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(The Release Series #1)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  7,396 ratings  ·  1,082 reviews
From USA Today Bestselling Author Aly Martinez comes an emotional new standalone.

Growing up, Ramsey Stewart branded my soul in ways time could never heal.

At twelve, he asked me to be his girlfriend.
At thirteen, he gave me my first kiss.
By sixteen, we’d fallen in love, planned a future together, and had our eyes set on the horizon.

Love never fails, right?
But for Ra
Kindle Edition, 245 pages
Published January 4th 2020
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Average rating 4.20  · 
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 ·  7,396 ratings  ·  1,082 reviews

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Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
5 stars

 photo IMG_5642_zpswapqaqvz.png
"Sometimes you have to let go of the life you planned in order to live the one you're given."

Aly Martinez writes the best friends to lovers stories. They always have so much heart and give me so many feels. Some of her older books (Fighting Silence especially) are some of my favorite romances of all time. It's been a while since she wrote a book that gave me those same kind of feels, but Release did just that.

Ramsey Stewart and Thea Hull meet when they're kids. Even tho
Val ⚓️ Shameless Non-Snowflake ⚓️
3.5 - 3.75 Stars

I'm not really in the reviewing mood today, but I want to get something up here before I completely forget to do so...

I am a huge Aly Martinez fan. She has penned some of my all time favorites. Here are some links to my reviews of said favorites for your perusal, if interested. Or just so you know which ones I am talking about:

The reason I list those is because,
3 Stars!

... A love story bloomed under the tree.

The beginning of this book instantly grabbed and held my interest. I adored young Ramsey and Thea, and the life they both shared when they were kids. They were beautifully and well-crafted characters who both suffered through heartbreaks and losses on such a very young age. But they both able to withstand it because they had each other to put a smile on their faces. However, because nothing is perfect, I didn't like how the story turned out aft
Dilek VT
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: disappointing
I had high expectations about this book and was looking forward to reading it. Then the bad reviews made me lose my interest in it. However, finally, I wanted to read it and see it myself…

Sadly, it was a huge disappointment. Normally, I like Ms. Martinez’s books, they make me feel, but this one didn’t.


Firstly, 100 pages of the 240-page book is about their childhood friendship. It is kinda boring and I couldn’t warm up to either of them as kids.

❥ KAT ❥ Kitty Kats Crazy About Books

'RELEASE:' Is a coming of age, full length romance, standalone novel by Aly Martinez. Spoken in 'Dual Perspectives.'

This was the perfect escape away from the silly season, there’s nothing I would change about this book, a slow burn that got its hooks into me chapter by chapter, So easy to get into, so hard to put down!.. Oh how I loved these two! Soul mates from the age of ten, first kiss, first love, first heartache, first everything. An emotional rollercoaster, a twist in the plot tha
Shabby  -BookBistroBlog
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A coming of age, second chance, roiling angst filled story that will leave you breathless and aching for more. It's stuffed full with funny banter, laughter and love but be warned that the cry-fest it shall induce would dessicate your poor heart
"Fair warning, this is not a story of hearts, flowers, and romance. That would all come later. But in the beginning, my love for Thea was born out of death, broken hearts, and desperation. Coincidentally, that was also how it ended."
Two tender, naive
Patty ~ Wrapped Up In Reading Book Blog
*****FIVE STARS*****
{ARC Generously Provided by Author}

His lips were soft.
His tongue was timid.
And his hands were gentle as they glided up my back.
Compared to the frenzied passion we’d later discover with each other, that kiss was tame.
But with that first kiss, Ramsey sealed our promises. Promises that would change us for the better, for the worse, and for everything in between.
Unfortunately for us, not long after that, the worse became all we knew.

Get ready to have your mind completely blown o
Astrid - The Bookish Sweet Tooth

AUTHOR: Aly Martinez
SERIES: Standalone
RELEASE DATE: January 5, 2020
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
THEMES & TROPES: Second-Chance, Friends to Lovers
RATING: All of the Stars

READ MY REVIEW ON THE BLOG (live on Jan 2nd)

Time and timing is the theme that drives RELEASE. The time when Ramsay Stewart entered Thea Hull's life. The time it took for them to become friends. When they shared their first kissed. When they went far beyond kissing for the first time. And when Ram
Pavlina Read more sleep less blog
<3 4 STARS <3

I really liked this one, I feel like it was a long time since I read a book from Aly Martinez!The last book I read was ok but this one was fantastic!It was emotional, angsty and heartwarming! I loved the romance and the characters were well developed!

