Friday, March 20, 2015

[ARC Review]: "Falling"

Falling by Barbara Elsborg
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd. (March 24, 2015)
Series: Fall or Break, 1
Genre: M/M Contemporary

Falling is easy. Landing without breaking your heart? Impossible.

Harper is no longer behind bars, but it doesn’t feel like it. Ten years serving time for a crime he didn’t commit have left him shut down, numb, and a frozen wreck over the simplest of choices.

He’s acutely aware of the dark-haired young man checking him out in the supermarket, but he’s too deep in panic mode to even meet the guy’s gaze. Afraid the slightest move will trigger a fall that will never stop.

Fresh off a long-term relationship with a controlling man, Malachi is stuck living with relatives who think he’s a waste of oxygen. The tall guy in the long, gray coat is the first bright spot he’s glimpsed in a long time…though the man’s unblinking stare at a bottle of shower gel is a touch alarming.

Hard experience tells both of them to turn away before lust turns to hopeless attraction, and inevitably to disaster. But once their sparks connect, the arc of electricity is too strong to deny. Even if the cost is too much to bear.

Warning: Contains an ex-con with disaster written all over him, a boy toy who’s trouble with a capital T, a damp old British house, compulsive meddling, and enough hot sex to cure the severe case of nervous babbling.

Where to Buy*:
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My Review:

Falling was my first time reading Barbara Elsborg, but it will NOT be my last – wow!

His life had been wrecked by lies and he'd be falling forever because there was no one to catch him.

Where do I even start? I don’t wish to give any spoilers away, so I’ll try to remain vague. First, I loved the interesting story that Elsborg told; I never would have imagined reading a romance with a hero who has a past like Harper. Within the first chapter or so, I was convinced that he was, indeed, innocent of what he had been accused of ten years ago. The rest of the book had my stomach in knots as I worried over Harper, and Malachi, too, hoping that everything would work out right in the end. Drama and angst run high in this book, but I loved it!

"Light the stairs with the flashlight, not my backside." Harper said when no light shone ahead of him.

Malachi chuckled.

Harper yelped when he felt the brush of Malachi's tongue against his butt.

"Ten seconds gone. You better hurry. Christ, I'll probably catch pneumonia. How are you going to explain that to the coroner? Such a tragedy. I fucked him until he could barely walk and then made him shower in freezing water. I had no idea he wasn't really a penguin."

[Right after their cold shower . . . ]

"Of course we could have boiled a saucepan of water and washed with that, as I did earlier," Harper said.

"You bastard. Malachi growled. "Run."

The chemistry is scorching hot between Harper and Malachi, which, obviously, made me very happy. More importantly, they were able to not just have sexy sex, but also FUN sex. These two were great together, always joking with one another, and it was both cute and hot to watch them together, in and out of the bedroom. There were so many scenes that I highlighted on my Kindle – yes, even more than the ones I've picked for my review. Their banter was just too great NOT to highlight. 

"Shit," Malachi mumbled. "If the touch of your hand can make my dick go hard, what the fuck would a kiss do? Er . . . didn't meant to say that out loud."

Malachi is a bit on the awkward side at times, at least with the things that come out of his mouth when he’s flustered, but I found it so cute, even as I winced occasionally for the things he said out loud. I very much approved of Harper’s ways of “shutting him up” though. 

"Oh God," Malachi mumbled. "If we keep doing this I'll pass out from lack of oxygen. At least I'll be able to blame that rather than your kiss."

"You think you'll pass out when I kiss you?"

Malachi gave him a sly grin. "Why don't you find out?"

"Your expectations are too high. Told you I'm out of practice." If I kiss you, I'll let go of the rope and fall.

"Practice on me."

"I'm . . . "

"What?" Malachi asked.

The lump in Harper's throat grew to painful proportions. "Afraid of wanting this too much. Afraid of hurting you. Afraid of falling. Afraid of landing."

"You don't need to be afraid. We're not defusing a ticking bomb here, or doing brain surgery. It's just sex. If you fall, I'll catch you. Promise. Now hurry up and kiss me before zombies rush in and eat you. If that does happen, make sure you keep them busy while I escape."

I admit, the beginning was a bit slow, but it did not take long before I fell for these two men, and started to care for them. Deeply. The rest of the story was a roller coaster of emotions, with a nice suspense thread regarding Harper’s past. The ending (epilogue) was a bit quick, and I wish that had been fleshed out more, rather than the HEA-info dump that was given in those last few pages. However, this was a very small flaw, and it did not stop me from loving this book!

"I need you," Harper gasped. The words burst out of him. Repressed for ten years, he couldn't keep his emotions in check any longer. "I. Need. You."

Malachi clutched him more tightly. "I want . . . "

"What?" The moon? It's yours. Anything.

"I want to make you happy."

Shit, don't make me cry. Harper looked into Malachi's eyes and recognized the anxiety in him too. What had happened to him before? How could Malachi not make anyone happy? Christ, if he can make me happy, I might end up convincing myself he is an angel.

"I want to please you," Malachi whispered. "I'm not trying to mend you, I just want to be what you want, what you need. I want you for what you need. I want you for what you are now. I want the damaged guy I saw in the supermarket, the guy who wore the crazy trunks, the guy who dived off the top board without making a splash, the guy who closed his eyes when he ate a croissant, the guy who can light fires, for real and inside me. I wanted you the first time I saw you and I still wanted you after you told me what had happened. But I'm not a quick fuck kind of guy, so if that's what you're looking for, let me go before I get hurt."

I first read my ARC of Falling in December, devoured it quickly, and loved it. Since its release date was so far off (March), and I needed time to finalize my review, I decided I’d do a reread at the beginning of March and complete my review then. Yeah, by January, I found my fingers twitching over my Kindle, and suddenly I was rereading Falling. I fell for the book just as much the second time around, finding even more quotes to highlight. What does that tell you?

"Ugh." The cover flew off and Malachi stared down at him. "Uh . . . ugh . . . fuck. Don't forget that's not a spring roll."

Harper let him out of his mouth before he choked laughing.

"Jesus, Harper. Some warning would have been good."


"Oh God. Your mouth. Hot, wet, Chinese."

Harper spluttered. "I can't do this if you make me laugh."

"I'll talk politics."

"Put your leg on my shoulder."

"Right or left leg? Which shoulder?"

"Guess." He slid his thumb around the head of Malachi's cock and was rewarded by a long moan. 

"I've forgotten what a shoulder is."

If you’re looking for a unique story, two tortured heroes, deep emotions and sexy/fun times, Falling is the book for you! Oh, bonus, it’s set in England, so imagine the men with yummy accents. :D I can’t recommend this book enough, and I’m dying for the next in the series. I can’t wait to see how Conrad’s story turns out. It seems that there’s more to his character than I first thought, and I want to see him meet his match! As I said, I will definitely be reading more of Elsborg’s books, and Harper and Malachi will be going on my keeper shelf. 

4 1/2 STARS! 

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I received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest opinion.

*Note: The quotes used belong to Barbara Elsborg; TBQ's Book Palace do not claim them.

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I cannot say enough good things about this book. Just go read it! :) 

Have you read Barbara Elsborg before? Do you have a favorite book of hers?

Remember, since this is a Royal Pick, come back on Mar 26th for a chance to WIN an ecopy of your own!


Until Next Time,


  *TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!


Red Iza said...

Oh, it does look like one hot sexy fun read ! I absolutely love the zombie quote :) Hop, on my list, thanks for sharing !

The_Book_Queen said...

It really is -- two rereads later, and I'm still in love with it. :)