Henry Alexander's story in The Spiral Down by Aly Martinez is NOW LIVE!
Download your copy of this M/M Standalone TODAY!
I was afraid to fly.
He made me soar.
After years of climbing the ladder of success in the music industry, I finally had everything I could want.
Yet I still found myself wandering through life alone.
Captain Evan Roth was the one man I never saw coming.
Tall, dark, mysterious… Straight.
We were both damaged beyond repair and searching for something so elusive we weren’t sure it even existed.
But, when two broken souls collide in midair, falling is a given.
I just never expected to crave the spiral down.
“How about you and one of your girls come out to my show in L.A. next week? My treat. Dinner, drinks, the whole deal. Evan and I would love to take you two beautiful ladies out for an evening.”
“Excuse me?” he exclaimed, cocking his head to catch my gaze.
I leaned back into my seat and lifted a hand to massage his shoulder. I was barely able to suppress a moan when the angle of his firm trap muscle met my palm.
F*ck, this guy was built like a brick wall. And I was going to love every second of watching him crumble for me.
“Oh, come on, Evan. It’s the least we can do. Double date.” I winked at Jessica. “You can fly them out! My plane should be ready by then.”
Jessica’s eyes jumped to Evan’s. “You’re a pilot?” Her smile spread irritatingly wide.
Back off, Ginger Spice.
Snapping my fingers in her direction, I corrected, “He’s my pilot.”
Subtlety was not a virtue I possessed. Was subtlety a virtue at all?
“Your temporary pilot,” he amended before shaking his head and then tipping his beer to his lips for a long pull.
“Anyway. Do we have a date?” And, by date, I meant feeding her dinner while I attempted to work my way into Evan’s pants.
She pressed one finger to her lips and then nervously flashed her eyes around the cabin.
“Oops. Sorry.” I shrugged sheepishly. Lifting my drink to my mouth, I discreetly passed her my cocktail napkin and then not-so-discreetly brushed my forearm against Evan’s chest as I pulled away.
He offered her a tight smile just before she disappeared.
I grinned proudly.
“What the f*cking hell was that?” he whisper-yelled at me.
“That was me getting a woman’s number.”
He arched an eyebrow. “A woman. Really?”
“What? Is that not allowed?” I feigned innocence.
He clenched his fist in his lap, and it made me suddenly aware that my own hands had stopped trembling—and in record time, I should note. Evan seemed to be quite useful in the art of distraction.
He leaned closer. “Don’t bullsh*t me. I looked you up. You’re…” He stopped, unwilling to say the big, bad “G” word.
“I’m what?” I taunted.
He rolled his eyes and chugged the rest of his beer.
We went back to silence until Jessica came back by with another drink, complete with her phone number written on the napkin.
“I’m not going on a double date,” Evan said as I tucked the napkin into my pocket. “You want me to fly them out? Not a problem. Schedule it with Jackson. But that’s the extent of my professional responsibilities. And, since I’m off the clock right now, I’d also like to mention that I think whatever play you’re planning to run on that woman is f*cked up.”
My head snapped to his. “I’m sorry. Play?” I asked with more attitude than I had originally planned.
“Yes. Play,” he sneered.
I stirred my drink. “Let me get this straight. I’m offering to fly her out in a private jet, feed her dinner at one of the best restaurants in the city, and put her front row at a concert that has been sold out for over a year. That doesn’t seem like a play to me. It sounds like I’m trying to do something nice for a woman I was rude to earlier.” I casually leaned back in my seat. “My conscience doesn’t ‘play’ when it comes to apologies.”
“Right. Well, maybe you should have a chat with your conscience, because she looks like she just won the date of a lifetime. Meanwhile, you don’t even like women.” He stalled, no doubt looking for just the right word to express his disgust without sounding like a bigot. Judging by his gentleness when we’d taken off, he wasn’t the type of guy to go for the fag bomb.
I watched him intently, excited to see how he was going to handle this.
I frowned at his lack of creativity. “Not that it’s any of your damn business. But I’ll have you know I love women.”
It wasn’t a lie. I adored women. Especially Levee and Robin.
I just didn’t like p*ssy. Meh. Semantics.
He gaped. “You’re bi?”
“And I’ll repeat: None of your damn business. But yeah. Do you have a problem with that?”
Again, it wasn’t necessarily a lie.
Was I bisexual? F*ck no. My c*ck was in no way an equal opportunity employer.
I was somewhat bilingual though. I knew how to ask for a blow job in English and Spanish. I pretended that was what he meant.
Chupame la verga.
Carra's ReviewI had to think for a bit before I wrote this review on what exactly I wanted to say. "Wow", "amazing", "fantastic" just didn't seem to be enough to describe exactly how much I loved this story. The writing is excellent and it totally wrapped me right up into the story from the very first page. If it wasn't for the fact that I had to sleep, I would have read this straight through in a single sitting.
Complex characters? Check! Henry is a really fun character, but he also comes with a big set of insecurities stemming from his difficult childhood, and the most notable manifestation of this is his need to conquer straight males. He feels if he can get them to be with him, he knows they are with him for HIM--for who HE is and not just because he's gay and available. But after the conquering is done, that's when he experiences the spiral down--when those straight males realize what they've done and go running in the opposite direction. He operates with this flawed thinking, opening himself up to repeated disappointment and heartache.
Evan...well, Henry thinks he's just another man to conquer. Evan is an absolutely wonderful character, and a great match for Henry. The banter between them is pretty entertaining, and the way he's able to calm Henry when Henry starts to panic shows Evan's patience and compassion. But Henry doesn't have the whole story about Evan, and they both get in so deep that when Henry finally realizes the truth, he is knocked for a loop and experiences a totally different kind of spiral.
I LOVE Henry and Evan together. The chemistry between them is simply explosive and charged with a lot of emotion. When Henry heads into his spiral over Evan, I just wanted to shake him and tell him to snap out of it and actually LISTEN to Evan's side of things. Because really, the two of them actually have some things in common and if Henry would only hear Evan out, he could see with him he'd be getting everything he's always wanted.
There's a solid cast of supporting characters, including Henry's best friend Levee (she's a heck of a lot of fun in addition to being Henry's anchor and voice of reason) and her husband, plus Henry's bodyguard Carter (I love how he interacts with Henry when the panic starts to set in) and a few other characters. They all bring something to the table and provide additional depth to the story.
While The Spiral Down features characters from The Fall Up (Levee and Sam), it can certainly be read as a standalone. I loved this story and gave it 5 wow-amazing-fantastic stars...and it is now a top recommendation for me. Even if you've never ventured into M/M romance before, the story itself and the issues the characters experience are common among all genres and couplings and make for an engrossing read. I recommend this for those 18+ for adult language and some scorching hot M/M sexual content (oh my, Henry and Evan all the way the first time...*fans self*). I can't wait to see if Aly Martinez decides to put out more M/M romance, because she really hit it out of the ballpark with The Spiral Down!
About the Author:
Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, Aly Martinez is a stay-at-home mom to four crazy kids under the age of five, including a set of twins. Currently living in South Carolina, she passes what little free time she has reading anything and everything she can get her hands on, preferably with a glass of wine at her side.
After some encouragement from her friends, Aly decided to add “Author” to her ever-growing list of job titles. Five books later, she shows no signs of slowing. So grab a glass of Chardonnay, or a bottle if you’re hanging out with Aly, and join her aboard the crazy train she calls life.
$50 Amazon Gift Card