Title: Falling Down
Author: Eli Easton
Release Date: 11/07/16
Genre(s): M/M Romance
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
” Josh finds himself homeless at eighteen, but he has a plan. He’ll head north on the bus to New England and spend October there for his mother’s sake. She always talked about going to see the fall leaves someday. And when the leaves are done and the harsh winter comes, Josh plans to find a place to curl up and let go. It will be a relief to finally stop fighting.
Mark spent his life trying to live up to the tough swagger of his older brothers until he pushed himself so far against his nature that he cracked. Now a former Marine, he rents a little cabin in the White Mountains of New Hampshire where he can lick his wounds and figure out what to do with the rest of his life. One thing was clear: Mark was nobody’s hero.
Fate intervenes when Josh sets up camp under a covered bridge near Mark’s cabin. Mark recognizes the dead look in the young stranger’s eyes, and he feels compelled to do something about it. When Mark offers Josh a job, he never expects that he’ll be the one to fall.
The snow is coming soon. Can Mark convince Josh that the two of them can build a life together before the flurries begin?
Trigger Warning: Suicidal thoughts”
Review: There are very few books that impact me the way this one did. This isn’t my first Eli Easton book. I always thought she was a good writer and her characters were decently well developed. After reading this book, I have to admit that I was wrong. Falling Down is proof that Easton is a great writer with phenomenal characters.
This one hit the mark for me on so many levels.
Josh was such an amazing, well-developed character. My first impression of him wasn’t so great due to his depression and general ‘blah’ attitude. I don’t feel like I really got to meet Josh until chapter 4, but when I did, I realized how well worth the wait it really was. Josh was funny and sweet and kind. He was truly a strong, well-rounded MC. But, he was also weak. When Easton put that suicidal thoughts trigger in the blurb, it was mean to be taken very seriously. This book and Josh were both very dark. He was imperfect and depressed and self-conscious and God, his internal dialogue broke my heart. It’s too often that you see a character with either all strong traits or all weak traits. Easton had me believing by the end of chapter 5 that this could actually be non-fiction.
And Mark, oh man. Mark was… flawed? He was vulnerable and kind. He took Josh in when he wasn’t in the best place himself and gave him a roof over his head and a bed to sleep in. Despite his unfamiliarity with the topic, he catered to Josh’s dietary restrictions without being judgemental. Speaking of which, the integration of veganism into this book was absolutely flawless. I’ve read too many books that feature even vegetarian characters and an overwhelming amount of dialogue is spent explaining and defending their choice. For Josh, it was just another meal. I have to commend Easton on that one!
“That’s the way I want you. Like I would crawl over hot coals to get to you. Like nothing would ever stop me from being with you—not if you wanted it too.”
These two characters were so perfect for each other even if they weren’t an obvious choice. I didn’t get the feeling that these characters were designed to fit together flawlessly. They were rough around the edges but they were both so compassionate and understanding that they made it work.
Josh hadn’t loved very many people in his life. Really, there was only one: his mom. Now he loved someone else: Mark. God, he did. Hugely. Epically. Terminally. No matter what else happened from here on out, no matter if he stayed with Mark or had to leave. No matter if Josh lived ’til he was ninety or found his peace in the snow, he would love Mark ’til the end. He was suddenly so grateful to have experienced that.
I was actually shocked that Josh was the first to really make a move. His confidence wasn’t exactly the highest and he had a lot riding on the line. Seeing him make this unexpected move made me realize how much he really was growing as a character throughout the book.
Plus, the syntax in this book was unbelievable. It’s like Easton put feelings into words in a way that punched you in the gut or made you feel warm and happy and they resonated with you. There were times when I had to pause and put the book down because Easton did such a good job portraying these character’s feelings and I knew exactly what they were going through.
He wouldn’t look away from Mark’s eyes for a second. This was them. Them, together. Josh and Mark
Very rarely do I wish I could give a book 6 stars, but if I could, this would definitely be one of them. Despite the dark and depressing parts of this book, the payout was so worth it. This is a must-read for 2016 and I highly recommend it to all M/M readers!
Disclaimer: This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the author or the publisher in any way.