After I Fall (Falling #3) by Jessica Scott

Her entire life has been a lie. Being with Eli is the most honest thing she’s ever done. 
Parker Hauser lives the perfect life and knows exactly where she’s been and where she’s going. Parker has to be perfect. Perfect grades, perfect body, perfect life. 
Until she meets Eli Winter. 
Eli throws her entire life into chaos when he denies her the one thing she wants from him. 
One chance encounter stokes her desire for the man who refused to touch her and left her questioning everything. 
When Parker tries to help his new business, the spotlight turns on Eli’s military record. And sins from the war he’s tried to forget may come back to destroy them both. 

If you’ve read the first two books in Jessica Scott’s Falling series (Before I Fall & Break My Fall) you’ve already met Parker and Eli. You could probably read After I Fall without reading the beginning books in the series and be fine, but I don’t recommend it. Part of the magic of After I Fall is going into it not being a fan of Parker and wondering how Jessica Scott is going to turn her into a likable character. I even mentioned that fact at the end of my review of Break My Fall when I realized who the couple in the next book would be. By the time I was done Break My Fall, I wanted Eli to find his HEA, I just didn’t see how he could find it with Parker. I’m really glad (and not too surprised) that Scott found a way to change the way I looked at Parker and it really didn’t even take long at all. 😉

Parker’s life wasn’t as easy as it seemed. There were a lot of reasons why she acted the way she did and didn’t let people get too close. She wasn’t an angel, but she wasn’t the spoiled princess that she seemed to be either. No one saw through that though… until Eli. He knew from the beginning that there was more to Parker than the front she put up, but even he didn’t know her whole story. He just knew that she didn’t deserve the treatment she was receiving from those who claimed to care about her.

Eli wasn’t an angel either, but like most of the characters in the Falling series, he was a product of his war experience. He wasn’t quite as broken as the soldiers he tried to help and support, but he wasn’t damage free either. He had his secrets and he carried a guilt around with him that he couldn’t shake. His bar, The Pint, was more than a business, it was a haven for his ‘band of misfits.’ He couldn’t risk losing it, but falling for Parker was risky for both of them.

I think I’ve mentioned once or twice how much I admire authors who can change my opinion about a character. It’s almost as if they’re giving readers a gentle reminder not to judge a person, especially if you don’t know their story. Everyone has one and I’m really glad that readers got a chance to discover Parker’s and watch her gain the strength and courage to rise above it.

There’s more to come in the Falling series and I don’t have the same reservations about the next couple that I did with Parker and Eli. I won’t spoil it for anyone, but Catch My Fall is going to be interesting. 😉

 

 

Break My Fall (Falling #2) by Jessica Scott

BreakMyFallViolence. 
I’m addicted to it. It’s how I feel alive. It’s the only thing that’s real any more.
And now I have to sit around and discuss it like it’s physics or calculus. 
I can’t do it. I can’t pretend that it’s some sterile academic topic. 
Violence isn’t sterile. It isn’t calm. It’s pulsing. It’s alive.
It’s my drug.
Until I met Abby, I never wanted anything beyond the next fight. Never considered that I might finally find a way back to the land of the living.
Now? Now I find myself dreaming of a woman with golden eyes.
But I can never be with her. Because I am not whole. And I never will be again.
But I cannot stay away. And loving her might finally be what breaks me.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been a fan of Jessica Scott’s military love stories for a while. Even though Falling was her first venture into the New Adult genre, I didn’t hesitate picking up the first book, Before I Fall. Once you fall in love with a series after reading the first book, there’s always a danger that the books that follow won’t quite live up to that high you get with starting something new. I didn’t have that fear when I picked up Break My Fall. I was rewarded with a book that was just as intense and emotional as the first, with characters that I fell in love with from the time they were introduced.

