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Review and Excerpt: When the Walls Come Down by Aly Martinez and M. Mabie

Review and Excerpt: When the Walls Come Down by Aly Martinez and M. Mabie

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review and Excerpt: When the Walls Come Down by Aly Martinez and M. MabieWhen the Walls Come Down by M. Mabie, Aly Martinez
Published by Amazon Digital Services on 4th June 2020
Genres: Romance, Romantic Comedy
Pages: 263
Format: eARC
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon USBuy on Amazon UKBuy on Amazon

Did you ever hear the joke about the guy whose wife cheated on him with his best friend? So he quit his job, moved into his parents’ basement, and gained fifty pounds?
No? Because that wasn’t a joke. It was my life.
Four years later, I'm back with a dream job, a killer apartment, and a set of abs that are better than ever.
So, when Maggie Light, a stunning, snarky blonde moves in next door, and we spend the hottest weekend of our lives together, I think this could be the greatest comeback story ever.
That is until I realize Maggie has moved to town to do one thing—steal my job.
Maybe this isn't a comeback story after all. Maybe this is war—one I intend to win.
What I never anticipated was that maybe I’d rather win her.
Perhaps, if I’m lucky, the universe has finally run out of jokes and I can somehow win both.

4.25 stars

I adored this one!

Aly Martinez usually writes angsty and twisty books so I was wondering how’d a rom com would be from her and it was great! M. Mabie isn’t an author I’d known about before but I will definitely be checking her stuff out now.

Shane Warren gets the rugged pulled out under him, when he’s told he has to give up his job by his brother in law. His family think that Shane needs to stop working so hard and live a little, expand his horizons. Maggie Light is the new girl woman in town. Recently graduated, She’s moved away from her family to achieve her dreams.

Maggie and Shane both have their share of baggage and issues, their past shapes their current outlook. When they first meet, they don’t know how intertwined their life is going to get. Maggie and Shane spend a wonderful weekend together, not realising that once thats over, their careers will also be on the line and that they will have to fight each other for it.

This was a throughly enjoyable read, I really loved the banter, the humour, the sweet and passionate moments they had. Regardless of them meeting only a few days ago, I think the authors did a great job at establishing their connection to one another. I liked how they dealt with fighting for the same job bit, it was mature, didn’t involve dirty tricks etc which made this book and the couple work more because you can see the push and pull of wanting the job but also each other, plus they respected each other and didn’t want to hurt one another.

Maggie and Shane from the very awkward meet cute, to their non romantic first date to them falling for each other was very enjoyable. They just clicked, they got each other. Their relationship changes from fun, lightheartedness to finding out they are competing for the same job and now theres tension and attraction they can’t act on. They had great chemistry, their relationship had ups and downs to keep the reader engrossed.

I really loved Shane, he was a wonderful hero. He’s a nice guy. He really tired like all the time. His past had a huge effect on him obviously not just his confidence but also changed all other aspects of life. I felt his the way his family was trying to get to him to be more than just about work was just harsh, their heart might have been in the right place but it just ended me not liking like them. Literally wouldn’t have hurt to actually properly talk to him then just make decisions for him. He was genuine and forthright, yes he makes mistakes but owns up to them and works through them. He is quite different from the heroes I’ve been reading recently, in a good way that also makes you want to protect from the hurts you can see will be coming his way because of his openness. Shane had finally found his person, Maggie who made stop being all about work and he’d give anything to make things work. For me, When the Walls Come Down is really his book.

Quibbles: View Spoiler »

Overall, I really enjoyed this co-authored book, its soft, sweet, flirty and funny with the addition of tugging at heart strings! Anyone looking for a light rom com with heart, low angst would enjoy this one.


Oh, for fuck’s sake. Am I a man or not?

Here goes fucking nothing.

Take a risk, my ass. I’d fucking show Casey and Blake a damn risk.

I marched down to where she was sitting. “Hi, I’m Shane.”

She looked shocked, maybe a little startled by my approach—and rightly so. I’d stalked over like the fucking Terminator, all amped up from my private pep talk.

“The bartender, Chris, said you’re new in town, and it’s your first time here.”

Her sparkling blue eyes stood out against her makeup, and now—standing close to her—I could smell her perfume. A subtle and warm scent that made me want to lean in.

What the fuck had I been thinking?

To put it mildly, she was out of my league, but hey… Risks, right?

“If you’re dining alone, would you mind if I offer a suggestion from the menu?”

“I was only looking it over out of curiosity. I really just came in for a drink or two.” She folded it and placed it on the wooden top in front of her.

Goddamn, that cleavage.

“Oh. Yeah. Okay. Well, then…uh…let me get one for you.” I might have strutted over like the Terminator, but I was fumbling over my words like Barney Fife and beginning to sweat like a Crossfitter.

Her brows bunched. “Um, you really don’t have to do that.”

“Please. After the day I’ve had, I’ll actually have one with you.” I swiped at the back of my neck. “The drinks are good here. Very cold. Wet.” Jesus fucking Christ, Shane. Wet!? “Um. Alcoholic, if that’s what you’re into.” I waved Chris—and his bigger-than-life shit-eating grin—down to us.

“Find something you’d like?” he asked her.

“I’ll just have a Titos and cranberry,” she answered. “I hear they’re very cold and wet here.”

Chris looked at me disappointedly, probably guessing at how badly I’d botched this introduction. He wasn’t wrong, but she hadn’t told me to fuck off yet.


“And I’ll take a Honeybee Brown,” I added.

He spun on his heel, shocked. “Really?”

I shrugged and shot daggers at him. “Really. A pint, please.”

“A cold, wet one too, eh? Okay, man. Coming right up.” He made our drinks and then about a dozen more for the servers who were keeping him busy.

“Thanks for the drink,” she said, clinking our glasses together, her eyes never quite meeting mine.

“Yeah. Sure. No problem.” I followed her lead and took a sip.

“So, do you come here a lot, Shane?”

My name on her lips had me clearing my throat.

“Yes,” replied our asshole bartender before I could answer.

“I live close,” I explained, and she nodded in understanding. “So, where did you come to the Bay from?” I took another sip, realizing that counting the beer I’d had with Casey earlier and this one, I was nearing my only-a-few-drinks daily limit. So I’d be savoring the pint as long as she didn’t seem too put off by my dusty-ass small talk. Otherwise, I could chug it down and then be on my merry way, leaving her to enjoy her night without a divorced, practically fired dude bugging her.

“Atlanta,” she replied and swirled a piece of ice with the drink stirrer in her glass. Still no eye contact.

Small talk. I fumbled for more small talk.

“You have family here?”

“No, I’ve always wanted to get out of Georgia. So, when I landed a job out here, it seemed like a sign.”

Finally, her blue eyes met mine and… Fuck, if I could have just remembered to blink, I’d have been doing well. I feared if I broke the gaze for just a second, I’d never see that color again, because surely it was a mirage of some sort. Like a crystal-blue pool in a desert. The kind of trick eyes could only play on a man who hadn’t been laid in nearly half a decade.

She finished with, “I start on Monday. I guess fate is as good a time as any to take a risk.”

About Aly Martinez

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.

About M. Mabie

Mabie lives in Illinois with her husband. She writes everything from steamy romantic comedies to angst-filled, pull your hair out drama. She enjoys it all. With her unconventional love stories, she tries to embody “real-life romance.”

She cares about politics, but will not discuss them in public. She uses the same fork at every meal, watches Wayne’s World while cleaning, and lets her dog sleep on her head. She has always been a writer. In fact, she was born with a pen in her hand, which almost never happens. Almost.

Mabie usually doesn’t speak in third-person. She promises.

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