to the title!

Slate is what took this book from good to unforgettable for me. He's a bad ass alpha, big-time pro boxer that kicks ass in the ring, but he's also this really private, quiet, funny guy with a heart of gold. He stumbles upon Riley/ Erica at his private apartment complex where he hides out between fights and after just one encounter, he can tell that something is not right with her.

"My fierce need to protect the woman next to me erases all rational thinking. I won’t allow her to be scared again."

Erica, wow did my heart break for this woman. Without giving anything away, she's been through just about the WORST things that a woman could go through and it is really not to be taken lightly. So know that, it is a slow burn because YES, she has been through some very serious shit. If their joining would have been any quicker, it would have totally killed this book for me because it would not have been believable at all.

But, it doesn't mean that I was bored. There were a few moments that I felt like I could put the book down and walk away. I wasn't glued to my iPad for every single word, but that's ok. That's not always a bad thing. The story still kept me fully invested the whole time.

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And while the themes here are surrounding some pretty serious stuff, there was still a lot of light-hearted banter and laugh out loud moments.

"You didn’t even taste the gnocchi either. It’s unbelievable." "Well I was going to taste the gnocchi, but by the time I unfolded my napkin you were already licking the bowl." "Oh shut up. I offered you a bite at least twice." "Yes, but something in your eye made me believe you would have literally snapped at my hand if I’d tried to snag a piece."

Slowly but surely, Slate very patiently works to get through Erica/ Riley's walls, and when he does, it was the most beautiful and swoony love story to read. And OMG, HOT!! Did I mention that Slate is a sexy dirty talker?! Check!!! I loved watching their story unfold and watching him protect her, without end. I feel like there had been this mass influx of anti-hero, heroes lately, and hey...that's great. Time and a place, and all that. But it's refreshing to read about an old-fashioned gentleman once in a while too, and that is exactly what Slate is. Boy is going right to the tippy top of my 'Top Book Boyfriends' list!

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Among the Echoes is gritty, emotional, and captivating. It's a story about healing, overcoming fear, and finding love. It had some great suspense elements as well that come into play at the end. And WOW am I interested in reading more about Leo!! And even though I haven't read the whole Wrecked and Ruined series yet, I KNOW who that is that he met in the end and AHHHH... I can't wait to read! I am so sucked in to this series.

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I didn't love this one quite as much as Fighting Silence, but it's a totally different type of book. The pacing is much slower here (not a bad thing; the plot line kind of demands it), and the tone is a bit darker. Still really enjoyed it and would recommend this series to just about anyone!

Reading Changing Course (the first book in this series) next!

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Profile Image for Syndi.
2,990 reviews689 followers
January 22, 2022
Among the Echoes is not really the best work from Miss Martinez. She is trying so hard to put multiple plot into the story that she sacrificed my liking toward Erica.

She is really annoying and needy. Not to mention drama queen. In a very annoying way. I like Slade though. He is sweet. And Leo?? I think there is a book about him in this series. I am curious about Leo.

Overall, I still managed to finish the book. Not liking it nor hating it.

3 stars
Profile Image for ✦❋Arianna✦❋.
790 reviews2,529 followers
September 6, 2014
2.50 STARS


Erica is forced to hide, to be someone else. She spent three years in witness protection running from someone who wants her death. She’s constantly living in fear. She moves in an apartment, next to Slate. Slate wants to protect her at first, but soon he wants more, to help her, to heal her.

For the first time in three years Erica feels save. Slate becomes everything for her and Erica becomes everything for Slate.Erica opens up about her past and Slate vows to protect her.

I’m so in minority here…I really went back and forward on how to rate this book. For me this was something new…

First thing first, I want to say that this book had a lot of potential and the premise was really good. I was intrigued by the blurb like everyone else and for some reason I expected something else, something darker. I really liked how the story started, but I didn’t like how the story progressed. At all! And the fact that the storyline wasn't original didn't help.

At some point I was expecting a more emotional story. Instead I’ve got a very rushed story, at least for me.

There’s no insta-love in this story, not even insta-lust, but the hero and the heroine almost fall in love after one week. It was for sure a little early for me…Also, I didn’t feel their connection, chemistry or whatever…

The characters, especially Erica felt a little flat to me. I really felt for her, but half of the time I didn’t understand her behavior. At some point she’s like she has Tourette or something, so,...yeah I can’t say I liked her. For me both main characters were not developed enough to feel a connection with them.

