See my review at Sinfully .
“Falling is easy. Landing without breaking your heart? Impossible.”
by Barbara Elsborg is book one in her new series entitled Fall or Break. I am a huge fan of this author and her witty and unapologetic writing style. This was definitely one of the more somber, emotionally angsty and darker books by this author. It was also absolutely gripping right from the start. This is a book about two individuals who are both scarred in different ways and, frankly, both are in some pretty desolate circumstances. It’s about how they embark on a journey that changes the scope of their landscape forever.
“He couldn’t switch off ten years of anxiety just because he was free.
Free. Yeah, right.”
“His life had been wrecked by lies and he’d be falling forever because there was no one to catch him.”
“Maybe that was how he should start over, get rid of everything and begin again, rip out his memories and begin again, rip out his heart and begin again.”
Thirty-four year old Harper Shaw has spent the last ten years behind bars paying for a crime he did not commit. He’s angry, fearful, numb and is simply a forsaken wreck of a man. The man he once was is long gone replaced by a hallow individual who no longer is able to deal with even making the simplest of choices, afraid that anything could set off a fall into oblivion that he would never be able to stop. Twenty-four year old Malachi Jones’ life is looking bleak. After ending things with his long-time boyfriend who was as controlling as he was intense, Malachi finds himself having to live with his sister and a brother-in-law who thinks he’s no better than the dirt on his shoes. Malachi is desperate to find a job so that he can start fresh. Both men first see each other in a supermarket and feel this instant pull; however, hard experience has them turning away from temptation.
When Harper and Malachi meet up again there is no denying the spark between them and the men form a tentative and fragile friendship. It does not take long for something more profound to begin developing between Malachi and Harper; however, will Malachi run when he discovers the truth about Harper? Will the pair be able to withstand the constant bombardment of obstacles that seem to keep appearing and standing in their way?
I loved the romance between Malachi and Harper. I loved how it developed slowly and organically. Despite the uncertain and horrible circumstances both men were in, they seemed to be exactly what the other needed. A shining light in their drab and murky worlds. Regardless of the darker undertones to the overall story arc, the actual love story was truly sweet and heart-felt. Malachi’s loyalty towards Harper made him such an endearing character that I could not help rooting for. The fact that he made a choice to help Harper intentionally sacrificing his own happiness simply showed just how deep his feeling for the other man ran. Harper was hesitant to start things at first considering his trust issues as well as how he felt he would be unable to bring anything to a relationship. After all, he was an ex-con with an array of emotional and psychological hurdles to overcome. Malachi’s persistence, strong-headed demeanour and good nature does eventually win him over.
Both Malachi and Harper are these complex characters and this author does a wonderful job stripping away the layers and intermixing it with some heavy steam and a suspenseful storyline. The mystery surrounding Harper’s imprisonment as well as Malachi’s ex-boyfriend were well done. It kept me turning the pages completely engulfed in all that was happening. Further, as in most Barbara Elsborg books, we get quite a few hot and heavy scenes. I loved how passionate Harper and Malachi were with one another as they explored all that was between them.
Once again Barbara Elsborg has penned a captivating and moving tale with Falling
. The ending had me happily sighing and feeling very satisfied. The next book which is due out in July 2015 will be about Conrad, Malachi’s ex. What an intriguing character he turned out to be and I will be anxiously awaiting his story.
“You are what’s important in my life. Freedom tastes like you. Without you, I’m nothing. With you, I’m everything.”
****An advance reading copy of Falling by Barbara Elsborg was generously provided to me in exchange for an honest review.