Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Review + Excerpt: The Darkest Sunrise | Darkest Sunrise Duet by Aly Martinez

Today we are part of a promo tour for The Darkest Sunrise by Aly Martinez. It is the first book in a contemporary romance duet, and is it available to read for FREE on KindleUnlimited or you can purchase it for 99 cents for a limited time.

You can follow Aly’s newsletter for exclusive news about the duet.

Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.
Whoever coined that phrase is a bald-faced liar. Words are often the sharpest weapon of all, triggering some of the most powerful emotions a human can experience.
“You’re pregnant.”
“It’s a boy.”
“Your son needs a heart transplant.”
Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me.
Syllables and letters may not be tangible, but they can still destroy your entire life faster than a bullet from a gun.
Two words—that was all it took to extinguish the sun from my sky.
“He’s gone.”
For ten years, the darkness consumed me.
In the end, it was four deep, gravelly words that gave me hope of another sunrise.
“Hi. I’m Porter Reese.”


5 stars

Romance | New Adult | Contemporary

***Received Advanced Readers Copy for a Book Tour in exchange for an Honest Review***

I don’t know what it is about me and these intense, mind penetrating reads. I am head over heels in love with The Darkest Sunset, Martinez has ripped my heart from my chest, ran it over, then seemingly put it back together enough for me to swoon with gay giddiness. The twists and turns of this catastrophically roller coaster that is the jumble cluster fuck of a plot is gut wrenching. 

Wow. That is all I can say. 

I loved the characters. There was this believable situation, relatable, scary as shit truth that still sends goosebumps down my spine. Charlotte is such an amazing strong female lead. I love her drive, her personality. She has this strong force with her especially considering that whirlwind of a prologue. Pregnancy that she didn’t quite ask for during medical school but once the birth of her son happens, she is all in – but this all crashes down when one fateful day her son was there, and then turning her back to help another mother in need, he is gone. Charlotte lives such a cold, chilling life since then. She is strong but she still broken inside. In turn we meet the charismatic, charming of a man Porter who has his own personal demons. Wife passed away, two children, one with medical issues. 

When they finally meet, they really push the points on romance. Charlotte becomes completely consumed with their passion, their drive. I really enjoyed their chemistry. There is this tragic past that really tugs them into this emotionally, emphatic link. It is like their souls were matched. Their passion was definitely intense. Not only is their physical connection on fire, this emotional chemistry is just powerful.

And obviously what I love most about these types of duets is the cliffhangers. Oh my lanta that was a sledge hammer to my face, and I do mean flipping hard. I won’t spoil, obviously, but know I was a nervous wreck leading up, I had this sinking feeling in my stomach that I could see it happening but when it was finally at that moment, my nails were bitten to the core, sweat on my palms and I was dry throat – I am ready, I need to know what happens now! I NEED IT DAMNIT

Overall, this was an explosive read. It was emotionally crippling, jaw dropping, completely world shattering. I loved every minute of it, but damn do I need some more happy time books in my life – but I am happy I got to dive into this story. Charlotte and Porter together was beyond perfection. I honestly cannot wait to see where this goes, that cliffhanger has me in a choke hold. 

Thank you Aly Martinez for being such a phenomenal writer! So here we are, I’m going in to The Brightest Sunrise… see you on the other side.

The Darkest Sunrise (The Darkest Sunrise Duet, #1)

Purchase it now:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Add The Darkest Sunrise to Goodreads


Porter: Did you make it home safely?

Me: I did. I just got into bed actually.

Porter: Funny you should mention that…how do you feel about tacos?

Me: In bed?

Porter: What? No! We’ve been on two dates. Do I look easy to you?

Me: You just said “Funny you should mention that…how do you feel about tacos?” After I said I just got into bed.

Porter: Ohhhh…see I thought you said, “I just got a burrito actually.”

Me: Uh…I typed it. I didn’t say it.

Porter: Fine! I didn’t have a good transition from bed to see if you wanted to go have tacos with me tomorrow.

I laughed and rolled to my side, kicking the covers off to combat the new warmth coursing through my veins.

Me: I don’t know. If you count the Spring Fling, that’s like four dates in two days.

