Review: BEFORE WE FALL (#3, Beautifully Broken) by Courtney Cole

My Thoughts

Dark and daring, emotional and edgy.
Courtney Cole takes us on a bold journey fraught with guilt, anger, heartbreak and secrets that consume. It’s an instantly absorbing tale of finding hope, love and forgiveness.

5stars

Synopsis

before we fall coverSometimes, one dark moment is all it takes to turn your world black…

For 24-year old Dominic Kinkaide, that moment took place on the night of his high school graduation. One dark incident changed him forever. He’s a hardened actor now, famous in the eyes of the world, but tortured in his own. He doesn’t care about much of anything, except for losing himself in the roles that he plays.

23-year old Jacey Vincent doesn’t realize how much her father’s indifference has affected her. She is proof that sometimes it isn’t one specific moment that wrecks a person, but rather it’s an absence of moments. She’s like a bird with a broken wing-strong yet fragile, as she tries to float through life, finding acceptance in the arms of random guys, one after the other… to fill the void that her father left in her.

Until she meets Dominic.

After jaded Dominic and strong-willed Jacey are thrown together, his secret and her issues create a dark and damaged energy that will soon turn their attraction to each other into an explosive storm.

Even though when the clouds have cleared and the dust has settled, both of them are almost obliterated… they’ve learned a priceless lesson.

Sometimes, before we fall… we fly.

My Review

“I destroy everyone I touch. I can’t destroy her.”

In this third installment of the Beautifully Broken series, Courtney shocks us, breaks us and puts us back together in the way that only she can. One of the things that I have loved about her books is that the story is always so solid and well written. You are able to fully connect with the characters, understanding their motivations. The plot is credible and you’re completely captivated by her masterful storytelling. And what is it with Courtney Cole and Chapter Ones?! Be once again prepared to be stunned as we get to know the good, the bad and the ugly of our tortured hero, Dominic Kinkaide.

“I like to watch. I know that I shouldn’t but I don’t really give a shit. I like the flash of skin, the sweaty limbs, the sex smells, the fucking… Watching makes me feel something. It’s one of the only things that does.”

Dominic is a famous actor. Arrogant. Wealthy. Gorgeous. Desired. Kinky. One would say he’s got everything he wants, but he doesn’t. He’s numb, broken and wholly ravaged by the tragic and secret events of his past.  Over the course of six years, he’s gravitated towards the forbidden… the bad things he does feel something to forego facing the true reason he doesn’t feel at all. It’s clear he’s loved and lost and been scarred by events that he’s not been able to share with anyone. He’s convinced himself he’s damaged without repair. And the truth of the matter is that who he is now is inexorably tied back to her.

“Whether I like it or not, I am the way I am because of her. Because I loved her and because she did what she did.”

One night, at one of his rock star brother’s famous parties, packed with people, booze and sexual deviance, he meets Jacey. Jacey witnesses him doing a good deed, but once they talk, she is quickly and abrasively dismissed by Dominic. He’s sure she’s just like everyone else and one thing Dominic doesn’t do is care. He doesn’t get involved. Ever. But when an altercation intensifies and the fates interfere, Jacey and Dominic are unexpectedly thrust together. Forced to spend time with each other, Jacey begins to see past the hard, cold-hearted facade to see a man in pain, a man who longs to feel. Nevertheless, Dominic being Dominic, makes his intensifying desires known to Jacey in the most lascivious and self-assertive way. Despite his sexual longing, however, there’s something unsettling about her… something he can’t shake.

Jacey has also been marred by her past. With parents that have never cared for her, she’s known for her proclivity to fall for the worst type of man. She’s a work-in-progress as she tries to become more self-reliant and make better choices. Dominic stirs something inside of her that can’t be denied. A mixture of intense desire, intrigue and something that becomes more profound. He’ll break her. She knows this. But can she stay away? Will she fall into the same traps as before?

“Dominic is trouble. And I don’t need any more trouble in my life. I’m turning over a new leaf and I’m making good choices. Dominic Kinkaide is a bad, bad choice. Because Dominic Kinkaide does bad, bad things. I can see it in his eyes.”

The more Dominic knows Jacey, the more he realizes she’s full of fire within. She’s a no-bull, direct, brazen girl that refuses to accept he’s irrevocably broken. She’s kind and seems to genuinely care about him as a person.

“Maybe one of the things I like about her is that she seems innocent at the same time as she seems wild and unrestrained. She has an almost childlike gullibility that seems so different from the people I’m used to.”

Their story weaves in a way that little by little they fall deeper and deeper as pieces of the real Dominic shine through. They shine, that is, briefly before he squashes it down again and erects that dark, unfeeling exterior that pushes everything and everyone away. It really broke my heart to see someone so afraid, so hurt, so scarred that he can’t even bring himself to feel. He vacillates between warm and cold, honest and closed off, engaged and detached.

“I ignore it all. Because I’m Dominic fucking Kinkaide and nothing bothers me. Nothing touches me, because I won’t let it.”

The story culminates in an emotionally charged series of events as truths are revealed and life-changing choices must be made. I really felt the emotions the story evoked, and especially for Dominic, I really wanted him to find his path to healing. He might be the most tortured protagonist that we’ve seen from her books. No doubt, both Jacey and Dominic have been shattered by their pasts. For Dominic it’s the experiences that are so painful and so unforgettable that won’t let go, for Jacey, it’s the absence of experiences and love that have held her down. Together, they are able to begin the process of healing each other, giving each other the much-needed moments of love and caring that both desperately need.

“The best things in life are worth the greatest risk. Falling in love is one of those things. Can it break out hearts? Yes. Most definitely. But more than not, before we fall, we fly.”

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About Courtney

CourtneyBio, Black and WhiteCourtney Cole is a novelist who would eat mythology for breakfast if she could. She has a degree in Business, but has since discovered that corporate America is not nearly as fun to live in as fictional worlds. She loves chocolate and roller coasters and hates waiting and rude people.

Courtney lives in quiet suburbia, close to Lake Michigan, with her real-life Prince Charming, her ornery kids (there is a small chance that they get their orneriness from their mother) and a small domestic zoo.

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