I also didn't understand some things... One of them was why Leo sacrifice his life to live with Erica, especially since they are only friends?!?

The ending was predictable and also rushed and the writing didn’t appeal to me at all.

I guess I can say this book wasn’t for me!

Profile Image for Katie.
334 reviews114 followers
November 28, 2014


"I will find the real you among the echoes- and I will make her mine."

Ahhhh...where to begin in this story...I loved it. plain and simple. And so I will make this review short and sweet! Trust me, you can read a million reviews and not one will actually come close to the amazingness of this book!!!

Okay, so as usual- let's start with the main characters- Riley/Erica & Adam/Slate...


Riley/Erica...ugh, poor girl. The book begins with her rape and attempted murder. It's a brutal scene and it definitely starts the book off on an ominous note. I feel that the details of that scene are necessary for the reader to completely understand why, even three years later, she is still so guarded and scared. That is, until she meets the sexy and the current first place holder for book boyfriend of the month- Slate. We see a change in her from scared little girl to a strong willed woman as Slate slowly peels away her armor that has protected her for the three years since the rape.

Adam/Slate...damn. I loved him. A lot. When he first met "Riley", he didn't know what to make of this "mousy" girl he ran into in the hallway! She seemed to be scared of her own shadow. He spends all of his efforts trying to get to know her and figure out what it is that made her the way she is. His love and patience for her throughout the book was what completely made Riley (and me) fall for him. He truly saves her, in every way possible and it's so damn beautiful.

Seriously, Slate deserves a slow clap...so I will give him just that:


Definitely read this book...no joke...it's amazing...
Profile Image for Wil Loves Books!.
1,166 reviews480 followers
April 29, 2021
"Erica, I love you. I never knew you before you had these scars, but that doesn’t mean I won’t spend my entire life trying to erase them from the inside out."

This was good. Action packed, yet extremely sweet and romantic. Erica, Slate and Leo are characters I've read about before in other Aly books, but I had yet to read their stories (which bugs me to no end because I love to read related books in order). Anyway, better late than never. This was a fast read/listen, and I enjoyed every second of the ride.
Profile Image for Michelle.
2,101 reviews1,263 followers
August 15, 2014
ARC provided by author in exchange of honest review

☆☆☆☆☆ 5 “Beautiful” Slate Stars ☆☆☆☆☆

“I want you. All of you. Not these little bits I hear echoing around the room. I just want you, Riley.”


Aly Martinez is now one of those authors for me that is an automatically must read and one-click. After reading my first book of Stolen Course, I was hooked with Aly’s amazing storytelling and writing. And let me tell you Among the Echoes is another amazing book. Aly will suck you in how eloquent and beautiful she was able to discuss a delicate subject of sexual abuse and yet weave it into a touching and moving storyline. Among the Echoes is not an ordinary romantic story. It isn’t a fairytale and a love that doesn’t always come easy. It’s a love that is overcoming obstacles, facing challenges, fighting to be together, holding on and never letting go. And in Among the Echoes, Ms. Martinez shows us a love that was consuming, moving, beautiful, sexy, raw, and pure.

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 shadow.


One fatal night, Erica Hill’s life was stolen from her. Witnessing a murder, she was held hostage and raped multiple times bound to a bed leaving her shattered and broken but luckily for her, Leo James was there to save her. Fast forward to three years later, Erica is still living in hell. Erica had to change her name to Riley Peterson and be put under the witness protection program. With her best friend, Leo by her side, Erica feels somewhat at ease and safe. But ridden with guilt after what he witnessed Erica had to go through, Leo goes out of his way to make sure Erica/Riley is safe from danger. But for Erica, the memories of the excruciating pain she endured being raped multiple times left her haunted with fears. Her anxiety have kept her from truly moving forward and living. But that all changes when she meets her new next door neighbor, Slate Andrews.

“Fuck your fairytale. I just want you. I’ll make my own God damn happily ever after. But you’re the one who is mistaken. 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.”


When Slate meets Riley, there was something that made him want to reach out and help her. He was drawn to her. As he slowly befriends Riley, he knows that something tragic must have caused her to be skittish and fearful. Slowly, Slate forces Riley to let him in. Being the total sweetheart and protective alpha male, he tries to ease the pain and emotional baggage Riley/Erica is holding onto. When she finally let him in, Erica for the first time in years finally experiences happiness. With Slate by her side, walls of pain and anxiety are slowly torn down. When Erica finally found her safe haven in Slate, new danger lurks putting the safety of Erica at risk. So how far will Slate go to protect his new love?