“Sometimes you have to let go of the life you planned in order to live the one you’re given.”

Get ready for an emotional roller coaster that will keep you on edge!I loved their connection and how they make me feel everything!Thea and Ram
Jennifer Kyle
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
”...the two of us were a pair of wings. One was worthless without the other.”

5 Stars - I loved this one!!!
Fre06 Begum
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
 Sonya ♕Chatterbooks book blog♕

When I first started this book, I had no idea what I was going to get besides heartbreak. This author has always managed to give her readers something different while still having a beauty in the story. Release is a friends to lovers romance that will give you heartbreak, fill you with hope, and make you believe in the power of love all over again

How could one tragedy change the course of your life? One significant moment and poof, the life that you knew, is suddenly gone. Well for The past twe
May 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021-reads
I’m glad to report that I got my happy reading mojo back!

”I swear. It’s me and you forever, Ramsey”
“I swear too”

His voice only became more urgent. “I can’t do this without you.”
“Do what?”

He lifted one shoulder in a half shrug. “Breathe.”

This was another delight to read. I saw it from Ver’s favorites ”childhood love” trop and I started reading it immediately and oh man, I was in for a treat.

I don’t think I’ve read anything by Aly Martinez before but I loved the writing style, the pace and the a
Lana ❇✾DG Romance❇✾

“I can’t do this without you.”
“Do what?” I asked.
He lifted one shoulder in a half shrug. “Breathe.”

Aly Martinez is the queen of feels and plot twists. The woman will tug at every heart string you have and then turn your world upside down with a twist you never see coming. And Release brings both of those things in spades. MAN. My heart. My whole heart.

Thea and Ramsey owned my heart from the very first chapter. Martinez takes you on a spellbinding journey as they meet as ch
Tianna✸loves books✸
The plot is good. H and h are best friends since childhood and then in love but something happens which ends up with the H going to prison. He killed a guy who assaulted her. She waited for him for 12 years feeling guilty. But after coming out he doesn’t want to do anything with her. Infact he told her to move on and that he doesn’t love her when he was in the prison.

The chapters began with how they met and their friendship began and then how he went to the prison.
And then the present where the
Mar 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
I think from all the books from Miss Martinez, Release is where she tries rom com but with her signature twist on it. She never let you guess the climax or the twist of the plot until the end.

I like the story very much. I also like the free spirit banter between the characters. Like i said it has some comedy in the conversation. Thea is the heroine in the story. Literally she is the heroine who saves the day. She is fearless and tough as nail. Brave and free spirited.

Now on the other hand, Ram
 Leo (Queen of the Rants and Spoilers)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Going into this one, I decided to not even read the synopsis and go in blind. When it started, I enjoyed how the author decided to show us how the two characters met and how their friendship bloomed over their childhood. All you knew in the beginning was that the guy was in prison and had cut off communication from the main character. We get to see Ramsey and Thea learn to really trust each other when they're young, become best friends, and then become lovers. The relationship in this was very s ...more
Giorgia ~ Reads
3.5 ⭐️

It was a good read, a good story, a decent pass time but it’s not memorable. The storyline makes it so that your emotions get tackled a little bit considering everything that happened, the violence, the lost time the suffering and the loneliness.

Overall, I don’t regret reading it, but it won’t stick with me past the next couple of days, that didn’t sound very encouraging, but really it is a good story worth a read, it just wasn’t gripping enough when it could have been. Considering the sub
The Book Bee
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
"Sometimes you have to let go of the life you planned in order to live the one you're given."

So, yeah. Aly Martinez had me all up in my feelings again with this one. WAY up. But the two most prevalent ones had me laughing at one point and smiling from ear to ear the next - hilarious anecdotes and deep discussions of the past providing a serious emotional barricade. But that certainly doesn't negate the fact that a twist thrown in there didn't just make me gasp like, "no biggie
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: f-br, arc, feels, damaged

At ten years old, Thea Hull’s life irrevocably changed when she lost her mother and simultaneously gained a friend. From that moment forward, counting time and possible future moments became second nature. As Thea matures, she remains true to what she believed her life could be.

“I didn’t know it then, but that day, Ramsey Stewart saved my life. And six years later, I’d repay him by ruining his life.”

