Sometimes it takes someone else to show us what we are truly capable of becoming.
Suffering from years of violent abuse, Ryan Campbell has learned how to keep people from getting too close. But when you shut yourself off, people get hurt along the way. Never caring much about others, Ryan creates a world in which he doesn’t have to feel.
When Ryan meets Candace Parker, all of his walls slowly begin to crumble. Not sure of the truth of who she is, he feels his mind is playing tricks on him. Unable to force out the thoughts that consume him, Ryan is haunted by visions that torment him every time he looks at her. He finds himself swallowed by guilt and blame, but he’s unwilling to turn his back on the one person that could possibly save him.
You’ve heard Candace’s story in Fading, now hear Ryan’s.
4 - 4.5 Stars
Dark, emotional and passionate.
I remember thinking when I read Fading, that Ryan was a guy with a story to tell, and I was right. To say I was eager and over-the-moon-excited to read this book would be an understatement. E.K. Blair gave us in Falling, a lot more than just a re-telling of Fading “from Ryan’s POV.” I feel that it is important for you to know that. This book showed us WHO Ryan really was and what HE went through -- not only after “the incident,” but before, too. And let me just say, I felt all of his pain, guilt, and burden. My heart seriously broke for him over and over again.
Growing up with a horrible, traumatic, and abusive past, Ryan was a man who had very high walls around his heart. He basically used sex as an escape from his lonely reality…as a disconnection. Honestly, I can’t say I blame him. While his past was something mentioned in Fading, here we got the whole thing through flashbacks. And those were petty heartbreaking scenes to read. I felt so SAD for him.
“Don’t dismiss your pain because you don’t think it’s worthy.”
“The incident”. This surely added more pain to Ryan’s heart, and now, guilt too. But in a weird, messed up way, it also saved him. It made him start to re-evaluate his life and change his ways. He stopped going out with Gavin, who was always up to no good, and got closer with Mark and Jase.
Jase – I absolutely LOVED him. Since reading Fading I knew his character would be one I would never forget. He was so much more than Candace’s best friend… he was her lifeline...her heart. And Mark!??? Oh, Mark – God I loved him, too! He was SO supportive of Jase and Candace’s relationship and just as protective of Candace as Jase was.
“I just wanted to lay it out there for you. Jase loves Candace in a way that’s hard to explain. He worries. I do too. She’s had a hard time this school year, and I don’t want to see her get hurt.”- Mark
This new friendship with Mark and Jase was what led Ryan to meet Candace. That one girl that would end up turning his life upside-down (in the best way possible).
“You’re everything I never thought I wanted, but when I met you, you were everything I needed.”
Ryan and Candace’s love was pure, honest, and ran deep. The passion between them sizzled off the pages. So, when Ryan came face-to-face with his biggest nightmare -- the reality behind their situation, it hurt. It truly destroyed him.
“Not her. Not that girl. Not my girl.”
He always wondered, but at the same time, he thought it just could not be possible. What are the odds?? Knowing now Candace’s deepest, darkest secret, he was left with one more burden. What to do? If he told her he knew, if he told her who he really was, would he lose her? All his fears and doubts were beautifully portrayed and very well developed throughout the book. Like I said above, my heart constantly broke for him.
“I’m sure she can hear my heart pounding, but I need her to hear it. I need her to feel it as it thuds in my chest because I need her to hear me falling for her, ‘cause that’s what’s happening here – I’m falling. I never wanted to before, but with her, all I want to do is fall. Fall into her. Fall so deep inside of her heart so that I never have to be without her.”
I rooted for Ryan and Candace since the very beginning. All their bumps on the road only made their relationship stronger; their love deeper and more profound. Seeing Candace slowly come out of her shell with Ryan’s help was wonderful. It showed how true love is supposed to be… selfless and unconditional.
The Epilogue in this book made me smile. I loved the fact that it was years into their future. We got to see how everything turned, out not only for Ryan and Candace, but for Mark and Jase, too. It allowed me to get full closure where these characters and their stories were concerned. THAT is a HUGE plus for me in books. I recommend you read this book!
“I took it all, and no amount of pain could make me believe that it wasn’t worth the fall because falling in love with her was the best thing I ever did.”
Can a guilty conscience keep wounds from healing?
Fine arts major, Candace Parker, grew up with a mother who thinks image is everything, and her daughter’s perfection will never be good enough. About to graduate college and pursue her dreams of becoming a professional ballerina, Candace decides it’s time to let go and have a little fun. But fun is short-lived when a brutal attack leaves her completely shattered.
The memories that consume and torment Candace are starting to destroy her when she meets Ryan Campbell, a successful bar owner. He feels instantly connected and tries to show her that hope is worth fighting for. But is Ryan harboring his own demons? As walls slowly begin to chip away, the secrets that are held within start to become painful burdens.
At what point do secrets become lies?
Read my SIX Stars review: here
Knowing who you are and accepting who you are come at different prices.
Jase Kinrick grew up in your typical, all-American household. But after the death of his sister, his parents shut down, forcing him to deal with everything life throws his way alone. Terrified of the person he’s discovering himself to be, Jase has his way with every willing girl to try and rid himself of what he fears he is—gay.
Escaping California and moving to Seattle to attend the University of Washington, Jase frees himself to the reality that he likes men. Never staying with any guy long enough to get to know them, he doesn’t realize that he’s still hiding from who he is until he meets Mark. Scared of having real feelings for another guy stirs up the questions and fears he’s fought hard to bury.
To strip away the barriers to the heart of what is real, and to be okay with what lies underneath, will be Jase’s moment of truth. But he’ll need Mark to lead him there.
**This is a companion novel to the USA Today Bestseller, FADING.**
About the Author:
USA Today bestselling author and International Amazon bestselling author, E.K. Blair takes her readers on an emotional roller coaster with her FADING series. A former first grade teacher with an imagination that runs wild. Daydreaming and zoning out is how she was often found in high school. Blair tends to drift towards everything dark and moody. Give her a character and she will take pleasure in breaking them down, digging into their core to find what lies underneath.
Aside from writing, E.K. Blair finds pleasure in music, drinking her Starbucks in peace, and spending time with her friends. She's a thinker, an artist, a wife, a mom, and everything in between.
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