Among the Echoes is one of those books that must be read and experienced. It is raw, gritty, and emotional. The storyline and writing will captivate you and you will not want to put this book down. Aly does remarkable job in showcasing a heroine’s journey in finding her inner strength, love, happiness, and hope. I absolutely love Slate and Leo. And I am so excited for Broken Course and can’t wait to read Leo’s story. <3 Among the Echoes was a great read and so I highly recommend you to go read it.

Aly Martinez
Profile Image for Megan.
579 reviews46 followers
January 9, 2016
5 JUMBO STARS (If I could give it more I would, it deserves it)

I think I have read my favorite book of 2014 and it's only July!! Holy torpedo this book HAD IT ALL. When I say all, I mean it. Everything I need and want when reading it had it. I was happy, sad, shocked, scared, I questioned everything, I laughed, I highlighted almost everything. It had warmth and love and it was flirty and friendly. It had romance, friendship. It had my heart racing, my toes tingling and my stomach in mf'ing knots.

What. A. Rush.

From the moment I picked this book up I was bound there in the dark room with Riley, holding on, trying to breathe. I was there when her life had the smallest amount of hope shine through. That is all because of Aly. I am a gigantic fan of Alys' writing. She's already given me two outstanding book boyfriends and she's just added TWO more to the list. They are both hero's for Riley in my eyes.
"When I walked in that first night, you were sound asleep but gripping his arm as if your life depended on it. Then when he first got back you ran right past me and into his arms. God it was liberating watching you come alive again."

Now, by that comment I'm sure you're thinking ok, love triangle...nope not in the slightest. I don't want to spoil any of the plot but just know that we all need a rock in our life. That one person who go above and beyond to do anything to make you feel safe and loved. Fortunately for Riley, she now has two.

Dave and Riley have a best friend/brother-sister relationship. Sure they love each other, I mean who wouldn't love either of them after you learn their history. You'll see this through Aly's way of words. Dave is all she has-(had) he'll do anything for her. He's proven that. The quote above is one of my favorites from Dave. It was certainly an awe moment. But you'll quickly learn that that's just him. It's who he is. I could just go on and on and on about him. HE does anything and everything to keep her safe and wants Riley to be HER again.

Riley believes there aren't good people anymore. She's been hurt to the most extreme and almost had her life ended. She lives secluded and alone- almost.
All Dave has ever wanted was for me to find someone-a girlfriend to chat with or even a boyfriend to move on with. he just wants me to have a life, but I've never wanted that, so he has gone through great lengths to help me keep away from everyone else.

Dave also knows just what Riley needs and just WHO she needs. He is selfless. He wants the absolute best for her and it was one of my favorite scenes when he 'tries' to push them together. I was cracking up! He knew the moment he set eyes on him that he wasn't alone anymore.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Oh yeah.

Slate can easily see that Riley is unsure, unstable and terrified. She has every right to be. Slate is such a good guy he's there for her- a protector, in a blink of a moment when they have barely met. That's just the kind of guy Slate is. Not to worry, the fighter in him can knock out anyone. Oh yeah, you read that right. Slate is a fighter, a good one.

Slate recognizes that Riley isn't who she's fronting to be and he is pulled to do what ever needs be to bring his blue eyed girl out. She hiding. Hidden. Burried. But underneath it all she is one strong, adament woman.
"F**k your fairytale. I just want you. I'll make you my own God damn happily ever after. But you're the one who is mistaken. 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."

The ending is to DIE for, especially if you are already a fan of Aly's previous books. I can promise you one thing. If this is your first read from Aly IT WON'T BE YOUR LAST.

So many times I found myself cluctching my kindle, laughing at the banter between Riley and Dave or Riley and Slate and even all three
Profile Image for Sakshi.
257 reviews40 followers
October 1, 2021
Aly Martinez is one of my favorite authors. I have read few and many of her duets. My favorite is The Regret Duet. I love how her writing brings out all the emotions.

