The Darkest Sunrise and The Brightest Sunset by Aly Martinez
Emotional Contemporary Standalone Duet. Must be read together, in order.
ALL THE STARS!!! Wow. I finished The Darkest Sunrise Duet by Aly Martinez yesterday and tried starting 5 different books after. Nothing worked. I’m clearly in the middle of a MAJOR BOOK HANGOVER. I haven’t been this utterly CONSUMED by a story in a really long time, possible years. I can’t remember the last time I read two books in two days. My husband told me I kept saying “Oh My God, this book is so freaking good!” over and over (I remember a few times, but he says it was more like 50).
The Darkest Sunrise Duet is so far out of my comfort zone it’s ridiculous. For goodness sakes, if it says dark in the title, I know it’s not for me. But I was in a book funk and saw some people I trust RAVING about it. Aly will be at Wicked Book Weekend in April, so I grabbed it on impulse without even reading the blurb. I’m so glad; I don’t know if I would have read it had I read the blurb first.
So here is my warning: While this review will be spoiler free and vague, click the link and buy it and read it, then come back and read this to see if we agree. Because going in blind was great. Or just read on for a totally spoiler free review.
Charlotte was completely and totally broken. A hugely successful, workaholic pulmonary Doctor, Charlotte lived in the worst darkness a mother could ever dream of. Until him.
“Hi. I’m Porter Reese.” I didn’t know it yet. But those four simple words changed my life all over again.
Porter immediately recognized the darkness Charlotte tried so hard to hide. He saw his own darkness reflected back in her eyes, and their connection was tangible. Porter was so swoony. A widow with a tragic past and two kids, one with breathing problems, Porter was an amazing dad, but his gentleness and understanding of Charlotte’s darkness made him perfect.
This agreement he set up gave Charlotte the freedom to finally let go and stop faking the fact that she is barely surviving her grief and guilt. Though they had different darkness, they understood each other.
“Our situations were different, but the same shade of black painted both of our souls.”
Yet together, they smiled. Charlotte laughed a real laugh for the first time in 10 years. They were bringing life back to each other.
“Porter might have wanted company in the darkness. But, with a single taste of the warmth, I wanted to bask in the sunlight.”
Right from the beginning, you start to predict what is going to happen, then you doubt yourself more and more, then you think something totally different, and then Aly surprises you and gives you something else. But to tell you the truth, even if I did know the end at the beginning, the journey in this duet was the best part. Watching this couple come alive only when they are together is wonderful. But sadly they can’t really be together. His kids are his #1 priority and she can’t be around kids at all. There are so many obstacles for them to overcome, but together they may be able to overcome some.
“I know who you are, Charlotte. And I know it doesn’t feel like the darkness when we’re together.”
Until darkness descends even further on them.
OMG, my heart. I went through SO MANY EMOTIONS reading this series! I was so crazy engrossed in it, I haven’t read a story so breathlessly in years. I will say, that one or two things bothered me in the second book enough to bring it from a super rare 10 star read to 5+++++ stars (Book 1 is still 10 for me) but it wasn’t enough to take away from the amazing way that Aly just stole my heart with her words.
- The writing kept me glued to the pages more than any other recent book I can think of.
- Porter was so freaking swoony, he never pushed too hard, but knew just what she needed.
- So many emotions and ups and downs through the entire series.
- You think you know, then you think again.
- The balance of highs and lows. Just when it gets too heavy, we get a bright spot.
- Older, more relatable characters.
- I love books with kids.
- Despite the emotion, it was still sexy.
- Though there were a few minor things, they would just be little nitpicks, and they pale in comparison to the positives.
The Down & Dirty:
Rating: 5+++++++ Stars, 4 Heat