Porter: I know. You can’t get enough of me. Don’t worry. I find it endearing.

Me: Well, that’s a relief.

Porter: Okay. Okay. You don’t need to beg. Yes, I’ll have tacos with you tomorrow at noon. I know a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy who can get us reservations at Taco Bell.

I smiled so wide I feared it would split my face.

Me: I knew dating a restaurateur would have its perks.

Porter: What can I say? I’m quite a catch. Now, say yes to lunch.

Me: Why are you always trying to force me into having meals with you?

Porter: Because if I left our dates up to you, we’d be eating tacos in bed. That’s at least a sixth-date kind of activity. Slow down there, Mills.

My laugh echoed off the bare walls of my bedroom. Closing my eyes, I sucked in a breath and sank deep into my bed.

Me: You’re right. My mind was clearly in the Mexican gutter. My deepest heartfelt apologies.

Porter: Forgiven. Listen, I just got a text from my guy who knows a guy who knows a guy and unfortunately Taco Bell is fully booked for tomorrow. However, he was able to get us a table for two at Antojitos.

Antojitos wasn’t your average restaurant—it was an experience. The whole place was decorated like a quaint road in Mexico, and waiters wandered around dressed as street vendors offering a plethora of authentic Mexican fare. Every day, the menu was different, but people raved about it. It was always delicious. They didn’t take reservations, so there was usually a line wrapped around the block.

Me: That’s not fair. You can’t tease a girl with Taco Bell and then try to use Antojitos as a sad second choice.

Porter: I know. I know. And to make it up to you, I’d be willing to eat your tacos in bed on our FIFTH date.

Porter: Also…I JUST realized how filthy that sounded. I swear I didn’t mean it like that.

I barked a laugh and paused my fingers over my keyboard when I saw the text bubble pop up. He was typing again.

Porter: I mean…unless you did. In which case, we can do tacos in bed any time you’d like.

Porter: Unless you were talking about real tacos, in which case the crumbs sound like a nightmare.

Porter: Actually, can you do me a favor and delete the last four messages from me without reading them? M’kay thanks.

Tears—actual tears—were in my eyes. I was laughing that hard.

Porter: Christ. Why aren’t you responding now?

Me: Because it’s more fun to watch you sweat.

Porter: Are you laughing?

Me: Yep.

Porter: That makes it almost worth the embarrassment.

Yeah. Okay. We were talking about eating tacos in bed (which was only slightly less horrifying than sitting on the same side of the booth), but I’ll be damned if that warmth didn’t fill me again.

Me: Antojitos sounds amazing. I have to swing by my office in the morning, so I’ll meet you there at noon.

Porter: Sounds good. Sleep tight.

Me: You too.

I sighed all dreamy-like and started to put my phone down on the nightstand, but the text bubble showed up again. I waited. And waited some more. Boring holes into my phone for at least three minutes until finally his message appeared.

Porter: Confession: I wish I would have kissed you tonight.

My heart stopped and my stomach dipped as I read it three times before finding the courage to reply.

Me: You did.

Porter: No. Not like that. I’m talking about one where you’d spend the rest of your night touching your bruised lips, and I’d spend the rest of mine desperately trying to memorize the way you tasted.

My whole body came alive with a hum, from the tips of my fingers to my peaked nipples and everything in between. The sweet ache of arousal. I threw my head back against the pillow and stared up at the ceiling. I’d been with men over the years. After all, sex was just as much about biology as it was about emotion. But, when the orgasm faded, so did my interest in the other person. Looking back on those encounters, I remembered the release—the brief moments when I’d allowed myself to let go and actually feel something with another person. But not once in ten years had I remembered being kissed. I’m positive it had happened, but it hadn’t been enough to trigger a memory.

Yet there I was, staring at a text describing a kiss that hadn’t happened, but I knew without a shadow of a doubt I’d never forget it.

Me: Confession: I wish you would have done that too.

Porter: Tomorrow, Charlotte.

It was a promise.

One I had every intention of letting him keep.


The Brightest Sunset (The Darkest Sunrise Duet, #2)

Available Now

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Add The Brightest Sunset to Goodreads


 Don’t miss this amazing duet!



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, mystery leggings, and baked feta. 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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