Among the Echoes is the story of 'Riley' and 'Adam' or 'Erica' and 'Slate'. Erica was once caught in crosshairs with some drug dealers. She was victimized, then used as a bait as witness and then disappear under the witness protection program. Since the incident, she has never herself. Different name, different person, different hair and different eye color. She is alive, but she is barely living. Slate Andrews is a professional boxer at the top of his game but he doesn't like his celebrity life. So after all of his games, he would retreat to the apartment that he grew up in a small town away from paparazzi and where nobody knows him. There, 'Riley' runs into 'Adam'. When Riley is scared out of her mind, Adam vows to keep her safe. And despite her reservations, she really feels safe when she is with him. Also, something more. But being with Adam, she is endangering her life. And probably his. Should she stay? Should she leave?

Honestly, when I started reading, I questioned whether this is written by the same author I've known. But as the story progressed, I breathed a sigh of relief.

"You’re right, beautiful. I can see you, but I can’t hear you. There are too many lies and secrets echoing around us, distorting the real woman. I don’t know who you truly are, Riley, but tiny flashes of that woman whisper around the room between us. I will find the real you among the echoes—and I will make her mine."
Her eyes fly to mine, and in a sad voice, she breaks me. "Oh, Slate. That woman doesn’t exist. All I am are the bits and pieces of static."
"Not to me, you’re not," I say forcefully. "I’ll stop with the questions, but make no mistake. I will find you. I need that woman. Not this façade you put on or the fears that overwhelm you. I’m talking about the woman you only show for the briefest of seconds when we are alone. I will search to the ends of the earth to find that woman—because I love her. I don’t even know her real name, but I love her—fiercely."

Add Slate to one of the best characters I've read. Coming from a hard past which he did not let define him, he was protective and caring. And his unbending love for Erica - scars and all - was so sweet. There were is moments when she would thank him and...

"Thank you."
I don’t respond. I don't need to.

"Thank you," she whispers, but I don’t respond. It would feel wrong to say anything, because I should be the one thanking her.

I say the words I’ve probably said to him a million times since I met him. "Thank you."
He never responds, but he doesn’t have to.

Sigh of contentment. And Erica. Being gone through a lot, initially she was scared. But for her love and chance with Slate, she became brave. It was so gratifying to see her stand her against the odds. They both together were so... so... so... right and correct and cute and just so damn satisfying! And then there was Leo. How much ever I tried, I could not make myself hate him. He has a book for himself. And I swear to read it too. I want a HEA for him.

I love Aly's deep and emotional writing style. And I completely adore the characters that she brings to life. I know, that whenever I want to read something which won't disappoint me - Aly's books are one of them. Among the Echoes is gritty, emotional, and captivating read. It's a story about healing, overcoming fear, and finding love. It also have a great action-packed and suspense elements as well that come into play at the end. I just loved it!

TW : Sexual Abuse.

"The echoes are gone, beautiful. And the woman left behind is even more incredible than the one I fell in love with."
Profile Image for Karla.
986 reviews1,096 followers
November 15, 2014

4 Stars! Great addition to this addictive series!

I was a little confused in the beginning and things got slightly muddled in the middle, but overall...a great read!

While the book is filled with sexual tension, it's not bogged down with sex scenes, there is definitely some spice, but the focus remains on the characters and their dangerous dilemma. I understood why Riley/Erica reacted the way she did, but there were times she got on my nerves, but man oh man, she really came through in the end!! Slate...scrumptious...what a guy...perfect in every way! Dave/Leo ended up shocking the sh*t out of me. This is a man you want to have your back! I couldn't understand his initial reaction to a brutal situation in the beginning, but by the end of the book, you know why he had to stand down. He made a decision that would haunt him forever, but saved lives! My heart hurt for him.

Wow...what an ending! Did not see that coming AT ALL! I really enjoy the way this author tells a story.

The epilogue was perfect! Broken Course here I come!
Profile Image for Shabby  -BookBistroBlog.
1,516 reviews816 followers
February 25, 2021
A gut wrenching scene and the book is off to a whirlwind start. the entire story is about a couple on the run. They change houses, towns, states, names, lifestyles just to stay alive.
One fine moment in between, Erica Hill meets her neighbour Slate Andrews who's a fighter. He scares Erica at first, but soon realises, he's legit a wall behind which she can hide. In whose shade she can rest and breathe easy.
He starts to grow on her, climb like ivy on her heart and protect her from the world
"My fierce need to protect the woman next to me erases all rational thinking. I won’t allow her to be scared again."
He's alpha male, protecting is second nature for him.
The narration was good, I found female narrator's voice constantly shaking though. Maybe she's a mature person. But still very intense and deeply emotional story with violence at the beginning and in the end.
5 stars for sensitive narration
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Profile Image for AJ.
2,934 reviews958 followers
December 9, 2014
4.5 “ I will fight the entire world for you” stars

I love this book! A strong woman shattered by trauma and living in constant danger, a guilt-ridden man determined to protect her, and a famous but highly private boxing champ. No, it’s not a threesome, and there is definitely no love triangle, but it is a story featuring incredible relationships and one all-consuming love story that absolutely stole my heart.

