Fighting Solitude is Book Three in the On The Ropes Series by Aly Martinez and is Quarry’s highly anticipated story.
**Each book in the series can be read as a standalone**
I was born a fighter. Abandoned by my parents, I spent my life forging my own path—one guided by my fists and paved with pain.
Untouchable in the ring, I destroyed everyone who faced me, but that’s where my victories ended. Outside the ropes, I repeatedly failed the few people who loved me. Including my best friend, Liv James—the one person I’d die to protect.
Even though I didn’t deserve her, Liv never stopped believing in me. Never gave up. Never let go. After all, she understood what I’d lost, because she’d lost it too.
Liv was everything to me, but she was never truly mine.
That was going to change.
I lost my first love, but I refused to lose my soulmate.
Now, I’m on the ropes during the toughest battles of my life.
Fighting to be the man she deserves.
Fighting the solitude of our pasts.
Fighting for her.
“Mia!” I shouted.
It was worthless. She’d been deaf since the day I met her.
She’d never once heard my voice.
She’d never heard the deep rumble of my laugh when she was excited, signing so fast I could barely keep up.
She’d never heard my content sigh when she barged into the locker room after a fight—just her presence soothed the lingering madness brewing within me.
She’d never heard me whispering my deepest fears into her ear as she fell asleep on top of me.
She’d never heard the reverence in which I cried her name each and every time I took her body.
And she’d never once heard the ease in which the words I love you tumbled from my lips as I stared into her deep, jade green eyes.
But as I screamed her name while watching her petite body seizing in the passenger seat beside me, I’d never needed her to hear me more.
“Mia. Oh God. I’ve got you, baby.”
She was still thrashing violently as I made my way around to her door, yanking it open while pleading with whatever god was willing to help.
When she stilled, a whole new level of silence filled the air around us. It wasn’t the absence of sound.
It was the absence of life.
“Mia, breathe!” I roared as her chest remained agonizingly still. “Help me!” I screamed at the closed emergency room doors, but no medical savior rushed out with the miracle I so desperately needed.
My hands shook wildly as I released her lifeless body from the seatbelt.
“I’ve got you, just hang on. Please just hang on, Mia,” I whispered lifting her into my arms and sprinting through the sliding doors. “I need a doctor! She’s not breathing!”
Nurses rushed towards me in slow motion as the seconds without air in her lungs passed at a terrifying speed.
A doctor appeared with a gurney and quickly took her from my arms.
The immediate loss was staggering.
Hope became my only solace.
She needed help that I wasn’t capable of giving her, but that didn’t stop me from following close behind as they rolled her away. I was on the verge of self-destructing; letting her out of my sight wasn’t an option.
I stood motionless in the doorway while doctors and nurses swarmed around her. Their mouths moved frantically, but without my hearing aids I was worthless to make out the words their faint voices carried.
I never wore my hearing aids when I was with Mia. There was no point. She rarely spoke with her voice.
We’d spent four years building a relationship with our hands.
Those hands had told me animated stories that made me laugh until my face hurt from smiling.
They’d fought with me relentlessly, but always ended the night raking down my back in silent ecstasy.
Her fingers had fluidly signed I love you more times than I could ever count—or forget.
But as I felt the nurse attempting to physically remove me from the room, my eyes became fixated on her limp hand dangling off the side of the bed. It was the only sight more frightening than watching her flail mid-seizure.
It ripped the heart straight from my chest.
That hand was supposed to be full of life.
It was the very essence of Mia.
Sucking in a deep breath, I held it until the room began to spin.
It provided me no relief even as it forced me to my knees.
There would be no distraction from this.
I was going to lose her.
Yet another woman I couldn’t save.
I don’t even know where to start.
First, a confession….I have not read the first two in this series. I have book one on my kindle, but hadn’t read it yet….I was going to read books one and two, but when the ARC showed up on my kindle courtesy of the author/TRSoR I couldn’t NOT read it. First, I love Aly Martinez. Her books evoke so many feels that I just become…useless until I finish the book, then, I may be an emotional mess.
I do NOT want to spoil ANYTHING for anyone so I will try my hardest not to.
This book is about Quarry and Liv. These two meet when they are 9 and 10. I believe they BOTH fell in love then, but, they were both so young. Lived in different states. And they were kids. Life led them in different directions. Eventually, Quarry meets and falls in love with Mia. They are together for 4 years. 4 years where Liv is also there, but as a friend. Her and Mia become best friends. Quarry is her best friend. The first 20% of this book is this history. At first, when Mia was introduced, I was pissed. I was like NO, NO, NO it is SUPPOSED to be LIV!!!!
But then Mia dies. And these two are left broken, hurt, destroyed. BUT, they continue to stay best friends. They live together, they work together. They are, in almost every since of the word, together. And while Liv loved Quarry Every.Single.Day since she was 9, she never once acted on it. It takes Quarry a minute to figure out he also has loved her…..Every.Single.Day, but when it finally happens, GAH I died. I was so freaking happy for these two.
I get it. I think lots of people feel that Mia was it. But Mia wasn’t IT. She was there. She was not THE ONE for Quarry. Had Liv been there, IMO, Mia would not have stood a chance. But Quarry is a good man, and he was already in a relationship when Liv came back around. He was not going to hurt Mia and as long as he had Liv, even if just as a friend, he was happy. But Mia knew, she knew they were meant to be. Thus the letters. Just Live Quarry!
Kudos Ms. Martinez, on writing yet another book that made me happy, sad, mad….everything.
And the epilogue? I freaking lost it.
Read this book people. You won’t be disappointed!
$50 (Winners Choice) Book Retailer Gift Card