TeriLyn's thoughts: **Fighting Shadows generously provided in exchange for an honest review.**
These Page boys know how to melt hearts. Fighting Shadows comes as the second installment of the new adult series, On the Ropes, by Aly Martinez featuring the second eldest Page brother, Flint. As such, the story picks up where the first book leaves off before the epilogue with Flint in a very precarious condition in his life both from his physical struggles but also mentally. Once again I found myself swept away by the heart warming stories this author tells. Her writing easily flows across the pages creating funny, uplifting, and intriguing plots.
Flint Page comes from a broken home, to say the least. Raised by his older brother without the nurture or care from a mother and the tragic circumstances leading to where he is presently provide him conflicting, immature thoughts of jealousy, love, and anger without any way to release it. Flint's a complicated guy with a complicated life but when streaks of his humorous, bantering, witty, self come out in the face of Ash Mabie we see a whole new side of him. Ash Mabie whose past also hasn't been all roses and chocolates is quite the female lead character. Her charm, wit, and humor light up the pages as she convinces Flint he's not as surly as he pretends. Their youthful love sets the tone for some misunderstanding and naivety to create conflict. As the book goes on, their relationship in a myriad of ways I can't begin to divulge without spoiling. But what I loved about these changes was how the author still kept them grounded in the personalities that drew them to each other in the first place. Their love was fun and honest with real fears and vulnerabilities the reader can identify with.
This series boasts a slew of secondary characters, including Till and Eliza from book one, who give the story extra personality. Quarry Page the youngest of the Page brothers has some circumstances we learn about in this book that I look forward to reading about next. I love that we'll return to see the rest of this cast of characters and how their lives move forward from their own books. Aly Martinez easily draws her readers into her story. She makes her characters surly and angry yet so quirky and funny. She romanticizes those traits by putting her characters in situations where they're forced to see what they think their missing. Through the trials and tribulations of both Flint and Ash, in Fighting Shadows we see a couple destined for triumph...eventually. The road this author takes us on to get there proves fun along the way. And just as the first book, Aly Martinez gives us a really sweet epilogue to keep us coming back for more.