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.
A Teaser from Falling---
Sitting there, I continue to hold her. We don’t talk at all. It’s quiet and peaceful, and having her warm body tucked in close with mine gets my heart racing. All I can think about is how I want to kiss her, touch her. Pick her up and make good use of her bed. But I know once that happens, I’ll never want to leave that bed. The thoughts alone turn me on, and I need to get control of myself.
“Hey,” I whisper, looking down at her. When she tilts her head and peers up at me, she’s close. So close, that if I lean down slightly, I could kiss her. Maybe I should. But I know myself. I won’t want to stop. I don’t think I could with her, so instead, I say, “I should get going.”
She nods her head, and feeling the movement against my jaw makes leaving so difficult, but that’s what I do. I stand, and she walks me to the door.
Our Review:This story starts out with Ryan before Candace and I think starting it this way engaged me more than just starting with the dumpster incident. Throughout his version of the events, I found him to be so incredibly sweet and honest and so much MORE than I think I gave him credit for in Fading. I thought his reasons for his actions enhanced their love story and even though I already knew the horror story of what happened to Candace, reading his thoughts never made it stale or old. As a matter of fact, reading his version of events made me like him even more than I did before (maybe even MORE than Candace). He was such force of stability and safety for her and he made a concerted effort to treat her with the love and care that she needed--even before he put all of the puzzle pieces of her together.
We've read Candace's story and Jace's and now we get to peer into Ryan's head! I wasn't sure what we would get in this story and I was worried that I had forgotten too many of the details from Fading but I quickly discovered that I worried for nothing! I think I maybe have ended up more apprehensive than you, and that is something that doesn't usually happen. I'm the one diving in with both feet, damn the consequences and this time at first...I just wasn't feeling it. BUT the more Ryan opened up, and the more we got to see of Ryan's experiences with his friends and mom outside of Candace, the more I enjoyed this version of the story!
I agree...as a character, he almost passes my love for Jase. Almost! (That boy and how he took care of her in the immediate aftermath will never be forgotten) Ryan though...I understand his demons better...and I think seeing his side and thoughts helped see clearly why he pushed her on some things, when maybe before I didn't think he should have. He is a man. He turns 29 years old in this story, and some parts that I might not have understood are just that he is in a different stage than Candace even without the trauma that she endures. That was a new dynamic that I appreciated! -- I took this one slow, because I didn't want to not like it. It couldn't be devoured...it was like a dish that had to simmer for a while before I could keep going. And in my opinion, that is okay!
When we hit the point where everything falls apart for them, I found THAT to be interesting too. The grueling pain of Ryan trying to live day in and day out without Candace was so realistic and sad. I always wondered where he was and what he was doing and thinking and we finally get to know! The last chapters and epilogue were great too; a real finish to the journey of Ryan and Candace. I was so happy to see that their story was extended past the original ending of Fading--and that we see snapshots of Mark and Jase too--good stuff!
And these are the days of our lives...ugh, those parts I cried again. I mean, really cried. While the first parts were hard for me on a pace level, the last parts were even harder on the emotional level than they had been even in Fading when Candace was heartbroken. Seeing Ryan heartbroken...gah, that was tough. I knew it was coming, but when it really got there, it went there and I was sad. I got happy again though when EK extended the story even further than we have ever gotten to see! Eeep!
A great ending to this really emotional series (at least I think it's the end? hahaha). Indeed, but I think there might be room from some pages about Gavin and Mel (It would be one hell of a finding love again between Mel and Zane, yes? Lots of drama with those two). I like this group of friends, but I will be really excited whatever EK comes out with next! :)
Shelley: 4 1/2 Stars
Courtney: 3 1/2 Stars
About the Author---
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.
Facebook | Twitter | Website
Enter the Giveaway below