I’m so excited to be part of the ACROSS THE HORIZON blog tour! If you haven’t bought this new release by ALY MARTINEZ yet or are on the fence about it, read an #excerpt or my #review. Scroll down or click here!
“Sometimes love happens when you least expect it.” That was what my husband’s mistress told me the day I found out about their affair.
I didn’t believe it until five minutes later when mouth-watering celebrity chef Tanner Reese walked up, tossed his arm around my shoulders, and told my cheating husband to take a hike.
Tanner and I couldn’t have been more different. He spent his weekends at clubs, rubbing elbows with fellow A-listers. I spent mine in yoga pants with cheese boards and a glass of wine—or six.
Our relationship shouldn’t have worked, but it did. That is until Tanner proved to me that even though love happens when you least expect it…
So does heartbreak.
I shifted the phone to my other ear and asked her, “Did you just get in bed?”
“If, by bed, you mean carrying a glass of wine out back to swing in the hammock, maybe.”
I bit my bottom lip, my head falling back against the headrest. For most men, this would have been an innocuous statement. But for a hammock connoisseur like myself, this was the normal guy equivalent of her saying that she liked to give blowjobs during halftime.
“You have a hammock out back?”
There was a delay in her response, which was followed by a subtle kiss of her lips on what I assumed was a wine glass. “Don’t knock it until you try it. It’s one of the most underrated luxuries in outdoor furniture.”
“Oh, I’m not knocking anything. Rope or quilted?”
“Oh, sweet heavenly baby Jesus, she’s beautiful and knows her hammocks. I’ve never been so turned on in my life.”
She giggled, pausing for another sip. “You know, if you leaked this hammock fetish to the press, you could probably increase demand by five million percent and singlehandedly lower the country’s unemployment rate.”
Okay, so at some point during the day, she’d figured out who I was.
But! Even with this knowledge, she was trying to avoid a date with me and was not elbow-deep in planning our televised wedding. This was a definite plus in my book.
“Yeah, but then, when I talked to beautiful women like yourself, I’d have no idea if the hammock was your idea or a ploy to impress me.”
“Jeez, that’s sad, Tanner,” she said, her sweet Southern accent like a wave rolling over my name.
I’d meant it as a joke, but it was the absolute truth when it came to dating. Early on in my career, I’d done a rapid-fire interview about my personal life. One of the questions had been: What would your ideal woman order on the first date? Truth be told, the only thing I hoped my ideal woman would order was something she wanted. I didn’t factor into that. But I’d been on my last question in my last interview of the last day of a month-long press tour. My face had hurt from fake smiling, I’d been in desperate need of a shower, a smoke, and sleep, and my mind had been mush, so I’d prattled off the first thing that had come to mind: shrimp and grits.
That one little answer somehow made it onto my Wiki page, and after that, every woman I’d taken out ordered shrimp and grits. One of them even had a shellfish allergy and nearly ended up in the hospital. And this insanity was not limited to women outside of the spotlight.
I’d once gone on a date with America’s princess of pop, Levee Williams. We’d hit it off at a charity event. For one of the most famous women in the world, she was a surprisingly nice girl, gorgeous, and funny as all get out. But the first time I took her out? One guess what she ordered.
I was at the end of my rope with dating and lost my freaking mind before storming out like an asshole. That night, as I was reporting shrimp and fucking grits as an error to Wiki, I noticed that her page listed it as her favorite food. I’d never had the balls to contact her again, and I once hid behind a palm tree on Rodeo Drive when I heard the clamoring of paparazzi calling her name. But that’s neither here nor there.
In short, while finding a woman was all too easy, dating was hard.
But that wasn’t about to stop me from trying with Rita.
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.
CONNECT WITH ALY
When two smartasses meet it can go two ways: they hate each other or they are in complete harmony and their verbal sparring is the spice in their relationship. Rita and Tanner are the latter – there is no doubt that they belong together from the first moment they meet. They just work. The problem? Neither of them has business being in a relationship, both of them have an identity crisis and a lot of baggage to work through. Rita personally – her soon-to-be-ex-husband’s betrayal cut deep and rattled her to the core, Tanner professionally and personally – he is a famous tv chef, an eligible bachelor because of his looks, fortune and charm but filming a good portion of his time has taken the joy out of cooking. There is also the issue with his ex who threatens to tell lies in a tell-all book that could cost him his job. A dilemma he needs to solve.
Rita used to be a trophy wife. She gave up seven years of her life to an undeserving douchebag and lost herself along the way and she wishes nothing more than to find the girl she used to be, the one with dreams and hopes and a plan. There were so many signs that Rita had only buried them, signs that showed me that she was still her own person, even though her husband had done everything to make her his little wifey. The strength and spine to come back from the blow she was dealt is immense and the trust issues that come along with it are understandable. Did I like how she worked ultimately through them ? No, but only because Tanner was so freaking endearing and charming.
She didn’t just laugh— she laughed. Rich and melodic, filled with honest-to-God amusement that couldn’t be faked. And in a world where everything was faked for my benefit, it was the most intoxicating sound I’d ever heard.
Tanner. Le sigh. What a man. He was everything a woman should look for in a man. Full of humor and mischief, smart, good to the core and so incredibly gone for Rita from the get-go. He wanted to make her happy and his determination to make it happen made him selfless. He would have walked through hell and back if it meant that Rita got what she needed. What’s not to love? And when they were together? Perfection. I fell head over heels in love along with them. Their relationship may be really insta but, I’ve said it before, if it’s well done I can totally get on board with it an boy, was it well done.
It was then that I realized she was more beautiful than any other woman I had ever met, and not because of the way she looked— which at the moment was rather ridiculous. It was just… That was the exact second I realized I’d found her.
Tanner’s relationship with his brother, the ribbing and good-natured competition they had going was also pretty awesome. Rita’s ex-husband, however, was a piece of work I loved to hate.
I have yet to read some of Aly Martinez’s books but I love that I still have catching up to do since I savor her stories. ACROSS THE HORIZON is so typical Martinez style and so not. It’s got some of the angst I’m used to but mostly it’s got a lot of laugh-out-loud moments that make this story a lot of fun to read. I got such a kick out of it and smiled pretty much most of the book.
While God had not given me the wherewithal to chase a good woman, he had sent me a good woman who thought this inability was funny. I could work with that.
THE FALL UP started my love affair with Aly Martinez’s books and we have been going steady for years. ACROSS THE HORIZON is just another reason to carry on with it.
She glared. I fell in love again.
Across The Horizon is tied to the “The Darkest Sunrise” Duet but can be read as a standalone.