Erica and Leo are living life on the run in the Witness Protection Program. Erica was a witness in a high-profile trial after being abducted and viciously brutalised (this part of the story is told in brutally graphic detail, and includes sexual assault, so please be aware that it’s not easy to read). Leo was an undercover agent at the time and is the man who saved her, and he has made it his mission in life to protect her. They are currently living under the assumed identities of Riley and Dave, and they live a quiet life, constantly on edge, as they attempt to stay as out of site as possible.

The Heavyweight Champion of the World, Slate Andrews, hates the celebrity life, so after his big fights he retreats to his childhood home and hides out in an apartment where he can hide from the pressures of his life and regroup. And his apartment just happens to be right next door to Erica and Leo.

From Slate and Erica’s very first encounter, he can see that she is terrified, and as a protector by nature, he is drawn to her. But as they spend a bit of time together, she starts to relax with him, and he starts to see a whole new side to her and their mutual attraction grows.

I loved the set up of this relationship! From the very start, Slate is gentle and understanding with Erica and does his best to be there for her and help her build her confidence. He doesn’t know what happened in her past, but he isn’t stupid and he knows that she is deeply scarred, and he is beautifully patient with her.

“I won’t push you, beautiful. Anything that happens from here on out is completely up to you.”

Slate and Erica together are something very special. He wants her more than anything, but he also wants to help her recover from the crippling fear that she lives with. He is understandably frustrated by her refusal to open up to him, but his acceptance of her and the way he deals with her is beautiful, and the romance is beautifully swoony.

“I need some truths, beautiful. I don’t want you to relive any details for me, but even the general idea of who you really are would be amazing.”
“Slate,” I whisper, swallowing around the newly formed lump in my throat.
“I want you. All of you. Not these little bits I hear echoing around the room. I just want you.”

“Erica, I love you. I never knew you before you had these scars, but that doesn’t mean I won’t spend my entire life trying to erase them from the inside out … Everyone has scars, Erica. Don’t for a second think yours are any different based on how you got them. I love you— scars and all.”

And when he went all alpha and claimed his girl, the man actually gave me shivers.

“I'm not some damsel in distress you can just swoop off her feet and save, Prince Charming.”

“Fuck your fairytale. I just want you. I’ll make my own God damn happily ever after. But you’re the one who is mistaken. 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.”

And oh my God, the man is hot!!! There is dirty talking, sizzling make-out scenes, hot sex, and even sweet and tender sex, and it’s all steamy as hell! And it’s so meaningful to their relationship as it ties in so closely with Erica reclaiming her life, and I thought it was really well done – particularly the scene where she finally let’s go with him… DAYUM!

I loved watching Erica slowly start to find herself again. She is an amazing character. She has endured trauma that would break a lot of people, but she has dealt with it and moved forward with her life. She is still tormented by the past, but she has absolute trust in both of the men who care so deeply for her, and with Slate and Leo by her side she works hard to find happiness again.

“You gave me back the pieces that were stolen from me. You gave me back myself.”
“You did that all on your own, beautiful,” he says, leaning forward to kiss me.
“You’re wrong, but I love you anyway.”

So with all of that swoon and hotness, and the fantastic banter and sweet moments between them, yeah, Slate is pretty much the perfect man for her. But his status as a celebrity (however reluctant he finds it) is the worst possible situation for Erica to be in, and combined with the continued threat on her life, there are some big hurdles for them to have to deal with. But it’s all functional, with no stupid behaviour, and I loved watching it all unfold.

And a quick word about Leo, because, OMG, I love him! And I love his and Erica’s relationship. He looks after her like a big brother, and wants nothing more than for her to be safe and happy. The genuine love between them was beautiful to see after everything that they had been through.

“Please stop hiding and actually live your life.” He pauses long enough to squeeze my shoulder. “It’s killing me to watch you fade into the background.”