When Ramsey Stewart moved to a small town in Georgia, he had hoped to make a new life at only
Bookgasms Book Blog
Dec 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ratula, shelly
AHHH!! Release was a second chance love story of the ages!!! Aly Martinez rips your heart out, drowns you in angst and slowly mends all your wounds with heartfelt lifelong promises and swoony moments. I LOVED release as it was raw, gritty, poignant and so gripping. I was consumed with every word and could not stop reading! This was a marvelous story coupled with Martinez's masterful and incomparable talent! I was spellbound!

Oh my Lord. I can't even come up from air from this story without tearin
Loved the first half of this book when they were kids, the friends to more than friends journey from 11 - 16 was fabulous 😁

Second half let me down a little, but only because it felt a bit rushed.

Would recommend though - it's well worth the read for fans of second chance romances.

3.5 Stars
Jessica Alcazar
My heart is on fire!! I just cannot with this woman.....

I know there’s a bazillion reviews on this book already. I don’t know how many you guys will read or not read or whatnot. Don’t read them, read them, whatever … it doesn’t matter. Why? Because you shouldn’t need a review to decide to read an Aly Martinez book. You just do it. If you don’t just do it then .. I don’t know. Not trying to judge (maybe) but you might not be right in the head. KIDDING. Maybe. *shrug*

This woman is talented. I have
I really really enjoy reading Aly Martinez books!!!
If you haven't definitely check out her backlist.
This is a great book!!
4,5 stars

Almost a full five star read... but I will round it up because you know what I really enjoyed it ...
Yet, the masochist in me needed more emotions to feel what with everything happening but the childhood part (except their pain) was delightful...

A sweet childhood sweethearts romance with time apart and emotional punch..this is the kind of friends to lovers book I c
Wil Loves Books!
Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, 2020
I love Aly Martinez and her books, she’s just such an awesome writer and her books always bring all the feels. This was no exception. I truly loved this one, it’s not my favorite Aly book but it was really good nonetheless. This is a childhood friends to lovers, second chance story that kept me hooked from beginning to end. It also had some twists and turns that I just didn’t see coming.

Overall I loved the story and felt for both characters and what they endured. However, I felt that the ending
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Aly Martinez always delivers, with her words, characters, stories, the amount of ins and outs, heart, and all the FEELS. She has us believing one thing and BAM, you are served with another twist and turn to pull your heart right out of your chest. She completely owns you while you read this story of first love, second chances, choices made, feelings displaced and some that never ever went away. I can't recommend this story enough. Ramsey and Thea will steal your soul and have you cheering, cussi ...more
Jenny - TotallybookedBlog
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it

‘To explain how I fell in love with Thea Hull, I’d need to go back to the beginning. Fair warning, this is not a story of hearts, flowers, and romance. That would call come later. But in the beginning, my love for Thea was born out of death, broken hearts, and desperation.’

Release by Aly Martinez is an achingly beautiful and tragic love story about two young lovers whose lives would be forever altered in one tragic night. It is an emotional standalone that tells a story of childhood friends to l
Dora Koutsoukou
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-5-stars
4,5 ❤️❤️💔❤️ 🌳 🚲 🐶 💌 🌟🌟🌟🌟s❣️❣️❣️❣️

Captivating, emotional, a beautiful love story❣️

My heart broke through Ramsey and Thea’s journey.
“The two of us were a pair if wings. One was worthless without the other.” Thea

Two young innocent, broken souls looking for affection.
“We were two lonely people who relied on each other.” Thea

And as they were growing up, their feelings grew along.
‘In that tree, suffering alone and also together, I fell in love with her like the stars falling from the sky.” Ramsey

Lo Bookfrantic
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: f-br, arc-review-ng


Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Type:  Standalone
POV:  First Person – Dual

"Love changes a man - even when he's not yet a man at all."

Thea Hull at a very young age learned grief; the lost of her mother should of have been the worse for her except it wasn't.  When she lost her mother she felt she lost her father as well as he dealt with his own grief.
"Our bond was sewn into the very fabric of our lives.  Without Ramsey Stewa
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Originally from Savannah, Georgia, USA Today bestselling author Aly Martinez now lives in South Carolina with her husband and 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 passe

Other books in the series

The Release Series (2 books)
  • Reclaim (The Release Series, #2)

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“I’d often wished we had a cool story about when our relationship transitioned from that of tolerating each other to discovering we were two halves of one soul. But the truth is Thea and I evolved much like the seasons: slow, steady, and unstoppable.” 2 likes
“Love changes a man – even when he’s not yet a man at all. We were friends, but Thea was still quiet, stoic, borderline rude a lot of the time. However, in that tree, suffering alone and also together, I fell in love with her like the stars falling from the sky.
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