Blog Tour: Thrive (Guardian Protection, #2) by Aly Martinez (Review!)

Thrive by Aly Martinez (Guardian Protection, #2) 
*While Thrive is the second book in the Guardian Protection series, it can be read as a standalone.* 

Technically, you aren’t supposed to fall in love with your best friend’s girl.

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.


I've always heard wonderful things about Aly Martinez's books so when Thrive, the latest in her Guardian Protection series, appeared on my radar I decided to give it a try. I always love a good second chance romance, and Thrive looked like it would fit the bill quite nicely. 

The result? Equal parts thrilling and swoony, Thrive shows just how wonderful and life-chaning second chances can be.  

What I Liked: 

1. The Main Characters Thrive introduces Lark and Mira, former best friends turned enemies. I liked Lark from the start. Fiercely protective, charming, and slightly arrogant, Lark is the typical alpha hero. He's such a wonderful father as well as "guardian," and I loved seeing him kick a$$ for the ones he loved. I could also easily understand/feel his confusion and hesitation with having Mira back in his life. When she left him he had hit rock bottom, and it took a lot of years to repair the damage. If I was him, I would've felt the same way - wanting to help but being afraid to let that person in again. On the other hand, it took me while to warm up to Mira. I didn't particularly like how she ended things with Lark. Yes, I could understand her reasoning behind her decision, but I was always 100% team Lark so I wanted him to be the end game. However, I liked her more and more as time went on. She's not the timid girl she was all those years ago. She's turned into real spitfire, and I came to adore her sassy and fiery personality. It was fun to see her get so passionate about her bars and so ready and willing to give everything up to open a new one. It was also interesting to see her deal with Lark. Like Lark, Mira was scared to let him in again - she had her reasons for letting him go, and even though they made sense to her at the time, she's had regrets ever since. 

2. The Romance - As mentioned before Thrive is a second chance romance. What I really liked here was that Aly included pre-fallout scenes as well as post-fallout. The pre-fallout scenes really helped to solidify the bond between Lark and Mira. They had such an easy, carefree air around them when they were together, and I could see from the start that they were meant to be. The post-fallout scenes had a rough start - both Lark and Mira had their reservations. However, I loved seeing them began to work together again, falling in love in the process. It was never simple and easy, and it made it all the more realistic, in my opinion. Plus, I loved the banter between them! 

3. The Mystery/Thrill - Mira first invites Lark back into her life when several men break into her house, kidnapping her roommate/best friend and giving her close to a million dollars to launder. Mira's convinced her ex-husband/Lark's former best friend is behind it; however, she doesn't know how to "fix" the problem. How can she save her best friend? When this problem was first introduced, I thought it would be very cut-and-dry, but as it turned out, there was a lot more layers than I could have ever predicted. Some of the big revelations towards the end truly shocked me. I felt so bad for Mira, but I also give Aly props for keeping me on my toes! 

4. The Team at Guardian Protection - The guys at Guardian Protection are such a wonderful crew! Johnson was one of my favorites - I loved how he get Lark to accidentally admit his feelings for Mira. I also liked how they were so protective of one another. When one person needed to fight for something/someone, they all went in. I can't wait to learn more about them. 

What I Didn't Like: 

1. A "Connection" - So I liked Thrive overall. The romance was sexy. The characters were interesting and likable. The stakes were high. However, I never felt a huge connection to the story. Yes, I wanted to know how it ended, but I was never racing through, dying to know what would happen next. I just wasn't feeling a huge spark here - there was something missing and I'm not sure what it was exactly. 

Regardless, Thrive is suspenseful and romantic addition to the Guardian Protection series, and while it may be my first book by Aly, it certainly won't be my last. 

3.5 stars!!

Add Thrive to Goodreads

Buy Links: 

Amazon (Kindle Unlimited) | Audiobook | Paperback


The previous book in the Guardian Protection Series: 

SINGE is the first book in the Guardian Protection Series and is FREE in KindleUnlimited



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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