This is a quick, exciting read which had me sucked in from the very first page, and I didn’t want to put it down. It’s the third book that I have read by Aly Martinez and once again she brings the feels, but with each book her writing gets tighter, and she’s done a great job with this one. And after that teaser at the end, I can’t wait to see more of the gorgeous Leo!

4.5 stars.
Profile Image for Holly.
510 reviews515 followers
March 23, 2015
6+++ Stars

Absolutely fantastic.
One of the best books I've read in 2014.

"I'm not some damsel in destress you can swoop off her feet and save, Prince Charming. I'm lost in a world so dark you wouldn't be able to to find the light of day again."

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I have spent the last couple of days trying to figure out how much...or how little...to say about this story. I am a firm believer in diving into certain books completely blind, and letting it take you on a journey that you're not prepared for. This is definitely one of those books. The less said about the plot, the better. It makes for a much more captivating reading experience IMO.

But, this is a book review after all, so I will do my best to convey how much i enjoyed the book without giving too much away.

This book had me at the first sentence.

I am always up for a dark and twisty tale....and judging by the very first chapter of this book, I was in for a wild ride indeed.

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This has to be said: The first chapter is dark. About as dark as it gets.
It may stir up some rather intense emotions, and can be hard to read. But, keep in mind that darkness is important to understanding the actions and RE-actions of the characters throughout the book. One character in particular...and the heart and soul of the book (for me at least) . If you can hold on through the first chapter....the rest of the story is SO worth it.

In a nutshell, the story centers around Riley, a woman who has basically lost everything and been forced into the Witness Protection Program. Initially, she is a terrified young woman, completely dependent on the man who has taken it upon himself to protect her. The emotional journey that she takes, and how much she grows as a character is one of my favorite aspects of the book.

There are three main characters, and they all equally important to the overall success of the story. I know that I am not alone in my preference for the 'Bodyguard' character over the actual leading man (Slate is a good guy, but my heart belonged to "Adam" from the beginning. I'm such a sucker for a tortured soul), but the dynamic between all three was perfectly executed by Martinez. It didn't feel forced in any way - and considering the circumstances the characters find themselves in? It would have been easy for that part of the story to feel a bit over the top or contrived. But, it all worked so beautifully. I honestly can't say enough about her skills as a writer.

All of Martinez's books are considered standalones...but this is loosely tied in with her previous two books Changing Course and Stolen Course. As well as her latest release Broken Course.

This was hands down one of the best books I have read in 2014, and i can't wait to see what this author is going to do next,

"Fuck your fairytale. I just want you. I'll make my own God damn happily ever after. But you're the one who is mistaken. 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."

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Profile Image for Amanda.
1,387 reviews319 followers
August 26, 2014
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
Profile Image for Rachel.
638 reviews38 followers
November 9, 2014
Overal rating: 4.5 "Beautiful" stars!!!

Love triangle:
Sex with om/ow:


My review:

I loved this story! The beginning was extremely hard to read. Poor Erica.

In this story, we meet Erica and Leo at the beginning and learn how they met and what their relationship consists of. Both are hiding out in the witness protection program after some things happened in the past and then walks in Adam aka Slate Andrews. Boy, was he an amazing hero. Once he saw the heroine, he knew he wanted to protect her and it didn't take him long to change those feelings to something more. Both Slate and Erica have pasts that they are trying to overcome in some way or another and they are able to find true happiness together. I thought it was so awesome that Slate just knew what he wanted and would do anything to get it. He took his TIME and pursued Erica, without caring that she didn't give in right away. He did NOT go off and be with another woman or any of that other crap many heroes in books do these days. He did what any other normal man would do if he wished to be with someone he cared about - wooed her and was PATIENT. In fact, he never looked or thought about another woman in this whole entire book and this book was dual POV. It was just AWESOME to read about!!!!

I love this author's writing style and I cannot wait to read Leo's story. He was an awesome side character to this story. I really hope we get to see more of Erica and Slate in Leo's book. I freaking want
Profile Image for Kinky Vanilla.
457 reviews6 followers
October 3, 2019
The story wasn't going anywhere I gave up and moved on...(need to read part of book 4 to understand this book)

I read book 4 and then went back to this.book.. makes sence now. It's not a stand alone book...
Profile Image for Veronica Bellaorev Books.
505 reviews78 followers
March 29, 2019
Omgg this book. Gave me all the feels. I love Slate when I first met him on Fighting Silence and I didn’t know he had his own story. Both Erica and Slate made me fell head over heels with their heartbreakingly beautiful love story.
Profile Image for 1-Click Addict Support Group.
3,749 reviews455 followers
August 1, 2014
I'm not quite sure where to begin... the one word that comes to my mind when I think of this author is genius.

