Falling Hard by Tina Wainscott
Series: Falling Fast #2
Also in this series: Falling Free
Published by Loveswept on December 8th 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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In bestselling author Tina Wainscott’s gritty, emotional small-town romance—perfect for fans of Jasinda Wilder and Colleen Hoover—passions run high as a reformed bad boy reconnects with an old enemy . . . and gets her engine revving.
There’s no one Pax Sullivan wants to run into less than Gemma Thornton. Back in high school, she revved his heart more than street racing. But she picked his clean-cut brother over him—only to accuse Blake of an unforgivable crime. Eventually the charges were dropped and Gemma left town, but the hard feelings lingered . . . along with Pax’s gnawing “what-ifs.” Seven years later, just as he quits the police force to open a racetrack, Gemma’s back—and their chemistry is more combustible than ever.
If it were up to her, Gemma would never lay eyes on another Sullivan. She hates them, and they hate her—even Pax, who just so happens to be fixing up her father’s B&B. But the more time she spends with the lean, hard-bodied ex-cop at the inn and on the track, the more Gemma sees that Pax is nothing like his brother. Despite their anguished history, she’s tempted to take their relationship into high gear . . . if she can face the past and risk her heart.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
This was an ok story. When I read gritty I’m expecting you know… grit. And I didn’t feel Falling Hard delivered in that front. Yes, it deals with a heavy subject View Spoiler »date rape « Hide Spoiler but it just didn’t feel it merited that introduction.
Pax and Gemma had a moment when they were both in high school and Gemma had just moved into Pax’s town. But then she started dating Pax’s brother Blake the jock (she wanted to fit in) then she accused Blake the Golden boy View Spoiler »of raping her « Hide Spoiler but no one believed her, there was no conviction and so she ran back to NY.
Seven years later she has to come back to the town that maligned her, not believing her. She only returns because her dad had an accident and had ended up in the hospital ICU.
Of course, the first person she runs into is Pax, while she is stranded with a flat tired by the road. And surprising both of them he offers to help her out. It turns out Pax and Gemma’s dad are now friends and business partners, so he is taking care of his B&B while he’s in the hospital, putting him and Gemma under the same roof.
The story goes on to see both of them fighting the attraction they felt from that very first time, and Pax’s slow and painful journey to believing in Gemma’s story of the past.
Now there’s a lot of small town gossip and small mindedness going on, this bugged me a bit. And while I think I understand what Ms. Wainscott was trying to do with putting us in the head of the survivors, I can’t say witnessing her (or their) self-doubt and the back and forth recriminations was really enjoyable. But I think especially because I hadn’t really connected with Gemma that I wasn’t overly invested in her working through her trauma.
Also everyone felt a bit cartoonish, Pax was too perfect, the bad guys too vile, the situations just right; to me nothing felt natural, more like everything was staged, I can see this might be a ridiculous thing to say, but that was what it felt like to me.
In a nutshell, I kind of liked Falling Hard, especially because what I think the author was trying to accomplish with it was commendable. The story itself I found it kind of meh, it never really grabbed my attention, but I wanted to know how everything would unfold. There was a bit of “side drama” that I felt was quite unnecessary but I think it had more to do with the first book in the series.
Sparkles Rating: 2.5 good-intentioned Stars
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