Review: Falling Away (#4, Falling) by Jasinda Wilder

My Thoughts

Ben and Echo’s story sizzles in a gripping,
multidimensional story of love and loss.
It’s a perfect finale to one of my favorite contemporary romance series.

5stars

Synopsis

falling away coverMy name is Benjamin Dorsey. You know my mom and dad’s story. You know Kylie’s parents’ story. You even know Kylie’s story.

You don’t know mine, yet.

You don’t know what a broken heart is until you’ve loved someone your whole life, only to have her slip through your fingers because you waited too long. That’s heartbreak. That’s regret. And how do you live with that? How do you go through the motions when she’s there as a reminder of what you lost, of what you could have had but were too damn chicken to go after? I couldn’t. So I left.

That’s right, I ran away. I found myself across the continent, playing minor league football. I mean, at least I still had football, right?

Nope. That got taken away from me too. A career-ending injury left me down-and-out, scraping the bottom of the barrel, hating myself and hating life. And then I met Cheyenne Leveaux, my physical therapist, who became my one and only friend, the one bright light in the darkness of my messed up life.

But of course nothing is ever simple, or easy.

Tragedy struck, and the rug was swept out from under me yet again, and this time the guilt, the doubt, the secrets, and the old heartbreak may threaten my one chance at true happiness, my one shot at my own happily ever after.

My Review

Jasinda Wilder closes the Falling series with a powerful story of love and loss.  There are so many things I loved about this novel, and really, about the series as a whole. Like every installment we’ve devoured, it touts the perfect balance of steam and emotion, hope and heartache. And perhaps one of the things I’ve loved most about the series is that music is threaded through the story as a way to channel the turmoil of emotions they feel. But of course we’re talking Ben Dorsey here, so not only do we get that musical magic, we get football too. For me, I fell hopelessly in love with Falling Into You, which remains one of my favorite novels, caring deeply about Nell and Colt, and then Becca and Jason in Falling Into Us. As a part of that journey, it felt so special to follow their children, Kylie and then Ben, as they found love and experienced the crush and devastation of loss, in their own way. Falling Away is a story of second chances, of finding love again after you feel you’ve lost it all. It’s about finding someone when you least expect it and trusting that your heart will make you brave when the whole world seems to quake all around you.

Ben Dorsey has loved Kylie Calloway all his life, but when Kylie fell in love with Oz, Ben was left on the sidelines. He became someone he wasn’t proud of and shattered by heartache, he ran, leaving it all behind, adrift in the melancholy of his emotions. Town to town, state to state, he set out on a journey to figure out what was next for him. What could someone do with all that anger and heartbreak and regret? How would they move on?

When the road temporarily stops in Texas, Ben decides to join an experimental minor league football team and again he comes alive playing ball, with the promise of going pro. He had always hoped he would follow his dad’s footsteps on the field and he was finally getting his chance.

But then, fate plays yet another horrible hand and everything is gone in an instant with a career-ending injury.

Numb and alone, Ben finds a physical therapist to help him walk again and it turns out that Cheyenne Leveaux becomes his only friend. But even then, tragedy strikes and guilt floods him, joining the anger, loneliness, heartache and regret that have taken residence inside.

And then Ben meets Echo and everything changes.

“We’ve been brought together by a tragedy, and we can’t seem to stay away from each other.”

Echo plows into Ben’s life unexpectedly, grief-stricken and in need of someone. Someone to hold onto. Someone to help her forget the pain, albeit temporarily. Ben is drawn to her, but his emotions and guilt try to steer him away. There are secrets he keeps that could hurt Echo and she’s already hurting enough. But through the crush of their grief, they find a transient respite, discovering the pull of something more in the flames of their desire.

“Everything inside me is at war. My body wants one thing, my mind something else, my heart a different thing yet. And that’s all aside from the guilt.”

Their chemistry is palpable and some truths are revealed as walls begin to come down. Ben hasn’t been able to connect with anyone since Kylie, but with Echo, he’s never wanted anyone quite like that.  Echo has also had a past defined by hurt and loss. She’s been abandoned and broken, left to mend her own tattered heart and failing at doing so. She’s taken on the world boldly, recklessly, drowning her sorrows. And when their blissful bubble is ripped open by reality, she knows it’s time to leave Ben behind, but surprisingly, Ben isn’t ready to let go yet.

“I want more than one kiss. I want more than one night, more than one tumble in the sheets.”

Their story is shaped by more hard lessons and as they hit a very sobering rock bottom. They must choose whether they are ready for each other, for the promise of something wonderful together, but first, Echo must face her demons and Ben must face everything and everyone back home, including Kylie.

“You can fall, Echo. I’ll catch you. Because I’m falling too, and I need you to catch me, too.”

Ben and Echo’s story is so heartbreaking, but at the same time, so hopeful. Both of our protagonists have been through so much and they each have had different ways of coping. Echo has bottled up everything inside while Ben has run from facing it all. Their story is really about them having the courage to confront those issues, having those issues fall away, so they can finally find much-deserved happiness in the arms of each other.

Jasinda has really written a series of timeless romances, suffused with heartache, but also with so much love between the characters and their families. Falling Away is a worthy, wonderful finale and I loved it!

“You’re my everything, now and forever, come what may.”

addseriestogoodreads

Reading Order and Links

Each book in the series can be read as a standalone, but best enjoyed as a series.

About Jasinda

Jasinda headshotNew York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jasinda Wilder is a Michigan native with a penchant for titillating tales about sexy men and strong women. When she’s not writing, she’s probably shopping, baking, or reading. ​Some of her favorite authors include Nora Roberts, JR Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Liliana Hart and Bella Andre. She loves to travel and some of her favorite vacations spots are Las Vegas, New York City and Toledo, Ohio. You can often find Jasinda drinking sweet red wine with frozen berries and eating a cupcake. Jasinda is represented by Kristin Nelson of the Nelson Literary Agency.

Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

✦✦✦✦

Follow Vilma’s Book Blog: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Subscribe by Email

Related Reads:

Comments

  1. Fabulous Review Vilma!
    I really want to read this one but I have only read Falling Into You (which I LOVED), do I need to read all the other ones before reading this one? They are on my TBR anyway, so I will at some point, but should they be read in order?

Leave a Reply