I loved her first 2 books as well as her writing style so I was excited to read Among the Echoes. Little did I know I was going to be gasping and going "What the Fuck" after finishing the first chapter.

I believe I felt every emotion out there, and felt it to the extreme. The book was intense from the first page and I don't feel like I took a full deep breath until the very last word. After I finished, I needed to take a day to just regroup and think rationally about what I had just experienced. Let's not forget about the sex either. That's very important in a romance novel, I will admit, nothing is better than an erotic scene that makes you blush. I can assure you this book has that and then some.

I do not like putting spoilers in my reviews so it's kind of hard to explain to you why I loved this book so much. I will say for all you Aly Martinez fans....... you are going to freak out!

I give Among the Echoes 10 stars. I know technically I can only give 5 but there is no way on earth I will give this author just 5 stars. She is an amazing author with incredible talent! A "thank you" is not nearly enough... but, in the words of our dear Slate...

'I say the words I've probably said to him a million times since I met him. "Thank you."
He never responds, but he doesn't have to.'

~ Stacey, 10 stars

You know when you read those books that you just want to climb a mountain and yell for everyone to read it? No? Only I get those moments? Well after reading Among the Echoes you will know the feeling. Read this book. Read. This. Book!

I love Aly's Wrecked and Ruined series but this one just blew them out of the park. One of the best books I have read in 2014. It started off not so great because of the nightmare Erica and Leo were going through but it gets so much better.

Adam aka Slate, the big hunkalicious fighter, he can totally teach me self defence moves anytime. Riley aka Erica, goes from a scared girl into an amazing strong woman. These characters were meant for each other. Both coming from not so great pasts and working toward a picturesque future.

Among the Echoes is filled with angsty suspense, heartbreaking speeches and loving/tender moments. An all round perfect book for emotions. I could not put this book down at all. If you want a book hangover read Among the Echoes. Oh and that twist at the end... oh em gee! Enjoy :-)

~ Keisha, 5 F*cking stars
Profile Image for Wendys Wycked Words.
1,559 reviews3,841 followers
March 22, 2015
I already read all the other books in this serie, when I started this one. I knew from Leo and Sarah's book what was gonna happen to Erika, so no surprised there. I liked this one, but it's not my favorite. I liked Erika and Slate together, but I do have to say that Leo was my favorite in this book and his book is also my favorite in this series. Because of my strong feelings for Leo, I felt annoyed with Slate on more then one occasion. I didn't feel that Slate had any right being pissed at Leo for all that had happend to Erika, if it wasn't for him she would have been dead a lond time ago. Also it was because of Leo that she een gave Slate a chance. So yeah because of my lack of connection with Slate and also with Erika (I understand she went through hell but I just couldn't feel the connection with her)I'm ginving this one 3,5 stars. All those stars for me belong to Leo....Slate just didn't do it for me.
Profile Image for ~Steph K~.
418 reviews134 followers
May 4, 2015
Please do not judge this book by it's awful cover - because the story is so beautiful - and honestly, I don't really consider it a MMA fighter book at all. I totally loved this book - it had me wrapped up in it from beginning to end, I couldn't put it down. Slate was so awesome with the way he handled Erica and her past, taking his time with her, letting her learn to trust him enough, so that she could finally open up and share what happened to her. I was totally hoping through the whole store, rooting that Leo, Slate and Erica would finally get their happy ending - living their lives instead of hiding. A great start to my week of beach reads!!
Profile Image for Victoria.
1,188 reviews95 followers
August 7, 2014

3.5 RATING- While I love a damsel in distress as much as I love a sexy, protective hero...this one fell a little flat to me. It started out strong but didn't live up to the five star ratings I saw several reviewers post. Overall, it was an okay read, but nothing about it really stood out to me.
Profile Image for Mallory.
1,698 reviews127 followers
Shelved as 'on-hold'
November 7, 2014
On Hold @ 35%

I'm going to put this book down and maybe pick it up later. I'm kind of bored, and I'm not a huge fan of the author's writing style
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