You need to know going into this series that it’s not a sweet romance. These characters are broken and fragile, but they’re also stronger than they give themselves credit for. There’s also a realness about them that pulls you in and makes you feel for them. I think that’s one of the things I love most about Jessica Scott’s writing. Her military background adds to the ‘realness’ that gives her characters a depth and dimension that they wouldn’t have without that knowledge.

As for Abby and Josh? Abby was suffering from her own demons and falling for Josh was a risk, but one that she couldn’t turn away from. Josh was more broken than anyone knew, but he couldn’t pull himself away from Abby even though he knew it could totally break him as well as her. It took them a while to figure out that they were much better off together than apart.

Break My Fall was intense and at times heartbreaking, but it was also full of hope and even humor. The characters were smart and witty and full of life. That includes the supporting characters, who were, once again, just as important as Abby and Josh. They added another layer to the story through their interactions between Abby and Josh.

I don’t think that you have to read Before I Fall to enjoy Break My Fall, but I wouldn’t skip it. The first book lays the groundwork. It’s gives some insight into the different things these young soldiers face when they come home and the steps they have to take to try to get back even a little of what they’ve lost and find a new kind of normal. Not everyone’s journey is the same, but they’re all important. I’m going to try to remember that before the next book in the series comes out. If I Fall features one of my least favorite characters so far, which means Ms. Scott has her work cut out for her. I have no doubt that she’s up to the task.

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Before I Fall (Falling #1) by Jessica Scott

BeforeIFallStay focused. Get a job. Save her father’s life.

Beth Lamont knows far too much about the harsh realities of life her gilded classmates have only read about in class. She’ll do whatever it takes to take care of her father, even if that means tutoring a guy like Noah – a guy who represents everything she hates about the war, soldiers and what the Army has done to her family.

Noah Warren doesn’t know how to be a student. All he knows is war. But he’s going to college now to fulfill a promise and he doesn’t break his promises. Except he doesn’t count on his tutor being drop dead gorgeous and distracting as hell. One look at Beth threatens to unravel the careful lies Noah has constructed around him.

A simple arrangement turns into something neither of them can deny. And a war that neither of them can forget could destroy them both.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1I’ve been a fan of Jessica Scott’s military love stories for a while, but it’s also been a while since I’ve read one. When I found out that she was delving into New Adult territory, I jumped at the chance to read her first book in the Falling series. I wasn’t disappointed.

There was so much to love about Before I Fall, I’m not sure where to start. Beth was an amazing character to start this series. The opening statement in the description may seem a little over the top, but it’s exactly what Beth was dealing with in a very real way. Everything for Beth was a fight and had been since she was sixteen years old. Her mom abandoned her and her father when things got tough. Beth was left to pick up the pieces, take over the finances and literally fight for the healthcare that her dad deserved.

Noah came back from the war more broken than even he realized. He wasn’t in a great place either physically or mentally when he met Beth. She made him want to be a better person, but it wasn’t that easy. When Beth finally revealed some of her own secrets, he wanted to be strong for her. To do that he’d have to come to terms with his own issues, before it was too late. The inevitable crash for these two was heartbreaking.

I felt for both of these characters. Beth wasn’t wrong for decisions she made regarding Noah, but she wasn’t entirely right either. Her judgement was clouded by her own reality, which was understandable. Noah was as much a victim of circumstances beyond his control as Beth and her father. It came down to much more than right vs. wrong, it was more a matter of survival the only way either of them knew how.

The supporting characters were an important part of Before I Fall. They gave the characters strength and love when they needed it most. They added to the depth of the characters by helping them reveal parts of themselves that they couldn’t reveal to anyone else. I love it when supporting characters are… well… supportive.

Interlaced within the depth of the characters and the touching love story was the evident personal knowledge that it took to bring this story to life. I’ve always admired that with Jessica Scott’s writing and the switch in genres didn’t change that. If you’ve been a fan of her adult military romances, you will definitely enjoy Before I Fall. If you’re new to this author’s writing, it’s also a perfect place to start. Needless to say, I’m really looking forward to see where this series goes next.

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