Thrive by Aly Martinez ~ Sarah A’s Review

When I was nineteen years old, I was faced with a choice that changed my life.
Keep the safety of what I already knew or risk losing everything with the young, hotheaded soldier who stole my heart.

I chose the wrong man, and for seventeen years, I paid in tears, blood, and shattered dreams for that decision.

Now, there’s a man in my house, holding a gun to my head on the order of my ex-husband—given from his prison cell.

That hotheaded soldier I was too afraid to choose? He’s now a six-foot-three wall of muscle who works at the country’s most premier bodyguard agency. I’ve always wanted him, but now, I’ve never needed him more.

It’s the call I’m terrified to make.
I’m sure he still hates me… Even though I’ve never stopped loving him.

Thrive is a Guardian Protection Novel and can be read as a complete STANDALONE.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon CA | Audible |iTunes Audio


The evocative and beautiful story in Thrive is a perfect example of why I return to Aly Martinez’s writing time and again. She is adept at pulling her readers in from the first moment and holding them captive to her words until the end. Mira and Jeremy’s story was full of heartbreak and healing. I enjoyed every second I spent with them in this book.

Thrive is the second book of Aly Martinez’s Guardian Protection series. It also has tie-ins to her Wrecked & Ruined series and Retrieval Duet. However, it can be read as a complete standalone, as each book focuses on different couples. The book is told in dual first-person perspective, by Mira and Jeremy. There are a few flashback scenes that add incredible heartache to their story.

I’m a sucker for second-chance romances and Thrive definitely fit that trope. Their original relationship may have been anything but typical, but it was one of the sweetest, most caring relationships I’ve read in a while. Their chemistry was amazing, but it was the soul-deep connection they shared that won me over in this book. I’m ecstatic we didn’t have to watch them suffer through their self-induced 17-year separation while reading, I don’t think I could have dealt with the pain of them knowing they were each missing the other half of their soul.

While the suspense and terror were the catalysts for Mira and Jeremy’s reconnection, I’m glad it was their love story that took center stage. Aly Martinez used the threat against Mira to push the characters to fully explore the events of the past and focus on what they wanted for their future. I loved how the very person who most wanted to keep Mira and Jeremy apart was so essential to pushing them back into one another’s lives. I was also impressed with how deeply she made me care for another potential couple in only a few words; I’m not sure my heart didn’t ache more for them than it did for Mira and Jeremy; the pain they’d experienced was just that poignant.

My only wish for this book is that the ending been less rushed. There were so many things I would have loved to have seen played out on page, in real time that either were only quickly recapped in the midst of another scene or never even touched on. I don’t think those omissions took away from the story, but I do think they would have added closure and emotion to the beginning of Mira and Jeremy’s forever.

Ms. Martinez wrote a complex story with myriad moving parts and wove each piece together in masterfully. Each of her stories is full of hope and healing. Her characters each have the strength to stand on their own but choose to live a fuller life with the people they love. I’m continually impressed with how unique each story is while still including the same primary themes. Her writing is robust, yet delicate and draws me in from the first page; holding me captive to her words until the final sentence.

Guardian Protection series, book one
Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

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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