Review: The Spiral Down by Aly Martinez (The Fall Up #2)


Note: This ARC was provided by TRSoR Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

"I have nothing left to give. You own me. And I'm not just talking about sexually. You've been a whirlwind who has stripped me bare and brought me to my knees more than once. I'm not naive enough to believe that it will be smooth skies from here on out. The only thing I can do is swear I'll weather any storm as long as you're on the other side, waiting for me."

If you have already wisely read The Fall Up, one of my top reads of the year, then you'll know what I mean when I say that Henry Alexander so deserved to have this book of his. I mean, how could he not have his own happily-ever-after, especially after he proved time and again just how amazing of a best friend he was to Levee Williams. With Aly Martinez showing once again that her stories are far from ordinary, a main character like Henry whose personal history was barely scratched in the first book of the series, The Spiral Down, demanded both a story that was both heartrending yet hopeful and a fellow main character who would keep him on his toes but also had his own story to tell and Henry got exactly that with Evan Roth. The superstar singer slash songwriter and the former Air Force cadet and now private airplane pilot may not exactly hit it off when they first meet, but that lays the foundation of a, for all Evan's intents and purposes, casual non-relationship that gives Henry the high he desires. There's a lot of sexual tension as well as conflict driven by both crossed lines of and a lack of communication, making Henry and Evan oh-so-not boring. This may be the author's first foray in M/M romance territory but it sure doesn't feel like it.

Can one of the music industry's biggest stars who happens to have a very real aversion to riding on a plane and a professional pilot who wonders if the celebrity whose private plane he's piloting is merely pulling a diva act ever have a happy ending? With their initial meeting bordering on animosity, Henry Alexander and Evan Roth may appear to not have one another on their personal radars, but you know what they say about appearances, especially when Henry does a bit of fibbing and Evan does a tad of denying in order to think that they're able to have a firm hold on controlling whatever the hell is brewing between them. You see, Henry has a thing for straight guys, reveling in the idea that these men change their own set of rules to be with a gay man like him, even if, after everything's been said and done, they leave him behind and go back to life as they knew it. Then there's Evan, whose relationship with his girlfriend ended when he couldn't give her the commitment she desired, mainly because Evan's never really been able to get over the betrayal of the ex he loved and now hates. Lies of omission are still exactly that--lies--but will either one be able to forgive the other when those expectations they had going on are nowhere near their reality?

There's something to be said when an already successful writer takes a chance on trying something new and seeing the risk pay off. Almost all of Aly Martinez's previous books are M/F romances, save for one M/F/M novella, and with this duet (with what I hope are possible spin-off stories if it doesn't turn out to be an on-going series) being a change of pace, I'm happy to see that she took it a bit further with having an M/M story. Okay, I'm not just happy; I'm thrilled because any of my book-loving friends can tell you how much of an M/M romance fangirl I am and Aly Martinez is fast becoming a go-to author for me, so that combo has resulted in a definite winner. Evan and Henry have a lot of push and pull going on, both hesitant to be the one to make the first move, especially when it comes to defining what they share together. As much as I love GFY (gay for you) books, this one does not fall under that category and you'll find out why when you read it (go read it already, for heaven's sake!). Just like in The Fall Up, there's a best friend here worth taking note of and who, just like Ryan Meeks, has me wishing for more books, Scott Dalton. Five-plus-starred The Spiral Down can be enjoyed as a standalone (but read both books anyway). ♥

Date Read: 20 May 2016

Learn more about Aly Martinez.

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